The first month of the brand new year is up. In many ways it has flashed by, although in other ways it seems as if it has been one big Christmas/New Year hang-over. In terms of the blog it has been a fruitful month of posts ranging from family history in east London to oddly named wars.

Every holiday away from college is usually spent researching different projects; this Christmas I was able to delve further into the Moors of Essex and east London (a family connected to my wife’s side of the family). Two posts are uploaded in connection with this interesting family, including my awareness of the growth of east London: The Wild West of West Ham as well as the long titled The Uninteresting Unearthing of Potentially Interesting Connections. Both give an overview of this research into the Moors, which I hope to eventually expand into a wider family history book (similar to research last year on the Hines of Hemyock). The grand master plan here is to write a significant amount on all of the various people related to my daughter; although at this rate it will probably take me the rest of my life to do so!

The War World War Cup continued onward, with two posts: the fantastically named War of Jenkins’ Ear and the other not-so-interesting-but-still-slightly-intriguing-because-of-the-name-and-the-fact-that-it-raises-a-mystery-concerning-the-first-one Second Schleswig War of the 1860s. Similar to the family history side of things, at this rate it will take me a good chunk of years until the War World Cup decides a winner. Perhaps I will speed things up slightly by bunching wars together in a post.

One of my favourite posts comes in the form of a lesson held in a A-level History class: students were grouped together to enact a trading game. The main aim was to outline the injustices in the economy between countries, as well as try out some principles in practice (such as subsidies, tariffs, inflation, stagflation, etc). I quite enjoyed the chaos. In a different module – the Tudors – with the same group we read through another “Dave Shakespeare” original: The Death of Henry VII. I found it all quite funny, especially the delivery and confusion of some of the characters/students.

And finally, there is one lost post on Richard Nixon. The second year A-level class have now transitioned onto his presidency as part of The American Dream. As I’ve probably stated before, this is not a favoured module (and I will not be running it after this year). However, Nixon is an intriguing character. And so, here was a post on his election win in 1968.

In terms of “upcoming” posts, as always, there is no actual plan. But no doubt it will feature more family history bits and pieces (what with a half-term looming in February), some local history projects, as well as anything that pops up in class that may be of interest. Last week I suggested to a History class that I would turn the classroom into an art gallery on Friday for us to immerse ourselves in 1920s Weimar culture; this is naff enough to be interesting for one reason or another. I will post when I have the findings.

Other Monthly Round-Ups: