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Did you know that the first English commercial vineyard of the modern era was established at Hambledon in Hampshire? In 1951 the grand-sounding Major-General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones planted a one acre site with Seyval Blanc grapes, which duly produced their first crop for wine-making in 1954. It has recently been replanted with Champagne varieties, something of a trend of late after bright sparks noticed similarities in geology and climate with that blessed French region and the South Downs.

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We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
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On this day:
Battle of Ancrum Moor - 1545, Formation of the Labour Party - 1900, Old Bailey Opens - 1907, Burning of the Reichstag - 1933, Rowan Williams becomes 104th Archbishop of Canterbury - 2003
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