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May 2018: The Somerset Levels

The Somerset Levels are one of Britainís less well-known jewels. Delineated by the Mendips to the north, Bridgwater Bay to the west, and the Quantocks ...More
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Nicholas Breakspear

The only English-born Pope, Adrian IV, born Nicholas Breakspear, died 850 years ago this week. Heís our hero of the week not for any religious reason, but for his achievement in actually getting the top job - the previous six popes had all been Italian by birth, non-Italian popes then as until recently very rare beasts. He was of humble birth too, in contrast to most pontiffs. He rose rapidly in the church hierarchy on merit rather than as was more usual through nepotism. And though he lived outside England most of his life his death has something rather English about it Ė supposedly choking while drinking a glass of wine.

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Brit Quote:
Men judge us by the success of our efforts. God looks at the efforts themselves. - Charlotte Bronte
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On this day:
Accord of Winchester - 1072, Evacuation of Dunkirk begins - 1940, Britainís Worst Road Accident - 1975
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