A Soldiers Journey, Victorian Furniture Sellers and some Beach Acrobatics

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Pinner Of The Week

This Friday our Pinner Of The Week goes to A Soldier’s Journey: M.J. Songstad in World War II. A great channel dedicated to the experiences of Mel Songstad during the Second World War. Born in Minneapolis Mel was drafted into the US army in 1942 and by 1943 was training to become a Paratrooper. As part of the 50th Parachute Regiment he took part in the Normandy landings and when injured spent time in England returning to France in 1945 to take part in its liberation.

The Channel focuses on his time during the 1940’s in Europe showing some of the places he visited and some of the men he fought along side. It’s a poignant personal history from an extraordinary time.

Melvin J. Songstad 1945

Story Of The Week

Our favorite story this week comes from LSE Library and accompanies a great picture of some Victorian furniture sellers on the corner of Church Lane in Holborn. The story comes from ‘Street Life in London’ by John Thompson and Adolphi Smith, published in 1877 and it conjures up a vivid picture of this part of Victorian London and the people who presided in it. See the photo on the Historypin map and the full story behind it here.

“At the corner of Church Lane, Holborn, there was a second-hand furniture dealer, whose business was a cross between that of a shop and a street stall. The dealer was never satisfied unless the weather allowed him to disgorge nearly the whole of his stock into the middle of the street, a method which alone secured the approval and custom of his neighbours. As a matter of fact, the inhabitants of Church Lane were nearly all what I may term “street folks” – living, buying, selling, transacting all their business in the open street. It was a celebrated resort for tramps and costers of every description, men and women who hawk during the day and evening the flowers, fruits and vegetables they buy in the morning at Covent Garden.’

Furniture Sellers on Church St 1877

 Photos Of The Week

This week we have Mr J. Prentice and Jean Howat practising some beach acrobatics on Bondi Beach, Australia in 1935. The photos were pinned by the State Library of new South Wales. I love these two photos which you can check out on the map here. They look like they are having so much fun and I particularly like the boys in the background who are staring at the couple in disbelief.

Beach Acrobatics, Bondi Beach, 1935


Beach Acrobatics, Bondi Beach, 1935