Archive for the ‘Victorian’ Category

150 years of the Shipping Forecast

August 24, 2017

Darwin’s Captain, Captain Fitzroy of HMS  Beagle, introduced the Shipping Forecast in 1867 in his later career.

Robert_Fitzroy

It was introduced several years after the Royal Charter Storm losses in 1859, the a month before the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species on 22 November 1859.

“On the night of 25th/26th October 1859 a severe and slow moving storm struck the British Isles. It was considered to be the most severe storm to hit the Irish Sea in the 19th century. The storm depression was first noted in the Bay of Biscay near Cape Finisterre on 24th – 25th. The centre progressed northwards over Britain from Cornwall to the Yorkshire Coast and the strongest winds in the system developed as a rather narrow stream from the N or NNE over the Irish Sea. The winds reached hurricane force 12 on the Beaufort Scale and were estimated at well over 100mph. Wind speeds recorded in the Mersey were higher than any previously recorded.

The storm took 800 lives and 133 ships with a further 90 badly damaged. Twice as many people were lost at sea around the British Isles than in the whole of 1858.

The most famous ship to founder during the night was the steam clipper Royal Charter, which foundered on the north coast of Anglesey. The ship was on the last leg of her two month journey from Melbourne to Liverpool. She was one of the fastest and most famous emigrant ships operating during the years of the Australian Gold Rush and could carry up to 600 passengers and some cargo.”   Source: Met Office website

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/library/archive-hidden-treasures/royal-charter

Some lovely Fitzroy and  150th anniversary  material on the Met Office site

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2017/150th-anniversary-of-the-shipping-forecast

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/mostly-weather/episode10

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-41030909/radio-4-s-shipping-forecast-reaches-150-years-old

Winds light to variable …Winds light to variable …

Posted by Mark Norris, Darwin 200 stamp project.

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Heading home aboard HMS Beagle 180 years ago

August 17, 2016
darwin first day cover Falklands 1982

Charles Darwin first day cover Falklands 1982

180 years ago a 26 year old young Englishman prepares for the final part of his journey home on one of the most impressive round the world “gap years” in history.

darwin cocos

August 17 1836 aboard HMS Beagle, a young Charles Darwin prepares to  leave South America for the last time. Along with the Captain Fitzroy and crew of HMS Beagle, they were  heading home for the first time after 5 years away.

darwin##8

He arrived in Falmouth harbour in Cornwall on HMS Beagle on October 2 1836.

800px-Charles_Darwin_Voyage_of_The_Beagle_plaque_Falmouth_Cornwall

Plaque marking spot of Darwin’s landfall from HMS Beagle voyage, Oct 2 1836 in Falmouth and his departure home by coach. Erected during the Darwin Bicentenary 2009.

Unlike Fitzroy and the Royal Navy crew of HMS Beagle, the often seasick Darwin would never go to sea or leave Britain again.

Read more of our past blogposts by Sandie Robb at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and Mark Norris at Newquay Zoo for more about Darwin’s life and work, his life commemorated in postage stamps, the 200th Birthday celebrations in 2009, Alfred Russel Wallace, using stamps in schools or zoos as a teaching resource and celebrating many things Victorian!

Blog posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo – Darwin Stamp Zoo blog, 17 August 2016

Queen Elizabeth 2nd overtakes Queen Victoria as UK longest reigning monarch

September 9, 2015

Today 9th September 2015 Queen Elizabeth 2nd becomes Britain’s longest-reigning monarch (1952-2015),  when she passes the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria (1837-1901).

Both Queens 1990 issue Royal Mail double header.

 1990 Royal Mail double header.

The Queen will have reigned for 63 years and seven months – an amazing  23,226 days!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34177107

Congratulations, Ma’am!

