River Avon, Warwickshire
The River Avon or Avon is located in central England, flowing southwestwards. It is known as the Warwickshire Avon or Shakespeare's Avon, to distinguish it from several other rivers of the same name in the United Kingdom. Beginning in Northamptonshire, the river flows through or adjoining the counties of Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, near the Cotswold Hills area. Notable towns it flows through include Rugby, Stratford-upon-Avon, Evesham and Tewkesbury, where it joins the Severn, it has traditionally been divided since 1719 into the Lower Avon, below Evesham, the Upper Avon, from Evesham to above Stratford-upon-Avon. Improvements to aid navigation began in 1635, a series of locks and weirs made it possible to reach Stratford, to within 4 miles of Warwick; the Upper Avon was tortuous and prone to flooding, was abandoned as a means of navigation in 1877. The Lower Avon struggled on, never closed, although it was only navigable below Pershore by 1945. Restoration of the lower river as a navigable waterway began in 1950, was completed in 1962.
The upper river was a more daunting task, as most of the weirs were no longer extant. Work began in 1965 on the construction of nine new locks and 17 miles of river, using volunteer labour, was completed in 1974 when it was opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother; the Avon connects with the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal in the centre of Stratford, is used by leisure craft. Plans to extend the navigable river to provide a link with the Grand Union Canal at either Warwick or Leamington Spa have met with some opposition. "Avon" derives from the British language abona, "river", which survives as a number of other English and Scottish river names, as modern Welsh afon and Breton avon, "river". The source of the Avon is from a spring near the village of Naseby in Northamptonshire. For the first few miles of its length between Welford and the Dow Bridge on Watling Street, it forms the border between Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. On this section, it has been dammed to create Stanford Reservoir.
It flows in a west-southwesterly direction, not far north of the Cotswold Edge and through the Vale of Evesham, passing through the towns and villages of Welford, Wolston, Stratford-upon-Avon, Welford-on-Avon, Bidford-on-Avon and Pershore, before it joins the River Severn at Tewkesbury. The river has a catchment size of 1,032 square miles; the Avon's tributaries include the Rivers Leam, Sowe, Arrow, Swift and Swilgate as well as many minor streams and brooks. A long distance footpath has been created which follows the river from its source to the River Severn at Tewkesbury; the route is marketed as Shakespeare's Avon Way, is 88 miles long. It uses existing tracks to stay as close to the river as is reasonably possible. Before the last Ice Age about 50,000 years ago, the Warwickshire Avon was a small river which drained northwards to the River Trent. During the Wolstonian glacial period, ice advanced into the Midlands from the north and west blocking the flow of the Avon to its former confluence with the Trent.
The waters were thus trapped: on the north and west by the glacier, by the Cotswolds to the south, resulting in the formation of a large glacial lake, called Lake Harrison. At its maximum, it is considered that this glacial lake covered the whole of Warwickshire and was over 200 feet deep. After about 10,000 years, when the glacier retreated, the water was able to cut through the previous watershed and to escape to the southwest, so forming the present day route of the river. From Alveston weir, 2 miles upstream of Stratford-upon-Avon, downstream to Tewkesbury and the River Severn, the river has been rendered navigable by the construction of locks and weirs; the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal links to the Avon through a lock in the park in front of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. The River Avon can be used by boats with a maximum length of 70 ft, beam of 13 ft 6 in, height of 10 ft and draught of 4 ft from Tewkesbury to Evesham. Above Evesham, beam is restricted to 12 ft 6 in and draught to 3 ft.
