Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Where was the Battle of Hastings?

Just after the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings (14 October) one historian, Nick Austin, has put the cat among the pigeons by suggesting that the Battle of Hastings was not fought next to Battle Abbey where there is a visitor's centre and tours about the battle, but 2 miles away in Crowhurst.  He bases this on the topography of both sites and how the battle is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry.  Read the argument on both sides of the debate here.  In the end though, does it really matter?

Black History Month 2

The History and Politics Society will be meeting this lunchtime, with the second part of their Black History Month presentation. The powerpoint they are using is shown above. If the content doesn't appear for some reason, please click here. If there are still problems even then, please let us know.

Monday, 17 October 2011

First Snow in Moscow

Here is a fascinating article about the first snow in Moscow, which fell this week, and how the city is preparing to deal with it using 30,000 employees and 15,000 snowploughs. The issue helps to provide fascinating insights into the politics of the city and its rivalry with national government, which already appears to have begun the transition from outgoing President Medvedev (whose lasting legacy may well be the abolition of daylight saving time as it brought "unhappiness to the cows") to presumably President Putin again, once the small matter of an election has been addressed.

PS Photo of snowplough is courtesy of the China People's Daily - more photos here!

Battle of Hastings Location?

A new article has suggested that the Battle of Hastings did not take place where it has been traditionally sited at Battle Abbey but in the village of Crowhurst two miles away.  The author has looked at evidence from the Bayeux Tapestry and other primary sources and believes the terrain around Crowhurst is more appropriate for the events that are described. English Heritage, which owns the battle site is not convinced, saying that it is unlikely that Battle Abbey would have been placed where it was (in a rather inaccessible location) if there hadn't been a significant event to site it there.

This is not the only battle that has had issues with its location - Bosworth had similar problems recently. Whatever the case it is unlikely that the visitor centre will move any time soon and this will allow people to imagine what it must have been like to fight in such a great confrontation - wherever it was!

For further info here are articles from the BBC and the Daily Mail, with more extensive details of the battle here.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Black History Month at HP Society

The History and Politics Society is marking Black History Month this October with a series of events on the subject. Above is the presentation from last Tuesday's talk, focusing on the less positive aspects of the way black people have been treated, particularly in America, while next Tuesday the focus will be much more uplifiting! The borough of Sutton is has also laid on a series of events. You can read more about them at their website here and in this flyer.

Paul Burstow

Paul Burstow, MP for Sutton and Cheam, will be speaking today in the library at 1.15. Please come along and ask him questions about his career as an MP and as Minister of State for Health.  You can find out more from his website, and from TheyWorkForYou's statistics page.

PS: The picture above comes from a Guardian interview with him concerning in particular the Government's mental health strategy - you can read more about it here.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Design Changes

The blog has had a slight design change this afternoon.  Do you like it?  More radical changes are coming shortly, which will prompt a review of the features used on the right hand side. Which ones are most useful, and which ones do you think can be removed? Please let us know.

PS: This fascinating image shows how the logos of many well known brands have changed over time - sometimes dramatically (check out Nokia and Apple's earliest designs!) and sometimes imperceptibly (Ford, BMW, etc). You can read more about it here.

Steve Jobs

Following on from today's assembly, here are some further articles about Steve Jobs that you may find of interest.

Finally, here is the video of Jobs' speech from Stanford University that was quoted at the end (YouTube link)

Monday, 10 October 2011

Kites For Women's Rights

There was an excellent presentation in Amnesty Society last week about the state of women's rights in Afghanistan, ten years after the most recent conflict there began.  You can catch up with it by viewing this powerpoint, and if you would like to join in and write a message on a kite in support of the women of Afghanistan, please contact a member of the society for more information or visit Amnesty International's home page.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Logo Competition

At HP society we have all kinds of fun discussing, debating, watching videos and quizzing about anything and everything History and/or Politics related… And because we are such a great society we thought it would be a good idea to get ourselves a logo.

Design a creative – but relatively simple - logo for our society. It must include the words ‘Nonsuch’ and ‘HP society’ or ‘History and Politics Society’ and it should be no bigger than a quarter of an A4 page (or at least suitable for scaling the size down on a computer), apart from that it’s up to you.

The winning logo will hopefully be used on all our posters and for more HP events in the future! The winner will also get a prize! So please get involved and come to HP society every week on a Tuesday Lunchtime, we would love to see more of you involved.

Bring all entries to the logo competition to a HP lunch session within the next two weeks, Thanks.
The HP team

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tudors on YouTube

This excellent collection of videos can now be found on YouTube (apologies that they can't be viewed at school). It includes a mixture of extracts from films and TV dramas on Tudor subjects, and documentaries on particular events and individuals, such as David Starkey's comments on Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth's relationship with the Duke of Anjou. Also recommended is this brief discussion of Lady Jane Grey by John Guy, looking in particular at how she has been portrayed in paintings. The infamous "Bloody Mary" video is now also on YouTube, and can be seen above - watch out for David Loades' impressively louche performance.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Battle of Hastings - Courtesy of the Sun

The Sun has got into History, with a sequence of mocked up front pages on its special website, "Hold Ye Front Page" about various significant historical events. These include:

As you can see they cover quite a variety of topics! (Even the Crucifixion gets a headline...) The Battle of Hastings is also included ("Storming Normans") and there are several lively videos, including this computer animation of how the battle might have looked.


Please let us know if you find any other interesting subjects!

Mary I's Coronation

On 1 October 1553 Mary I was crowned Queen of England - the first ever female coronation. This fascinating blog article includes 10 facts about the ceremony, including:

  • She held two sceptres during the ceremony - one symbolising the King, and another bearing a dove which had been held by her mother, Catherine of Aragon, at Henry VIII's coronation.
  • She was crowned with three crowns - Edward the Confessor's, Henry VIII's Imperial Crown, and a crown "purposlie made" for her. Ner brother Edward VI was the only monarch previous to her to have this honour.
  • 7112 dishes were served at the coronation banquet, and Mary herself was given 312 of them. However, and food left over was distributed to London's poor.
Further information about her coronation can be found in this earlier blog post.