This has led to a range of postal commemoratives such as this Isle of Man stamp first day cover from the Westminster Collection:

2015 Postal 9.9.15 commemorative of the Queen's longest reign.

2015 Postal 9.9.15 commemorative of the Queen’s longest reign.

Inspiration for Primary History TeachingTwo Queens

The different reign of the two queens is covered in some units based on the Primary History National Curriculum such as Cornwall Learning’s Inspire Curriculum Year 2 National Celebration Two Queens :  http://theinspirecurriculum.co.uk/product/national-celebration

Inspire Curriculum's Year 2 interesting Two Queens National Celebration unit looking at Victorians and today.

Inspire Curriculum’s Year 2 interesting Two Queens National Celebration unit looking at Victorians and today.

There is a similar Curriculum map for Year 6 A Voyage of Discovery covering Charles Darwin’s voyages and the Victorians.

This is an exciting opportunity to combine Science and History (of Science) and Geography (and RE)  which should be interesting to explore in the classroom and at zoo workshops or offsites. We had great fun exploring these topics in schools and at the zoo and galleries in Darwin 200 Bicentenary Year 2009:

6-a-voyage-of-discoveryWe also saw an interesting postal related unit  for Year 1 called Posting and Places. This involves letter and postcard writing (and led to a flurry of enquiries and visit requests about penguins at Newquay Zoo last Spring). Maybe stamp design could creep in somewhere?

1-posting-and-places

So an amazing history record by Queen Victoria and some great opportunities to explore topics in the classroom and enjoy  Victorians, stamps and postal history as learning opportunities and fascinating hobby learning.

175th anniversary of the Penny Black the world’s first adhesive postage stamp

May 1, 2015

Today the 1st of  May 2015 is the 175th birthday of the Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp issued in 1840.

How technology has changed is shown by the event being marked by a ‘Google doodle’ of the Penny Black.

the stamp that started it all - the Penny Black of 1840, Young Queen Victoria's head

The stamp that started it all – the Penny Black of 1840, Young Queen Victoria’s head

The stamp features a portrait of the very young Queen Victoria, then only twenty, newly married by months  and only  three years into her reign.

Charles Darwin was four years back from the Beagle Voyage and working on his researches, which involved a mass of correspondence, so many many Penny Blacks!

You can read more about the Penny Black at the British Postal Museum website.

Only a few days from home, 175 years ago: Darwin’s landfall, Falmouth, October 2nd 1836

September 29, 2011

On this day 175 years ago, Charles Darwin was close to ending his world-changing 5 year journey round the world  Only a few days away from landfall and harbour in Falmouth on October 2nd 1836 and  a few days coach journey home away from his family in Shrewsbury.

Plaque marking spot of Darwin's landfall from HMS Beagle voyage, Oct 2 1836 in Falmouth and his departure home by coach.

A plaque now marks the place where Darwin made landfall that evening in Falmouth, arranged by Falmouth Town Council and Falmouth Art Gallery, during the Darwin 200 celebrations .

We still have  a few copies available to schools free of our Darwin stamp book – contact Sandie Robb at Edinburgh Zoo or Mark Norris at Newquay Zoo.  

A new Darwin stamp book for 2011

Many of the new 175th anniversary stamps issued to celebrate Darwin’s journey can be found in Barry Floyd’s new book Chrles Darwin His Life Through Commemorative Stamps (2011) , available through Traveller’s Tree Thematic Services, 30 Watch Bell Street, Rye, E. Sussex, TN31 7HB, UK Priced £15 + £2 P&P (UK). £5 P&P overseas Cheques in sterling to B N Floyd.

Look out in 2012 for events and publications celebrating Edward Lear’s bicentenary.  See the Blog of Bosh and other websites including www.nonsenselit.org

See our previous blog entry on Lear

https://darwin200stampzoo.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/the-victorians-are-not-dead-and-gone-celebrating-the-big-and-bearded-victorian-icons-from-darwin-to-lear-a-future-festival-of-nonsense/

Famous footsteps, incredible journeys: Happy New Darwin Anniversary Year 2011 – 175 years on, and a bit more of our Victorian Time Safari …

January 2, 2011

It’s 175 years this year since Charles Darwin returned to Britain at the end of his five-year voyage, just as the Victorian period was beginning. He had spent his last Christmas 1835 away from home and was heading back in HMS Beagle for the final part of his epic voyage of discovery. He still had much of Australia, New Zealand, Keeling Islands, Mauritius, Cape Town in South Africa, St. Helena, Ascension Island and Brazil (again) to visit before reaching Britain. Many of these countries, especially the islands, mark the anniversary of his famous visit with postage stamps.

