Leicestershire one of the many landlocked counties in the East Midlands, home to many canals (a throwback to the Industrial Revolution) when goods were transported by boat to London. It used to encompass Rutland, which is now the smallest county (depending on whether the tide is in or out on Isle of Wight!)
This is the ‘county of firsts’. It’s the birthplace of the English language (local vicar John Wycliffe was the first to translate the Bible from Latin to English). And birthplace of the motor car (good or bad?)
It’s also the birth of the Quaker faith when George Fox and others broke away from the mainstream church, unimpressed with hypocritical dogma. The religion (often called ‘western Buddhism’) has a strong history of helping world peace, environmental justice, animal welfare and rehabilitation of prisoners. A well-loved local boy is our beloved Sir David Attenborough (his love of learning obviously stemming from being raised on campus, at Leicester University).
Another interesting first for Leicestershire, is that it created the vegan movement. Although the Vegan Society (now based in Birmingham) was for many years situated in an old house in Hastings (East Sussex), its founder Donald Watson founded it in Leicester (there’s even a local cocktail bar named after him). He went vegan after seeing a terrified pig slaughtered on a relative’s farm (his brother and sister soon followed suit). His mother remarked she felt like a ‘hen that had hatched a clutch of duck eggs!’ Donald regularly hiked up mountains in the Lake District, where he lived with his wife until he died at the ripe old age of 95. England’s longest-running veggie restaurant (The Good Earth) is still going strong in Leicestershire (57 years and counting!)