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Saturday, 13 June 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #57 – 13 June 1842

On 13 June 1842, Queen Victoria, 23, made the pioneering journey from Slough in Berkshire to London Paddington and became the first British monarch to travel by train.

She wrote in her diary that the journey took only 30 minutes and that there was 'no dust or great heat. In fact, it was delightful and so quick.'

The train that day was driven by Sir Daniel Gooch and assisted by renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed the Great Western Railway.

Thus, the Royal train was born. 

Young Queen Victoria

Sources: Royal websites

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