By October 2nd, 1836 he would be back on land in Falmouth and heading home by mail coach

Plaque marking spot of Darwin's landfall from HMS Beagle voyage, Oct 2 1836 in Falmouth and his departure home by coach.

A plaque set up by Falmouth Town Council and Falmouth Art Gallery marks the point where he made landfall in Falmouth and waited for the mail coach home. Within a year, a new Queen would be on the throne and a new era of scientific, agricultural and technological revolution begun. Lots of developments had happened in technology and society whilst he had been away, not least the beginnings of railway mania, so that the very coach he travelled on was soon to become obsolete as public transport within his lifetime.

The penny post and Penny Black stamp were only a few years aways in 1840. By the time he died in 1882, telegraph communication was widespread and telephones in their infancy. The first petrol engine vehicles were in development. Cinema experiments were beginning. Iron and steam had replaced wood and sail in modern ships. Darwin lived through an amazing century, which set the pace for the developments since.

There’s a 2009 news story and photos about the Darwin’s landfall plaque in Falmouth  http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/news/falmouth/Plaque-marks-Darwin-landfall/article-1636415-detail/article.html

Sadly since this was put up, Brian Stewart the curator of Falmouth Art Gallery has sadly died in December 2010, much missed by  the Newquay Zoo staff with whom he worked extensively on Darwin 200 activities. Many tributes can be read to his work in the Falmouth Packet newspaper. Newquay Zoo staff were already planning a follow-up to Darwin 200 based around nonsense poet and animal painter Edward Lear’s bicentenary in May 2012.    

Darwin is not the only eminent Victorian to have his landing-place marked in Cornwall. We’ve included it as part of our Victorian Time Safari, looking at the legacy of Darwin’s Victorian times around us. What can you see in your village, town or city from Victorian times?

We spotted this unusual footprint when arriving by boat ferry at St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, that magical castle in the sea that Darwin would have passed on his route into Falmouth just up the coast.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert 's royal visit marked by bronze plaque near her 'footstep' at St. Michaels' Mount, Cornwall (Photo: Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo)

Nearby, Truro station has all the ornate ironwork of a Victorian station still, including its VR Victorian post box. Nearby, Truro station has all the ornate ironwork of a Victorian station still, including its VR Victorian post box. On a recent Dublin trip, we saw a Victorian explorer commemorated not in stamps but in a lifesize bronze statue. What Victorain memorials or  inventions can you find in your area?

Ornate Victorian ironwork, Truro rail station, Cornwall, 2010Ornate decorative Victorian ironwork, Truro rail station, Cornwall, 2010Victorian statue of explorer / surgeon TH Parke from Stanley's expeditions in Africa, outside Dublin Natural History Museum

Wallace – the alternative Darwin – gets a postage stamp or two at last!!

July 25, 2010

George Beccaloni left a very excited message on the Alfred Russel Wallace website  about the 2009 issue by Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe (in Africa) of Wallace stamps – at last!

You might have read earlier Sandie’s jubilant blog entry about the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society postage stamps from the Royal Mail featuring Wallace  http://http://royalsociety.org/Royal-Society-350th-anniversary-stamps/ 

Interesting to compare the two different designs!

The centenary of Wallace’s death in 1913 is due soon in 2013 and the Wallace Fund website blog has more details about how this is being marked around the world. There is also a short biography of this amazing man and many links.

