Interesting things about the constituency

1. King Alfred was born in Wantage

2. Didcot Town FC won the 2005 FA Vase

3. AEA Technology, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Culham Laboratory, Infineum, the Williams Motor Racing Centre, the Diamond Synchrotron and Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment are all based in the constituency. Indeed 10% of the solar silicon used in the world is made by Crystalox who are based in the constituency

4. Wantage was once represented by Airey Neave MP, who was murdered by the IRA in 1979. His coat of arms now hangs above the entrance to the Chamber of the House of Commons

5. The last folly built in England is to be found on Folly Hill near Faringdon. It houses the only inland lighthouse in the UK which cannot be seen from the sea.

6. The prehistoric Ridgeway runs through the constituency

7. The Great Western Railway, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and described by him as one of the finest railways in the world,  runs through Didcot

8. Faringdon became the first fairtrade town in the South-East on England on the 2nd February 2004 and Grove became a fair-trade village in 2009.

9. Tim Rice has written an “Ode to Didcot Power Station”.

10. The sculptor Henry Moore was said to be responsible for the positioning of the cooling towers of Didcot Power Station

11. Wallingford is one of just four towns mentioned in the text of Magna Carta

12. The statue of King Alfred in Wantage square is modelled on Lord Wantage, a former MP for the area, who won the VC in the Crimean War and helped found the British Red Cross.

13. George Orwell and Agatha Christie are both buried in the constituency, at Sutton Courtenay and Cholsey

14. Kenneth Grahame, the author of The Wind in the Willows (published in 1908 and still going strong), lived in Blewbury near Didcot.

15.  The World Pooh Sticks Championship, inspired by the Winnie the Pooh books, is held annually at Little Wittenham. 

16. The youngest ever British Male Olympian, Ken Lester, is from Wallingford. He coxed a pair in the Rome Olympics 1960, was a member of Wallingford Rowing Club and has lived in the town all his life. His wife, Ros Lester, became Mayor in May 2012. Interestingly, the last Olympics in London (1948) were also held while a different Cllr Lester was Mayor of Wallingford!

17. Three rowers from Wallingford were selected for the Olympic Squad in 2012 - Lindsey Maguire and Katie Greves were in the Women's Eight and Zac Purchase won a silver medal in the Men's Lightweight Double Sculls.


Got any more interesting facts? E-mail them to Ed and we will put them on the site!