Photo Of The Day

Jemmy Hirst

Jemmy Hirst

?Animal-lover and Inventor Jemmy Hirst

James “Jemmy” Hirst?was born to a farmer family of?Rawcliffe,?Yorkshire. Even at school he kept a pet?jackdaw?and trained a?hedgehog?to follow him around. His parents’ hope that he would become a priest never materialised when he was thrown out of school for his pranks. Hirst was apprenticed to a?tanner, fell in love with his daughter and became engaged to her.

Reputedly Hirst’s eccentricity began when his betrothed died of?smallpox?after he rescued her from a flooding river. At first Hirst retired to his bed and reputedly contracted “brain fever”. When he recovered he continued his habits of animal training.

He made a remarkable comeback and he earned a small fortune speculating on farm produce. This allowed him to spend the rest of his long life back in Rawcliffe as a gentleman farmer, and to be generous in the most eccentric way possible. He supposedly would blow a hunting horn to invite the poor and elderly to his house for refreshments…which were served in his favorite coffin, because where else would you serve them?

In any event, the real boon of his newfound wealth was the ability to take his love of animals to the next level. His two most frequent companions were apparently a fox and an otter, and he even kept a bear named Nicholas. This creature, unfortunately, resisted Hirst’s efforts to tame it, resulting at least once in injury to the eccentric farmer. Equally unsuccessful but significantly less painful was Hirst’s attempt to train a litter of pigs to be foxhounds, but he could never get the piglets to stop grunting, which made them spectacularly ineffective when it came time to sneak up on foxes.

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Photo Of The Day


10th February 1840: Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) and Prince Albert (1819 - 1861) on their return from the marriage service at St James's Palace, London. Original Artwork: Engraved by S Reynolds after F Lock. (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

10th February 1840: Queen Victoria (1819 – 1901) and Prince Albert (1819 – 1861) on their return from the marriage service at St James’s Palace, London. Original Artwork: Engraved by S Reynolds after F Lock. (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

The Stalker who Stole Queen Victoria’s Underwear

He caused a right royal fuss by breaking into Buckingham Palace, sitting on the throne, sleeping in a servant?s bed and even stealing Queen Victoria?s knickers.

But brazen Edward Jones has earned a place in the history books ? as the world?s first celebrity stalker. Even by the standards of modern celebrity culture, the 14-year-old went to astonishing lengths to get close to the object of his admiration by breaking into the palace.

Edward Jones, or?the boy Jones, as he was called by the British newspapers of the early?Victorian era, was a notorious intruder into?Buckingham Palace?between 1838 and 1841.? In 1838, aged 14, he entered Buckingham Palace, disguised as a?sweep. He was caught by a porter in the Marble Hall and, after a chase, captured by the police in?St James?s Street, with Queen Victoria?s underwear stuffed down his trousers and even twice sat on her throne!

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Unknown Source. June and Jennifer Gibbons along with Marjorie Wallace.

Photo: Unknown Source.
June and Jennifer Gibbons along with Marjorie Wallace.

The Silent Twins

Eerie, Tormented And Gifted

Dubbed the Silent Twins because they only communicated with their immediate family, June and Jennifer Gibbons were born in Wales in 1963 and grew up as social pariahs who were frequently bullied. They had speech impediments, and as the years went by, their secret twin language became more unique and less intelligible to outsiders. The sisters, who committed several crimes, including arson and petty theft, were committed to England’s Broadmoor Hospital, where they lived for 11 years and were later diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The sisters had an intense love-hate relationship and eventually made a pact while at Broadmoor: one had to die so the other could lead a normal life. Jennifer even admitted to Marjorie Wallace [journalist Marjorie Wallace came along and unearthed their inner world] during a visit: “I’m going to die. We’ve decided.” In 1993, hours after their release, Jennifer, at the age of 29, died on her sister’s shoulder from a sudden inflammation of the heart muscle. The cause remains?a mystery.

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Face of the day


Sources claim that a specific threat was made against the Queen, triggering an urgent review of security for next weekend?s events


Today’s face of the day Queen Elizabeth, is in danger next weekend of being blown up by British jihadis at an event to mark the anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

…police and MI5 are involved in a frantic race against time to thwart the assassination plot being orchestrated from Syria by Islamic State commanders.

The extremists aim to strike on Saturday by exploding a deadly pressure cooker bomb during events in Central London to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day ? Victory in Japan.

