Fifty and Fabulous

The thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations for Gen X

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Genealogy Hunting In Wiltshire

Hello Everyone,

I love history, I know I haven’t posted anything to my blog about that recently (see my last post here) but those of you who follow me on Twitter will know I tweet quite a bit about it. 😉 This weekend I’ve been back on Ancestry UK working on my family tree – a project that has been ongoing for a number of years now which you can read about here.

I was browsing their blog posts when I came across the article below about the launch of the Wiltshire Wills Collection. The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre is still a place I need to visit as I’ve traced a few of my family lines as far back as I can with Ancestry UK.

Have any of you created your family tree? I love working on mine and I am finding it very interesting. I think researching your ancestors helps bring history to life and gives it a more personal perspective.




Posted by Kristen Hyde on January 31, 2018

With the launch of the Wiltshire Wills collection, Claire Skinner from Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre explores the historical significance of wills.

The probate collection of the Diocese of Sarum alias Salisbury (more popularly known as the Wiltshire Wills collection) is a collection of over 500,000 images of wills and related records from the whole of Wiltshire and Berkshire, part of Dorset and the parish of Uffculme in Devon. There are around 118,000 wills of various lengths, plus related records mainly dating from the 1560s to 1858 which include inventories of goods, administration bonds, and bonds for tuition or guardianship of children.

Through Ancestry, the Wiltshire Wills collection is being made available online in its entirety for the first time, thus completing the work of the HLF-funded Wiltshire Wills project which began in the early 2000s.But how have wills changed over time, and what is the value of a will for a family historian? Understanding more about these documents can be helpful for your family history research.

What’s a will?

Under an Act of Parliament of 1529, the purpose of a will was for the testator (person making the will) to pay debts, provide for their spouse, arrange for care of children and make charitable bequests for the good of their souls. They usually have a standard format and structure, starting with ‘In the name of God Amen’ and going on to commit the testator’s soul to God and their body to be buried in a named location; they go on to list the various bequests the testator wishes to make; any debts they owe; and then they name their executor(s) and sign or make their mark. Last of all there may be a probate clause in Latin, written by the court which proved the will, often just a few months after the date the will was written.

It is important to remember that under the pre-1752 calendar, a document dated Jan-Mar would be dated the previous year, so a will dated 17 Jan 1713 is actually 1714 under the modern calendar. If someone died without making a will the court could administer their estate under what are called ‘letters of administration’ instead.

The Value of Wills for Family History

In the 16th and 17th centuries wills were increasingly used to provide for each member of the family left behind, making them particularly useful for family history.

A good will for demonstrating this is that of John Baker of Pitton in south Wiltshire, made in 1688, (P26/387), in which he bequeaths 20 shillings to his daughter Elizabeth Pilgrem, £4 each to his grandchildren John, Stephen, and Diana Seward, Anne Toomer, and William, John, Anne and Elizabeth Smart; 20 shillings to his son in law John Seward; and the residue of estate to his daughter Ann Seward, the wife of John Seward of Pitton. As you can see, three generations are mentioned in the same document, a real boon to family historians!  Wills also usefully include the occupation of the deceased – in this case a yeoman farmer – and may be accompanied by an inventory of their goods which can be very useful in showing the possessions of the deceased and their relative wealth.

Not all families were harmonious, of course – a mother who clearly had serious misgivings about what would become of her sons after her death was Margery Williams of Baydon. She added this codicil to her will in 1797: “Whereas it is the Misfortune of my sons Benjamin and Joseph to be very indiscreet and imprudent and as they have expended their Fortunes and I am extremely apprehensive any Other Property would be in like Manner Wasted and Yet unwilling that they should be left entirely Destitute…” she wills that her son Francis Williams should pay them 2 shillings a week for life!  (P5/1799/27) People weren’t just concerned about their human relatives. Mary Goddard of Swindon included an unusual bequest for the care of her pets after her death: in 1788 she left £2 11s to her servant Grace Buckland “to take care and protection of my Cats and Dog, which I desire she will do with tenderness.” (P3/G/748)

Wills were also used to give instructions for the funeral: the 1681 will of Mary Beake, P5/1681/7 states: “I doe order that there be forty shillings layed out in Cakes and bread and that there be a Kilderkin of beer at my burial.” (A kilderkin was 16-18 gallons).

Sometimes wills tell us a lot about the personality of the testator and their sense of humour, something which you often won’t get from other records, for example this instruction in the will of Nicholas Daniell of Sutton Benger, 1726, for the inscription on his tombstone speaks volumes:

“From Gout and Pox and Plague and Women free
From Law and Physick and Divinity
And Knaves and Foole of every Degree
From care, fear, pain and hard necessity am freed. In what a happy state am I.”

An unhappy lovelife is also obvious in the will of Henry Hunt of Enford, 1773 (P1/H/1231) whose wife “with great Clamour, Violence & Outrage, endeavoured to hinder his making any will, declaring positively that he should make none.” Henry replied “Then this must be your will, not mine” and added “Thus it was she made her first Husband’s will”, meaning no will at all. Nevertheless Henry did succeed in making his will – he had no time to make a formal document but the testimony of his friends and a scribbled note made at his sickbed by one of them proved sufficient for the court.

Who could not make a will prior to 1858?

