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Two-minute tales from history, myth and fiction, accompanied by word games, grammar games and writing practice, all based on traditional school textbooks.

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The Boer Wars
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
South African settlers of Dutch descent could not escape the march of the British Empire.

IN 1836, disaffected colonists of Dutch descent from the British-run Cape Colony made their ‘Great Trek’ north, and founded Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State. British governance followed close behind, however, occupying Natal in 1842, and invading Transvaal in 1877 after it fell into bankruptcy.

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Tagged ‘George Stephenson’ (13 posts)
page 1
1 Thomas Brassey
The unsung surveyor from Cheshire, who built railways and made friends across the world.
2 A Leader by Example
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
George Stephenson won the admiration of French navvies by showing them how a Geordie works a shovel.
3 The Liverpool and Manchester Railway
Businessmen in Liverpool engaged George Stephenson to build one of his new-fangled railways.
4 A Monument to Liberty
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Samuel Smiles explains why the London and Birmingham Railway was an achievement superior to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
5 The Rainhill Trials
To prove that steam power was the future of railways, George Stephenson held a truly historic competition.
6 The London and Birmingham Railway
The textile moguls of Manchester and Liverpool engaged the Stephensons to complete their link to the capital.
page 2
7 Burning Daylight
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
George Stephenson argued that his steam engines were solar-powered.
8 The Hetton Railway
The railway earned a special place in history as the first to be designed for steam locomotives only.
9 The Stockton and Darlington Railway
George Stephenson and his son Robert created the world’s first passenger railway.
10 The Gift of the Gab
There was one form of power that self-taught engineering genius George Stephenson never harnessed.
11 The Bully and the Brakesman
A young George Stephenson takes responsibility for the team spirit at Black Callerton mine.
12 The Geordie Lamp
Based on an account by Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
The engineer put his own life on the line for the safety of his fellow-workers in the coal industry.
page 3
13 The Character of George Stephenson
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
A self-made man who never forgot his humble beginnings.
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Confusables

Compose your own sentences to show the difference between these words:

Squander. Scatter.

JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Cut
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Polyword ‘Dew’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Suggest opposites for these words, and illustrate them with example sentences.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with PIG and finish with STY.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with COAL and finish with FIRE.
Change SNOW into DROP, one letter at a time.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with NEAT and finish with TIDY.
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
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History (379)
Fiction (82)

letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Longest Word (Letters Game) Games with Words

numbers game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic