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SouthWEST

The legendary land of Wessex, King Arthur and the mystical Stonehendge is a vast region, where the northern tip of Gloucestershire is as close to the Scottish Borders as it is to the tip of Cornwall. Although we often think of the industrial revolution taking hold in the satanic mills of Lancashire and the fire breathing factories of Birmingham, the South West was not just all cider, cheddar cheese and chewing on a stalk of straw. Mining of Tin and Copper has been core to the South West economy for eons.  And the Cornish Engine, a high-pressured pump was instrumental in maintaining this industry, where Cambourne and Redruth became the richest mining areas in the world.

Other traditional industries also used to have their epicentres in the South West too. Yeovil was once the glove making capital of the world, hence Yeovil Town FC are also known as the Glovers. In 1211 King John ordered rope that should be made to ‘Bridport Weight’ founding the manufacturing centre of rope and nets in this small seaside town, because of this association with rope making, the noose of the gallows was often also known as the ‘Bridport Dagger’. Then there is Axminster which gave its name to a type of carpet that is now manufactured the world over and in more modern times Bristol and the surrounding areas is a world leader in aeronautics, with Concord being produced in Filton. Bristol also produces the greatest amount of natural history films in the world too.

So, when you next sit on a sandy beach, with a seagull trying to steal your chips and ice cream dribbling down the back of your hand, take a look around and realise that this isn’t just a holiday paradise, it is a true working region of Britain.

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