There were four main categories of people who could not legally make a will.
1) Children (boys under 14 and girls under 12)
2) People of unsound mind or lacking senses (only in the latter case if it meant they could not understand the will)
3) Those lacking full freedom – ie slaves, prisoners and married women without their husband’s consent (the latter before 1882)
4) Traitors, heretics and apostates (eg atheists)

Normally a will had to have certain elements to be legally valid: the date, the testator’s mark or signature (witnessed), and the nomination of an executor, but if no will in this format existed then other forms of will might be accepted by the courts. For example, Henry White’s lovely informal handwritten will of 1835 found on the reverse of an old letter was accepted:

Wills could be made on any material though normally they are on paper. Parchment wills are normally the probate copy made by the court, rather than the original.

Since making a will was possibly regarded as ‘tempting fate’ making a will was often left till the last moment when a testator was ill and facing death. If it was too late to make a written will a testator could give their wishes in the form of a verbal will, copied down – otherwise known as a nuncupative will. An interesting example of this is that of Nicholas Perry, senior, a carpenter of Salisbury St Edmund, who rode over to Combe Bissett where one of his sons lived, to tell him his will orally, because of ‘Contagion in Sarum’ in other words the well known outbreak of the Black Death in Salisbury in 1627. (P4/1627/4.)

Women and wills

Prior to the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882 a married woman could only make a will with her husband’s consent or if there was a pre-nuptial agreement which allowed her to do so. There were no restrictions on widows and spinsters making wills and therefore there are far more of these than wills of married women. These include the inventory of goods of Jane Forget, dated 1588 who had been a nun at Wilton Abbey – the will shows that even though the abbey had been dissolved for fifty years, Jane continued to live a devout life and gave away all her clothing to the poor in her will. (P5/1588/19) Women usually appear in their husband’s will as the executor of his estate, at least until the 18th century.

Probate/proving wills

During the Middle Ages the church gradually gained the right to prove or validate wills and grant administrations of the estates of the dead in all but a few places in England and Wales. The church took responsibility for validating wills and making sure the wishes of the deceased were adhered to through its courts. The church continued to hold authority until 1858, except for the Commonwealth period when the church courts were temporarily closed down in the 1640s and 50s – the wills for this period are at the National Archives in Kew.

When someone died their will had to be taken to the appropriate court – this could be quite complicated to determine. In some years a larger court might take responsibility for a smaller one and have the right to prove their wills. Within the Diocese of Salisbury there were 28 probate courts, including the bishop’s, the two archdeacon’s, and many peculiars. If goods or land to the value of £5 were held in areas covered by the jurisdiction of more than one court, the will would be proved in the higher court. Thus if it fell into two archdeaconries it would be proved at the bishop’s court; if it was in more than one diocese it would be proved at the appropriate archbishop’s court eg Prerogative Court of Canterbury or York. Therefore wills of rich or famous people are unlikely to be found in the Diocesan collection – the PCC was also seen to confer a certain prestige so people like Jane Austen, who didn’t own a lot of property but were of a gentry background, had their will proved there.

Once in court, the executor and witnesses swore that the will was definitely the testator’s last one, and the judge, if satisfied, would grant probate. Probate had to begin within four months of the death, and often would be much sooner. If the executor refused, or if the person died without making a will, the court would appoint administrators to sort out the estate. The court kept the original will and it is the originals which form the Wiltshire Wills collection. A second copy would also be entered into the court’s register, which is why you may find two wills for the same person – they should be identical except they will lack the original mark or signature of the testator.

The executor had to arrange the funeral of the deceased, and pay for those costs, and then make an inventory of the goods. The goods were valued at their ‘second-hand’ price and gave the executor an idea of the size of the estate available to administer – debts had to be paid before any legacies could be paid. For example William Trahare of Sherborne in Dorset, a retired soldier who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars, left his pension in 1802 to William Spooner, inn-keeper, “to discharge myself of my just debt due to him.” (P5/19Reg/4)

From 1858 the proving of wills became a civil responsibility and post-1858 wills have not been included in the Wiltshire Wills project.

Start exploring the Wiltshire Wills collection now on Ancestry.

Source: Where there’s a will, there’s a way – Ancestry UK Blog

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A Bit About Save the Children UK

Hello Lovely Followers,

I was browsing the internet recently and wondered how many British charities were founded during the year I was born? As some of you may know, I have been known to support a cause or two and I found this post; it’s a history/activism sort of thing and I found it interesting so I thought I’d share it with you all.

While studying for my teaching assistant qualification, I did a fair bit of research into child protection and in the past I’ve signed petitions and donated money to Save The Children; their history dates back to the start of the 1900s when two sisters had a vision to protect children’s rights and they’re still going strong, defending the rights of children, investigating, exposing and confronting abuses as well as championing solutions.

I’ve kept all the original links and have posted the link to the post itself at the bottom.



Our history – Where we started, to where we are today

At the beginning of the 20th century, two sisters had a vision to achieve and protect the rights of children. Almost 100 years later, that vision continues to guide all our work. Read the story of what happened in between…

Beginnings: Arrested in London

Save the Children's founder, Eglantyne Jebb.

Save the Children’s founder, Eglantyne Jebb.

After the First World War war ended, Britain kept up a blockade that left children in cities like Berlin and Vienna starving. Malnutrition was common and rickets were rife.

