Welcome to InfoBritain, for historical visiting information in the UK. InfoBritain tells you what happened and where it happened. We have articles and visits relating to all historical periods from prehistoric Britain to recent times, and to the lives of major British authors, artists, musicians, scientists, politicians, military and royal figures. You can use our site search, or our various menus to find suggested visits relating to times or people. Alternatively go to the regions menu, find a place to visit in a particular area, and then link back to the history relating to it. We also have a full accommodation booking service for all parts of the mainland UK. We specialise in historic accommodation, but we also have comprehensive lists of hotels of all types and price ranges. See the regional menus on the right. Enjoy!
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A Personal Note (Archive)
August 6, 2016
The Olympic Games in Rio, taking place against a background of national and international tension, have been portrayed as a force of peace and celebration. So, is sport a peaceful expression of competitive energy, or war by other means?
Athletics has a long association with warfare. In ancient Greece, the running, jumping and throwing events that we know as athletics were often seen as training for combat. Plato, who around 380 BC set up a school aiming to combine intellectual and physical excellence, was enthusiastic about sport as preparation for war. This feeling has continued into modern times. Arther Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington said that "the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton". George Orwell, said that sport was "war minus the shooting". But if athletics has been linked by some to war, it has been seen by others as serving to lift people above that struggle. This was true in ancient Greece, where Euripides for one poked fun at the association between war and sport: "What fool thinks of sport when plunged in the thick of battle?"
Writer on ancient sport Nigel Spivey says: "Fundamentally athletics served to commune, channel and contain violence. In this respect Greek athletics may be claimed to share the ultimately cathartic or 'purging' purpose of Greek tragic drama" ( The Ancient Olympics P28).
Historical news for August
Vivien Leigh's costume designer lived at Nymans in Sussex, now a National Trust property. To celebrate this link with one of cinema's most glamorous actresses, Nymans is staging a major exhibition dedicated to Vivien Leigh, using over one hundred items loaned from the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition runs 1st June - 4th September. For more information go to http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans/whats-on/vivien-leigh-exhibition-at-nymans
This year is the 300th anniversary of the birth of landscape gardener Capability Brown. The National Trust is celebrating this with events at many of its properties across the country. For more information go to http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/events-to-celebrate-the-300th-anniversary-of-capability-brown
Anniversaries for August
1st August 1971: James Irwin and David Scott of Apollo 15 during an expedition aboard their lunar rover, discover the "Genesis Rock", thought to be 4500 million years old, dating back to the time when the moon itself was formed.
10th August 2003: Britain's highest temperature - 38.5 degrees - is recorded at Faversham, Kent.
12th August 1786: Captain Francis Light founds the British colony of Penang. This marks the beginning of British involvement in the government of Malaya, which would not end until 1957.
16th August 1819: A public demonstration is held at St Peter's Field, Manchester to demand reform of parliamentary representation. The Manchester and Salford Yeomanry Cavalry charges into the crowd, killing 15 peope and injuring between 400 - 700 others.
27th August 1883: The eruption of Krakatoa is witnessed by a naval engineer on a nearby ship. He writes in his journal:
"Suddenly we saw a gigantic wave of prodigious height advancing from the sea-shore with considerable speed....After a moment, full of anguish, we were lifted up with a dizzy rapidity. The ship made a formidable leap and immediately afterwards we felt as though we had plunged into the abyss...
Like a high mountain the monstrous wave precipitated its journey towards the land...Before our eyes this terrifying upheaval of the sea in a sweeping transit consumed in one instant the ruin of the town. The lighthouse fell in one piece and all the houses of the town were swept away in one blow like a castle of cards. All was finished. There, where a few moments ago lived the town of Telok Betong, was nothing but the open sea."
31st August 1994: The IRA announce a complete suspension of all operations after 25 years of conflict. British prime minister John Major says "We are beyond the beginning but we are not yet in sight of the end." The IRA would not announce the end of its armed campaign until July 2005.
A preview of my novel - about a girl who discovers that surprisingly she can't find her way to the sort of secret world found in story books. So she searches for an alternative.
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Almost all photography on InfoBritain is by InfoBritain or by named contributors. All educational use is permitted, but copyright is reserved for commercial uses. Occasionally we have used copyright free stock images which are available for any use. A note will identify these images.
Thank you to photo contributors Danielle Davis, Jean Edwards, Vicky Eagle of Portsmouth Dockyard, Kevin Edwards, Derick Fusco, Julian Jones, Richard Jones, Jackie Lewis, Debbie Lowless, Judy Mills of the Corinium Museum, Jane Barron of the World Rugby Museum, and Susan Stuart of Old Spitalfields Market.