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Renault Formula 1 Car

Fernando Alonso's Renault Formula 1 car at the Design Museum - how might this season of Formula 1 motor racing change our experience of driving? See below...


Welcome to InfoBritain, for historical visiting information in the UK. InfoBritain tells you what happened and where it happened. We have articles and visits relating to all historical periods from prehistoric Britain to recent times, and to the lives of major British authors, artists, musicians, scientists, politicians, military and royal figures. You can use our site search, or our various menus to find suggested visits relating to times or people. Alternatively go to the regions menu, find a place to visit in a particular area, and then link back to the history relating to it. We also have a full accommodation booking service for all parts of the mainland UK. We specialise in historic accommodation, but we also have comprehensive lists of hotels of all types and price ranges. See the regional menus on the right. Enjoy!

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A Personal Note (Archive)

October 12, 2014

The current Formula 1 motor racing season is currently reaching its climax, with Mercedes winning the Constructors Championship in Russia. This year has represented a significant change in the sport, with the adoption of hybrid engines and fuel limits. The car manufacturers demanded the use of these engines, hoping that technology forced on in the heat of Formula 1 competition would feed down to their road cars. This aim sits in a long historical tradition. Many technologies on road cars were originally developed in motor racing. The rear view mirror was first used on a racing car, at the Indianapolis 500 race in 1911. Since then all kinds of technical advances, from automatic transmissions to disc brakes have moved from racing cars to road cars.

There is one advance now being planned in Formula 1 which may profoundly change future road car use and safety. And this does not involve the hybrid engines which have caused so much comment this year. The real revolution may actually involve remote control of car speed. Following a serious accident suffered by Jules Bianchi in Japan, the Formula 1 governing body intends to implement a system allowing speeds to be limited remotely during dangerous periods. Until now there has been a system of warning flags which rely on drivers making their own decision to slow down. Unfortunately they do not always do so, just as drivers on normal roads do not always choose to respond to speed limits. Remote control of car traffic, to ease congestion, improve traffic flow, and enhance safety would represent a revolution in road travel. The Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, October 12th 2014 may very well be remembered as a harbinger of that revolution.


The InfoBritain view of history (with thanks to The Simpsons)

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Historical news for October

For the last thirty years the Turner Prize has been highlighting the work of new British artists. On 30th September the Turner Prize 2014 Exhibition opens at the Tate in London. For more details go to

An exhibition exploring the sources, techniques and stories behind famous paintings by John Constable opens in late September at the V&A London. Pictures involved include the Haywain and Salisbury Cathedral From The Meadows. The exhibition runs 20th September - 11th January 2015. Telephone 020 7942 2000

Smallhythe Place in Kent, former home of actors Ellen Terry and Henry Irving, has its own theatre, which has been refurbished over the winter. Free backstage tours are available on twenty seven dates between the end of July and the end of October. For more details go to

London grew up around a bridge over the Thames. An exhibition exploring the significance of London's bridges opened at the end of June at the Museum of Docklands. The exhibition uses historical art works and the museum collections to tell the story. The exhibition runs 27th June - 2nd November. Telephone 020 7001 9844.



Anniversaries for October

2nd October 1925: John Logie Baird transmits the first black and white television picture, of the head of a ventriloquist's dummy called Stooke Bill.

3rd October 1952: Britain becomes the world's third nuclear power following detonation of a nuclear device in the hold of a frigate off the Montebello Islands, Western Australia.

6th October 1927: The Jazz Singer, the first full length talking picture opens. Al Jolson's first words in the film were "wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet."

8th October 1829: A steam engine called the Rocket wins the Rainhill Trials. The Rocket's designers, George and Robert Stevenson are awarded the contract for providing locomotives on the new Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

13th October 1884:Greenwich in London is established as the prime meridian from which all distances east and west would then be calculated.

19th October 1812: After an attempt to conquer Russia, Napoleon begins his retreat from Moscow. Around 380,000 French soldiers died in the Russian winter during the retreat.

27th October 1914: the British battleship HMS Audacious is sunk after striking a mine off the west coast of Ireland. This loss was considered so serious that the it was not officially announced until after the end of World War One in 1918.


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Thank you to photo contributors Danielle Davis, Jean Edwards, Vicky Eagle of Portsmouth Dockyard, Kevin Edwards, Julian Jones, Richard Jones, Jackie Lewis, Debbie Lowless, Judy Mills of the Corinium Museum, Jane Barron of the World Rugby Museum, and Susan Stuart of Old Spitalfields Market.

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