These very Darwin style portrait and dinosaur stamps compare well with some of the Darwin 200 and other anniversary issues shown in our Charles Darwin: A Life In Stamps book, published in 2009. Copies are still available to schools (free) and collectors (small charge, see earlier blog).  The stamps should,  as George notes,   appeal to dinosaur stamp collectors as much as Darwin realted stamp collectors.  

 http://wallacefund.info/first-ever-postage-stamps-featuring-alfred-russel-wallace-are-published

His book The Malay Archipeligo has never been out of print since its publication, much like Darwin’s Voyage of The Beagle, another classic of  Victorian travel writing.

Wallace’s travels took him across Indonesia including to Papua New Guinea where our Black Tree Monitors are from and Sulawesi, an Indonesian island,  home to Sulawesi Macaque monkeys that are now critically endangered – you can see our group at Newquay Zoo through our webcam http://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/conservation/sulawesi-crested-black-macaques.htm, part of our support for Selamatkan Yaki (Protect The Macaque! in Bahasan Indonesian).

We’ll keep you posted on celebartions for Wallace 2013, Darwin 2011 and Edward Lear 2012 on the blog – watch this space.

Centenary of Florence Nightingale’s Death 13 August 2010: update of ‘Florence Fatigue’ and another Great Victorian on postage stamps: Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole and women scientists on stamps.

May 16, 2010

A 1960s UK stamp featuring Florence Nightingale from my childhood album (in old L-S-D pennies) with a youthful Queen Elizabeth head, much like the Young Victoria!

This Friday 13th sees the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s death on 13 August 1910. Commemorated in many ways  through a Royal Mint £2 coin, a church service on Radio 4  Sunday morning 8th August  2010 (available on I-player) and much press coverage about anniversary events http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2010/07/09/55064/florence-nightingale-centenary-nursing-by-numbers.html 

along with her refurbished museum http://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk/cms/

Visitors to the Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth, where part of Wind in The Willows was written by Kenneth Grahame, can see Florence Nightingale’s signature in the visitor’s book of what was a very popular Victorian hotel for travellers overseas via  the busy Falmouth harbour. http://www.greenbank-hotel.co.uk/falmouth-hotel/14/falmouth+hotel+history.html 

Readers of our Darwin 200 stamp blog will note that much of our Darwin celebrations locally in Cornwall in 2009 focussed on Falmouth, where Darwin made landfall on Oct 2 1836 at the end of the Beagle voyage. A plaque, rather then register entry,  marks the spot as he rapidly left for home by mail coach after five homesick and seasick adventurous years. Darwin and Nightingale in their dogged pursuit of evidence or statistics to support their arguments would have had no doubt a very interesting discussion, had they ever met!  

 Her obituary can be found at http://century.guardian.co.uk/1910-1919/Story/0,,126410,00.html  and an interesting research blog at http://www.florence-nightingale-avenging-angel.co.uk/

Previous Entry May 2010:

Every 12 May around the world is International Nursing Day, baacuse it is also Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Happy 190th birthday Florence.  

This year has extra significance, amazingly it is only 100 years since Florence Nightingale  died on 13 August 2010.

Florence was one of that generation of long-lived famous Victorians who lived well into the Twentieth Century including Alfred Russel Wallace the explorer and evolutionary theorist who died in 1913. Wallace has been mentioned on this blog site with news that you may soon see him on a UK stamp.

One of our recent commenters on the blog asked why we didn’t mention Rosalind Franklin ‘the dark lady of DNA’ when we introduced DNA, Crick and Watson. A trawl through internet stamp sites and Stanley Gibbons catalogues will produce some images of women scientists and engineers who aren’t Marie Curie. (Personally I look forward to a portrait stamp of Hedy Lamarr, featuring a background print of her World War Two patent for torpedo switching gear).

 Not surprisingly the Royal Mail, mints  and postage stamp designers ariound the world have often honoured nurses, Florence Nightingale and occasionally her contemporary Mary Seacole  often over the last 100 years.

http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/rcn_archives/exhibitions/international_postage_stamps/florence_nightingale

http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/rcn_archives/exhibitions/international_postage_stamps/mary_jane_seacole  

2009/10 also marks the 150th anniversary of  her important book Notes on Nursing, based on her experiences in The Crimean War. www.royalmint.com/store/BritishBase/UKFNBU.aspx.  Just as revolutionary in its time and field as Darwin’s Origin of Species, the International College of Nursing ICN  modern edition of Notes on Nursing is still available 150 years later!