The river is crossed by two manually operated pedestrian chain ferries, these being the Hampton Ferry in Evesham and the Stratford-upon-Avon Ferry in Stratford-upon-Avon. Traffic is now leisure-oriented. Overnight moorings are available at Stratford-upon-Avon, Welford-on-Avon, Bidford-on-Avon, Offenham, Craycombe, Pershore, Comberton, Eckington and Tewkesbury. There are boatyards at Stratford-upon-Avon, Welford-on-Avon, Bidford-on-Avon and Tewkesbury; the river forms part of the Avon Ring, a circular cruising route, 109 miles long, includes 129 locks. From Tewkesbury it follows the course of the River Severn, the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal to arrive back at the Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon; the navigation works on the Avon were authorised by an Order in Council and Letters Patent of Charles I in 1635, which named William Sandys as the grantee, with powers to improve both this river and the River Teme. He had bought a number of mills on the river, but there were few objections from millers at those he did not own, for he built pound locks with two sets of gates, to enable vessels to pass by without the larg
B postcode area
The B postcode area known as the Birmingham postcode area, provides postcodes for the city of Birmingham, boroughs of Solihull and parts of Warwickshire, Walsall and Staffordshire in England. The approximate coverage of the postcode districts: B1 1AA is Birmingham Head Post office. B1 1BB is Birmingham Council House Before the introduction of postcodes in the 1960s, Birmingham along with other major cities were divided into numbered postal districts. With a few exceptions these were directly incorporated into the outcode. For example, Great Barr was Birmingham 22 and Smethwick was Smethwick 40 and 41. List of postcode areas in the United Kingdom Postcode Address File Royal Mail's Postcode Address File A quick introduction to Royal Mail's Postcode Address File
In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; the unit rolled out across England in the 1860s. A civil parish can range in size from a large town with a population of about 75,000 to a single village with fewer than a hundred inhabitants. Eight parishes have city status. A civil parish may be known as and confirmed as a town, neighbourhood or community by resolution of its parish council, a right reserved not conferred on other units of English local government. 35% of the English population live in a civil parish. As of 31 December 2015 there were 10,449 parishes in England; the most populous is Weston super Mare and those with cathedral city status are Chichester, Hereford, Ripon, Salisbury and Wells.
On 1 April 2014, Queen's Park became the first civil parish in Greater London. Before 2008 their creation was not permitted within a London borough. Wales was divided into civil parishes until 1974, when they were replaced by communities, which are similar to English parishes in the way they operate. Civil parishes in Scotland were abolished for local government purposes by the Local Government Act 1929, the Scottish equivalent of English civil parishes are community council areas, which were established by the Local Government Act 1973; the Parish system in Europe was established between the 8th and 12th centuries and in England was old by the time of the Conquest. These areas were based on the territory of one or more manors, areas which in some cases derived their bounds from Roman or Iron Age estates. Parish boundaries were conservative, changing little, after 1180'froze' so that boundaries could no longer be changed at all, despite changes to manorial landholdings - though there were some examples of sub-division.
The consistency of these boundaries, up until the 19th century is useful to historians, is of cultural significance in terms of shaping local identities, a factor reinforced by the adoption of parish boundaries unchanged, by successor local government units. There was huge variation in size between parishes, for instance Writtle in Essex was 13,568 acres while neighbouring Shellow Bowells was just 469 acres, Chignall Smealy 476 acres; until the break with Rome, parishes managed ecclesiastical matters, while the manor was the principal unit of local administration and justice. The church replaced the manor court as the rural administrative centre, levied a local tax on produce known as a tithe. In the medieval period, responsibilities such as relief of the poor passed from the Lord of the Manor to the parish's rector, who in practice would delegate tasks among his vestry or the monasteries. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the power to levy a rate to fund relief of the poor was conferred on the parish authorities by the Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601.
Both before and after this optional social change, local charities are well-documented. The parish authorities were consisted of all the ratepayers of the parish; as the number of ratepayers of some parishes grew, it became difficult to convene meetings as an open vestry. In some built up, areas the select vestry took over responsibility from the entire body of ratepayers; this innovation allowed governance by a self-perpetuating elite. The administration of the parish system relied on the monopoly of the established English Church, which for a few years after Henry VIII alternated between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, before settling on the latter on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558. By the 18th century, religious membership was becoming more fractured in some places, due for instance to the progress of Methodism; the legitimacy of the parish vestry came into question and the perceived inefficiency and corruption inherent in the system became a source for concern in some places.
