Oct
30
2012
0

How much is lost in plastic card fraud?

chip and pin readerWe hear of credit card and payment frauds all the time, and about the introduction of new technology and initiatives to combat the problem. But how successful are these and what is the scale of losses involved? Losses on UK issued plastic cards in 2011 reached £341 million. The good news is that losses have [&hel[more...]

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Aug
20
2012
5

How do I complain about a chugger?

Charity fund raiser in EdinburghChuggers or charity muggers are the slang names given to charity fund raisers who approach you in the street and seek to promote a particular charity. Their aim is to persuade you to sign up a direct debit to donate on a regular basis to the charity. For the charities, regular donations are better than [&hel[more...]

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May
18
2012
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What was there before London’s Olympic Park?

olympic siteThe London Olympics 2012 are about to begin. As you watch the opening ceremony and view the Olympic Park it will be hard to believe that this was once a landscape of marshland, and later an industrial site intersected by watercourses and railways which in recent decades had declined into an industrial wasteland. The 250 [&hel[more...]

Mar
22
2012
4

Where is King John’s Treasure?

reclaimed land fensKing John, noted for his signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, has for centuries been generally regarded as an all-round bad monarch. He is also famous for supposedly losing his personal treasure and crown jewels. In 1216 King John was fighting a civil war against the Barons who had forced him to sign the [&hel[more...]

Feb
11
2012
0

When did the first air ambulance service start in the UK?

london_air_ambulanceHelicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) were introduced in 1987. The first operationally was the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust founded in April of that year. HEMS with their helicopters aim to provide a swift response to 999 emergency calls, bringing hospital resuscitating theatre techniques to the patient, stabilising them, and getting them quickly off to hospital. [&hel[more...]

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Feb
06
2012
2

Which American soldier was awarded the Victoria Cross?

arlington_cemetery_1921Which American soldier serving in the US military was awarded Britain’s Victoria Cross? Not only that, which British soldier serving in British military forces was awarded America’s Medal of Honor? Both seem impossible as both medals are the highest military honours for each country and are only awarded to a person in each respective country’s [&hel[more...]

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Feb
03
2012
2

What different types of railway level crossings are there in the UK?

level_crossingRailway level crossings have recently been in the news in the UK following the deaths of two young girls at a level crossing in Essex. But what different types of railway level crossings are there? Network Rail is responsible for the railway infrastructure in the UK. According to their website there are ’9000 level crossings [&hel[more...]

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Jan
30
2012
1

Where is the world’s largest working watermill?

laxey_waterwheelThe world’s largest working watermill is the Laxey Wheel, also called the Lady Isabella. It can be found on the Isle of Man. A small island which lies in the middle of the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland. As one can see from the photograph, the wheel is huge and towers over the nearby [&hel[more...]

Jan
27
2012
0

Can I discover a new planet?

keplar_11The technology and techniques involved in hunting for new planets outside of our solar system has advanced in leaps and bounds in the past few years. Finding earth-like planets orbiting neighbouring stars had long been the dream of astronomers, but it was not until 1992 that the discovery of the first exoplanet or extrasolar planet [&hel[more...]

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Aug
25
2010
0

What is a Payday Loan?

monopoly board collecting salaryPayday Loan is the name given to a short-term loan or cash advance which as its name suggests is only required until the borrower’s next payday when it can be paid back. A tide-you-over loan is often seen as a quick answer to a temporary shortage of money, but it is not designed as a [&hel[more...]

Aug
23
2010
0

What is the Millennium Bridge at Gateshead?

millennium bridge at gateshead opening and closingThe Millennium Bridge at Gateshead is an impressive footbridge with a novel tilting design which crosses the River Tyne from Gateshead to Newcastle in the north-east of England. It is the first tilting bridge in the world. The quaysides of Gateshead and Newcastle has undergone redevelopment and regeneration since the decline of traditional industries in [&hel[more...]

Aug
12
2010
0

How rich was my ancestor?

photograph of oscar wildeIf you are researching your family history and in particular your English and Welsh ancestors, then a useful new resource is now available online: the England and Wales National Probate Calendars for the 19th and 20th centuries. These Calendars were previously only available for inspection by making a personal visit to a Probate Registry in [&hel[more...]

Aug
11
2010
0

What is Engine Health Monitoring?

rolls royce jet engineWhether flying on a business trip or a vacation, as your aircraft takes off you will probably be confident that the pilot and the crew have carried out their pre-flight checks, the ground crew have serviced and checked over the aircraft, and throughout the flight the crew will be monitoring the instruments. But you may [&hel[more...]

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Aug
09
2010
0

What is the origin of the name B&Q?

b&q sign on warehouseB&Q is the third largest home improvement retail company in the world with 321 stores in the UK and 60 stores spread across the globe. In 2009/10 retail sales were £4 billion, with profits of £195million. It is part of the Kingfisher Group plc. The company’s name B&Q comes from the names of its founders: [&hel[more...]

Jul
29
2010
0

What is Britain’s newest bank?

piggy bankBritain’s newest high street bank has just opened. Metro Bank plc is the first new public bank to be created for over 100 years. The last public bank was the Co-operative (originally CWS Loan and Deposit Department) established in 1872. Metro Bank is completely independent and not associated with any other bank. The bank is [&hel[more...]

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Jul
23
2010
1

What happens at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party?

buckingham palaceGarden parties at Buckingham Palace, the monarch’s office residence in London, are one of the highlights of the summer season. Specially invited guests from all walks of life have the chance that they may be introduced to Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, or other members of the Royal Family. Garden parties have been held [&hel[more...]

Jul
21
2010
0

Who or what were Glaxo Smith Kline?

glaxosmithkline officesGlaxoSmithKline plc is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world with a global market share of at least seven per cent. The company’s headquarters is in the UK with subsidiaries throughout the world. The company conducts research into medicines and vaccines to deal with the major threats of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. It [&hel[more...]

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Jul
15
2010
2

What is the National Savings and Investments?

piggy bankThe National Savings and Investments, also known as NS&I, is one of the largest savings banks in the United Kingdom, accounting for 10% of the UK retail savings investments market. It has 27 million customers and manages over £66 billion in investments. Unlike other banks which are ultimately owned by shareholders, the NS&I is an [&hel[more...]

Jul
12
2010
0

What are shareholders’ perks?

british airways aircraftWhen you buy a share in a company you are hoping that the company will be successful and it will offer good shareholder dividends and that the share price will also increase. But many people forget that there are a surprising number of companies which also offer perks and benefits to their shareholders. Companies offer [&hel[more...]

Jul
09
2010
0

Why does boating on the Norfolk Broads make a great holiday?

boat on the norfolk broadsThe Norfolk Broads have been a popular destination for boating holidays since Victorian times. Boating on the many waterways of the Broads provides a chance to enjoy its unique landscapes, history, and wonderful wildlife. The Broads is a network of six rivers, man-made waterways, and open expanses of water called Broads. These were created by [&hel[more...]

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