August 16, 1945 In England, the lifeboat Foresters Centenary was taken out into the North Sea to help dozens of people who were stranded together on a vessel. This operation was only one of many rescues undertaken throughout the years by the lifeboat in the waters off England’s eastern coastline. On that summer day in... Continue Reading →

July 19, 1843 In southwestern England, the record-setting iron steamship SS Great Britain was launched at Bristol Harbour amid great fanfare. Prince Albert, Prince Consort of the United Kingdom and the husband of Queen Victoria, arrived in Bristol at ten o’clock that morning to participate in the festivities for the new vessel. The Illustrated London... Continue Reading →

April 5, 1941 Nigel Gresley, a railway engineer who made major contributions to the development of high-powered steam locomotives, died at his home in Hertford, England, at the age of 64. He was born in 1876 in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh and raised in the English village and civil parish of Netherseal. After attending... Continue Reading →

March 14, 1908 Motorcycle designer and manufacturer Philip Vincent was born in London, England. It was during his time as a student at Harrow School, a London-based boarding school for boys, that Vincent was introduced to motorcycles. His interest in this means of mobility steadily grew. He bought his first motorcycle, which was a second-hand... Continue Reading →

January 28, 1896 The first known speeding infraction that involved a motor vehicle took place in the village of Paddock Wood in southeastern England. Walter Arnold of the nearby village of East Peckham was caught driving a Benz automobile at eight miles (13 kilometers) per hour in a two-mile (3.2-kilometer)-per-hour zone. A constable riding a bicycle... Continue Reading →

January 23, 1745 Civil engineer William Jessop – best known today for his prodigious work on canals, harbors, and railways – was born in the settlement of Plymouth Dock (now Devenport) in southwestern England. The significant engineering projects that Jessop helped bring to fruition include the Grand Canal of Ireland, a pair of canals connecting... Continue Reading →

June 21, 1886 In England, construction of the Tower Bridge in London began when a foundation stone was put in place during an extravagant Monday afternoon ceremony attended by royalty. The need for a bridge spanning across the River Thames at that location had become urgent as commercial development in London’s East End grew dramatically... Continue Reading →

June 13, 1842 Queen Victoria took her first train ride. Victoria, whose reign as British monarch lasted 63 years altogether, was also the first in that royal lineage to ride a train. Her inaugural ride took her from the Slough railway station (near Windsor Castle) to Bishop’s Bridge near Paddington in London. The name of... Continue Reading →

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