Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For slough (In the UK, pronounced to rhyme with cow; In the US, pronounced 'slew') as a type of aquatic feature, see Slough (wetland).
|Borough of Slough|
|Region:||South East England|
- Total (2002 est.)
3,725 / km²
|Slough Borough Council|
|Leadership:||Leader & Cabinet|
|Executive:||Independent + Conservative + Liberal Democrats|
Most of the area was traditionally part of Buckinghamshire and formed over many years by the amalgamation of villages along the Great West Road between London and Bath and Bristol. The first recorded uses of the name occur as Slo in 1196, Sloo in 1336, and Le Slowe, Slowe or Slow in 1437. The name may have derived from the various sloughs (wetland) in the area; although some people think it may refer instead to Sloe bushes growing in the vicinty. Pubs and Coaching Inns grew up along the Great West Road to service the traffic between London and the West. Most people in the area lived in the joint parish of Upton and Chalvey, termed Upton-cum-Chalvey .
The astronomer William Herschel (1738 - 1822), and his sister Caroline, produced the first true map of the universe with a telescope he built in his garden in Windsor Road, Slough. A monument in Windsor Road commemorates his achievement. William married and is buried in St Laurence's Church, Upton, Slough.
The arrival of the railway in Slough in 1840 led to Queen Victoria making her first ever railway journey, from Slough station to Bishop's Bridge near Paddington, in 1842. In later years, a railway spur would be built from Slough Station to Windsor Central for the Queen's greater convenience.
On January 1 1845, John Tawell , who had recently returned from Australia, murdered his lover, Sarah Hart, at Salt Hill in Slough by poisoning her with prussic acid. With various officials in chase, Tawell fled to Slough Station and boarded a train to Paddington. Fortunately, the electrical telegraph had recently been installed and so a message was sent ahead to Paddington with Tawell's details. Tawell was trailed and subsequently arrested, tried and executed for the murder at Aylesbury on March 28 1845. This is believed to be the first time ever that the telegraph had been involved in the apprehension of a murderer.
The Grand Junction Canal spur arrived in 1882, and, during the mid to late 1800s, the arrival of the large-scale brickmaking industry into Langley and the area north of the Great West Road, saw dramatic growth northwards encroaching on the very south of the parish of Stoke Poges. This new development saw the population centre of the town move northwards and the name Slough suppressed Upton-cum-Chalvey.
An area of boggy ground to the west of Slough was used to store huge numbers of motor vehicles coming back from the First World War in Flanders. Local engineering companies sprung up to service this ready resource, and, in the early 1920s, these companies formed the Slough Trading Estate , one of the first such Industrial Estates in the world. Spectacular growth and employment ensued, with Slough attracting workers from many parts of the UK and abroad. Large housing estates were formed to cater for these workers and their families, notably Manor Park and Cippenham.
After the Second World War, several further large housing developments arose to take large numbers of people migrating from war-damaged London, notably Britwell, Wexham Court and Langley.
In the early 1970s the main A4 road was routed onto Wellington Street, north of and parallel to the High Street. This re-routing allowed the building of a major shopping complex, Queensmere, between the High Street and Wellington Street.
Slough was incorporated into Berkshire in the 1974 local government reorganisation. On April 1 1995, the Borough of Slough expanded slightly into Buckinghamshire and Surrey, to take in Colnbrook and Poyle. It became a unitary authority on April 1 1998, with the abolition of Berkshire County Council.
Before the 1800s, the main business of Slough was brickfields and agriculture. The bricks for the building of Eton College were made in Slough. Later, as the Great West Road traffic increased, inns and pubs sprang up along the road to service the passing trade.
During the 1800s the only major employer apart from the brickfields was James Elliman , who started as a draper in Chandos Street. In 1847, he changed careers and manufactured his Elliman's Embrocation and Royal Embrocation horse liniment from factories in Wellington Street and Chandos Street. Elliman became a major benefactor to the town, and is remembered today in the names of local roads and schools.
Hundreds of major companies have sited in Slough Trading Estate over the years, with its proximity to London Heathrow Airport and good motorway connections being attractive.
The European headquarters of Mars, Incorporated is based in Slough, and hence chocolate can often be smelled wafting across the town.
The town is also home to the National Foundation for Educational Research, which is housed in The Mere. Also, O2 is headquartered in the town.
In recent years, Slough's manufacturing has been on the decline, instead being replaced by offices, including those of Nintendo, Ferrari, Fiat, Maserati, and the UK branch of popular online retailer, Amazon.com.
Sense of Humour
- Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
- It isn't fit for humans now
As a joke, the comedian Spike Milligan presented Slough on TV as a holiday resort.
The BBC comedy series The Office is set in Slough, reiterating Betjeman's view of the place as a depressing industrial wasteland. In fact the character David Brent comments on Betjeman's poem in the series, and it also appears on the inside sleeve of the video and DVD of Series 1.
Famous people associated with Slough
- Slough Infonet
- BBC article on the history of Slough
- Text of Betjeman's Slough poem
- The murder of Sarah Hart
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