Dr Hector Munro, who witnessed the effects of the famine, reported that “children’s bones were like rubber. Tuberculosis was terribly rife. Clothing was utterly lacking. In the hospitals there was nothing but paper bandages.”

Save the Children’s founder, Eglantyne Jebb, and her sister Dorothy Buxton were part of the Fight the Famine movement, spreading information about what was happening in Europe.

In 1919, Jebb was arrested for distributing leaflets in Trafalgar Square. They bore shocking images of children affected by famine in Europe, and the headline: ‘Our Blockade has caused this – millions of children are starving to death’. When Jebb was tried for her protest and found guilty, the prosecuting counsel was so impressed with her that he offered to pay the £5 fine himself.

Soon, the sisters decided that campaigning alone would not be enough – direct action was needed. In May 1919, the Save the Children Fund was set up at a packed public meeting in London’s Royal Albert Hall.

This was just the start – over the next decades Save the Children would grow to become a global organisation saving thousands of children’s lives each year.

Read our former CEO’s blog about Eglantyne Jebb.

Early years: fighting the famine

Russian children fed by Save the Children during the 1921 famine.

Russian children fed by Save the Children during the 1921 famine.

In 1921, one refugee child described how he had carried his youngest brother among thousands of sick, tired and hungry people. He said, “One day I saw that he was not moving or crying for bread any more. I showed him to my mother and she saw that he was dead. We were glad that he was dead because we had nothing to feed him on.

Save the Children soon raised considerable funds for these children in desperate need. Single donations ranged from two shillings to £10,000. It gave the money to organisations working to feed and educate children in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Hungary, the Balkans and for Armenian refugees in Turkey.

Later, famine in Russia saw children struggling in dire conditions.

To raise money for these children, Jebb and her colleagues used page-length advertisements in national newspapers and footage of famine and disaster work in operation. Films showing the conditions children were facing, screened in cinemas up and down the country, were unlike anything else seen at the time.

With the funds raised, Jebb and her colleagues filled a ship with 600 tons of aid bound for Russia. From winter 1921 through much of 1922, daily meals provided by Save the Children helped keep 300,000 children and more than 350,000 adults alive – for just a shilling per person per week.

Save the Children had not been set up as a permanent organisation, but it soon became one after it was called on to deal with emergency after emergency.

As Buxton moved to focus on political campaigning, the charismatic Eglantyne Jebb, as honorary secretary, became a force to be reckoned with. Persuasive and committed, Jebb quickly established Save the Children as a highly effective relief agency, able to provide food, clothing and money quickly and inexpensively.

 1920s: children’s rights

In the 1920s, we started working here at home, in Britain.

In the 1920s, we started working here at home, in Britain.

Armed with ideas ahead of her time, Eglantyne Jebb wanted to make the rights and welfare of children something that everyone took responsibility for.

She said: “I believe we should claim certain rights for the children and labour for their universal recognition, so that everybody – not merely the small number of people who are in a position to contribute to relief funds, but everybody who in any way comes into contact with children, that is to say the vast majority of mankind – may be in a position to help forward the movement.”

Jebb’s ‘Declaration of the Rights of the Child’ was adopted by The League of Nations, a forerunner to the UN, and it inspired today’s UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

After 1923, with fewer emergencies to deal with, Save the Children focused on research and children’s rights projects.

In the UK, we opened a recuperative school at Fairfield House in Kent for children from inner-city areas, and helped young miners’ families in poverty-striken parts of Wales and Cornwall. In Hungary, we supported a school based on the principle of cooperation and children having a say in the running of the school.

Eglantyne Jebb died in 1928, leaving behind a powerful vision of ending the cycle of poverty that blighted so many children’s lives.

She said: “If we accept our premise, that the Save the Children Fund must work for its own extinction, it must seek to abolish, for good and for all, the poverty which makes children suffer and stunts the race of which they are the parents.

“It must not be content to save children from the hardships of life – it must abolish these hardships; nor think it suffices to save them from immediate menace – it must place in their hands the means of saving themselves and so of saving the world.”

1930s: A growing organisation

The 1930s saw us expand our work beyond Europe for the first time.

The 1930s saw us expand our work beyond Europe for the first time.

Eglantyne Jebb’s ambition had been to extend the work of Save the Children outside Europe. In the decade after her death, we went on to establish the Child Protection Committee, which lobbied for the rights of children in Africa and Asia throughout the decade.

We established a nursery school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1936, and we set up nursery schools in several areas in Britain, including the first nursery school in Wales.

Our 1933, research report, ‘Unemployment and the Child: An Enquiry’, showed that mass unemployment affects children’s nutrition. We campaigned for children’s right to adequate nutrition until the Education Act of 1944 provided school meals and milk throughout the UK.

We also worked with refugees from the Spanish Civil War. And we were part of the Inter Aid committee which organised the rescue mission of predominantly Jewish children from continental Europe to Britain just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

1940s: Another War

Our experience working with children in conflict started in the UK during the World War II.

Our experience working with children in conflict started in the UK during the World War II.

During the Second World War we were forced to withdraw from projects in occupied Europe.

In the UK, we set up residential nurseries for young children who had been evacuated from the cities and day nurseries for children whose parents were working in wartime industries.

In large cities, we created playcentres in air-raid shelters, as well as junior clubs for older children who often played unsupervised on bombsites. We also launched Hopscotch – the first playgroup in Britain, that would be the start of a major area of work for many years.