As a scientist, Florence is also famous for using Pie charts to present information in persuasive ways, useful for introducing maths to the history curriculum and the ever present role model search for women scientists.

Some primary teachers I know do groan at the name Florence Nightingale as this is currently the examplar famous Victorian person in the current National Curriculum (England and Wales) and some hope the new one due in  2011 is Florence free. http://http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/history/his4/?view=get 

Talking to collegues and stall holders at a history teaching conference including the TTS people who have a Florence section http://www.tts-group.co.uk/, some teachers  after many years of teaching Florence were showing signs of ‘Florence Fatigue’. This will hopefully never become a recognisable medical condition.

Examples of creating famous person / Florence Nightingale displays (timelines!) using postage stamps can be seen at: http://fnif.org/,  showing pictures of  the story of Florence Nightingale as an exhibition of stamps at the ICN Congress in Durban by Marilyn Gendek, an Australian nurse and philatelist. 

Country Joe’s site covers statues and other memorails, good for looking at evidence of Victorians in our towns and local areas such as suggested on our Victorian Time safari blog entries last year: http://www.countryjoe.com/nightingale/honors.htm   

http://www.uoguelph.ca/~cwfn/stamps/index.html  

http://www.sma.org.sg/smj/4703/4703ms1.pdf   

is a comprehensive six page long pdf article on Florence Nightingale in stamps.

The Crimean War was marked 150 years on by a recent Royal Mail issue four or five years ago – see the Royal Mail website.   Local regimental museums and the National Army Museum at Chelsea are also good sources for information on this conflict.

There is lots of biographical information on Florence ranging from the BBC, Victorian Web and Wikipedia to the Florence Nightingale Museum

http://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk/

http://www.uoguelph.ca/~cwfn/    her collected works and writings

http://www.victorianweb.org/history/crimea/florrie.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Nightingale

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/nightingale_florence.shtml

Brilliant Britain – a new competition

April 27, 2010

Stamp Active Network are pleased to announce a new competition based on the fact that British stamps tell us a lot about Great Britain e.g. its history, its culture, its geography, its people, its plants and its animals.

Young people in Primary School, up to the age of 12 (on 1st September 2010), are invited to create a one page mini-exhibit about some aspect of Britain. Only stamps, covers and other philatelic items from Great Britain can be used. The page must have a title, and either captions or a short write up that tells the story. The entrant’s full name and address (home or school) should be on the back of the page, also their age on 1st September 2010. Entries should be on good quality paper (A4) or a similar size album page, and placed in a clear protector. The entries can be either hand-written or prepared using a computer.

There will be three age groups – Up to 7; 8-9; 10-12 – with prizes being awarded (for First, Second, Third and Runners up) in each age group.

The entries will be judged on knowledge of the subject, originality and presentation.

Only one entry per person is allowed. UK entrants only.

Winners will be announced in the philatelic press and on the Stamp Active Website www.planetstamp.co.uk. The best entries will be on display at Autumn Stampex 15th – 18th September at the Business and Design Centre, London.

The deadline for receiving entries will be 1st September 2010.

Send entries to: BRILLIANT BRITAIN Competition, Stamp Active Network, 3 Longfellow Road, Banbury, OX16 9LB

Charles Darwin, Evolution, Conservation, Biodiversity would all make wonderful themes for an entry and there are many British stamps which have been issued over the years which would be suitable for such. It’s just one page – why not have a go?

Victoriana Magazine Is Back!

March 4, 2010
Victoriana Magazine Is Back!
 
Victoriana Magazine has returned as a new daily blog magazine for Victorian style living featuring fashion and accessories, house remodeling and home decor, entertaining and holidays, food and recipes, history and lifestyles, and much more.

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Visit Victoriana now to escape to the 19th century! 
 
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