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Chiltern Hills

The Chiltern Hills or, as they are known locally and the Chilterns, is a range of hills northwest of London. They form a chalk escarpment across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. A large portion of the hills was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1965; the Chilterns cover an area of 322 square miles stretching 45 miles in a southwest to a northeast diagonal from Goring-on-Thames to Hitchin, are 12 miles at their widest. The northwest boundary of the hills is defined by the escarpment; the dip slope is by definition more gradual, merges with the landscape to the southeast. The southwest endpoint is the River Thames; the hills decline in prominence in northeast Bedfordshire. The chalk escarpment of the Chiltern Hills overlooks the Vale of Aylesbury, coincides with the southernmost extent of the ice sheet during the Anglian glacial maximum; the Chilterns are part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England, formed between 65 and 95 million years ago, comprising rocks of the Chalk Group.

In the north, the chalk formations continue northeastwards across north Hertfordshire and the Lincolnshire Wolds ending as the Yorkshire Wolds in a prominent escarpment, south of the Vale of Pickering. The beds of the Chalk Group were deposited over the buried northwestern margin of the Anglo-Brabant Massif during the Upper Cretaceous. During this time, sources for siliciclastic sediment had been eliminated due to the exceptionally high sea level; the formation is thinner through the Chiltern Hills than the chalk strata to the north and south and deposition was tectonically controlled, with the Lilley Bottom structure playing a significant role at times. The Chalk Group, like the underlying Gault Upper Greensand, is diachronous. During the late stages of the Alpine Orogeny, as the African Plate collided with Eurasian Plate, Mesozoic extensional structures, such as the Weald Basin of southern England, underwent structural inversion; this phase of deformation tilted the chalk strata to the southeast in the area of the Chiltern Hills.

The dipping beds of rock were eroded, forming an escarpment. The chalk strata are interspersed with layers of flint nodules which replaced chalk and infilled pore spaces early in the diagenetic history. Flint has been mined for millennia from the Chiltern Hills, they were first extracted for fabrication into flint axes in the Neolithic period for knapping into flintlocks. Nodules are to be seen everywhere in the older houses as a construction material for walls; the highest point is at 267 m above sea level at Haddington Hill near Wendover in Buckinghamshire. The nearby Ivinghoe Beacon is a more prominent hill, although its altitude is only 249 m, it is the starting point of the Icknield Way Path and the Ridgeway long distance path, which follows the line of the Chilterns for many miles to the west, where they merge with the Wiltshire downs and southern Cotswolds. To the east of Ivinghoe Beacon is Dunstable Downs, a steep section of the Chiltern scarp. Near Wendover is Coombe Hill, 260 m above sea level.

The more sloping country – the dip slope – to the southeast of the Chiltern scarp is generally referred to as part of the Chilterns. Enclosed fields account for 66% of the "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" area; the next most important, archetypal, landscape form is woodland, covering 21% of the Chilterns, thus one of the most wooded areas in England. Built-up areas make up over 5% of the land area; the Chilterns are entirely located within the Thames drainage basin, drain towards several major Thames tributaries, most notably the Lea, which rises in the eastern Chilterns, the Colne to the south, the Thame to the north and west. Other rivers arising near the Chilterns include the Mimram, the Ver, the Gade, the Bulbourne, the Chess, the Misbourne and the Wye; these are classified as chalk streams, although the Lea is degraded by water from road drains and sewage treatment works. The River Thames flows through a gap between the Berkshire Downs and the Chilterns. Portions of the northern and north-eastern Chilterns around Leighton Buzzard and Hitchin are drained by the Ouzel, the Flit and the Hiz, all of which flow into the River Great Ouse.

A number of transport routes pass through the Chilterns in man-made corridors. There are over 2,000 km of public footpaths in the Chilterns, including long-distance trackways such as the Icknield Way and The Ridgeway; the M40 motorway passes through the Chilterns in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire sections, with a deep cutting through the Stokenchurch Gap. The M1 motorway crosses the Bedfordshire section near Luton. Other major roads include the A41 and the A413. Railways include the Chiltern Main Line via High Wycombe and Princes Risborough, the London to Aylesbury Line via Amersham. Nearby the West Coast Main Line runs through Berkhamsted and the Midland Main Line calls at Luton; the Great Western Main Line and its branches such as the Henley and Marlow branch lines link the southern side of the Chilterns with London Paddington. The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway is a preserved line. High Speed 2 will pass through the Chilterns near Ame

Mayea Boat & Aeroplane Works

Mayea Boat & Aeroplane Works is an American wooden boat builder based in Michigan. The company was founded in 1911 by Louis T. Mayea and represents the oldest family-run custom mahogany speedboat builder/designer in the United States. While all other early wooden speedboat builders have changed owners, shut their doors, or turned to fiberglass construction, Mayea Boat & Aeroplane Works continues the wooden speedboat tradition with direct lineage to the company's founder. Louis T. Mayea started building boats in 1893. In 1907 he became the Superintendent of the newly formed Detroit Power Company; the company was incorporated in Detroit, Michigan by John F. Hacker, father of the now well-known boat designer John L. Hacker. In 1908 the company roles were listed as: John F. Hacker, President; the company designed and built launches, sailboats and cruisers up to 60'. In 1911 The Detroit News reported that the company had designed and built the fastest step bottom hydroplane in the United States, named Kitty Hawk II.