Save the Children started planning for post-war overseas work in 1942, publishing the report ‘Children in Bondage’. It painted a picture of widespread violations of children’s rights and consequent suffering. In India, we supported a child welfare centre in Kolkata, and we set up health centre in Ibadan, Nigeria.

But the majority of Save the Children’s work outside the UK concerned planning for the needs of children in Europe after the war. By the autumn of 1946, we were working with children, displaced people, refugees and concentration camp survivors in devastated areas of France, Yugoslavia, Poland and Greece.

1950s: Work in Asia

A Save the Children worker with children and mothers in the aftermath of the Korean War.

A Save the Children worker with children and mothers in the aftermath of the Korean War.

The Korean War began in 1950. It left many children destitute and living unaccompanied on the streets. Malnutrition and associated diseases were rife. In 1952, the first Save the Children workers arrived. They stayed for more than 20 years.

In 1959, Save the Children and Oxfam produced the film A Far Cry, which showed how far Korean children still were from achieving basic housing, food, education and healthcare. The BBC showed the film on Easter Sunday that year.

Throughout the 1950s there were still many displaced families in Europe. Save the Children continued working in Germany, Austria, Italy and Greece. It sent extra teams to Austria in 1956 to help Hungarian refugees fleeing after the failed revolution.

Outside Europe, in what was to become Malaysia, the Serendah project gave orphaned boys an education, training and a safe place to live. By the end of the 1950s, most of the organisation’s money was going towards work in Asia.

Save the Children is non-political and non-sectarian, and has a philosophy of international co-operation. However, international politics do affect the organisation.

The Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union compelled us to withdraw from some areas in post-war Eastern Europe, such as Poland, Yugoslavia and Hungary. And we were forced to leave some areas in the Middle East following the Suez crisis in 1956.


The 1960s saw a new emphasis on development in newly independent nations in Asia and Africa.

The 1960s saw a new emphasis on development in newly independent nations in Asia and Africa.

The 1960s were hailed as the ‘development decade’, as Western governments and the public were prepared to give money and resources for development projects.

By this time, Save the Children had full medical and welfare teams in 17 countries and its work extended to 26 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the West Indies.

In Korea, Morocco, Nigeria and the West Indies, our Freedom from Hunger projects, which aimed to prevent the causes of famine and food shortages, were beginning to show results.

We were able to get more funding for long-term development projects and emergency responses. We worked with refugees from the Chinese invasion of Tibet, children in Vietnam and children on both sides of the civil war in Nigeria.

In Malaysia and Somalia, we handed projects over to local management, and we started new work in other areas, such as the Mwanamugimu project at Mulago Hospital, Uganda, which taught mothers about nutrition.

We also started the first hospital play group in the UK at the Brook Hospital, London, in 1963. The same year saw the death of Save the Children’s co-founder, Dorothy Buxton.

1970s: Around the world and at home

A Save the Children worker vaccinates a child against polio.

A Save the Children worker vaccinates a child against polio.

 HRH the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, became President of Save the Children in 1970 – the first major charity with which she had been closely associated.

In 1972, Save the Children organisations in several countries, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the USA, formed the International Save the Children Alliance.

Throughout the 1970s we ran development programmes and emergency responses in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Sahel region of Africa.

During the civil unrest in Northern Ireland, we worked for young people from both Nationalist and Unionist areas. Our Coates Street play centre brought together children from the two communities, as described in Save the Children Northern Ireland’s 1971 annual report:

“These children, drawn from both sides of the Peace Line, play together most successfully with no sign of animosity. The mothers too are meeting in a friendly relaxed way, which is helping to foster a better relationship in this district of rioting.”

In the UK, we began working on projects with Gypsy and Traveller children, and helped provide for unaccompanied children arriving from Vietnam.

In 1979, we launched the Stop Polio Campaign as part of an attempt to eradicate polio worldwide.

 1980s: Protecting people’s dignity

A camp for displaced people during the 1984 Ethiopia famine.

A camp for displaced people during the 1984 Ethiopia famine.

Disasters dominated the 1980s, with the most high-profile emergency being the 1984 famine in Ethiopia.

TV coverage of this and other disasters caught public attention. Donations to Save the Children increased and we were able to work more widely around the around the world.

In Mali, thirteen-year-old Athi said: “During the bad years when people suffered from hunger, Save the Children came.”

We also initiated new programmes designed to protect the dignity of children and their families. To combat the prejudice and misconception around the spread of HIV and AIDS, we set up education, prevention and treatment projects.

We carried out pioneering projects with prisoners’ children, and worked towards alternatives to custody for young offenders. And in education, we focused on giving all children equal opportunity.

1990s: Responding to conflict

After the 1994 Rwandan genocide, we used Polaroid photos of returning child refugees to help trace their families.

After the 1994 Rwandan genocide, we used Polaroid photos of returning child refugees to help trace their families.

During the 1990s, we continued to work with children affected by war in Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Angola and the Balkans.

We campaigned for the rights of child soldiers and for the protection of children forced from their homes by war. We also encouraged young people to speak out about their experiences and fight for positive change.

Fourteen-year-old Fernando, in Mozambique, told us, “The bandits killed my father. They killed my mother. And my brother. They took me to their base camp. Yes, I was with the bandits. I had a gun.”

