Bram Stoker


Dracula1Best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula, the Irish novelist and short story writer Abraham “Bram” Stoker was Born 8th November 1847 in Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland. Stoker was bedridden until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. He was educated in a private school run by the Rev. William Woods. After his recovery, he grew up without further major health issues, even excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete) at Trinity College, Dublin, which he attended from 1864 to 1870. He graduated with honours in mathematics. He was auditor of the College Historical Society (‘the Hist’) and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on “Sensationalism in Fiction and Society.

While a student Stoker became interested in the theatre & became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned by the author of Gothic tales Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. After giving a favourable review of Henry Irving’s Hamlet Irving invited him to dinner and the two became friends. Stoker also wrote stories, and in 1872 “The Crystal Cup” was published by the London Society, followed by “The Chain of Destiny” in four parts and “The Shamrock”. while a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote a non-fiction book (The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland. Stoker was also interested in art, and founded the Dublin Sketching Club. In 1874 The Stokers moved to London, where he became acting manager and then business manager of Henry Irving’s Lyceum Theatre, London, a post he held for 27 years. The collaboration with Irving was important for Stoker and through him he became involved in London’s high society, where he met James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (to whom he was distantly related)

DRACULA

Working for Irving, the most famous actor of his time, and managing one of the most successful theatres in London made Stoker a notable if busy man. He was dedicated to Irving and his memoirs show he idolised him. In London Stoker also met Hall Caine, who became one of his closest friends – he dedicated Dracula to him. In the course of Irving’s tours, Stoker travelled the world, although he never visited Eastern Europe, a setting for his most famous novel, and began writing novels beginning with The Snake’s Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897. Stoker was also part of the literary staff of the London Daily Telegraph and wrote other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911)

Stoker also met Ármin Vámbéry who was a Hungarian writer and traveler and the story may have been inspired by Vámbéry’s dark stories set among the Carpathian mountains. He also spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires, particularly That of Vlad Tepes, a.k.a Vlad III Dracula, the ruler of Targoviste, in Wallachia, Romania, whose brutal regime And predilection for impaling his enemies gave him a fearsome reputation. He may also have learnt about Hoia Baciu forest which is said to be haunted and is well known for its disturbing and inexplicable Paranormal phenomenon. Stoker also visited Whitby Abbey, Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire and the crypts of St. Michan’s Church in Dublin and also read the novella Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. All of which gave him plenty of inspiration.

Sadly Though after suffering a number of strokes, Stoker passed away on 20 April 1912 and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium where his ashes were place in a display urn . To visit his remains at Golders Green, visitors must be escorted to the room the urn is housed in, for fear of vandalism. However his Gothic novels, especially Dracula remain popular and have been adapted for film and television numerous time

International Day of Radiology

The International Day of Radiology (IDoR) is celebrated annually on November 8th to promote the role of medical imaging in modern healthcare and mark the anniversary of the discovery of x-rays on November 8th 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who effectively layed the foundation for the new medical discipline of radiology.

It was first introduced in 2012, as a joint initiative, by the European Society of Radiology (ESR), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The International Day of Radiology is a successor to the European Day of Radiology which was launched in 2011. The first and only European Day of Radiology was held on February 10, 2011 to commemorate the anniversary of Röntgen’s death. The European day was organised by the ESR (European Society of Radiology), who later entered into cooperation with the RSNA and the ACR to establish the International Day of Radiology.

The International Day of Radiology 2012 marked the 117th anniversary of Röntgen’s discovery of x-rays and the main theme was medical imaging in oncology. The day was celebrated with events in many countries, mostly organised by national professional societies which represent radiologists. Many public lectures on the role of imaging in oncology took place across Europe. In the UK, the Royal College of Radiologists organised a free public lecture at the Wellcome Collection by Dr. Phil O’Connor, who served as head of musculoskeletal imaging at the London 2012 Olympics. The ESR also published two booklets to mark the occasion, ‘The Story of Radiology’, which was created in cooperation with the International Society for the History of Radiology, and ‘Making Cancer Visible: the role of cancer in oncology’.

