Saturday snippets: 2nd January 2016

By | Category: Travel news

ShakespeareAs a new year starts, Visit Britain has announced that they hope that 36.7 million visits will be made to the UK this year. They hope that those millions of visitors will be spending almost £23 billion whilst visiting us. But what special attractions will entice them to our shores? In England, they think that the attraction will be the Year of the Great British Garden which coincides with the 300th anniversary of one of the most revered influences on how we think of gardens – Capability Brown. In Northern Ireland the appeal is that it is the Year of Food and Drink in the province whilst in Wales, it is the Year of Adventure. Scotland – which has been celebrating a year of this and that for some time has ordained that 2016 will be the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

But 2016 is also the year that many anniversaries are remembered and those will attract both overseas visitors and ourselves to join in the festivities. It is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare so there will be events in Stratford-upon-Avon, (naturally) London (the Globe Theatre) and other places connected with him. Two of the big Shakespeare festivals are in Canada and in Poland so there will be worldwide attention on the Bard of Avon. Maybe the irreverent film, Bill, conceived by the Horrible Histories team should have been held over to this year rather than last.

It is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest children’s authors, Roald Dahl, and a film of the BFG is due for release during the year. As has been mentioned in Just about Travel in our tips for 2016, places connected with Dahl such as his birthplace in Cardiff and the Norwegian church which he attended will have events but so will the Roald Dahl Museum Story Centre in the Buckinghamshire town of Great Missendden.

Another children’s author, Beatrix Potter was born 150 years ago in late July 1866. When the film, Miss Potter with Renee Zellweger, came out in 2006, people flocked to the Lake District where she had made her home. In this, her anniversary year, expect even more to visit places connected with Potter and her creations like Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Peter Rabbit.

Born in the same year as Potter was H G Wells who in 1903 suggested an idea for a tank and whose The Shape of Things to Come, The Invisible Man and The War of the Worlds had a significant impact on science fiction. Will he be remembered this year? I am unaware of any anniversary events but please correct me if I am wrong. The same applies to the influential cartoonist, Sir David Low, whose 125th anniversary is this year. Can any cartoonist have irked Hitler more?

Charlotte Bronte was born on April 21st 1816 and, although she only wrote four novels, one of those – Jane Eyre – has become one of the all-time classics. Together with her sisters, brother and father, the whole Bronte bandwagon brings people up to Yorkshire by the coachload. This year even more will head to Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage Museum there.

Tower of London

The Tower of London

Is the biggest anniversary of the year that of the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings? Every schoolchild – if they know only one date – knows 1066 when William the Conqueror invaded our shores from Normandy in France, defeated King Harold and changed the dynastic structure of the UK for ever. It was the year that Edward the Confessor died, the Vikings were defeated on Engliah soil for the final time and Harold became the new king. Down in 1066 country – the name given to that part of south-east England where the battle and the landings took place, expect a number of events. There isn’t much to see of the battlefield but of William’s other achievements such as the White Tower in the Tower of London and his impact on us via the Domesday Book, much more survives.

A thousand years ago, King Canute attacked London defeating the English king, Edmund Ironside and commencing a Viking reign over Egland. At the Jorvik Centre in York, ( flooded this week but – thankfully – it looks like little damage has been done) there will be events remebering the time when Danes ruled England for a generation

Following the Plague of 1665, came the Great Fire of London in 1666 which broke out in Pudding Lane. Spreading quickly throughout the wooden buildings it decimated a large part of what is today the City of London. One of the churches that survived is St Olave’s and it is there that is buried the diarist Samuel Pepys, who recorded much of the ghastly fire that took place. The city will be remembering the event that cleansed London of the plague and led to the rebuilding of much in the city including St Paul’s Cathedral.

The events of the first world war continue to be remembered. It was in 1916 that some of the bloodiest battles were fought at Verdun and on the Somme. It was also the first time that tanks were used so expect the Imperial War Museum and the Tank Museum to organise some events in the Autumn. Continuing the military theme into WWII, it also the 80th anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire and the 75th of the Lancaster, two vital planes in the British war machine.

In Ireland, the biggest event of the year is 100th anniversary of the Easter uprising, the eventual result of which was the independence of Ireland from the UK. Although the uprising began with the attack on the Post Office in O’Connell Street in Dublin, there was activity in Louth, Wexford, Galway and Ashbourne as well. All places are marking this important event with celebrations starting early in the year and continuing right throughout although the emphasis will be on late April

the legacy of Walt Disney

the legacy of Walt Disney

The oldest working theatre in the UK is the Theatre Royal in Bristol better known to everyone as the Bristol Old Vic after the theatre company based there which is, itself remembering its founding 70 years ago this year. It celebrates its 250th anniversary this year having opened in 1766. At the end of May on the bank holiday weekend the theatre remembers its past, a past that includes legendary actors like David Garrick who appeared on opening night and Sarah Siddons plus virtually every modern theatrical actor that you could care to name. Perhaps this year, the theatre can add more of its history to its website sice one coplaint easily levied is that there is little there to remind people of the importance of the theatre.

Finally, one American died 50 years ago who had an impact on children abd adults far beyond his country. It was in 1966 that Walt Disney died and you can bet that Disneyland, Disneyworld and Disney Paris won’t let us forget his impiortance both to film and to tourism. Where would Florida and Anaheim in California be without his legacy?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,