That same year the company gained attention after designing and building the first successful pontoons for Russell Alger's Wright Brothers Model B plane. Frank Trenholm Coffyn used the hydroplane in 1912 to take off and land on the Hudson River, enabling him to capture aerial video of the New York skyline for the first time in history. By September 1911 Louis T. Mayea had taken control of the company and renamed the firm to Mayea Boat Works; the new company's advertisements touted their ability to build launches and cruisers up to 100' in length. In 1916 the General Aeroplane Company commissioned Mayea Boat Works to build a line of mahogany, two-passenger, biplane flying boats; the planes were named Verville Flying Boats after Alfred Verville. They were the first Michigan-designed and built planes sold to the U. S. Navy; that same year the company was renamed to Mayea Boat & Aeroplane Works and relocated to Fair Haven, Michigan. During the Great Depression the American economy slowed; the company was somewhat better positioned other boat manufactures as it had remained a family run business able to survive on building a small number of custom boats.

In order to stay solvent the company began building fast custom bootleggers for local rum-runners to smuggle booze the short distance from Canada to Detroit. The outbreak of World War II helped put the company on more solid footing. Louis' sons and Herbert, produced three experimental military boats for a joint venture between Gray Marine Motors and General Motors: the 49' GM2, the 53' GM3, a 65' troop huller named GM6. GM3 was powered with four GM 6-71 diesels, making it the fastest diesel-powered boat in the United States. In 1946 the first Mayea boat built; the company continued designing and building one-of-a-kind custom wooden boats through the years for customers such as William Andrew Fisher of Fisher Body. Mayea Boat & Aeroplane Works is run by fourth generation Mayeas. Mixing new technology with tradition handed down by their fathers and grandfathers, the company still designs and builds custom one-of-a-kind mahogany boats up to 60' in length; the Mayea family constructs one to two boats per year.

The last boat to be built was a custom built 47' mahogany runabout. It is thought to be the world's largest custom diesel-powered varnished mahogany runabout; the boat's amenities include hand-wrapped ostrich skin seats, black ebony inlaid teak floors, 850 horsepower Italian Sea Tec diesels and custom fabricated stainless steel hardware. Mayea Boat & Aeroplane Works

John Praed

John Praed, of Trevethoe, near St Ives, was an English merchant and Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1708 and 1713. Praed was the son of James Praed of Trevethoe and his wife Horor Gifford, daughter of Arthur GIfford of Brightley, Devon, he was apprenticed to Mr Bonnell, a merchant in London and became a factor in Zant by 1678. In 1680 Praed entered a business deal, to cripple his finances for the rest of his life. Two London merchants, Daniel Gates and William Warre, sent him an order to buy up all the currants at Morea and to draw bills of exchange payable in Venice. Praed delivered the cargo. Praed was awarded £ 6404 and costs against Warre. Warre made an unsuccessful appeal and refused to pay, whereupon Praed had him committed to the Fleet Prison and applied to sequester his estates; however Warre had managed to secure his release. In 1693 Praed was approached by Abraham Anselm who wanted to recruit men for the exiled King James II to whom he replied that although he was a man of misfortune, yet he was a true subject of the government established.

Praed petitioned unsuccessfully in the matter of Warre in 1696 and 1699. In 1706 he succeeded his brother James to the family estates at Trevethoe, which turned out to be encumbered with debt. At the 1708 British general election, Praed was elected Tory Member of Parliament for St Ives after a bitterly contested election, he voted against the impeachment of Sacheverell in 1710. He was returned again for St Ives at the 1710 British general election, he voted for peace in April 1711. On 10 February 1711 he tried unsuccessfully to bring in a bill to sequester Warre's estate, he did not stand at the 1713 British general election. In 1715 Praed entered an agreement with Sir Humphrey Mackworth to make Mackworth's son, his heir in return for £3000 and other income from the estate. In addition Praed was to recommend a wife for William Mackworth and recommended Anne Slaney who brought in a portion to pay off Praed's debts. Praed and Mackworth signed the leases with tenants at Trevethoe in 1716 and Praed was allowed to carry on living there until his death in 1717.

Praed was buried on 7 November 1717. His estates passed to William Mackworth who adopted the name William Mackworth Praed