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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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Katherine Grainger

All those early morning training sessions rowing on rivers and lakes are enough to break the spirit of any but the mentally toughest, and the sheer battering of the body would break any but the physically fittest. And Katherine Grainger has been doing it now for 20 years. That is what it has taken for her to win the accolade of being Britainís most decorated female Olympian of all time, her fifth medal, the silver won with Victoria Thornley in Rio, taking her past Rebecca Adlington and Kitty McKane who each won four. At 40 years of age itís unlikely that Katherine will wish to continue competing at this level (though that was said about her at 36 after London too). But alongside her athletic career she has built up a formidable academic record too, culminating in two PhDs in legal topics, and in her being named Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University in 2015. Katherine herself has said that the transition from her focus on rowing to other fields will be the biggest challenge of her life, but given her record thus far itís odds on that she will make not just a success of whatever she chooses to do, but an outstanding success.

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Weak eyes are fondest of glittering objects. - Thomas Carlyle
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On this day:
Battle of St Albans - Wars of the Roses starts - 1455, James Iís Bargain Baronets - 1611, Littleportís Bread or Blood Riot Begins - 1816, Britains worst Rail Disaster - 1915, Burgess and Maclean Defect - 1951, Abbeystead Disaster - 1984, Murder of Lee Rigby - 2013
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