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In this episode, fashion historian Amber Butchart discusses the fashion movements of the 1920s, from rising hemlines to ready-to-wear fashion. Then we tell the story of Kate Meyrick, the Soho Nightclub Queen. Meyrick’s popular clubs were frequently raided, and the records of those raids reveal a lot about what a night out in London was like one hundred years ago. For a transcript and information about the documents used in this episode visit our show notes: https://bit.ly/1920sep3 To tie in with the release of the 1921 Census of England and Wales in January 2022, our 20sPeople programme explores and shares stories connecting the people of the 1920s with us in the 2020s. This exciting programme includes our new 1920s-themed exhibition in Kew. Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. Visit: smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
In this episode, we continue our whirlwind tour through the 1920s by introducing you to some of the fascinating people and movements of the era. We tell the story of two men trying to make a better life in England. Then, in the aftermath of World War I and a deadly influenza pandemic, we look at efforts to improve public health and morality. To tie in with the release of the 1921 Census of England and Wales in January 2022, our 20sPeople programme explores and shares stories connecting the people of the 1920s with us in the 2020s. This exciting programme includes our new 1920s-themed exhibition in Kew. For a transcript and information about the documents used in this episode visit our show notes: https://bit.ly/1920sep2 Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. Visit: smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
In this first episode, historian Kate Williams looks at the era's tensions and shifting values, revealing social progress and a spirit of innovation coexisting with immense poverty and unrest; then we look at the political landscape of the 1920s and meet the first women in government.  To tie in with the release of the 1921 Census of England and Wales in January 2022, our 20sPeople programme explores and shares stories connecting the people of the 1920s with us in the 2020s. This exciting programme includes our new 1920s-themed exhibition in Kew.   For a transcript and information about the documents used in this episode visit our show notes: https://bit.ly/1920sep1 Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. Visit: smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
Trailer: The 1920s

Trailer: The 1920s

2022-04-0702:18

In our latest three-part podcast series, we step into the world of 1920s Britain and experience what life was really like, beyond the ‘Roaring Twenties’.  From stories of social and political change to fashion and nightlife, we introduce you to some of the fascinating people and movements from this heady time.  To tie in with the release of the 1921 Census of England and Wales in January 2022, our 20sPeople programme explores and shares stories connecting the people of the 1920s with us in the 2020s. This exciting programme includes our new 1920s-themed exhibition in Kew.  
There are over 900 years of immigration records available for research here at The National Archives. Over the next three episodes, we’re exploring the rich history of migration in the 20th century.  In 1962, the Commonwealth Immigrants Act limited the freedom of movement for citizens born outside of the UK. In our final episode, we explore the rise of anti-immigrant movements during the 1960s. We then look at anti-racist activism and the formation of the Black Cultural Archives. For a transcript and information about the documents used in this episode visit our show notes. Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. Visit: smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
There are over 900 years of immigration records available for research here at The National Archives. Over the next three episodes, we’re exploring the rich history of migration in the 20th century.  In this episode, we’re looking at two different migration experiences shaped by the British Nationality Act of 1948. For our first story, we explore the challenges faced by those arriving in Britain on board the Empire Windrush. We then follow the story of a young man who leaves Pakistan in search of adventure and opportunity. For a transcript and information about the documents used in this episode visit our show notes. Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. Visit: smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
There are over 900 years of immigration records available for research here at The National Archives. Over the next three episodes, we’re exploring the rich history of migration in the 20th century. This first episode begins with the story of an English woman who loses her citizenship because of who she chooses to marry, and a British citizen arrested because of his country of birth. Then, we uncover the lesser-told story of people leaving Britain for a better life. For a transcript and information about the documents used in this episode visit our show notes. Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. Visit: smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
There are over 900 years of immigration records available for research here at The National Archives. In our latest three-part podcast series, we’re exploring the rich history of migration in the 20th century.   This series focuses on three major Acts that highlight shifts in policy around migration and citizenship over the past 100 years. We feature the profound and lasting impact of migration for citizens and non-citizens alike throughout Britain, its Empire, and the Commonwealth. 
In the final episode of this series on our most intriguing and significant trial records, we’re taking a closer look at the evidence. First, we examine pieces of courtroom evidence like a red suit seized from a LGBTQ+ space in the 1930s and the calling card that led to Oscar Wilde’s downfall. Then, we explore how our trial records preserve evidence of everyday life in the past that would otherwise be lost to history.  For a transcript and information about the documents used in this episode visit our show notes. Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. Visit: smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
In the second episode in our mini-series on trial records, we look at the long and colourful history of trial by jury. First, we hear about the sensational Victorian case of two sailors who resorted to cannibalism after being stranded on the high seas. Then a barrister and historian explains the origins of trial by jury, how juries have evolved over 600 years, and why it’s so important to understand their history.   For a transcript and information about the documents used in this episode visit our show notes. Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. Visit: smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
In the first installment of a three-part series on our trial records, we’re examining the history of trials by ordeal and combat. This episode has witch trials, defamation lawsuits from accused witches, myth-busting, strong-men for hire, Irish landowners fighting to the death in a castle, and some facts about duels. Tune in to hear stories and historical insights that can only be found in the documents preserved at The National Archives.  For a transcript and information about the documents used in this episode visit our show notes. Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. Visit: smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
Trailer: Trials

