Barrow in Furness, the town that went from boom to bust

Dangling into the Irish Sea from the tip of the Furness Peninsula, it was the arrival of the railways that transformed Barrow into one of the world's industrial powerhouses. Huge steelworks and thriving shipbuilding yards turned the Cumbrian seaport from a sleepy collection of farmsteads into a Victorian boom town.

A Blagger's Guide To: English Heritage Red Guides

Forget '50 Shades of Grey' – here are 50 volumes of history

Actor Anthony Bate dies aged 84

Actor Anthony Bate, best known for his role in the BBC's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and a familiar face of TV drama during his five decade career, has died at the age of 84.

Business week in review

In profit...

Polish and Russian fans clash outside the stadium in Warsaw before the match

Uefa condemn violence between Russia and Poland fans at Euro 2012

UEFA today condemned the violence that marred Poland's European Championship match with Russia, but it was unclear whether either team would face any sanctions.

Russian and Polish fans clash in Warsaw

Russian football fans clashed with police and Poland supporters in separate incidents in Warsaw today, just hours before the two teams were to meet in an emotionally charged match at Euro 2012. Several people were injured.

The Physicists, Donmar Warehouse, London 

Life expectancy for a female nurse is on the low side, to put it mildly, at the Les Cerisiers, the private sanatorium in The Physicists, Friedrich Durrenmatt's absurdist tragicomedy from 1961.

Portfolio: VII Agency

When the VII photography collective was established in 2001, little could its members have known quite how timely was their alliance. For just three days later, two airplanes were flown into New York's World Trade Center – and an agency that had dedicated itself to documenting the impact of modern conflict was instantly in the thick of one of the greatest crises experienced by the West for many a year.

Barack Obama in Afghanistan last week

Rupert Cornwell: Who'd have thought it? Democrats are the new he-men

Out of America: Obama's common-sense hawkishness confounds received wisdom and may win him re-election

John Lithgow portrays legendary columnist Joseph Alsop in a new Broadway play

Rupert Cornwell: The voices of America who ruled the world

Out of America: A new play recalls the huge political influence writers once had

Olympic gold medalist Terry Spinks dies

Terry Spinks, the youngest Briton to win an Olympic boxing gold medal, has died at his home in Essex following a long illness. He was 74.

Cigarettes feature heavily in this vast, two-volume collection

Mid-Century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era, ed Jimy Helmann

Cigarettes and alcohol; cars with tail fins; technological utopias and the lifestyle, clothes and accoutrements of the international jetsetter.

Essoyan who exposed a rift in Sino-Soviet relations

Roy Essoyan: Reporter who exposed a rift in Sino-Soviet relations

Roy Essoyan, who died on 22 March aged 92, was a reporter who in 1958 exposed a serious split between China and the Soviet Union. Born in a Japanese fishing village just after his refugee family, originally from Armenia, landed there in 1919 after fleeing the Russian revolution, Essoyan arrived in the Soviet Union nearly four decades later as an American journalist, having become a US citizen after the Second World War.

Emily Tucker and Oliver King star in the UK premiere of 'A Warsaw Melody' at the Arcola Theatre in east London

A Warsaw Melody: From Russia with Love

The first ever UK staging of one of Russia's most frequently performed plays A Warsaw Melody opens in London this week. Written by Leonid Zorin in 1967, it was staged some 4,000 times in its first year. "It's almost a contemporary Romeo and Juliet," says its London-based Russian director Oleg Mirochnikov, who is also a top Russian dialogue coach, who worked with the cast of X-Men: First Class and World War Z. "I think a lot of British theatre companies don't look beyond Chekov. Maybe its a lack of curiosity."

Trending: Just in from dystopia watch

Cinematic dystopias are having a big year. The biggest, in fact, since 2009, when The Road and Terminator: Salvation both warned of a bad future. Now, we have The Hunger Games, which takes place in a US ravaged by some sort of (yes) "apocalyptic" event. Then there's the remake of Judge Dredd called Dredd. Finally, another dystopian remake, of Total Recall, set in a Fascist future where "Euroamerica" and "New Shanghai" vie for global superiority.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect