A Couple of Gems from the Lake District

Much as it’s redolent of classic British holidays from the 20th Century and before, it would be disloyal to the thrust of this blog if I turned it into a catalogue of tea shops, waterfalls and nice walks that we’d encountered during our week there. Nevertheless, our wanderings took us to a couple of […]

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    Maps and the 20th Century – Drawing the Line at the British Library

Maps and the 20th Century – Drawing the Line at the British Library

For anyone fascinated by how the world looked earlier in the 20th Century, maps are an absorbing and reliable window into the past. Pour over any old Ordnance Survey map, and one can discern the shape and size of the towns our midcentury forebears lived in, the routes of the A-roads they drove their […]

Meanderings in Morecambe

A journey north, far beyond our usual patch, and an unusually free-flowing M6, recently gave us the chance to drop in on Morecambe, a town I’ve long wanted to visit for two reasons, both embedded firmly in mid 20th Century culture but in very different ways.

First stop was the Midland Hotel, a moderne […]

The Fashion & Textile Museum – Clothing the Past

Sadly, I’m too late to publicise the Fashion & Textile Museum’s ‘Jazz Age’ exhibition as it’s in its final few days, but that doesn’t stop me from lauding it as another example of the superb events that the Museum regularly mounts. Last year, Mrs M and friend were raving about the history of swimwear […]

Guest Blog – Dogs and Bikes – a Winning Combo

If you love dogs and/or classic bikes, you’ll love this blog by my friend Rick Parkington. Always worth reading, but particularly so in this post where he says goodbye to Finbar the Irish Terrier. It’s worth sharing in its own right as a piece of writing, but at the end he launches an appeal […]

MidCentury Boy in the Brave New World

Just recently we found ourselves watching an episode of Dan Cruickshank’s excellent TV series on the history of housing focussing on post-War living, quickly followed by one in the ‘Hidden Killers’ series again dealing with the post-War home. Both were fascinating, both filled with highly-desirable mid-Century items (not all of them potentially lethal!), but […]

Toys I Wanted More than a Johnny Seven Gun

It’s an unwritten law that any nostalgia kick from a boy growing up in the 60s and 70s has to include his unrequited ambition to own a Johnny Seven gun, that multi-purpose piece of juvenile military hardware lauded by Jonathan Ross and indeed out of Christmas wish list range for most of us as […]

Blown Away at Atomic

Having missed the first two Atomic Vintage Festivals because it was just too far to make in a day, our relocation to within striking distance looked like failing us thanks to a diary clash until a waterlogged site forced the organisers to delay the event from April to August. Even then, the weekend dawned […]

Not Quite Hidden London

The beauty of the Hidden London tours run by the London Transport Museum is that, along with the places you can’t get to, like disused tube stations or the wartime deep tunnel air raid shelters, they can take you to places that you pass regularly, even know and admire, but that are inaccessible to […]

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    Veeraswamy – Going out for an Indian for 90 years and counting

Veeraswamy – Going out for an Indian for 90 years and counting

I remember watching a programme on BBC2 about the history of Indian food in Britain and how Indian restaurants as we know them had their origin, not in the 60s as I’d imagined, but way back in London before the Second World War. I also vaguely remember mention that the original was still in […]