When the door knocker went rat a tat tat,
He opened the door and in front of him
Was a man in a bowler hat.
‘I’m the man from Littlewoods’
He politely announced,
Like a mad man up in the air
and down again Bobby bounced.
‘I’ve won! I’ve won! The football pools’
The caller looked agog,
‘Sir I only want the payment due
on your Littlewoods catalogue.’
It happened in May…
1609 William Shakespeare sonnets were published.
1707 The union between England and Scotland was proclaimed.
1809 Dartmoor prison was opened.
1840 The first Penny Black stamp went on sale.
1851 The Yale lock was patented.
1901 Film star Gary Cooper was born.
1956 Elvis Presley entered the UK charts with Heartbreak Hotel.
1957 Britain’s first H bomb was dropped on Christmas Island.
1959 The first hovercraft is launched at Cowes.
1994 The Channel Tunnel was officially opened.
It’s true, honestly…
A newspaper ran a competition for a poem with the most romantic first line, but the least romantic second line. Here are some of the entries:
I thought that I could love no other,
Until, that is, I met your brother.
Of loving beauty you float with grace,
If only you could hide your face.
I love your smile, your face, your eyes,
Damn, I’m good at telling lies.
I see your face when I am dreaming,
That’s why I always wake up screaming.
My love, you take my breath away,
What have you stepped in to smell this way.
What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.
Interesting Local History
The Great Fire of Gateshead
On the morning of Friday 6th October 1854 between twelve and one o’clock, a fire broke out in the worsted manufactory of Messrs. Wilson and Sons in Hillgate, Gateshead. After raging with great fury for about two hours, the roof fell in, the heat became so intense that it melted the sulphur that was stored in an adjoining warehouse. It came out in torrents, like streams of lava, and as it met the external air it began to blaze. The flames towered far above the mast of the ships moored at the neighbouring quays. From the floors of the warehouse huge masses of melted tallow and lead flowed in copious streams. The eight storied building was one mass of flames. Burning brands were then scattered over the roofs of the adjoining buildings which spread the fire even further. The ships were taken from their moorings to safety. In the immediate neighbourhood was another bonded warehouse which stored enormous amounts of combustible materials and possibly gunpowder. Shortly after the flames reached it there was an explosion which made Newcastle and Gateshead shake to their foundations. The bridge shook as if it would fall to pieces, and the surface of the river suddenly agitated as if by storm. The shock was felt in every street. The front doors of many private dwellings were violently opened, shutters were shaken from their hinges and windows were broken. Families were roused from their beds to find the cause of the explosion. The shock of the explosion was felt all over the North east, from Blyth in Northumberland to Seaham, six miles south of Sunderland. The fire passed easily from house to house in the vicinity of the warehouse and they fell as though they were a pack of cards. When the explosion occurred a unit of fifty soldiers from the garrison were advancing with fire engines, two of them were killed and thirty were wounded. Altogether 500 persons were injured and the number of dead is still not known to this day.