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South EAST

The white cliffs of Dover are why the Romans bestowed the name Albion, ‘White Land’ to Great Britain. (the Latin name for white is Albus, although they probably took this name from the Gauls or Celts). From the glorious Chilterns to the north and the New Forest pony haven to the west. The South East of England is a beautifully varied part of Great Britain which now surrounds London.


From a manufacturing standpoint it is an area of many firsts. The first blast furnace began to roar in 1491 in Weald. The first industrial assembly line was inaugurated at Portsmouth Block Mills in 1803. The world’s first lighthouse using electricity by an industrial generator purred into life South Foreland lighthouse in 1858. Faversham Oyster Fishery is the officially the oldest company in the world.  And of course Oxford holds the title of the first University in Britain.


Because of its locality to London the surrounding areas didn’t create too many centres of individual crafts as they supplied London with all its needs. Although High Wycombe was a once the epicentre for chairmaking and as such Wycombe Wanderers FC’s nickname is the Chairboys. The chairmakers were known as ‘bodgers’ which is where we get the term to ‘bodge’ something together, to make good with the tools one has around you, not to be mistaken for ‘botch’. The royal town of Reading was once known as ‘Biscuit Town’ because in the mid 19th century most major biscuit manufacturers had a factory there; Jacobs, McVities and Huntley and Palmers. There is even a biscuit museum if you ever need to while a few hours away in Reading waiting for a train connection.


The South East though is a thriving hotbed of design and creativity. Only does London create more jobs than the South East with 13% of businesses in High Wycombe alone being classed as a creative business and 10% in both Guilford and Slough.


There is no place better for hobnobbing around than the South East, it really does take the biscuit.

South East

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