Trailer: Trials

2021-04-0602:02

In our latest three-part podcast series, we are exploring stories from our collection which tell the history of trials, from witch trials and trial by combat to today’s legal system. In the series you’ll hear about a famous cannibalism case as well as legal evidence preserved in our archives which reveal LGBTQ+ spaces otherwise lost to history. You’ll also hear about how archives themselves are evidence of the past.
Illustrator Louis Wain changed the way we think about cats and dedicated his life to improving their welfare. Richard Whittington is the real man behind the story of Dick Whittington and his Cat, and his 15th century charity helped ensure that St. Bart’s hospital in London would survive for another 600 years. Brave young Nellie Spindler lied about her age in order to serve as a frontline nurse in the First World War before her tragic death. In our final episode on heroic deeds, we tell their stories. Documents: C 66/434; COPY 1/221 (314); COPY 1/229A (187); COPY 1/243(i) (173); COPY 1/280 (327); PRO 30/69/1491; PROB 11/3/468; PROB 11/10/229; SC 8/25/1235; SC 8/26/1255; SC 8/121; WO 95/345/2; WO 399/7850. Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! Visit smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/ 
A British spy named Pearl jumps from a plane under cover of night. A Thai shopkeeper named Boonpong decides to risk everything for strangers from the other side of the world. A knight named George defies a Roman Emperor and kills a dragon. In this episode, we’re sharing three stories of individuals whose bravery and heroic deeds made a big impact on British history during times of war. Documents from The National Archives used in this episode:  C 66/234; E 42/479; E 101/496/17; E 315/91; HS 9/355/2, HS 9/356; WO 325/35; WO 361/1701 Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! Visit smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
In 1921, W.E.B. Du Bois (the African American thinker and NAACP co-founder) sent a letter to Winston Churchill with a rather interesting request. A closer look at this letter illuminates the Pan-African and anti-colonial activism of the inter-war period and Du Bois’ interest in London as a site for Black leaders from around the world to gather. Then, a design registration record from the Victorian era asks the question, “Can design improve health?” We follow the paper trail of a 19th century doctor who believed it could. Documents from The National Archives used in this episode: BT 45/5/950; BT 45/5/973; CO 323/878; MH 13/196/81 Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! Visit smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
Sacrifices for Love

Sacrifices for Love

2020-05-2140:09

In 1936, Edward VIII abdicated the throne of England to be with the woman he loved. It’s widely considered to be one of the greatest love stories of the 20th century. But is it really? A century earlier, an elderly pauper named Daniel Rush and his wife faced a terrible choice: enter the workhouse and be separated after 49 years of marriage or try to survive without any income or family for support. Who made the greater sacrifice for love, the king or the pauper? In this episode, we try to answer that question.   Documents from The National Archives used in this episode: MH 12/6846; PC 11/1; TS 22/1/1; TS 22/1/2 Daniel Rush's letter read by Adrian McLoughlin, recorded by Digital Drama Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. You can share this information with us by visiting smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
Love Divided

Love Divided

2020-05-0735:22

In 1588, Queen Elizabeth received a letter from her friend the Earl of Leicester just a few days before he died. She kept the letter by her bed for the next 15 years. In 1919, a Jamaican sailor named James Gillespie was forced to leave Cardiff after the Race Riots. Faced with the prospect of returning to Jamaica without his wife and child, he wrote to the Home Office, asking for help. These letters reveal two very different love stories nevertheless joined together by the theme of love divided.   Documents from The National Archives used in this episode: CO 318/350/400; SP 12/215. Earl of Leicester's letter read by Sean Patterson, James Gillespie's letter read by Daniel Norford. Recorded by Digital Drama. Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. You can share this information with us by visiting smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
A love struck medieval clerk writing out romantic lyrics as he daydreams, a gay man in the 1930s who tears up a letter to his lover to hide it from the police, two women who defy 18th century conventions to marry in secret...these are some of the characters you’ll meet in this episode, which features three stories of disappointed and forbidden love. Each story comes from a real love letter in The National Archives’ collection, and if you think a government archive can’t be romantic, these documents and their powerful stories may very well change your mind. Documents from The National Archives used in this episode: DPP 2/224; E 163/22/1/1; PROB 10/6000. Listeners, we need your help to make this podcast better! We need to know a bit more about you and what themes you’re interested in. You can share this information with us by visiting smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ontherecord/
In 1965, Britain passed the Race Relations Act, which made it illegal to refuse service on the basis of race. To some, it looked like progress, while some anti-racist activists were critical. In this episode, we’re going to examine two stories of Black people in 1960s and 70s Britain using the legal system to fight racism and discrimination. Lorne Horsford used the protections of the Race Relations Act to make his case. The Mangrove Nine turned the courtroom into a platform for protesting the institutional racism that flourished outside the mandate of the Act. Documents from The National Archives used in this episode: CK 2/367; CK 2/690; HO 325/143
The campaign for women’s suffrage is often characterised by its militant factions and leaders like Emmeline Pankhurst who used bombs and destruction of property to get their message across. That characterisation is accurate, but it’s not the whole story. In fact, militant suffrage actions didn’t begin with the Women’s Social and Political Union...or women at all. In this episode, we explore how a lesser-known male suffrage movement called Chartism advanced the suffrage agenda and how the militant tactics of the women’s suffrage activists fit into a large historical trend.  Documents from The National Archives used in this episode: ASSI 52/212; HO 45/2410; HO 45/10700/236973; ZPER 34/1; ZPER 34/12; ZPER 34/142
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