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High Wycombe

High Wycombe, South Buckinghamshire, is 32 miles (51.5 kilometers) NWW of London. pop (1991) 71,700. A hilly town situated at the southernmost foothills of the Chilterns. The town fights against becoming part of the urban greyness typical of places close to London, and is right on the edge of the beautiful South Bucks countryside. The town has a central bus station and also a modest railway station on the line connecting Birmingham Snow Hill[?] to London Marylebone Station. There is a modern town centre, with arcades and many clothes shops. There is also a large well-equipped theatre, the Wycombe Swan[?]. The many public houses heave with young people on Friday nights. Wycombe also houses a large Asian, and smaller West Indian and Chinese communities.

Wycombe was once renowned for furniture making. The River Wye runs through the valley, where beech trees were cut down by the furniture industry, forming the town centre (circa 1700), with housing along the slopes (some areas still surrounded by woods). To the east of the town centre the extensive Rye park (and the river) are a pleasant place for a stroll.

Wycombe appears in the Domesday Book, once featured a Roman Villa (2 A.D), was the sight of a minor Civil War battle featuring John Hampden, and the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. The local council struggles to maintain two locally beloved landmarks - the statue of a red lion (above Woolworths) and the replacement fountain in Frogmoor Square (the cast iron original was removed in WW2).

There is a gliding club and a voluntary aviation museum at Wycombe Air Park[?], the modern name for Booker Airfield, to the south of the M40 motorway on the western edge of the town. Many of the replica aircraft used in the film industry, for example in films such as "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines[?]" and "The Blue Max[?]" were built and flown there. There is a friendly restaurant (Happy Landings) with outdoor picnic tables that is open to visitors beneath the control tower[?].



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