Sunday, 31 July 2011

Murder Mystery of Locked Garage - Vivian Messiter

Daily Mirror dated Saturday January 12th 1929

On January 10, 1929 the body of Vivian Messiter was found in a locked garage used as a storeroom by the Wolf's Head Oil Company in Southampton.  He had been missing for 9 weeks.

At first the police thought he had been shot but Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the famous Home Office pathologist, discovered that death was caused by hammer blows.
Various clues led to the arrest of William Henry Podmore, who was known to the police, being wanted for a charge of fraud in Manchester. He was brought in for questioning but there was not enough evidence to charge him with the murder, so he was tried on the fraud charge and jailed. In the meantime the police continued investigating and fourteen months after the murder finally had enough evidence to try Podmore.
The murder trial was held in Winchester and William Podmore was found guilty and was hanged on April 22, 1930 despite some public outcry against the verdict.

The idea of a tunnel to join England to France was original proposed as far back as 1802.  In 1881 exploratory tunnels were started at each end, but abandoned when Britain pulled out of the project amid fears that the tunnel would be an invasion risk.  The Channel Tunnel was finally opened in May 1994, and, as far as I know, Hasting has yet to be overrun by Frenchmen. 

I just hope no phone hacking was involved in getting this story.  
Frederick Atkinson was an artist who committed suicide when told by friends of the unfaithful ways of his girlfriend, the artist’s model Dolores.  She’d had 2 other lovers commit suicide before Frederick, had modelled for Jacob Epstein and Augustus John among many others, had been married 4 times, appeared on the stage in a self penned melodrama of her affair with Atkinson and ended up as a side-show exhibit as ‘The Fasting Woman’ – she was actually dying of cancer.  She was 40 years old when she died in 1934.

Monday, 25 July 2011

George Harrison dies

The Mirror dated Saturday 1st December 2001

George Harrison was born on 25th February 1943 in Liverpool and died of throat cancer on 29th November 2001 in Los Angeles.  He was the youngest of the Beatles pop group, playing rhythm and lead guitar.  He was an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other Beatles.  Following the band's break-up, he had a successful career as a solo artist and later as part of the Traveling Wilburys with Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Jim Keltner.

As well as acting in the Beatles films ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and ‘Help!’, he was also executive producer on a couple of dozen films including classics like ‘The Long Good Friday’, ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘Withnail & I’, ‘The Raggedy Rawney’… oh and ‘Nuns on the Run’.

And you thought pressing ‘Del’ when you didn’t mean to was annoying.

I left the newspaper name and date on this in case you thought I had culled it from some dubious magazine I happened to have laying around.
Nowhere in the advert does it say what it is selling, but we are told that it is used by both horses and tigers. The only thing I can come up with is that they both scratch their backs on tree bark.  Maybe there’s a tree called the Goat Weed.  Or not.  Who cares – for £9.95 it’s got to be a bargain.  Hasn’t it?  

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Roosevelt Responsible for the War

The Star (Guernsey) dated Wednesday May 21st 1941

The inhabited islands of the Channel Islands are Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou, Brecqhou and Lihou, and they were all occupied by the German Army from the summer of 1940 to May 1945.
Guernsey was occupied from 30th June 1940 to 9th May 1945.  Some 17000 people (mostly women and children) evacuated before the invasion leaving about 25000.

This single sheet (folded to give 4 pages) edition is from just over a year later and rather than try to pick things out I thought I might as well post the whole issue.

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Abdication of Edward VIII

Daily Mail (Continental Edition) dated 12th December 1936

King George V died on 20th January 1936 and the eldest of his four surviving sons immediately became King Edward VIII.

As the Prince of Wales Edward had met the then married Wallis Simpson (born Bessie Wallis Warfield in Pennsylvania in 1891). By 1934 they were spending foreign holidays together while he husband stayed at home in England.  In 1936 the as yet uncrowned King took her on Mediterranean yachting holiday that was well covered by the Press everywhere except in England where the privacy of the Royals was still sacrosanct.
In October 1936 Wallis Simpson got a divorce from her husband and Edward told the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin that he intended to marry her. As a divorcee she was barred from a Church of England marriage, but as Supreme Governor of the Church Edward could not contemplate a civil marriage. There was an option to have a Church marriage in which she would not become Queen and their future children would not inherit the throne, but Parliament was against this idea.
The only option left was abdication and this occurred on 10th December 1936 when Edward was succeeded by his bother David as George VI.
Edward and Wallis set sail for France on 12th December 1936 and were married the following June.

I have no interest in football and this list of teams mean nothing to me, but I thought that someone might find it informative

The name that leaps out from this advert for Paris nightlife is Josephine Baker.  Possibly the first African-American woman to become an International star. She was primarily a dancer but also sang and she appeared in 10 films between 1927 and 1954.
She took Paris by storm when she appeared there in the 1920’s with her risqué dance routines that played on the popularity of native African music and rhythms not to mention a tendency to go bare chested.
In 1937 she married and became a French citizen. During WW2 she helped the French Resistance and at the end of the War was awarded the Croix de Guerre by Charles de Gaulle.  In the 1960 she was active in the Civil Rights Movement in the USA.
She died in 1975.

During World War 2 the battleship Gneisenau and the Scharnhorst operated together and participated in the German invasion of Norway. After a successful raid in the Atlantic in 1941, Gneisenau and her sister put in at Brest, France. The two battleships were the subjected to repeated bombing raids by the RAF. In early 1942, the two ships made a daylight dash up the English Channel from occupied France to Germany. After reaching Kiel (where she was launched 6 years earlier) the ship went into dry-dock. On the night of 26th February, the RAF bombed the ship, causing serious damage and a large number of casualties. She never sailed again and was eventually broken up for scrap in 1951.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

San Francisco Earthquake and Fire

Saturday Globe dated Saturday April 28th 1906

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake had happened ten days previously on the 18th April and, along with the subsequent fires, killed at least 3000 people and left 300,000 homeless.

The Saturday Globe was founded in Utica in upper New York State in 1881 and claimed to be the first illustrated newspaper in the USA. It was the first to use rotary halftone presses.  Colour had been used in papers from as far back as 1855. The picture on the front of this paper looks to have been hand-tinted. The Daily Record printed a colour photo of Haile Selassie in 1936, but the first British all colour paper wasn’t until ‘Today’ started in 1986.

By 1900 the Saturday Globe was being produced in 33 editions covering the country from Maine to California. This is an Oswega edition; Oswega being a city of some 25000 souls (1906 figure) on the shore of Lake Ontario about 60 miles north-west of Utica. 

Warning – the following article contains views that even the Duke of Edinburgh wouldn’t air.
(Read column 1 through both images first)

No comment.

Long before the hey-day of the Chicago gangsters like Al Capone the city was well up in the 'Murder Capital of the USA' league tables, not to mention the International tournament.