Throwback Thursday: Tracing My Blog’s Birth Parent

City Jackdaw was a weekly penny magazine that ran in my home city of Manchester from 1875 until 1880. I came across a reference to it at a time when I was searching for a name for my blog. I am a sucker for history and connections, so it seemed quite apt.

I also liked the idea that it was something that some of my Mancunian ancestors may well have read.

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I found the following description of it:

‘The subject matter was broad and current. Poetry, articles, sections on the theatre and “Claws of the Week” were regular features.’

That seemed quite relevant. When I started my blog, I incorporated into it a series of posts that occasionally feature on Fridays, called ‘Claws For The Weekend’.

Like I said, I’m a sucker for connections.

It was also described as ‘a humorous and satirical journal.’

I try.

One day I may get myself a copy of the 19th Century City Jackdaw, or check one out in the archives of Manchester Central Library. I think that would be kinda cool.

Like tracing a birth parent.

The Legend of Spring Heeled Jack

I love the old legends and stories of this country. Spring Heeled Jack was a sensation back in the 1800’s-showing up all over the show, but is largely forgotten now. I never knew though that his appearances have allegedly continued into modern times.

Stephen Liddell

With Halloween just around the corner I thought I would share with you the legend of Spring Heeled Jack who was once infamous in Victorian times and yet is now largely forgotten.

Early 19th Century London was a spooky and often dangerous place to be after dark and ghosts were often reported to follow and prey on lone travellers, sometimes even assaulting them. Of these the most prominent was The Hammersmith Ghost who seems to have been active for at least 20 years.

It was in this background that Spring Heeled Jack first came to prominence in the London of 1837 when in October of that year, a young girl by the name of Mary Stevens was walking to Lavender Hill where she was working as a servant, after visiting her parents in Battersea. On her way through Clapham Common, a strange figure leapt at her from a dark alley…

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