The Timeline

“I love and hate history, because what is dead keeps coming back to life the more you think about it.” Eleanor Waverley

  • 2620 BC – The game of Senet is included in a painting of the third dynasty tomb of Hesy, the oldest known record of the game’s existence.  

  • 2500 BC – The Sphinx is built on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt.

  • 1400 – 1200 BC – The approximate date of the first known reference to Persephone, Queen of the Underworld and the Greek goddess of spring.

  • 1086 – The first recorded reference to Tollgate in the Domesday Book.

  • 1851-2 – Sir John Everett Millais paints Ophelia.

  • 1854 – Michel Eugène Chevreul demonstrates his pendulum experiment.

  • 1860 – The original version of board game The Game of Life is created by Milton Bradley. 

  • 1865 – Lewis Carroll’s Alices Adventures in Wonderland is published.

  • June 1888 – Construction of The Signal House on the crest of Station Road in Tollgate is completed. The Davenports move in the following month. 

  • 31 August 1888 – The mutilated body of prostitute Mary Ann Nichols is found in Whitechapel, London, the first victim of a serial killer who would become known as Jack the Ripper.

  • 3 September 1900 – Elsie Waverley dies in child birth. Her daughter, who would come to be called Elaine Waverley, is orphaned. 

  • 15 June 1908 – The first edition of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame is published. 

  • 12 December 1914 – Mary Ann Davenport dies of heart failure. 

  • 31 January 1920 – Geoffrey Oscar Davenport dies from choking.

  • 28 February 1920 – Eleanor is born, daughter to Charles and Elaine Mintower. She would later change her surname to Waverley, in honour of her mother’s maiden name.  

  • November 1920 – The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats first appears in the literary magazine The Dial.

  • 1935 – The Box of Delights by John Masefield is published. 

  • 1 March 1958 – Eleanor Waverley moves into The Signal House. 

  • 22 March 1963 – The Beatles release their debut studio album Please Please Me.

  • 28 November 1966 – Truman Capote hosts the Black and White Masquerade Ball at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in honour of The Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham.

  • 26 June 1967 – Ellen Waverley is abducted and murdered on her way to school.  

  • 1970 – Mathematician John Horton Conway creates Game of Life, a new zero-player cellular automaton game. 

  • 30 October 1975 – Wilma McCann, a 28-year-old woman from Chapeltown in Leeds, becomes the first victim of the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe.

  • 30 September 1978 – Roger Porlock and Elisabeth Graham are wed. 

  • 3 May 1979 – Margaret Thatcher is elected as the UK’s first female prime minister. 

  • 4 May 1979 – Roger and Elisabeth Porlock move into The Signal House. 

  • 17 August 1980 – Michael Sebastian Porlock is born in The Signal House.

  • 23 October 1982 – Sebastian Porlock is born in The Signal House.

  • 9 November 1989 – The Berlin Wall comes down. 

  • 10 November 1989 – Elise Porlock is born in The Signal House.

  • 19 May 1998 – Eva Cassidy’s Songbird is posthumously released. 

  • January 2002 – Elisabeth Porlock begins writing A Personal History of Tollgate.

  • 18 December 2004 – Marion and Lucy Butler leave their house at the bottom of Station Road for the final time.

  • 27 March 2005 – Elise Porlock is last seen in The Artery.

  • 5 April 2012 – Eleanor Waverley dies of cancer at the age of 92. 

  • 28 April 2012 – Sebastian Porlock and Danielle Oliver are wed. 

  • 4 May 2013 – Michael Porlock and Madeline Everard are wed. 

  • 1 September 2013 – Profluence: The Magic Quality to a Happy Life by Michael Porlock is published. 

  • October 2013 – Elisabeth Porlock stops writing A Personal History of Tollgate, with only one third of it complete.

  • 30 May 2015 – Roger Ivan Porlock retires from a 30-year career as a commercial airline pilot. 

  • 27 March 2016 – The Porlock family gather for the final time in The Signal House on Easter Sunday. 

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