2012 – what a year!

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2012 has been a remarkable year for remembering anniversaries of historical significance.

The great novelist Charles Dickens was born 200 years ago last February.

One hundred years ago the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.

It’s hard to believe that 30 years have passed since the beginning and end of the Falklands War. Listening to the radio I was surprised and saddened to hear that more than 300 people who took part in the Falklands conflict have since committed suicide.

In the Spen Valley we have celebrated the Luddite rising of 200 years ago which resulted in the attack on Rawfolds Mill.

The month of May celebrates the 350th anniversary of the first Punch and Judy show, the 200th anniversary of the birth of the poet Edward Lear – famous for his Owl and the Pussycat and nonsense verse, and also a favourite of mine in my schooldays.

British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was shot dead 200 years ago by an angry businessman. It’s also the 200th anniversary of the birth of poet Robert Browning. He met and fell in love with another poet, Elizabeth Barrett, they were seen as the ‘John and Yoko’ of their day.

One of the last songs that John Lennon composed before his brutal murder in 1980 was based on the lines of one of Browning’s poems, ‘Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be’,

On the subject of John Lennon, it will be an incredible 50 years this October since the Beatles released Love Me Do.

We were reminded this month that it is 40 years ago since Leeds United last won the FA Cup at Wembley which was itself the ‘centenary’ final.

On July 10 it will be the 100th anniversary of King George V and Queen Mary visiting Heckmondwike, Littletown and Cleckheaton. December 29 sees the 200th anniversary of the marriage of Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell. This was at a time when Patrick was minister at Hartshead Church.

No doubt I have missed some important dates, but that’s quite a list to be going on with.

JOHN APPLEYARD

Firthcliffe Parade

LIVERSEDGE