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

A to Z Index

The Legend of Pollard’s Lands
two-part story
Music: George Frideric Handel
An enterprising knight rids the Bishop of Durham of a troublesome boar, but the price comes as a shock to his lordship.

THE estates around Auckland Castle, seat of the Bishops of Durham, were troubled by a wild boar, so much so that the Bishop and even the King had each put up a princely reward for his head.

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Six Posts
The Man who Made the Headlines
Music: Edward Elgar
William Stead conceived modern print journalism in the belief that newspapers could change the world.

WHEN William Stead became editor of ‘The Northern Echo’ in 1871, he was just 22 and the youngest newspaper-editor in the country.

He exploited Darlington’s railway connections to expand the newspaper’s circulation, helping William Gladstone’s Liberal Party to power in 1880.

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Silver Swan
Music: Camille Saint-Saens
Mark Twain’s attention was drawn off people-watching for a moment by an extraordinarily lifelike machine.
By Mark Twain
(1835-1910)

OF course we visited the renowned International Exposition. It was a wonderful show, but the moving masses of people of all nations we saw there were a still more wonderful show.

I discovered that if I were to stay there a month, I should still find myself looking at the people instead of the inanimate objects on exhibition.

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How St Benedict Biscop brought Byzantium to Britain
Music: Byzantine Chant
The chapel of Bede’s monastery in Sunderland was full of the colours and sounds of the far-off Mediterranean world.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

IN addition, Benedict introduced the Roman mode of chanting, singing, and ministering in the church.

With that in mind, he obtained permission from Pope Agatho to take back with him John, the archchanter of the church of St Peter and abbot of the monastery of St Martin, to teach the English.

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Timothy Hackworth
Timothy Hackworth (1786-1850) turned steam locomotives into a reliable commercial success.

TIMOTHY Hackworth was locomotive superintendent on the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the world’s first public railway using steam locomotives, from its opening in 1825. His task was to keep the line’s primitive steam locomotives running and earning revenue.

Often overshadowed by his larger-than-life employer, George Stephenson, Hackworth was the man who made railways reliable.

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The Lambton Worm
two-part story
Music: Malcolm Arnold
Part One. John Lambton goes fishing on a Sunday, and lets loose all kinds of trouble.

ONE Sunday morning, John, the young heir of Lambton Hall, skipped Mass and went fishing in the Wear. No good could come of that, and no good did.

That morning, he hooked only an ugly-looking worm, tossed it with disgust down a well, and promptly forgot about it.

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Mrs Clements
Music: John Garth
Mrs Clements of Durham is not a household name, but the product she invented is.

IN 1390, Richard II’s chef included a recipe for mustard in his book The Forme of Cury. Monks on Lindisfarne in Northumberland were grinding their own mustard a century later, and Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire was an early centre of the trade.

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All Posts
Tagged County Durham (12 posts)
page 1
1 The Legend of Pollard’s Lands
An enterprising knight rids the Bishop of Durham of a troublesome boar, but the price comes as a shock to his lordship.
2 The Stockton and Darlington Railway
George Stephenson and his son Robert created the world’s first passenger railway.
3 The Hetton Railway
The railway earned a special place in history as the first to be designed for steam locomotives only.
4 The Lessons of History
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
England’s first and greatest historian explains why history is so important.
5 The Man who Made the Headlines
William Stead conceived modern print journalism in the belief that newspapers could change the world.
6 Silver Swan
By Mark Twain
(1835-1910)
Mark Twain’s attention was drawn off people-watching for a moment by an extraordinarily lifelike machine.
page 2
7 Cuthbert and the Expert Witness
Based on the account by Reginald of Durham
(12th century)
A hungry monk thought he had got away with the tastiest of crimes, but St Cuthbert kept his promise to his beloved birds.
8 The Tanfield Railway
Opened in 1725, the Tanfield Railway is one of the oldest railways still operating anywhere in the world.
9 The Lambton Worm
Part One. John Lambton goes fishing on a Sunday, and lets loose all kinds of trouble.
10 Timothy Hackworth
Timothy Hackworth (1786-1850) turned steam locomotives into a reliable commercial success.
11 Mrs Clements
Mrs Clements of Durham is not a household name, but the product she invented is.
12 How St Benedict Biscop brought Byzantium to Britain
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The chapel of Bede’s monastery in Sunderland was full of the colours and sounds of the far-off Mediterranean world.
Authors
2 posts
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
1 post
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Confusables

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

Found. Founded.

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 ‘Signal’
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?

Polyword

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 London (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.

More Puzzles
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FLAG and finish with POLE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Do you know ‘withdraw’ (7 letters), and ‘domesticated’ (4 letters)?
Change HIDE into AWAY, one letter at a time.
Do you know ‘entertainer’ (7 letters), and ‘distant’ (3 letters)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
top topics
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.

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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