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Perhaps because Bristol's seven hills once occupied the debatable border land between Mercia and Wessex, Bristolians have always taken an energetic and innovative approach to life. Home of the second largest Norman castle in the kingdom, Bristol was also a West Country holding of the Crusader Knights and a gateway to the New World. Over more than 700 years of endeavour, Bristol has been home to world-famous explorers, artists, inventors, entrepreneurs, pirates, merchants, politicians, divines, patriots and generals. "Bristol Curiosities" is a voyage of discovery that explores the curious events and even more curious people who made Bristol the successful city it has become over the millennia. From the immigrants whose activities enabled Bristol to claim the name 'Cradle of America', to the 'left-handed giant', city sledges, hidden bridges, strange trades, early recycling efforts and the storing of hundreds of thousands of smoking pipes, Bristol is a city that astounds and delights with its eclectic and surprising history.
Julian Lea-Jones was raised in Bermuda and came to the UK for secondary education. He completed his service with the Royal Air Force in 1967, and became an aerospace designer and researcher. Throughout the 1990s he ran an international consortium of aerospace companies and also acted as an aerospace consultant for the EC in Brussels, the DTI in the UK and a couple of universities. His interest in history and archaeology began in the late 1950s and he is the founder of the Temple Local History Group in Bristol, where he now lives.
'Easily the best researched and most entertaining compilation of strange and curious local tales'