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Some 100,000 employees of the state owned British Steel Corporation (BSC) caused the shut down of the company’s furnaces in protest at what they called a “derisory offer” of 6% pay increase from their management. The strike quickly spread to privately owned steelworks. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher condemned the strike – called by the Iron […]

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The phrase “never was so much owed by so many to so few” came from a wartime speech made by the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on 20 August 1940. The name stems from the specific line in the speech, “never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to […]

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Just thirty years ago a concerted campaign by local Councillor Eileen Jakes, led to Conservative controlled Brighton Council voting to become the first major resort in Britain to officially establish a beach solely for nude bathers. Councillor Jakes, a 47-year-old grandmother and sea-front landlady, argued that the beach would increase tourism to the town. In […]

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One of the world’s longest running cases was settle out of court 67 years after it started in 1941. The case, known as Re Jahre, concerned a dispute over the recovery of assets alleged to belong to the shipping magnate Anders Jahre. Jahre died aged 90 before the main trial started in 1983. Although the […]

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In the early hours of what was a sunny Sunday morning (how unlike today) I drove from Shropshire to London to appear on a London Weekend Television programme debating the forthcoming referendum on giving Scotland and Wales devolved governments. It was the morning after the funeral of Princess Diana and all along the route into […]

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Barbie has been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for nearly fifty years, and has been the subject of numerous controversies and lawsuits, often involving parody of the doll and her lifestyle. In recent years, Barbie has faced increasing competition from the Bratz range of dolls. The doll was the brain child […]

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In these days of instant mobile communication it may surprise readers to know that fifty years ago you couldn’t even make a telephone call without the help of an operator. For a number of years after the telephone service was first introduced if you wanted to make a call, even a local one, you lifted […]

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At the time the bridge was Europe’s longest suspension bridge and it linked Edinburgh to Perth across the River Forth cutting more than an hour off the journey and opening up Fife to business in the central belt and England. On the 4th September 1964 day tens of thousands of spectators of whom I was […]

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The online auction Web site was founded in San Jose, California, by French-born Iranian computer programmer Pierre Omidyar on 3rd September 1995. Originally the site was called AuctionWeb and was registered to Omidyar’s consulting business, Echo Bay Technology Group.  In 1997 Benchmark Capital offered $5 million in funding to develop the online auction idea and […]

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The first automatic teller machine (ATM) made its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville, New York. That first machine was only able to give out cash, but in 1971, an ATM that could handle multiple functions, including providing customers’ account balances, was introduced ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking […]

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I’m not going to say too much about this sad anniversary. I met her twice, once when she came to open a new ward at a hospital on the Isle of Skye, and the other time when she attended a concert in Edinburgh. I found her an interesting and interested person. Unlike her husband, Prince […]

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Seeing an opportunity to work for himself 19-year-old, James E. (“Jim”) Casey, borrowed $100 from a friend and established the American Messenger Company in Seattle, Washington. According to accounts given by Jim there were quite a few messenger services already in the Seattle area, some of which he had worked for in the past and […]

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All four defendants in the marathon Guinness trial were facing jail after the jury returned “guilty” verdicts following five days of deliberations. On the 112th day of their trial, which was the most expensive court action ever brought at that time; Ernest Saunders, Gerald Ronson, Sir Jack Lyons and Anthony Parnes were convicted on all […]

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The first mail-order catalogue was published by Chicago based Montgomery Ward & Co. and though the first edition was only a single sheet of paper it began what became a massive global industry. Ward started the company in 1872 with $2,400 capital and the aim of buying large quantities of merchandise wholesale and then selling […]

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The concept of a canal goes back almost to the day that European explorers first landed on the narrow land bridge that links North and South America. They realised that the abundant natural lakes and waterways offered a unique opportunity to create a water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans but it wasn’t until […]

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Yes, its 100 not out! So probably time to pat ourselves on the back and remind the world – and ourselves – what this blog is all about! In short the intention is to develop this site into a resource centre for small and medium sized businesses. In doing so we will present a wide […]

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Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro was born in the Oriente province of eastern Cuba. He is still alive but it can only be a matter of time before his control is finally broken and Cuba again becomes a member of the international community. When that happens there are going to be massive business opportunities so it’s […]

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The Personal Computer Era finally arrived. Machines called “personal computers” were available as early as the mid-1970s. Of these the IBM (International Business Machines) Model 5100 Portable Computer was an early entry appearing in 1975. It weighed in at about 25 kilos with a tiny amount of storage but was limited in use with no […]

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On his death people were urged to “Burn a dollar bill in mourning” for the man alternately known as the king of steel, architect of the second Industrial Revolution, friend of capitalism, and scourge of workers. Andrew Carnegie was born November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland.  In 1848, his family moved to Allegheny City, Pennsylvania […]

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And it’s still running the length of Douglas Bay on the Isle of Man. The tramway was built and first operated by Thomas Lightfoot, a retired Sheffield civil engineer. In 1882, he sold the line to Isle of Man Tramways Ltd but 20 years later Douglas Corporation had to purchase the lines when the company […]

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