For this reason, during the early 19th century the parish progressively lost its powers to ad hoc boards and other organisations, for example the loss of responsibility for poor relief through the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. Sanitary districts covered England in Ireland three years later; the replacement boards were each entitled to levy their own rate in the parish. The church rate ceased to be levied in many parishes and became voluntary from 1868; the ancient parishes diverged into two distinct, nearly overlapping, systems of parishes during the 19th century. The Poor Law Amendment Act 1866 declared all areas that levied a separate rate: C of E ecclesiastical parishes, extra-parochial areas and their analogue, chapelries, to be "civil parishes". To have collected rates this means these beforehand had their own vestries, boards or equivalent bodies; the Church of England parishes, which cover more than 99% of England, became termed "ecclesiastical parishes" and the boundaries of these soon diverged from those of the Ancient Parishes in order to reflect modern circumstances.
After 1921 each ecclesiastical parish has been the responsibility of the parochial church councils. In the late 19th century, most of the ancient irregularities inheri
In church architecture, the chancel is the space around the altar, including the choir and the sanctuary, at the liturgical east end of a traditional Christian church building. It may terminate in an apse, it is the area used by the clergy and choir during worship, while the congregation is in the nave. Direct access may be provided by a priest's door on the south side of the church; this is one definition, sometimes called the "strict" one. In smaller churches, where the altar is backed by the outside east wall and there is no distinct choir, the chancel and sanctuary may be the same area. In churches with a retroquire area behind the altar, this may only be included in the broader definition of chancel. In a cathedral or other large church, there may be a distinct choir area at the start of the chancel, before reaching the sanctuary, an ambulatory may run beside and behind it. All these may be included in the chancel, at least in architectural terms. In many churches, the altar has now been moved to the front of the chancel, in what was built as the choir area, or to the centre of the transept, somewhat confusing the distinction between chancel and sanctuary.
In churches with less traditional plans, the term may not be useful in either architectural or ecclesiastical terms. The chancel may be a step or two higher than the level of the nave, the sanctuary is raised still further; the chancel is often separated from the nave by altar rails, or a rood screen, a sanctuary bar, or an open space, its width and roof height is different from that of the nave. In churches with a traditional Latin cross plan, a transept and central crossing, the chancel begins at the eastern side of the central crossing under an extra-large chancel arch supporting the crossing and the roof; this is an arch which separates the chancel from the transept of a church. If the chancel defined as choir and sanctuary, does not fill the full width of a medieval church, there will be some form of low wall or screen at its sides, demarcating it from the ambulatory or parallel side chapels; as well as the altar, the sanctuary may house a credence table and seats for officiating and assisting ministers.
In some churches, the congregation may gather in a semicircle around the chancel. In some churches, the pulpit and lectern may be in the chancel, but in others these the pulpit, are in the nave; the word "chancel" derives from the French usage of chancel from the Late Latin word cancellus. This refers to the typical form of rood screens; the chancel was known as the presbytery, because it was reserved for the clergy. In Early Christian architecture the templon was a barrier dividing off the sanctuary from the rest of the church. In the West the ciborium, an open-walled but roofed structure sheltering the altar, became common, was fitted with curtains that were drawn and pulled back at different points in the Mass, in a way that some Oriental Orthodox churches still practice today. A large chancel made most sense in monasteries and cathedrals where there was a large number of singing clergy and boys from a choir school to occupy the choir. In many orders "choir monk" was a term used to distinguish the educated monks who had taken full vows, or were training to do so, from another class, called "lay brothers" or other terms, who had taken lesser vows and did manual tasks, including farming the monastery's land.
These sat in the nave, with any lay congregation. Following the exposition of the doctrine of transubstantiation at the fourth Lateran Council of 1215, clergy were required to ensure that the blessed sacrament was to be kept protected from irreverent access or abuse; this distinction was enforced by the development of canon law, by which the construction and upkeep of the chancel was the responsibility of the rector, whereas the construction and upkeep of the nave was the responsibility of the parish. Barriers demarcating the chancel became increasing elaborate, but were swept away after both the Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation prioritized the congregation having a good view of what was happening in the chancel. Now the low communion rail is the only barrier; however the screen enjoyed a small revival in the 19th century, after the passionate urgings of Augustus Pugin, who wrote A Treatise on Chancel Screens and Rood Lofts, others. After the Reformation Protestant churches moved the altar forward to the front of the chancel, used lay choirs who were placed in a gallery at the west end.
