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May 2018: The Somerset Levels

The Somerset Levels are one of Britain’s less well-known jewels. Delineated by the Mendips to the north, Bridgwater Bay to the west, and the Quantocks ...More
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Grace Darling

At this time of appalling weather it seems right to remember Grace Darling as our hero of the week. A Victorian child naming a British heroine would cite Grace, born during this week in 1815; today some vacuous ‘celebrity’ would be proferred. But Grace Darling’s heroism was very real, and very physical: in 1838 she risked her life in horrific weather rescuing nine survivors from a shipwreck off Bamburgh, rowing to their aid with her father. As with contemporary starlets her depiction by the press was distorted – she was drawn rowing in billowing and demure crinolines; and as so often her fame became a burden, though briefly as she died of tuberculosis just four years after her heroic feat.

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Brit Quote:
If you think squash is a competitive activity, try flower arranging. - Alan Bennett
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On this day:
The Hundred Years War begins - 1337, Ashmolean Museum Opens - 1683, Westminster Bridge Opens - 1862
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