Monday, 28 April 2014

22. The Decline and Fall of the British Aircraft Industry

Gloster_Meteor_III_ExCC
The post war years are seen by many and with some justification to be a golden age of British aero engineering. But with too many companies chasing a dwindling number of contracts and a Government that didn’t know the first thing about jet aircraft the ‘golden age’ wasn't going to last long.
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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

21. What Goes Up Must Come Down


The British Government is desperate to offload the national debt and with that in mind the South Sea Company bribes enough people to make sure they get to take it on.  Their plan?  An pyramid scheme to make money from an ever rising share price but someone forgets to mention that bubbles always burst.  The parallels with todays financial crisis are too many to mention.
Listen to Episode 21 Listen to Episode 21

Monday, 6 February 2012

20. When is a Trading Company not a Trading Company?

War maybe Hell but it’s also very, very expensive and like almost every other country European country in the early 1700s England was deeply in debt.  Enter the South Sea Company and a story that mixes avarice, corruption, deceit, international intrigue and vast sums of other people’s money all topped off with political infighting and an unpopular monarch. 

Listen to Episode 20

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

19. The Putney Debates

Cromwell and the Levellers at Putney

During the latter part of 1647 a small church at Putney on the banks of the Thames saw ordinary soldiers and their civilian supporters call for not just for political and religious toleration, but also for the franchise to be extended beyond the landed gentry.  The Putney Debates paved the way for many of the civil liberties we value today but seems largely forgotten.

Listen to Episode 19

Sunday, 19 December 2010

18. 1914 to the decline of Empire

HMS Victorious on fire after being struck by three kamikazes at the Battle of Okinawa.  Planes could take off an hour later.

World War One was the most significant event of 20th Century and amongst other things marked the beginning of the end of Pax Britannia.  The vacuum left would be readily filled by others but it wasn’t going to be plain sailing.  Almost a hundred years after World War One the future of the Royal Navy is as uncertain as it’s ever been.

Listen to Episode 18

Saturday, 11 September 2010

17. Ironclads, Big Guns and the road to World War 1

HMS Dreadnought revolutionised warship design.  So much so every ship that looked like her was subsequently called a 'dreadnought'.

Sails are finally done away with as steam power takes over and the race between armour and guns gets under way.  Pax Britannia turns maps of the world red as the Americans, Japanese and Germans aspire to have navies just like the British; the road to World War One begins.

Listen to Episode 17

Saturday, 17 July 2010

16. Bonaparte to steam power

HMS Agamemnon the Royal Navy's first screw propeller warship.  You can just make out the smoke stack.

Nelson is dead becomes a ‘terrible ancestor’ and the Napoleonic War rumbles on for another ten years.  The Royal Navy tries to undo the slave trade Hawkins had created and the Admiralty do their level best to ignore every new technological advance. 

Listen to Episode 16