The rear of deep chancels became little used in churches surviving from the Middle Ages, new churches often omitted one. With the emphasis on sermons, their audibility, some churches converted their chancels to seat part of the congregation. In 19th-century England one of the battles of the Cambridge Camden Society, the architectural wing of the Anglo-Catholics in
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom provide emergency care to people with acute illness or injury and are predominantly provided free at the point of use by the four National Health Services of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Emergency care including ambulance and emergency department treatment is free to everyone, regardless of immigration or visitor status; the NHS commissions most emergency medical services through the 14 NHS organisations with ambulance responsibility across the UK. As with other emergency services, the public access emergency medical services through one of the valid emergency telephone numbers. In addition to ambulance services provided by NHS organisations, there are some private and volunteer emergency medical services arrangements in place in the UK, the use of private or volunteer ambulances at public events or large private sites, as part of community provision of services such as community first responders. Air ambulance services in the UK are not part of the NHS and are funded through charitable donations.
Paramedics are seconded from a local NHS ambulance service, with the exception of Great North Air Ambulance Service who employ their own paramedics. Doctors are provided by their home hospital and spend no more than 40% of their time with an air ambulance service. Public ambulance services across the UK are required by law to respond to four types of requests for care, which are: Emergency calls Doctor's urgent admission requests High dependency and urgent inter-hospital transfers Major incidentsAmbulance trusts and services may undertake non-urgent patient transport services on a commercial arrangement with their local hospital trusts or health boards, or in some cases on directly funded government contracts, although these contracts are fulfilled by private and voluntary providers; the National Health Service Act 1946 gave county and borough councils a statutory responsibility to provide an emergency ambulance service, although they could contract a voluntary ambulance service to provide this, with many contracting the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance or another local provider.
The last St John Division, to be so contracted is reputed to have been at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire, where the two-bay ambulance garage can still be seen at the branch headquarters. The Regional Ambulance Officers’ Committee reported in 1979 that “There was considerable local variation in the quality of the service provided in relation to vehicles and equipment. Most Services were administered by Local Authorities through their Medical Officer of Health and his Ambulance Officer, a few were under the aegis of the Fire Service, whilst others relied upon agency methods for the provision of part or all of their services.” The 142 existing ambulance services were transferred by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 from local authority to central government control in 1974, consolidated into 53 services under regional or area health authorities. This led to the formation of predominantly county based ambulance services, which merged up and changed responsibilities until 2006, when there were 31 NHS ambulance trusts in England.
The June 2005 report "Taking healthcare to the Patient", authored by Peter Bradley, Chief Executive of the London Ambulance Service, for the Department of Health led to the merging of the 31 trusts into 13 organisations in England, plus one organisation each in Wales and Northern Ireland. Following further changes as part of the NHS foundation trust pathway, this has further reduced to 10 ambulance service trusts in England, plus the Isle of Wight which has its own provision. Following the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, commissioning of the ambulance services in each area passed from central government control into the hands of regional clinical commissioning groups; the commissioners in each region are responsible for contracting with a suitable organisation to provide ambulance services within their geographical territory. The primary provider for each area is held by a public NHS body, of which there are 11 in England, 1 each in the other three countries. In England there are now ten NHS ambulance trusts, as well as an ambulance service on the Isle of Wight, run directly by Isle of Wight NHS Trust, with boundaries following those of the former regional government offices.
The ten trusts are: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust London Ambulance Service NHS Trust North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS TrustThe English ambulance trusts are represented by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, with the Scottish and Northern Irish providers all associate members. On the 14 November 2018 West Midlands Ambulance Service became the UK's first university-ambulance trust; the service was operated before reorganisation in 1974 by the St Andrews’ Ambulance Association under contract to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Scottish Ambulance Service is a Special Health Board that provides ambulance services throughout whole of Scotland, on behalf of the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government.
Due to the remote nature of many areas of Scotland compared to the other Home Nations, the Scottish Ambulance Service has Britain's only publi
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth