History Group

‘Freedom Day’ may have been postponed but we’re still hoping to hold a committee meeting and AGM. However, we can’t make any additional plans at present. As and when the new Wesley Hall can have its official opening, we plan to put on a small table display and to have copies of our 2021-22 programme of monthly talks available. It’s due to re-start on September 9.

Meanwhile, courtesy of www.historic-uk.com, here are some past events that all happened in the month of July.

July 1, 1838: British scientist Charles Darwin presented a paper to London’s Linnean Society (founded in 1788) on his theory of the evolution of species and natural selection.

July 3, 1996: It was confirmed that the Stone of Scone, the symbol of the Scottish nation taken by England’s King Edward 1 in 1296, was to be returned to Scotland from Westminster Abbey where it had been used in the coronation of 30 British monarchs over the previous 700 years.

July 4, 1776: The American Congress accepted the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson, formally ending American links with Britain.

July 9, 1877: The inaugural Lawn Tennis Championship was played on top of the croquet lawns at Wimbledon.

July 10, 138: Death of the Roman Emperor Hadrian who ordered the building of a wall across northern England to keep out the ‘barbarian’ Scottish tribes.

July 12, 1910: British pilot Charles Steward Rolls, 33, died after his Frenchbuilt biplane crashed at a flying competition in Bournemouth. He was a partner in the Rolls-Royce car manufacturing company.

July 17, 1453: French troops defeated the English at Castillon, effectively ending the Hundred Years’ War: Calais remained under English control.

July 18, 1920: 750,000 war fatalities were commemorated with the unveiling of a new national monument in London’s Whitehall. The Cenotaph took its name from the Greek words ‘kenos’ and ‘taphos’, meaning empty tomb.

July 19, 1545: King Henry VIII looked on as his newly refitted flagship, The Mary Rose, sank in the Solent, off England’s south coast, with the loss of 700 lives.

July 23, 1940: The Second World War’s Local Defence Volunteers changed its name to the Home Guard. The one million-strong force, which included many First World War veterans, was intended to form Britain’s last line of defence against the expected German invasion. Elmswell was home to ‘F’ Company 3rd Battalion Home Guard; in 1941 they had 63 men, 51 rifles, four automatic rifles and a Browning machine gun.

July 25, 1814: The chief engineer at Killingworth Colliery, George Stevenson, unveiled ‘Blutcher’, a steam-powered locomotive that could haul eight carriages loaded with 30 tons of coal at the break-neck speed of 4mph.

July 26, 1978: The world’s first test-tube baby was born in Oldham General Hospital near Manchester. Gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe and physiologist Dr Robert Edwards were credited with this pioneering work.

July 29, 1588: The Spanish Armada was sighted off the Cornish coast, whereupon the English fleet set sail from Plymouth to establish the birth of British naval supremacy.

July 30, 1966: England won the Jules Rimet trophy, Association Football’s World Cup, at London’s Wembley Stadium, after beating Germany 4-2 in extra time.

Arguably, the most significant event to happen in our own village in a past July was Elmswell Carnival on July 8, 1978. You can find lots of information and pictures at: https://tinyurl.com/32upjczy

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