Following the Rwandan genocide in 1994, large numbers of returning child refugees had become separated from their families. We helped set up a family tracing and reunification programme to help unaccompanied children find their parents, or other relatives who could care for them.

2000s: A new ambition

Justice (centre) 11, has come to get her Yellow Fever vaccination.

Justice (centre) 11, has come to get her Yellow Fever vaccination.

The new millennium saw a new ambition to tackle global problems. The Millennium Development Goals decreed that by 2015 child mortality should be cut by two-thirds, extreme poverty and hunger halved, and that all children would be able to go to school.

Save the Children became an important part of the global effort to achieve these aims, and our progress in many areas has been impressive. Between 1990 and 2011, the number of children dying before the age of five fell from nearly 12 million to less than seven 7 million.

Between 2006 and 2009, our Rewrite the Future campaign helped 1.4 million more children into school in countries affected by conflict. And we launched a global campaign to save children from preventable illnesses, laying the foundations for our No Child Born to Die campaign the following decade.

As humanitarian crises continued to have a devastating impact on children, we massively increased our capacity to respond to emergencies.

Our five-year response to the 2004 Asian tsunami was one of the largest in Save the Children’s history, benefiting around one million people. During the conflict in Dafur, Sudan, we reached children in intensely hostile environments. And in the aftermath of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake we found our way through to children whose communities had been completely cut off.

2010s: No Child Born to Die

Sierra Leonean national staff take their PPE training, Western Area, Sierra Leone

In response to the Ebola crisis, we ran one of Sierra Leone’s most important specialist treatment centres.

This decade we’ve continued to expand our reach and impact. In 2016 we reached 22.1 million children through our work on the ground – more than double the number of children in 2010.

We’ve responded to a series of devastating disasters – from brutal conflict in Syria, to devastating food crises in East and West Africa, and the worst ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

Faced with the growing number of emergencies around the world, we’ve expanded our humanitarian staff and resources, including joining forces with frontline health charity Merlin in 2013. We’ve also set up the Humanitarian Leadership Academy to help train the next generation of humanitarians, primarily in countries affected by crisis.

Alongside the growth in our emergency response, we’ve developed a portfolio of ambitious, long-term ‘signature programmes’ – from Rwanda to Bangladesh to Indonesia – to support millions of children. These programmes involve partnerships with local communities, governments and global companies.

In 2011 we launched our five-year No Child Born to Die campaign, to engage broad public support for our cause. Through raising awareness and calling for world leaders to take action to stop children dying, this ground-breaking campaign has helped bring about breakthroughs – in vaccination, nutrition and newborn health – to save millions of children’s lives.

In 2017, we started to look at creating transformative change in the key areas of protecting children in conflict, battling pneunmonia – the world’s biggest child killer – and early years education around the world.

By focusing on these issues, as well as our continuing work in emergencies, we plan to play a full part in helping the world meet the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Signed by 169 national leaders in 2015, the SDGs aim to end preventable child deaths and provide health care and quality education for all children by 2030.

These are challenging goals in uncertain times but as we approach our centenary in 2019, our past shines a light on our commitment to transforming the future for children.

The Save the Children archive is deposited at the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections at the University of Birmingham. For visitors’ information and to view the archive catalogue click here.


Source: Our History | Save the Children UK

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A Bit About Greenpeace

Hello Lovely Followers,

I was browsing the internet recently and wondered how many British charities were founded during the year I was born? As some of you may know, I have been known to support a cause or two and I found this post; it’s a history/activism sort of thing and I found it interesting so I thought I’d share it with you all.

I’ve signed petitions and donated money in the past to Greenpeace; they defend the natural world and promote peace by investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse, as well as championing solutions.

I’ve kept all the original links and have posted the link to the post itself at the bottom.


Greenpeace – Our History

In 1971, motivated by their vision of a green and peaceful world, a small team of activists set sail from Vancouver, Canada, in an old fishing boat. These activists, the founders of Greenpeace, believed a few individuals could make a difference.

Crew of the Phyllis Cormack on the first Greenpeace voyage (Vancouver to Amchitka) in 1971. © Greenpeace / Robert Keziere.

Their mission was to ‘bear witness’ to US nuclear testing at Amchitka, a tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska, which is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone regions. Amchitka was the last refuge for 3000 endangered sea otters, and home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons and other wildlife.

Even though their old boat, the Phyllis Cormack, was intercepted before it got to Amchitka, the journey sparked a flurry of public interest. The US still detonated the bomb, but the voice of reason had been heard. Nuclear testing on Amchitka ended that same year, and the island was later declared a bird sanctuary.

