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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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Frederick Lanchester
- Favourite Briton.

Born in Lewisham, London
Born on 23rd of October 1868
Died on 8th of March 1946

Lanchester was one of the great British inventor-engineers, his creativity perhaps helped by his limited formal education, though he did spend some time studying engineering. He invented improved gas engines, a labour-saving device for draftsmen, a self-starting device for gas engines; built the first motor-boat made in the UK, and the first car likewise. His car company (though poorly run financially) was one of the industry’s earliest innovators (he built a petrol-electric hybrid car in 1927!), and he moved on to become a major figure in aeronautical design. Lanchester Polytechnic, now Coventry University, was named in his honour.

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Bolton Massacre - 1644, First indoor swimming pool opens - 1742, First Isle of Man TT Race - 1907
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