G'day blokes and knobheads! We’re chuffed to have you back as we make a pit stop in Old Blighty. If you have the collywobbles, then pour yourself a cup of tea and don't bugger off just yet, this geezer won't muck about as we journey through 10 amazing facts about the Land of Hope and Glory.
Ahh, the world records.. one of our favorite parts. We're going to try and take this one as seriously as possible, but there are just a few gems we need to mention. For starters, how about the World's Largest Pajama Party? In September of 2014, some 2,004 people participated in the sleep-over in North West England in Chesire. How about the oldest sweet shop, aptly named the "Oldest Sweet Shop in England", located in Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire, built in.... Uh, can you reverse the tape? Toffee flavored Bon Bons.. you've got to be kidding me.. (Jim.. Jim.. Can we get back to the script?) But.. Toffee flavored Bon Bons... Oh, ok! The Oldest Sweet shop was built in 1827 and.. can we see the Bon Bons one more time? (JIM!) Ok, fine! England also housed the largest Cha-Cha Slide dance, which was achieved by 3,231 participants in 2001. There, now can I see the bon bons again?
A Land of Surprising Firsts
It read “Merry Christmas,” and was the first ever SMS / text message to be sent. It was far from the first time England was the site of the “first” of something as it has a long history of surprising firsts, such as the first color motion picture, shot by film pioneer Edward Raymond Turner, and also home to the first adhesive postage stamp, known as Penny Black. The list goes on, but most unexpected was that England played host to the first modern Olympic Games. That’s right, though highly publicized as such, the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens were not technically the first modern Olympics. In 1850, Dr. William Penny Brookes converted his knowledge of Ancient Olympics into a similar trial in the town of Much Wenlock and it’s believed that here was when Pierre de Coubertin got the idea to mainstream the Olympics.
Typically, when we talk about a country’s independence, we’re looking at historical events that led up to it. In regards to England, a discussion on the country’s independence is a more modern concern as the topic is one discussed at lengths among several minor political parties. In February of 2008, the Free England Party was formed and enjoyed short success until being disbanded in 2009. Following in the Free England Party’s footsteps are the English Democrats, English Radical Alliance, English Independence Party, and One England – parties that argue that England’s sovereignty would leave it with an incredibly strong economy and a boastful education system. Will England ever see independence from the United Kingdom?
Most Haunted England
Maybe it’s the drab and dreary climate, but touring the country’s most haunted locations is an absolute must. Dubbed the most haunted house in England is the Borley Rectory, a Victorian mansion built in 1862. Strangely enough, the rectory’s most notable tale linked to ghosts has little to do with the building and more the location. In 1362, a Benedictine monastery occupied the land and was the site of an affair between a monk and a nun, both of whom were disposed of in unpleasant ways. Along with the rectory, enthusiasts will want to explore the Tower of London, Chillingham Castle, Bodmin Jail, and many locations linked to the Jack the Ripper murders.
What does the Bulldog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, English Springer Spaniel, Bull Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, English Mastiff, Beagle, Border Collie, Golden Retriever, Jack Russell Terrier, Pointer, Greyhound, Whippet, Bloodhound, English Toy Terrier, Northern Inuit, Plummer Terrier and Pocket Beagle have in common? They're all dogs! Yes.. they're all dogs. But more than that, they all hail from the lands of England. Headquartered in London, England and formed in 1873, The Kennel Club is the oldest recognised kennel club in the world, and is world-renowned for their various canine activities, including dog shows, and also operate the national registry of pedigree dogs. It's no wonder that the most beautifully exquisite dog breeds come from this area.
England’s Tourist Attractions
Big Ben, Stonehenge, London Underground, the River Thames… even if you’ve never been to England, chances are you’ve heard of these locations, likely even seen photos of them on the World Wide Web; but there’s much more to be seen! Some of the more unique locations include Mother Shipton’s Cave, England’s oldest tourist attraction which was once home to the prophet Mother Shipton and houses the petrifying well, where it's said that everyday objects can be turned to stone within the waters. Those looking to drop a few pounds on local shopping and entertainment will want to check out Piccadilly Circus while sightseers may pay closer attention to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Hyde Park, and the entrancing Yorkshire Dales.
If there’s one thing the rest of the world doesn’t hear much about England, it’s the local wildlife. That’s because, for the most part, it’s not entirely thrilling… but the country does have its share of interesting critters such as the aptly named oystercatcher, water scorpions, grey seals, and the adorable little mouse-eared bat. On the other, slightly more terrifying end of the spectrum, England also plays host to an array of spiders, like the garden, raft, wolf, and money spider. According to local superstition, finding a money spider on your person is a sign of good fortune… so try to remember that before murdering it.
Stars from England
There’s no doubt that England has birthed some of the world’s greatest one-hit-wonders, like William Shakespeare, Alfred Hitchcock, the Beatles, Charlie Chaplin, and Charles Dickens. In all seriousness though for you kids watching, those aren't one hit wonders. Yea, we're looking at you Tweeters who thought Kanye West gave Paul McCartney his start.. If those history-changing people weren't enough, England also gave the world Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Douglas Adams, Michael Caine, Daniel Radcliffe, Ed Sheeran, Simon Cowell, Ellie Goulding, and Robert Pattinson and 5 of the original 6 members of the Rolling Stones. Brilliant minds like Charles Darwin, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Keats, and Sir Isaac Newton are also among England’s notable natives, alongside local sports stars David Beckham and Damon Hill, singer/songwriter Adele and Edward Sheeran, and of course, put your earplugs in fellas, the heart-throb boy-band One Direction. For those of you looking for YouTubers from England, be sure to check out Caspar Lee, Deji Olantunji, Zoe "Zoella" Sugg and KSI.
What do the Colossus computer, the less than and greater than symbols, champagne, the steam turbine, and HTML have in common? They all came from some of England’s greatest minds! It doesn’t stop there, though… not even close. England also played host to those behind fingerprint classification, the sewing machine, polyester, modern shorthand, the commercial introduction of the Christmas card, the atomic clock, HTTP protocol and the HTML language. Notable English inventors include Jethro Tull, Charles Babbage, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Sir Francis Galton, and Frederic Calland Williams, just to name a few.
Cuisine of England
The stigma heard round the world is that the English aren’t known for their cuisine beyond bangers and mash and fish and chips, but when you get down to it, that’s just not true. There are some pretty tasty dishes, like Yorkshire pudding and black pudding, a meat casserole known as Lancashire hotpot, a concoction of left-over vegetables and mashed potatoes known as bubble and squeak, sausage cooked in the remaining Yorkshire pudding batter and dubbed Toad-in-the-Hole, and a steamed pudding known as spotted dick. Try to forget about the names when eating, and you should be fine.