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Why does the Thames no longer freeze?

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The Thames once froze regularly, the first time we have evidence of it happened in 250 when the Romans were still there. In 1536 King Henry VIII rode from Greenwich to Westminster by sleigh on the Thames. Since then this has happened regularly, but not as often as is now believed.

On average, it was once every ten years, with a few exceptions. In any case, from about 1650 to the beginning of the 19th century there was the Little Ice Age and therefore it was relatively common that the Thames froze.

During that time the Thames froze in 15 winters and almost always for a short time. The only exception was the great frost of 1683-84 when the Thames remained frozen for 2 months in a row when the ice of the Thames in London was 28 cm thick.

During the Little Ice Age, Frost Fairs were common, or fairs and markets that were held on ice. In London there used to be a few, but not as many as in other European cities.

The last Frost Fair in London was held in 1814 for 4 days and even an elephant passed over the frozen Thames near Blackfriars Bridge.

The phenomenon of the “Little Ice Age” caused many consequences that influenced the daily life of Londoners. In the worst frosts, such as that of 1683-84, the lakes, rivers and parts of the sea around the southern coasts of England froze. This stopped all trade on the water, especially on the Thames, that was London’s main form of travel and transportation.

In 1608, the Thames froze for six weeks and we have the first officially documented Frost Fair. It is reported in an extremely rare pamphlet printed for the occasion presumably written by Thomas Dekker, the famous Elizabethan pamphlet writer.

Subsequently, it was not only the end of the Little Ice Age, which prevented another frozen river, but two large constructions. The first was the demolition of the old London Bridge, which like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence was an old medieval bridge with shops and houses and which slowed down the current of the river.

The new bridge built in 1820 allowed the river to flow faster. The other was the construction of the Victoria, Albert and Chelsea Embankment, or the embankments that took up considerable space from the river, making it flow even faster. Flowing faster means that it has less time to cool down and freeze.

The levees were built by Sir John Bazalgette, the same man who built the London sewers. It was no coincidence that the embankments had been built in part with the material excavated during the works for the sewers (the rest came from the Metropolitan Line tunnels and stone imported from Cornwall).

To understand how the embankments or embankments have changed the geography of the area you have to think that the Strand once practically bordered the Thames. In any case, in 1900 the Thames froze again briefly for one last time.

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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History

What is that spire outside Charing Cross station in London?

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What is that spire outside Charing Cross station in London? thumbnail
Maybe you don’t know what that kind of gothic spire is in front of Charing Cross station in London. Don’t worry we explain everything here. Edward I was a king of England in the thirteenth century and was known for his lavish lifestyle. He loved to spend money and had a fondness for extravagant items such as jewellery and tapestries. His wife, Eleanor of Castile, died in 1290 advertisement Harby near Lincoln. Charing Cross is one of twelve crosses called Eleanor Cross that the king had built to mark where his wife’s funeral procession stopped.

The cross was destroyed in the year 1647 by the Puritans during the English Civil War. After the construction of Charing Cross station in 1865, a reproduction of Eleanor Cross was created and placed outside the station and not in its original place in Trafalgar Square where the equestrian sculpture dedicated to Carlo.

The reproduction was created by the architect EM Barry himself who built the railway station. He used uncommon images available from the original. at the top, there are eight images of Eleonora, 4 as a queen, with imperial symbols and 4 represented as a Christian. Below are curved angels and shields with royal weapons and those of Ponthieu, Castile and Leon, all copied from still extant Eleanor Crosses who were at Waltham Cross and Northampton.

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archeology

What is special about King Tut’s brooch?

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King Tutankhamun was the last of his family to rule Egypt 1334 – 1325 BC. He is famous because of the discovery of his treasure, together with his mummy, in his tomb, by Howard Carter in 1922. On the breastplate  of the mummy, there was a winger scarab broach, fashioned from yellow glass. 
 
Scarab beetles were worshipped in Egypt, as symbols of death and rebirth. They are active at night, finding their way by the distant rays of light from the Milky Way, rather than by bright stars. The scarab broach, belonging to King Tut, has itself an amazing connection to the cosmos.
 
It was discovered that the glass used, could not have been produced at the time of his death. Investigation revealed that it is desert glass, that originated in the Sahara desert. It is formed from  the impact of a comet that fell to Earth, twenty eight million years ago! The discovery of the remains of a comet, a black pebble, found during excavations in the desert, was an astronomical first. Only dust fragments of comets, had been  found before then.
 
So King Tut’s brooch is indeed a very special broach, as it was made from glass formed by the impact of a comet that fell to earth millions of years ago, an  archaeological as well as an astronomical first.

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Food

Isabella Beeton – Author of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management

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Possibly some people today may not have heard of Mrs Beeton, who in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, was a household name. She was well known for Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, published in 1859 – 61, which contained everything a prosperous  Victorian housewife, would need to know for running the home.  The public then and in the years that followed,  visualized her as a matronly cook, but nothing could be further from the truth.
 
Isabella Mary Mayson was born  14th March 1836, in Milk Lane, London. Her father died when she was young and her mother remarried, Henry Dorling, who worked as a clerk at Epsom racecourse. The family had lodgings there,  and Isabella was able to see at first hand, the organisation involved in running  kitchens, that catered for large numbers of people.
 
 On 10th July 1856 Isabella married Samuel Beeton, a publisher of books and magazines, and she started writing articles on cookery, to be included in his publications. Isabella lived a surprisingly modern married  life, commuting with her husband into the London office by train from Pinner. She also made annual trips to Paris, enabling her to write articles on fashion. At the same time, in the short space of eight years,
by Maull & Polyblank, hand-tinted albumen print, 1857
Isabella had numerous miscarriages and still births, giving birth to four sons, only two of which, survived to adulthood. These experiences were excessive even at a time of high infant mortality rate. Isabella died  in 1865 at the age of twenty eight following the birth of her youngest son. 
 
Isabella ‘s publishing success, while facing these health difficulties , was therefore a tremendous achievement. Her famous book on Household Management contained over 1,112 pages, with many coloured illustrations and nine hundred recipes. She taste tested these recipes in her kitchen and in the severe winter of 1858, handed out a nourishing beef and vegetable broth, to poor families for a penny a quart.
 
 Nevertheless, her skill was not in cooking, but in collecting and editing material for the book. In later years, the two sons who survived to reach adulthood, heard some mockery of the  scale of the ingredients in some of the recipes. However Mrs Beeton was writing for very large Victorian families, who would require dishes made, for example with twelve eggs!
 
Samuel Beeton, Isabella’s widower, continued to promote the image of her as a matronly cook, in order to publicise the book, and that is the image of her that has persisted throughout history.

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