We’ve compiled a history of Greenpeace through the decades, so you can follow the journey from there to here:

Greenpeace in the 1970s
Greenpeace in the 1980s
Greenpeace in the 1990s
Greenpeace in the 2000s
Greenpeace in the 2010s

Our vision

Our vision is to transform the world by fundamentally changing the way people think about it. We want governments, industry and each and every person to stop viewing the Earth as an inexhaustible resource and start treating it as something precious that needs our protection and careful management. We all need a planet that is ecologically healthy and able to nurture life in all its diversity. Read more about our vision »

How we make change happen

Greenpeace stands for positive change through action. This action takes many forms – from investigating and exposing environmental abuse and lobbying governments and decision makers to championing environmentally responsible and socially just solutions and taking nonviolent direct action. Throughout, we always hold true to our core values of independence, internationalism and personal responsibility. Read more »

Our impact

Our first campaign – to stop nuclear testing – eventually led to The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Since then, with the support of 2.8 million people worldwide, we’ve won hundreds of successes in our campaigns for a greener and more peaceful world. Read more about our impact »

Get active

We are only able to achieve any of this because of the generous help of our supporters who lobby governments and companies, donate money to support our campaigns, campaign locally on their high streets, fundraise for us and put their freedom on the line to protect the planet. Find out how you can get active with us »


If you have any questions about the organisation, how to get involved or anything else, these questions should help. Read more »

Source: Greenpeace History | 1970s to the present day

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A Bit About Refuge – The Charity Fighting To End Domestic Violence

Hello Lovely Followers,

I was browsing the internet recently and wondered how many British charities were founded during the year I was born? As some of you may know, I have been known to support a cause or two and I found this post; it’s a history/activism sort of thing and I found it interesting so I thought I’d share it with you all.

In my job as a teaching assistant, I’ve come across women who have been helped by Refuge; they are an amazing charity that give a safe haven to women and their children who also seek to effect policy change through their research and eye-opening campaigns.

I’ve kept all the original links and have posted the link to the post itself at the bottom.


Chiswick refugeOur history

Refuge opened the world’s first safe house for women and children escaping domestic violence in Chiswick, West London, in 1971.

Women and children flocked to our doors because, for the first time, someone was saying it was wrong to beat your partner. Back then, domestic violence was seen as a “private matter”, to be dealt with “behind closed doors”. Society turned a blind eye.

Since 1971, Refuge has led the campaign against domestic violence. We have grown to become the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic and gender-based violence services. Now we support over 6,000 women and children on any given day.

Banner for our visionOur vision

Refuge is committed to a world where domestic violence and violence against women and girls is not tolerated and where women and children can live in safety.

We aim to empower women and children to rebuild their lives, free from violence and fear. We provide a range of life-saving and life-changing services, and a voice for the voiceless.

How will we achieve our mission?

Refuge believes that domestic violence and violence against women and girls will only ever come to an end when the Government adopts a fully-funded national strategy that is underpinned with adequate commitment to provision, prevention and protection.

In support of this approach, Refuge operates a three-pronged strategy across its strands of work. Refuge provides high-quality services for women and children who have experienced violence; protects women by advocating for a strong criminal justice response to perpetrators; and prevents future violence through education, training and awareness-raising.

Find out more about Refuge’s 3P approach here.

hub thumb 180 x 328Provision: what makes our services special?

Refuge does not just follow best practice; it creates best practice. Find out more about what makes Refuge a specialist service provider here, including how we measure the impact our support has on women and children.

Sandra speaking - lobbying thumbProtection and prevention: how does Refuge affect change?

Refuge campaigns for changes to the way the State responds to domestic and gender based violence victims and perpetrators, so that women and children are better protected. It also prevents future abuse by raising awareness of violence against women and girls. Find out more here.

Source: Our history – Refuge Charity – Domestic Violence Help

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Salisbury Cathedral On British TV – News Story by Spire FM

Hello Lovely Followers,

I was browsing through the internet and found this post; it’s a history sort of thing so I thought I’d share it with you all.

Time Team presenter Tony Robinson has been taking a look behind the scenes for a Channel 5 show that was shown on 20th April 2018. I’ve been watching the series with Hubby – recording it to watch it ad free – and we’ve enjoyed it so far.

I’ve kept all the original links and have posted the link to the post itself at the bottom.


Salisbury Cathedral to grace our TV screens

Salisbury Cathedral - October 2017 (Mike Draper) (1)

5:56am 20th April 2018

Salisbury Cathedral will feature on TV tonight (Friday 20th April) as part of Channel 5‘s series Britain’s Great Cathedrals with Tony Robinson.

The programme will broadcast at 8.00pm taking a look behind the scenes at the Cathedral, as well as delving into its history and its pivotal role during the Second World War.

Salisbury Cathedral is the focus of the third episode of the six part series which travels around the country looking at the finest Cathedrals this country has to offer.

It’s hosted by TV favourite Tony Robinson, who’s well known for programmes such as Blackadder and Time Team.

The archaeological show, which also included Salisbury’s Phil Harding, did one of their famous digs at the Cathedral back in 2009.

Canon Edward Probert, Acting Dean said:

“We enjoyed hosting the Channel Five crew and Sir Tony Robinson, and we’re delighted to be part of the new series. It’s a way of getting the word out about this amazing place and sharing it with people who may not have thought about visiting before. It is always a pleasure work with and welcome people who are interested in knowing more about the Cathedral and its history.”


The programme tells the story of the Cathedral being the biggest engineering project in the Middle Ages, moving from an Iron Age on Old Sarum to its current location.

Tony Robinson will also be taking a look at the country’s oldest working clock which is housed within the Cathedral.

He’s also been getting involved with a special ceremony to introduce a new chorister to the famous choir there – witnessing a bumping ceremony, where the chorister’s head is lightly tapped on a special stone by the two most senior boy choristers.

Other Cathedrals featuring in the series alongside Salisbury Cathedral are York Minister, Canterbury, Durham, Liverpool Anglican, and Winchester.

Want to keep informed of the latest news? Sign up to our daily news email newsletter today.

