AN article in The Guardian newspaper reveals that researchers at the University of Exeter have unearthed a treasure trove of poetry relating to Lancashire’s poverty-stricken cotton workers during the US civil war.

Up to 400,000 of the county’s cotton workers were left unemployed when the war stopped cotton from reaching England’s north-west in the 1860s and the mills were closed.

Without work, they struggled to put food on the table, and the university discovered that many of them turned to poetry to describe the impact of the cotton famine.

A university spokesman said: “It shows how strong working-class poetic culture was at the time – if you’re working for 12 hours, you might still have time to write a poem in the evening.”

 

 

“Wasp warning in the Daily Express.

Apparently the little blighters are getting drunk on fermented fruit and going on stinging rampages across Britain.

The paper says that an explosion in the wasp population triggered by the cold winter and heatwave means swarms are heading out to satisfy their taste for something sweet.

Shane Jones, who runs Ridtek Pest Control in Basingstoke, Hampshire, said: “They are really aggressive at this time of year – and because of the cold winter, the wasp season started about six weeks earlier.

“Wasps have built absolutely massive nests and, now that all the larvae have grown up and the queen has stopped laying eggs, the colonies have a workforce with nothing to do – and nothing to eat.

“So they go ‘down to the pub’, obviously. Wasps can’t handle their booze, so they get tanked-up and fight – like lager louts.”

 

 

The Daily Mail informs its readers that nearly half of British millennials aged between 18 and 24 do not know that the First World War took place between 1914 and 1918.

A poll of 2,000 people carried out by Ancestry also found that a quarter of all people aged over 24 do not know the start and end dates of the Great War.

Just over a quarter said they didn't know any of Britain's wartime allies, with some even thinking that Germany or the Austro-Hungarian Empire were on Britain's side!

A spokesman for Ancestry said: “This report suggests that many are in danger of forgetting the war's significance.”

 

Wemyss Ware cat ornaments were collected by the late Queen Mother and, reports the Daily Express, a rare piece from 1900 is expected to fetch up to £4,000 at auction later this month.

Robert Methven Heron introduced the distinctive Scottish pottery range, called Wemyss Ware, in 1882 and fashioned his first pieces in his factory in Gallatown, Kirkcaldy and they attract an international market, with serious collectors in North America and Australia.

Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)