Britain's Flags

On This Day - 19th November

1600 The birth of Charles I, King of England and Scotland who believed that the king ruled by Divine Right, until his action in dissolving Parliament led to the civil war with Cromwell and his eventual execution.

1620 The ship Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod, America. Its 87 passengers were a Protestant sect, known as The Pilgrim Fathers. (Note:- The Pilgrim Fathers were thwarted in their first attempt to sail to America when they left from Havenside, near Boston, Lincolnshire in September 1607. See ©BB picture of the memorial and a ©BB close-up picture of the memorial plaque.)

1850 Lord Tennyson became Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland. This statue of Tennyson with his Siberian wolfhound Karenina (see ©BB picture) is on Cathedral Green in Lincoln, the county of his birth.

1905 The SS Hilda, a steamship owned by the London and South Western Railway sank, with the loss of 125 lives when she struck ground at the entrance to Saint-Malo harbour.

1911 Doom Bar (previously known as Dunbar sands or Dune-bar) in Cornwall claimed two ships in a single day, Island Maid and Angele, the latter killing the entire crew, except the captain. There have been over 600 beachings, wrecks and capsizings at Doom Bar since records began early in the 19th century, with about 300 ships being wrecked.

1924 The birth of the actor William Russell. His big break was the title role in The Adventures of Sir Lancelot on ITV in 1956. The series was sold to American NBC network and became the first UK television series to be shot in colour.

1933 The marriage of Kathleen Ferrier, English contralto singer who achieved an international reputation as a stage, concert and recording artist. Considered by many as the greatest contralto singer ever, she married Albert Wilson and shortly afterwards the couple moved to Silloth in Cumbria. Mrs. Wilson's Coffee House & Eaterie in Silloth (see ©BB picture) celebrates her life, features historic photographs and is decorated as it would have been at the time.

1947 George VI created Philip Mountbatten the Duke of Edinburgh in preparation for his wedding to George's elder daughter, Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II), the following day.

1949 Dennis Taylor, Irish snooker player, was born.

1951 The white football became official.

1960 The first VTOL (vertical take off and landing) aircraft P.1127, made by the British Hawker Siddeley Company was flown, untethered, for the first time. It's first conventional flight, (i.e. a horizontal take off) was on 13th March 1961.

1967 The Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, stood by his decision to devalue the pound saying it would tackle the 'root cause' of Britain's economic problems. The Bank of England spent £200m in a single day trying to shore up the pound from its gold and dollar reserves.

1976 The death of Sir Basil Spence, the Scottish architect, most notably associated with designing Coventry Cathedral. See ©BB picture.

1987 A 1931 Bugatti Royale was sold for £5.5 million at an auction at the Royal Albert Hall, a record at that time for a car.

1994 Britain's first National Lottery draw. It had a jackpot of £7M and was shown live on BBC television. A £1 ticket gave a one in 14-million chance of correctly guessing the winning six out of 49 numbers.

1996 A fire broke out in the Channel Tunnel, injuring 34 people and disrupting rail services.

1997 Police confiscated indecent videos and pictures of children in a series of raids on the homes and offices of British pop star Gary Glitter. Exactly six years later, American pop star Michael Jackson was arrested in California on charges of child molestation.

2009 Floods in Cumbria brought devastation to towns such as Cockermouth. In just 24-hours the total rainfall at Seathwaite was 31.44cm (12.4 inches); a UK record for a single location in any given 24-hour period. William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, on Main Street and his house (see ©BB picture) was one of many historic houses in the region to be affected by the floods.

2012 Two snap bags of the class A drug cocaine were identified by the police officer father of children who had been trick-or-treating in the Royton area of Oldham. Magistrates heard that Donald Junior Green, 23, was mortified by his 'terrible mistake'.He was given a 12-month community order and 130 hours community work.

2012 Father Christmas was left dangling from the ceiling for 30 minutes after his beard became trapped while abseiling inside a Reading shopping centre as part of a Christmas lights switch-on show.