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Live in England but only speak English? You can no longer become a cop.

All new constables in the Metropolitan police must be able to speak a second language apart from English from today.

The astonishing requirement emerged in an advert for fresh recruits posted online by the country’s biggest force.

From today, anyone wanting to join the Met must be able to speak English and one of the following 14 languages:


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Photo Of The Day

Photo Source Unknown. The streets of Gillingham were lined with thousands of mourners.

Photo Source Unknown.
The streets of Gillingham were lined with thousands of mourners.

The Fireman?s Wedding Disaster

Gillingham Park, Kent, England. For many years the highlight of the summer for local residents was the annual summer fete. Lasting for a couple of days, it also acted as an important fundraiser for the local hospital, St. Bartholomew’s. On the last day of the fete the local fire brigade would enact a wedding?ceremony?with two firemen dressed as a bride and groom. They would have fun mingling with the crowds for the day, collecting donations for the hospital and in the evening they, along with other “guests” would retire back to their home for their “wedding reception”. The guests were comprised mostly of young Naval Cadets, Sea Scouts and some firemen. The “house” was a simple mock up with three stories lashed together using timbers and a canvas tarpaulin for walls.

The grand finale of the fete was a demonstration of the prowess and skills of the fire brigade as they rescued all of the guests from the house after it mysteriously catches fire. Safety equipment such as hooks and slings were placed in strategic locations and a fireman was charged with the task of lighting smoke fires to simulate the fire. ?He would then make his way to the top of the building and sound the alarm to signal the rescue. The boys would wave their hands and cry for help. The escape equipment would be released and the fire brigade, waiting near by would rush in from both the front and rear of the building to rescue the occupants. Once the house was safely emptied of its guests, flammable substances already in place on the first floor would be lit. In an exciting and well-anticipated finale the house would go up in flames for real.

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FitzSimons says Kevin Pietersen is the exception to the No Dickhead Rule

A no Dickhead Rule is imperative in politics and sport.

It appears the England cricket team has a No Dickheads rule and are excluding Kevin Pietersen but Peter FitzSimons disagrees and says he should be exempt.

Something fascinating is going on in English cricket at the moment.

(And there, I say to myself, is a phrase not oft used ‘neath the Southern Cross for many and many a’moon, … but I digress.)

See, former English cricket captain Andrew Strauss had no sooner been installed in the position of Director of English Cricket, than he was asked ? some 10 seconds into his first press conference, what his attitude towards outcast, troubled genius England batsman Kevin Pietersen was.

Look, I am paraphrasing the sentiment here, rather than quoting the words, but Strauss essentially said he’d sooner put hot knitting needles in his ears than ever allow Pietersen back into the same postcode as the England cricket side, let alone the team itself. No, he didn’t specifically cite the No Dickhead rule, but that is what it boiled down to.

There is a “massive trust issue” between Pietersen and the England Cricket Board, Strauss said, and therefore a return for Pietersen is “not in the best short-term interests of the side.”

Alas for Strauss was that as he was speaking, Pietersen was finishing up a triple-century for his Surrey county side of such breath-taking genius that even opposing fans got blisters from clapping.

See, English stocks have fallen so low they couldn’t beat the lowly-rated West Indies in a Test series. But allow Pietersen back in?

Not on your nelly.

I humbly submit, even as a great admirer, and booster, of the “No Dickhead Rule”, that Strauss is badly mistaken in this.

For yes, its inventor, Swans coach Paul Roos, demonstrated the efficacy of the rule during his successful reign in Sydney.

But it was never a cast-iron rule, and there was always a let-out clause to it, which it is apposite to cite now.

Are you reading, Andrew Strauss?

On page 2 of the No Dickhead Handbook, second paragraph, third line, it reads:

“When the said dickhead is so extravagantly talented, it would be sheer madness not to have them in the team, you may not only ignore the ‘No Dickheads Rule’, but ? and never more than when your own stocks are lower than a snake’s belly-button ? you may even crawl across cut glass to have them.”

Roos invoked that clause a couple of times recruiting the likes of Spida Everitt to the side, and was well rewarded for his trouble.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: George Rodger

Photo: George Rodger

Wartime Life In Dover

A War Correspondent waits for action on Shakespeare Cliff.

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Accents of the British Isles… excellent job

Join the navy. It will be awesome. Promise.