Source: Spire FM – News – Salisbury Cathedral to grace our TV screens

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Underwater Stonehenge in Lake Michigan, USA?

Hello Lovely Followers,

So, if you’ve browsed through this site, you’ll know that I love watching documentaries about history and science.

The other day I was watching Ancient Aliens” on the History Channel and it was all about how the remains of a stone circle had been found in Lake Michigan, USA. I’ve been browsing through the net to find out more about this find and came across this article on the Collective Evolution’s website.

faery-red-lily-bye-for-now1111Let’s keep our minds open to possibilities while firmly grasping reality; what can be scientifically proved or at least hypothesised.




“Are These Remnants Of A 9,000 Year Old Stonehenge At The Bottom Of Lake Michigan? – Collective Evolution”

Have scientists stumbled across a structure similar to Stonehenge at the bottom of Lake Michigan? Insanely this story is not new, it’s actually old but it went so under reported that nobody knows about it. In 2007, 40 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan where the Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve is, Mark Holley, a professor of underwater archaeology at Northwestern Michigan University College, found the site with his colleague Brian Abbot after voyaging across the lake in a ship that contained sonar equipment, which is generally used to examine old shipwrecks.


After several passes they found a row of stones that piqued their interest. When they sent down divers to visit the site and obtain photographs, they were left somewhat discouraged. “It was really spooky when we saw it in the water,” Holley said. “The whole site is spooky, in a way. When you’re swimming through a long line of stones and the rest of the lake bed is featureless, it’s just spooky.”

In order to satisfy Grand Traverse Bay’s American Indian community, whose interests are to minimize the number of visitors to the site, and to preserve the location of his research, Holley has kept its exact location a secret.

mark-holley-carving-in-lake-michiganOne of the objects photographed from the site is a boulder which is believed to feature a prehistoric carving of a mastodon — an animal believed to have gone extinct about 10,000 years ago. Researchers shown pictures of the carving have asked for more evidence before they will confirm that the markings are in fact an ancient petroglyph. The trouble is that the boulder is underwater, and experts in petroglyphs aren’t necessarily expert divers.

Holley hopes that a computer model of the carving in the mastodon rock will help petroglyph experts determine whether the features were somehow natural workings or whether they were the work of ancient humans.

A skeptical Charles Cleland, retired curator of Great Lakes archeology and ethnology at Michigan State University, says that petroglyphs are rare in the Upper Midwest but have been seen. Although he is skeptical he does see the value in investigation.

 “But I think this is certainly something that needs to be investigated,” Cleland said. “It would be unthinkable to leave it alone and not try to figure it out.”

Interestingly enough, if this structure is authenticated, it may not be all that out of place. Other stone circles and other petroglyph sites have been located in the great lakes, and ancient structures underneath large bodies of water in general are not unusual. There have been over 100 cities at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea recorded alone, and many more at the bottom of the oceans.

lake-michigan-mapAccording to geographical history, the submerged site would have been tundra when humans of the hunter-gatherer era roamed it 6,000 to 9,000 years ago. Is is possible the stones came from a massive fishing weir laid across a long-gone river? Or could they maybe mark a ceremonial site? Only time will tell.

But let’s bring up an interesting question… where did all the water come from that covered so many underwater structures?

Think about this for a second: less than 5% of the ocean has been explored and only around 5% of the ocean floor has been mapped! This is truly remarkable when you consider the world’s oceans cover around 70% of the Earth’s surface! Just imagine what we still have left to discover — many ruins, ancient cities, and even pyramids have already been found and we have barely even looked. It seems like the future holds many more amazing discoveries in store for us.



Here is a link to the article itself: Are These Remnants Of A 9,000 Year Old Stonehenge At The Bottom Of Lake Michigan? – Collective Evolution

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Wedding Anniversary QuoteHello lovely Followers,

Today, I have been married to my darling husband for 17 years, I thought I’d have a little look and see what was happening in the world over the years before we tied the knot and after as we’re usually a bit pre-occupied with our own anniversary celebrations… 😉


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On This Day: First 50p coins cause instant confusion – Yahoo News UK

 The new heptagonal coin replaced the 10-shilling note – although would be used alongside the old currency until 1971 when the 240p-per-pound system was replaced by a simpler 100p pound.

OCTOBER 14, 1969: The first ever 50 pence coins were introduced on this day in 1969 – and caused instant confusion as Britain began its journey towards decimalisation.

It replaced the 10-shilling note – although it would be used alongside the old currency until 1971 when the 240p-per-pound system was replaced by a simpler 100p pound.

But, despite its novel seven-sided shape, the 50p coin was often mistaken for both the old half crown and new 10p piece while the two systems coexisted.

One Londoner told the Evening Standard newspaper that he accidentally left a 50p coin in a saucer full of 10p pieces as a tip for a waiter.

‘Fortunately the waiter was dead honest and told me. But I suspect there’ll be a lot of cases where that doesn’t happen,’ he said.

To add to the confusion, the heptagon had the image of Britannia on one side – just like the old penny, which had remained the same since the early 18th century.

Others simply did not like the design.

The newly-introduced seven-sided 50p coin in 1969. (PA) Retired Army colonel Essex Moorcroft formed the Anti-Heptagonists, who objected to the coin as ‘ugly’ and ‘an insult to our sovereign whose image it bears’.

