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Penicillin and the BBC, The Wasteland and Winnie-the-Pooh

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1920: First Bloom's restaurant opens

Bloom's specialises in kosher food. The first restaurant was opened at 58 Brick Lane, London.

17 Mar 1921: First Marie Stopes Clinic opens

This is the first birth control clinic in England. Stopes is a feminist campaigning for women's rights, particularly within marriage, and for the provision of sex education.

1922: Elgar orchestrates Jerusalem

First performance of Sir Edward Elgar's orchestration of Parry's setting (1916) of William Blake's poem Jerusalem (1804)


1922: TS Eliot's The Wasteland

Eliot described this landmark text of Modernism as a "piece of rhythmical grumbling" but most people see it as a profound expression of the discontent of society as a whole after the first world war

1922: Home Rule for Ireland granted

After the savage fighting of the War of Independence, the Home Rule Bill was finally passed but the concession to the Protestant Ulster Unionists who opposed it was to partition off Northern Ireland. Irish nationalists continued to press for full independence.

1922: HMS Victory restored

HMS Victory is moved into dry dock at Portsmouth's Royal Naval Yard. Work begins on restoring her to her fighting glory. You can now visit the Victory and experience the world of Nelson's sailors for yourself.

1922: Seven Pillars Of Wisdom

Lawrence "of Arabia" publishes his account of the Arab Revolt and his own part in it. His daring exploits make him a dashing, romantic figure in the eyes of the nation. His story is told in David Lean's magnificent film starring Peter O'Toole, Lawrence Of Arabia.

1923: First FA Cup Final at Wembley

Newly-opened, ahead of schedule, Wembley witnesses the Cup Final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham. Bolton win in front of a crowd of 200,000, vastly exceeding the capacity of 175,000. The Cup Final was played at Wembley every year, except for the war years, until 2000.

The FA Cup

1923: Cadbury's Crème Eggs go on sale

How do you like yours?

1924: Burberry check invented

That famous red, white, black and camel check pattern now so beloved of the chav fashionistas was first designed as the lining for the famous Burberry trench coats (another of their innovations). It did not actually start appearing on everything from handbags to umbrellas until 1967, by which time it was a registered trademark for the company.

1925: Covered tops for buses

A welcome addition to the design of buses, bearing in mind the English weather!

The Routemaster Bus

1926: The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd

This is the first Hercule Poirot mystery and Agatha Christie's first-ever whodunnit.

26 Jan 1926: Public demonstration of television

Scotsman John Logie Baird gave the first public demonstration of this new technology in Selfridges department store, London.

12 May 1926: General Strike

The strike is called across the country and by many different unions to prevent a decrease in miners' wages. It fails after nine days

14 Oct 1926: AA Milne publishes Winnie The Pooh

Along with the illustrations by EH Shepherd, this quickly becomes a children's classic. You can even read Winnie the Pooh in Latin, if you like!

1927: Woolf's To The Lighthouse

This novel secures Virginia Woolf's place at the forefront of the Modernist movement.

1927: BBC begins broadcasting

The British Broadcasting Corporation begins to transmit radio programmes and quickly becomes the voice of the nation. John Reith becomes the director general, his mission to educate and improve his audience, a legacy still cherished today. Reith insisted that all radio announcers wore dinner jackets while they were on air!

1927: Abide With Me first sung at Wembley

The crowd was conducted in a rendition of Henry Lyte's hymn by TP Ratcliffe. This began a tradition of community singing at Cup Finals with the conductor wearing a white suit and standing on a small rostrum, leading the crowd clutching their Daily Express song sheets.

The FA Cup

1927: "Hutch" arrives in London

Brought to London by CB Cochrane to play in a revue at the London Palladium, Leslie "Hutch" Hutchinson was an established cabaret star in Paris (having got there from Grenada and then New York). He was the darling of 1930s high society, mixed with royalty, and his vocal and sartorial stylings were considered the height of sophistication. He made famous recordings of Noel Coward's songs, among many others, and also starred in British musical films.

1928: Moore's first public commission

West Wind is one of eight "winds" reliefs high up on the London Underground HQ in London. The other "winds" were carved by contemporary sculptors such as Eric Gill.

1928: Discovery of penicillin, London

Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin, the first antibiotic and still one of the most widely used.

05 Jul 1928: Women get electoral parity with men

Universal female suffrage for over-18s is granted by Parliament.

10 Oct 1928: Tyne Bridge opens

The Tyne Bridge connects Newcastle to Gateshead and was the largest single span bridge in Britain. It looks remarkably like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, only smaller, and was based on that design although it opened three years earlier. Once the most recognisable landmark in the North East, has it been superseded by the Angel of the North?

The Angel of the North

24 Oct 1929: Black Thursday

So-called because stocks plummeted on the US Stock Exchange and millions were lost. The events of this day combined with other forces cause the Wall Street Crash, which in turn causes a global economic depression. Particularly badly hit is Germany, where the economic deprivation forms a fertile ground for fascism.