Hull has been an unsung lynchpin in the historical makeup of our nation, a role it continued to fill effortlessly, even during Britain's darkest days during World War Two. Just as we have done throughout recorded history, Hull played an indispensible role in the allied defence of home soil, and indeed in the eventual allied victory, with the inhabitants of the city paying a massive price.
Recent debates around the whole "local driver" issue involving a local taxi firm are illustrated beautifully by two buildings on Hull's Holderness Road. They are connected by real proximity, but separated by the passage of 70 years. Yards from 35 taxi's bustling taxi office stands the Boyes store, built on the site of what was the Savoy Cinema.
70 years ago, on 25 October 1944, the Romanian Army liberated the town of Carei in North-West of the country. It was the complete liberation of North-West Transylvania from foreign ruling and administration, following the outrageous Vienna Diktat in 1940 arbitrated by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.
As someone who has an instinctive aversion to over-praising members of the military (indeed, as someone who cannot help but shudder inwardly every time 'our brave boys' are invoked), I was more than a little surprised that the commemoration of the D-Day landings, which took place last week, brought a tear to my eye.
Arlette Gondrée, a beautiful woman, strikingly dressed in a knitted jacket with a faultless neck-chief, the epitome of Normandy style, stands proudly, having provided us with a delicious home cooked lunch, full of traditional flavours from the region, I slowly gather my thoughts examining the abundance of memorabilia in this sanctuary.
The blurb for the brand new book Out of the West, by Kevin Sullivan, is really very bad. The first sentence lost me immediately as it mentioned two Greek names - both of which I instantly forgot - and then it describes their convoluted love affair in WW2 Greece, with some action taking place in Scotland.
My book about Rudolph Hess is largely based on unofficial archives researched and collected by historians and conspiracy buffs in Britain, Germany, America and Central Europe. I was surprised enough when Scotland Yard's release of the secret report under Freedom of Information legislation coincided with the publishing of my novel Death Order.
World War Two has become an epic of nostalgia entirely disconnected from the cause of anti-fascism, the sacrifices made by the Red Army on the Eastern Front once again hidden from history. Stalingrad, forgotten, scarcely meriting a mention in the mainstream media despite its fixation with all things WW2.
The estate of Bletchley Park can be found, enjoying regal respite, on lavish greens in Buckinghamshire. To the casual observer, there is nothing at all captivating about the site. But to the historian, or, fortunately, many a charming survivor of the old British Empire, this extensive manor is not merely a ramshackle corporation, it is the soul of our nation, hollowed ground, and the very embodiment of that uniquely British spirit, of resilience.