Bandaging the Blitz
Phyll Macdonald-Ross was a trainee nurse at Hackney Hospital in London’s East End when war was declared in September 1939. Her memoir recalls the rigid discipline and hard work of nursing, and the harrowing experience of tending the injured and dying during the Blitz in London, but also friendship and mischief, and the beginning of a lifelong love affair. The story was presented in 2015, Phyll’s 95th year, by her grandson ID Roberts.
Discovering Friendly and Fraternal Societies
Their Badges and Regalia
The most successful of the many friendly and fraternal societies that sprung up in Britain from the 18th century was the Freemasons. At one time millions of people belonged to similar clubs such as the Oddfellows and the Ancient Order of Foresters but social changes and the welfare state reduced participation drastically in the 20th century. This illustrated guide uncovers the history of these orders and explores their elaborate regalia. Off-mint.
Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards
The extravagant whiskers of prominent Victorians such as Charles Darwin and WG Grace seemed impossibly archaic until the recent 'hipster' fashion reinvented the wearing of long beards for young men for the first time since the hippies of the 1960s. This book traces the history of fashions in facial hair from the ancients to the present day.
An Illustrated Life of Thomas Telford 1757–1834
The Scottish engineer Thomas Telford was nicknamed the ‘Colossus of Roads’ because of the engineering genius he brought to British roads, bridges, tunnels and canals. This concise biography by a local author tells how he established his reputation in Shropshire before creating landmarks such as the Menai Bridge and the Ellesmere and Caledonian Canals.
Coopers and Coopering
Breweries and pubs today rely on metal containers, but in the past, wooden casks or barrels were prized for their strength and versatility. In this illustrated guide, Ken Kilby, himself a cooper, surveys the history of the craft and describes the complex, physically demanding skills that went into making a barrel.