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Theme For The Day.

Long ago, as a schoolboy, I took part in a play based on Hugo's Les Miserables. A few years back I saw the musical in London and later in Birmingham. It is said to be one of the most successful musicals of the age. Why? Is this due to the selflessness and loving concern of the Bishop, of Jean Valjean in his devoted and costly love for Cosette?

Does the idealistic student, Marius, appeal to something deep down in most people, in an age that seems to deny selflessness and ideals and extols self-gratification and immediate satisfaction?

For that matter, in spite of all that superficially seems to be the case, self-denying love, goodness, truth and generosity still abound, not only in people such as the late Mother Theresa, but in countless others who rise to the challenge again and again, and force us to ask where such sentiments come from.

Canon HP Burgess

200 YEARS AGO: Stolen on Friday night from Dunstall Hall, near Wolverhampton, two old peacocks, three old pea-hens, two old ducks, three leather housings from collars, one ditte from a cart saddle, one large blue coat, two smaller coats, one waggoner's smock frock and two pairs of shoes.

If more than one concerned and either will impeach his accomplice or accomplices he shall be entitled to a reward of 20 guineas and will have endeavours used to obtain a free pardon.

Aris's Birmingham Gazette, July 1800

100 YEARS AGO: At the Wolverhampton Police Court yesterday, John Crawford, a sailor, of no fixed address, was remanded for a week on a charge of being on the premises of the Baptist Chapel, Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, with intent to commit a felony.

On the previous evening the caretaker heard a noise and on making a search found the prisoner in the organ loft under the bellows.

The Birmingham Daily Post, July 1900

50 YEARS AGO: A 'refined, quiet young woman' who claimed she had been blackmailed was sent to prison for two years at Stafford Assizes yesterday for obtaining pounds 1,400 from her employers by forging cheques.

Constance Denise Mason, (21) a clerk employed at a Bloxwich garage, claimed in her defence that while her husband was away in the Forces she became pregnant by another married man who blackmailed her by threatening to make her co-respondent in divorce proceedings.

The Birmingham Post, July 1950

Birthdays: Singer Michael Ball, 38; Australian cricketer Allan Border, 45; ice dancer Christopher Dean, 42; tennis player Jo Durie, 40; American country & western singer Bobbie Gentry, 56; novelist Jack Higgins (Harry Patterson), 71; politician Baroness Williams of Crosby, 70.

Anniversaries: 1839: Chartist riots broke out in Birmingham and other towns; 1949: The de Havilland Comet, the world's first jet airliner, made its maiden flight; 1953: Korean armistice signed ending three years' war that saw 116,000 United Nations troops and 54, 000 United States troops killed; 1988: National pole vault record holder Jeff Gutteridge became the first British athlete to get a life ban for taking anabolic steroids.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 27, 2000
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