World Urbanism Day

World Urbanism Day is celebrated annually on November 8th. it was instigated by The international organisation for World Urbanism and is also known as “World Town Planning Day”. The International Organisation for World Urbanism was founded in 1949 by the late Professor Carlos Maria della Paolera of the University of Buenos Aires, a graduate at the Institut d’urbanisme in Paris, to advance public and professional interest in planning.

It is celebrated in more than 30 countries on four continents each November 8th. It is a special day to recognise and promote the role of planning in creating livable communities. World Urbanism Day presents an excellent opportunity to look at planning from a global perspective, an event which appeals to the conscience of citizens and public authorities in order to draw attention to the environmental impact resulting from the development of cities and territories.

Remembrance Sunday

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This years Poignant Remembrance Sunday service took place on Sunday 8 November and was Led by Members of the The Royal Family including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Prince William the Duke of Cambridge, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, HRH Prince Andrew – The Duke of York, HRH Prince Edward – The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal Princess Anne, Prince Michael of Kent, Field Marshal Lord GutJohnrie of Craigiebank, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Countess of Wessex The event included the traditional Laying of the Wreaths and March-past the Cenotaph War Memorial in Whitehall London finishing at Horseguards Parade. This year nearly 10,000 people took part.

Various other dignitaries also laid wreaths at the event included Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands who attended, following an invitation from the Queen to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands after the end of the Second world war. Others who laid wreaths included Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Former Prime Ministers John Major, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, the Home Secretary Philip Hammond and the Education Secretary as well as Forty seven High Commissioners Representing the Commonwealth Leaders and fifteen Religious leaders including representatives of the Roman Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Zaoastrian and Hindu faiths and The President of the Royal British Legion also laid a wreath

There was a Brief service conducted by the Bishop of London, then at The first stroke of Big Ben at 11am the firing of a gun from Horse Guards Parade by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery marked the start of two minutes’ silence, which was followed by The Last Post, sounded by the Buglers of the Royal Marines. This was Followed by the National Anthem, other music was performed by Chapel Royal Choir School and the Massed Bands of the Black Watch and the Royal Marines, which included Rule Britannia, Heart of Oak (The Unofficial Anthem of the Royal Navy) and Nimrod from Sir Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations”

This was followed by a March past the Cenotaph with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge taking the salute. Organisations taking part in the march-past the Cenotaph included Royal navy association, Royal Airforce Association, Paratroop Regiment associationRoyal Marines Association, Merchant Navy Association, Fleet air arm associationGurkhas Association, Burma Star association, the Chinditz, Royal Mechanical Engineers association, Royal Northumberland fusiliers association, Royal Army Corps, 656 squadron Association, Home Guard, Royal Engineers Association, Army Air CorpsMetropolitan PoliceRoyal Pioneer CorpsReconnaissance corps, Maritime Air Association, Bomber Command, Royal Observer CorpsFalklands AssociationSappers AssociationWar Widows AssociationIrish Defence AssociationRoyal Marine Commandos association, The Salvation Army, NAAFI Association, National Association of Retired Police Officers, Saint Johns Ambulance, Commonwealth Graves Association, the RAF survivalEquipment association, Sea Cadets, Army Training Corps, the Church Lads Brigade, THE Girl Guides, The YMCA.

Elesewhere The Archbishop of Canturbury designate, the Right Revd. Justin Welbey, Bishop of Durham, led a remembrance service at St. Gabriel’s Church in Sunderland and at The National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, there was an outdoor service of remembrance. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester represented the Queen at the service,The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO laid a wreath at The Armed Forces Memorial during the service which was attended by more than 3,000 people. The arboretum’s focal point, the national Armed Forces Memorial, is designed so that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a shaft of sunlight dissects its inner and outer walls, falling on a bronze wreath sculpture.The Portland stone memorial is the nation’s tribute to more than 16,000 servicemen and women who have died on duty, or as a result of terrorism, since 1948. In Scotland, First Minister Alex Salmond joined the Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of Edinburgh Donald Wilson, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, military leaders, veterans and serving personnel at the Stone of Remembrance at the City Chambers in Edinburgh.He observed a two minute silence and laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Scotland. The First Minister then attended a Service of Remembrance at St Giles Cathedral.In Northern Ireland Taoiseach Enda Kenny laid a wreath on behalf of the Irish Government, at the cenotaph in Enniskillen. This year also marks a number of other significant anniversaries in the UK’s military history, including the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.