Historic Buckinghamshire is one of the most scenic regions of Britain. In 1963 its beautiful landscape was home to one of the largest most recognised robberies in Britain- The Great Train Robbery. In the early hours of Thursday 8th April a gang of fifteen robbers attacked a Royal Mail train heading between Glasgow and London and successfully got away with over £2.6 million, the equivalent of £46 million today.
The robbers hid out at Leatherslade Farm a now famous location in Brill, Buckinghamshire, a quaint village that lies between Bicester and Aylesbury and is home to a brewery, pubs, and is also notable as the inspiration for The Shire in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Coffee and the British
The UK enjoys an unsullied reputation as tea connoisseurs extraordinaire. However, a quiet national secret is the unthinkable rising popularity of coffee in UK workplaces, homes, restaurants and yes, the most sacred ground of all – the English Pub!
However, a look back at the UK’s coffee tradition suggests that we should not be surprised by the popularity of coffee houses. Historian Brian Cowan says English coffeehouses were, “Places where people gathered to drink coffee, learn the news of the day, and perhaps to meet with other local residents and discuss matters of mutual concern.” The conversation was always lively and informative. The absence of alcohol kept conversations on message. Like today, coffeehouses became place where financial news was discussed and financial transactions and investments were completed.
The first English coffeehouses appeared on the scene in the 17th century when travellers brought the treasured bean to England’s shores. The coffeehouse industry continued to expand into the 18th century. Political positions, fashion statements, current events and gossip dominated the conversation. Everything that typified the Age of Enlightenment interested coffee house customers.