‘Human Vermin’

On Thursday 1 December 1904, five refugee families made landfall next to the Tower of London. Displaced, they were escaping from harsh new laws that the German government was enacting against travellers (a process that soon saw all gipsies fingerprinted and eventually led to Hitler’s death camps). Some in Britain were welcoming, but most were… Continue reading ‘Human Vermin’

The Man in the Tower

In 1533 England is gripped by terrible convulsions following Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn and the break from Rome. Robert Dalyvell is imprisoned, suspected of spying. When he is released, he is missing his ears. Just three years on in 1536 Anne has lost not her ears but her head, and Dalyvell will soon… Continue reading The Man in the Tower

#bitesizeroyston

Since February I have been tweeting a factoid about Royston’s history every day. From the town’s links to ‘The Greatest Showman’ film to the prehistory of Therfield Heath. Interested? Visit Twitter and search for the hashtag #bitesizeroyston

The Hertfordshire Hermit and the Solar Farm

(Image: RNA Energy)

A new solar farm that is set to make a significant contribution to North Hertfordshire’s ambition to be net zero by 2040 is going to be sited on or next to the site of the Hertfordshire Hermit’s former home. James Lucas was a Victorian celebrity who lived an unusual life. Here is a piece I… Continue reading The Hertfordshire Hermit and the Solar Farm

Gallipoli and the gilded goat: Royston in the Great War

Towards the end of February 1915 Melbourn Road echoed to the sound of two thousand aching feet. The 5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers had marched the paltry thirteen miles from Cambridge (nothing compared to their usual route marches) and were to collapse that night into makeshift beds hastily found for them by the… Continue reading Gallipoli and the gilded goat: Royston in the Great War

Surviving the pandemic…

In his report the Medical Officer recommends ‘the immediate breaking up of all the schools at Royston, at Foxton, and at Thriplow.’ It starts with a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Within a day a rash develops on the stomach or chest and spreads over the whole body. The cheeks of infected children… Continue reading Surviving the pandemic…