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Spaghetti Junction at 50

Today (24/5/22) marks 50 years since the opening of the iconic Spaghetti Junction (Gravelly Hill interchange). It covers 30 acres (12 ha), serves 18 routes and includes 4 km (2.5 mi) of slip roads, but only 1 km (0.6 mi) of the M6 itself. Across five different levels, it has 559 concrete columns, reaching up to 24.4 m (80 ft). The engineers had … Continue reading “Spaghetti Junction at 50”

24 May 2022 by
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Happy Birthday, Lady Barber!

The founder of the Barber Institute, Lady Barber, was born on 16 May 1869 as Martha Constance Hattie Onions. After an education at Cheltenham Ladies College, she married the Birmingham solicitor and property developer, William Henry Barber. Learn more about her, and the University art gallery and concert hall that bear her name, by visiting … Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Lady Barber!”

17 May 2022 by
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30th anniversary of the final issue of ‘Punch’

8 April 1992 saw the final issue of Punch, Britain’s oldest satirical magazine, after 150 years in publication. Punch, or The London Charivari (in homage to the French satirical magazine Le Charivari), was a weekly British satirical magazine whose artists and illustrators included John Tenniel (of Alice in Wonderland fame) and Archibald Henning. Its audience … Continue reading “30th anniversary of the final issue of ‘Punch’”

8 April 2022 by
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Elton John at 75

25 March marks the 75th birthday of Elton John – the English singer, pianist and composer. Over a career spanning six decades, as well as solo work, he has collaborated with John Lennon, Kiki Dee and George Michael and, in more recent times, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa. Producing more than 30 albums (and some … Continue reading “Elton John at 75”

25 March 2022 by
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Molière 400 in 2022

15 January marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of French actor, playwright and poet, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, also known as Molière. Widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language, his works include comedies, farces and tragicomedies, His plays have been translated into every major living language. As a sixth-form student at … Continue reading “Molière 400 in 2022”

15 January 2022 by
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David Bowie 75th anniversary

8 January 2022 marks what would have been the late great David Bowie’s 75th birthday. Regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, his work was acclaimed by fellow musicians and critics, particularly his innovative work in the 1970s. He studied art, music and design before embarking on a professional career … Continue reading “David Bowie 75th anniversary”

8 January 2022 by
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75th anniversary of the birth of Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist

Steve Biko (1946-1977) was ideologically an African nationalist and social who was at the forefront of a grassroots anti-apartheid campaign known as the Black Consciousness Movement during the late 1960s and 1970s.  Studying medicine at the University of Natal, he became increasingly frustrated that National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) and other anti-apartheid groups … Continue reading “75th anniversary of the birth of Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist”

18 December 2021 by