MPs also joined shopkeepers, bus workers, housewives and the elderly in protesting against the piece and demanded that either it or the 10p coin be changed.

However, its bold design also won many plaudits and generated tremendous excitement when it was introduced.

A British Pathé newsreel showed the copper-nickel coins being made, with the distinctive design stamped on them at the Royal Mint at Tower Hill, London.

The process was supervised by Lord Fiske, chairman of the Decimal Currency Board, who revealed that that the 50p piece was the only heptagonal coin in the world.

It was the third decimal coin to be introduced after the 5p and 10p pieces were all launched in 1967.

At that point, there were three other new coins yet to be minted – the 2p, 1p and half pence pieces.

The government held off introducing them since, unlike the others, they did not roundly convert to the old pounds, shillings and pence – symbolised by £sd.

The 2p piece was worth worth 4.8d, 1p was the same as 2.4d and half penny was the equivalent of 1.2d.

And, later, many people complained that these coins gave shopkeepers the excuse to raise many of their prices.

faery-red-lily-bye-for-now1 😉 … I think this story demonstrates how little people like change (ha!ha! pun fully intended!) Click on the link below to read the original story on Yahoo UK.

Source: On This Day: First 50p coins cause instant confusion – Yahoo News UK

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BBC ON THIS DAY | 7 | 1959: Southend Pier fire traps hundreds

Found this on the BBC website…

Southend Pier on fire

Southend Pier on fire

1959: Southend Pier fire traps hundreds

Three hundred people have been rescued after being cut off by a blaze on the world’s longest pleasure pier on England’s south-east coast.

Three hundred people have been he visitors became stranded when a large wooden pavilion at the shore end of the pier caught fire in the early evening.

The pavilion, which is used for holding conferences and other functions, was empty at the time.

Most of the trapped people had been at the far end of the pier when the blaze started.

They had to walk most of the nearly 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) back because the electricity to the pier’s railway had been cut off.

However, they were not able to pass the burning pavilion and had to complete the journey by climbing down the pier structure and boarding boats to shore.

Firefighters from surrounding districts joined those in Southend to help put out the flames.

They were watched by a large crowd on the sea front – many of whom had come to see the pier’s famous illuminations.

It took nearly two hours to bring the fire under control.

The pier’s manager, Frank Flintoff, said the pavilion was very badly damaged but he expected the pier to be open the following day.

Southend Pier was first opened in 1830.

It immediately became a popular feature of the Essex resort which the Victorians called “Whitechapel-on-Sea” because of the number of Londoners from the East End who visited.

During World War II the pier was taken over by the Navy and was used as an assembley and loading point for convoys.


The fire caused damage estimated at £100,000. The pavilion gutted by the fire was replaced with a ten-pin bowling alley which opened in 1962 but fires continued to be costly for the pier. A second serious blaze in 1976 severely damaged the pier head and the railway was forced to close in 1978 for safety reasons.  After years of local campaigning the pier was re-built and officially re-opened in 1984. However, another fire in 1995 again destroyed much of the shore end of the pier including the bowling alley.


Source: BBC ON THIS DAY | 7 | 1959: Southend Pier fire traps hundreds

faery-red-lily-bye-for-now11If you want to visit the pier check out Southend Pier Information for more information.

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Who Do You Thing You Are?

I love watching programmes on telly about history, both ancient and from our modern industrial age. 😉 The funny thing is I’m terrible at recalling the facts! I watch all these documentaries but can’t impress anyone with a plethora of facts.*tut* Never invite me to a pub quiz – I’m useless! Lol!

As you may guess, I watch “Who Do You Think You Are?” and “Heir Hunters” too, both great programmes from the BBC.

I was already registered with Friends Reunited, so it was a natural thing to start building my own family tree on their sister site, Genes Reunited. It was great! It soon became my favourite hobby; I even managed to connect with tenuously connected family. I loved connecting the dots, searching the records and finding my previously unknown generations. Unfortunately, it became obvious, as my tree grew exponentially and I needed access to more and more records, that the site wasn’t quite fulfilling my genealogy needs. Back in 2008, after I’d posted a query on the Genes Reunited message boards, a fellow member suggested that I join, as they had a more comprehensive database and a bigger variety of transcribed documents. I was going to say that I haven’t looked back since but 😉 that’s what precisely what you do when building a family tree – look back!! Lol!

One weekend, one of my daughters came home from primary school with a project – create your family tree. Luckily I already had most of details, plus quite a few pictures of grandparents, great-grandparents, great aunties and uncles scanned into my computer. Her project made me realise that I should create four separate trees, starting each tree with one of their Grandparents, so that both my children would know the whole history of where they come. So I started trees for both sides of my father-in-law’s family and my mother-in-laws family, which is quite a task! I’m working through logically, going back a generation at a time and at the moment I’m just following the patriarchal branch…. It’s a work in progress. 😉

I have learned some rather interesting facts too. Did you know that children in England and Wales under the age of 16 could marry, as long as they had their parents’ permission right up until 1st January 1950? That a boy could be married from the age of 14? A girl as young as 12yrs old could marry? If parents didn’t consent then it was a clandestine trip up to Scotland, where the law was different, for those adolescents madly in love. On the other side of the coin, I doubt whether a son or daughter could protest at an arranged marriage until they were of age (21yrs).