12 March

England's first female priest was ordained this day

So we are drinking a...


On this day in 1994, 32 women were ordained as priests in Bristol Cathedral, bringing the UK up to speed with Hong Kong, which had ordained its first woman priest 50 years before, and the US, where women had been saying Mass for almost 20 years.

From the time in 1975 when the General Synod passed the motion that there were no fundamental objections to the ordination of women yet failed to pass a second motion asking for the legal barriers to be removed, it had been a long, long battle for equal rights.

We're not great fans of religion, but we do love equality. And so we're toasting those 32 pioneers, and the others who came after them, with a White Lady, an excellent creation from Britain's own Harry Craddock. Or you may decide a Bishop, that splendidly warming combination of port, juice, spices and hot water, is more appropriate.

It's also the anniversary of Les Misérables opening on Broadway

Les Misérables debuted in 1980 at the Palais des Soprts in Paris, before moving to London five years later. In 1987 on this very day, Les Misérables opened on Broadway where it went on to win eight Tony Awards.

Les Misérables ran until 18 May 2003 when it closed after 6,680 performances, making it the third longest-running Broadway show in history. It's a tale of love and death in the French Revolution set to music - it's a clearly a winning combination, as the musical has been seen by more than 70 million people in 44 countries and 22 languages since 1985! 125,000 people attended the 1989 Australia Day concert in Sydney, the biggest single live audience for Les Misérables to date.

When Dick Bradsell created the French Spring Punch, it was pretty unlikely that he had Les Misérables in mind, but we thought that it'd be a great way to celebrate the Parisian barricades, and the long lasting success of Les Misérables. Mix one tonight and make an appropriate toast: 'Viva la revolution!'

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