Tag Archives: Metropolitan Police

Almanac – April 11

1890 – Joseph Merrick died. English man with severe deformities who was exhibited as a human curiosity named the Elephant Man. He became well known in London society after he went to live at the London Hospital.

.

.

1930 – Anton LaVey born. Founder of the Church of Satan as well as a writer, occultist, and musician.

He was the author of The Satanic Bible and the founder of LaVeyan Satanism, a synthesized system of his understanding of human nature and the insights of philosophers who advocated materialism and individualism, for which he claimed no supernatural or theistic inspiration.

.

.

1935 – Richard Berry born. American  singer, songwriter and musician, who performed with many Los Angeles doo-wop and close harmony groups in the 1950s, including The Flairs and The Robins.

He is best known as the composer and original performer of the rock standard “Louie Louie”. The song went on to be a hit for The Kingsmen becoming one of the most recorded songs of all time, however Berry received little financial benefit for writing it until the 1980s, having signed away his rights to the song in 1959.

.

.

1981 – A massive riot in Brixton,London,  a by-product of the effect on the area of the  policies of the Thatcher government –  high unemployment, high crime, poor housing, no amenities — in a predominantly African-Caribbean community.

The Metropolitan Police began Operation Swamp 81 at the beginning of April, aimed at reducing street crime, largely through the repeated use of the so-called sus law, which allowed police officers to stop and search any individual on the grounds of mere ‘suspicion’ of possible wrongdoing.

Plain clothes police officers were dispatched into Brixton, and within five days almost 1,000 people were stopped and searched under this law. There was intense local indignation at this, since the vast majority of those stopped by the police were young black men.

The riot resulted in almost 279 injuries to police and 45 injuries to members of the public; over a hundred vehicles were burned, including 56 police vehicles; and almost 150 buildings were damaged, with thirty burned. There were 82 arrests. Reports suggested that up to 5,000 people were involved in the riot.

Not suprisingly perhaps, Brixton was one of the first places where Thatcher Dead street parties broke out.

.

.

A&A forum banner

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – January 08

1697Last execution for blasphemy in Britain; of Thomas Aikenhead, student, at Edinburgh. He had been indicted in December 1696, the indictment reading:

That … the prisoner had repeatedly maintained, in conversation, that theology was a rhapsody of ill-invented nonsense, patched up partly of the moral doctrines of philosophers, and partly of poetical fictions and extravagant chimeras: That he ridiculed the holy scriptures, calling the Old Testament Ezra’s fables, in profane allusion to Esop’s Fables; That he railed on Christ, saying, he had learned magick in Egypt, which enabled him to perform those pranks which were called miracles: That he called the New Testament the history of the imposter Christ; That he said Moses was the better artist and the better politician; and he preferred Muhammad to Christ: That the Holy Scriptures were stuffed with such madness, nonsense, and contradictions, that he admired the stupidity of the world in being so long deluded by them: That he rejected the mystery of the Trinity as unworthy of refutation; and scoffed at the incarnation of Christ.

Thomas Babington Macaulay said of Aikenhead’s death that “the preachers who were the poor boy’s murderers crowded round him at the gallows, and. . . insulted heaven with prayers more blasphemous than anything he had uttered.”

.

 1843 – Frederick Abberline born. A Chief Inspector for the London Metropolitan Police and was a prominent police figure in the investigation into the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888. As such he’s been represented (sometimes not very authentically) in numerous works of literature, cinema and television.

.

.

1880 – Joshua A. Norton died. The self-proclaimed Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, was a celebrated citizen of San Francisco, California, who in 1859 proclaimed himself  Emperor of the United States  and subsequently Protector of Mexico. Although he had no political power, and his influence extended only so far as he was humored by those around him, he was treated deferentially in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented.

Norton collapsed at a street corner, and died before he could be given medical treatment. The following day, nearly 30,000 people packed the streets of San Francisco to pay homage.

.

.

1896 – Paul Verlaine died. French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.

.

.

1897 – Dennis Wheatley born. English author whose prolific output of stylish thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world’s best-selling writers from the 1930s through the 1960s. His Gregory Sallust series was one of the main inspirations for Ian Fleming’s James Bond stories, but he’s perhaps better known for titles such as The Devil Rides Out, To The Devil – A Daughter, and  The Ka of Gifford Hillary. He even had a crack at the nascent UFO market (Star Of Ill-Omen, 1952).

.

.

1935 – Elvis Presley born.

.

.

1947 – David Bowie born.

.

.

1948 – Kurt Schwitters died. German painter who  worked in several genres and media, including Dada, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography and what came to be known as installation art.

.

.

1981 – A local farmer reported a UFO sighting in Trans-en-Provence, France, claimed to be “perhaps the most completely and carefully documented sighting of all time”.  

Renato Nicolaï, a fifty-five year-old farmer, heard a strange whistling sound while performing agricultural work on his property. He then saw a saucer-shaped object about eight feet in diameter land about 50 yards (46 m) away at a lower elevation.

According to the witness, “The device had the shape of two saucers, one inverted on top of the other. It must have measured about 1.5 meters in height. It was the color of lead. This device had a ridge all the way around its circumference. Under the machine I saw two kinds of pieces as it was lifting off. They could be reactors or feet. There were also two other circles which looked like trapdoors. The two reactors, or feet, extended about 20 cm below the body of the machine.”

Nicolaï claimed the object took off almost immediately, rising above the treeline and departing to the north east. It left burn marks on the ground where it had sat.

.

A&A forum banner

1 Comment

Filed under Almanac

Rivers Of London (Ben Aaronovitch)

 

Rivers Of London (fiction)

Ben Aaronovitch

Gollancz, London. 2011   

ISBN 978-0-575-09756-8

Peter Grant is a policeman in London.  Following his probationary period, he unexpectedly finds himself assigned to  a department they dont like to talk about (it comes  under the umbrella of Economic & Specialist Crime), due to a sensitivity to occult matters discovered when he tried to interview a ghost who claimed to have witnessed a murder.

Specialist is the right word – his particular department is the one that has to deal with all the weird shit no-one officaially acknowledges exists – you know, vampires, ghosts and   warring river gods.

See, back at the time of the Great Stink of 1858, Father Thames and his sons (tributories) retreated up the river, above Teddington Lock (the tidal limit of the river), and never returned.

Eventually the river found someone to fill the vacuum, a female  human suicide, and thus Mama Thames, ruler of the tidal reaches of the river, came into being.

‘As I stepped closer I could smell salt water and coffee, diesel and bananas, chocolate and fish guts. I didn’t need Nightingale [his boss] to tell me I was sensing something supernatural, a glamour so strong  it was like being washed away by the tide. In her presence I found nothing strange in the fact that the Goddess of the River was Nigerian.’

Full review and details- http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=76

 

.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literary

Almanac – November 20

2002 – Professor Gunther von Hagens carried out the UK’s first public autopsy in 170 years, to a sell-out audience of 500 people in a London theatre.

Prior to performing the autopsy, von Hagens had received a letter from Her Majesty’s Inspector of Anatomy, the British government official responsible for regulating the educational use of cadavers.

The letter warned von Hagens that performing a public autopsy would be a criminal act under section 11 of the Anatomy Act 1984. The show was attended by officers from the Metropolitan Police, but they did not intervene and the dissection was performed in full.

The autopsy was shown in November 2002 on the UK’s Channel 4 television channel; it resulted in over 130 complaints, an OFCOM record, but the Independent Television Commission ruled that the program had not been sensationalist and had not broken broadcasting rules.

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac