Recently we welcomed local student Rosie Newhouse Hill to the media team for a week of work experience. We really enjoyed having her with us, and we’re delighted to be able to share her Christmas-themed blog…
Christmas is drawing closer and people are slowly leaning into the festive spirit. Here at OS, we are ready to dive right into Christmas by tying it up with geography through these fun geographical stats. From sprouts to wrapping paper, fairy lights to Christmas trees, we’ve got it all.
In anticipation of Christmas, we thought we would pay homage to the classic seasonal track 12 Days of Christmas by finding some fun OS facts about Great Britain for each line.
To avoid typing the whole song out as we know you know it already, we have just written the last paragraph here to jog your memory.
On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
11 Pipers Piping
10 Lords a Leaping
9 Ladies Dancing
8 Maids a Milking
7 Swans a Swimming
6 Geese a Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree
Within Great Britain, there are 12 roads in total with the term ‘drum’, ‘drumming’ or ‘drummers’. While Drummer Lane occurs twice, Drummer’s Lane and the other 9 such as Drummermire and Drummery Lane are unique.
We have a special relationship with The Cedar School in Southampton. Earlier this year a team from OS helped renovate their forest garden. As part of our GetOutside initiative, which inspires people to get outside more often, all 79 children visited the garden and gave us muddy fingerprints for this year’s OS Christmas card.
Our workplace choir, Off the Scale, also visited the school this month to sing Christmas carols. They were treated to a reciprocal performance from some of the children, signing and signing.
We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Whether it’s a jar of jam or chutney, a book or something crafty, research revealed 9 out of 10 of us say the most important part of a gift is the time and effort that goes into it, as opposed to the cost.
Corrine Sweet, Author and Psychologist, said: “Nothing stays in the memory and mind more than important experiences and beautiful images – especially when they celebrate our hobbies. Something personalised means ‘I know you and want to make you smile’ and a custom-made map reflects good times in your life.”
With just over two weeks to go until Christmas, we started thinking about our favourite Christmas place names around Great Britain. Take a look and let us know of any others we should add to the list…
From Cold Christmas (Hertfordshire) and Christmas Cross (Shropshire) to Holly Green (Worcestershire) and Ivy Tree (Cumbria), there are places scattered across the country where it feels like Christmas all year round – even if only in name.
It’s December, so we feel safe mentioning the ‘C’ word and sharing our 5 favourite Christmas gifts for the map lover in your life. Grab some inspiration here:
1. The Great British Colouring Map: A Colouring Journey Around Britain
Relax this Christmas and take an immersive colouring trip across the country, from coasts and forests to our iconic cities and landmarks. The latest addition to the colouring-in craze puts the intricate detail our maps on the page, ready for you either restore them to their original colour scheme – or add your own abstract creative touch! Practice some mindfulness and colour in or simply pore over the maps: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/great-british-colouring-book.html
2. OS Custom Made
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then one of our Custom Made maps tells a story. You can put your memories – where you were born, where you met, where you live –at the centre of one of our maps. You can choose a folded map at OS Explorer or OS Landranger map scale, add your own photo and title and centre it wherever you like. Or pick a unique flat map that can be framed and hung on the wall – still with your own title and centred where you choose. For the first time this year, we’re also offering a canvas version for you to hang on your wall. Custom Made map prices start at £16.99, take a look: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/custom-made-maps.html
3. OS clothing collection
Finding the perfect Christmas gift for loved ones can be a tricky task. Each year millions of us unwrap a present and feign happy surprise, but what are the gifts that turn our Christmas cheer into despair year after year? Research released today saw novelty jumpers or clothing, soaps, cheap bottles of wine, candles and socks top the list of the worst or most useless presents we receive.
The poll also asked people to rate the gifts we can predict we’ll get year after year with chocolate, toiletries, socks, gift vouchers and slippers coming in top. And who are the most likely culprits for giving predictable presents? Our lovely mums and partners!
1. The novelty of seeing your own home on a map never seems to dim and this personalised jigsaw from The Little Boys Room (available for locations across Great Britain) illustrates that perfectly. You can even choose a historic map if you really want to challenge someone’s skills!
Thinking about winding down the grey matter as Christmas approaches? Well think again, as it’s time for our first annual (hopefully) festive geography quiz! To be honest, the questions aren’t very festive but they most definitely are geography related.
Alas in the age of austerity the only prize we can offer is a sense of pride at being a geography wizard and generally more intelligent than everyone else.
The first person to leave all the correct answers as a comment will be officially crowned as the winner – thinking caps on and try not to resort to Google immediately! And you never know, just some of the answers might be lurking in previous blog posts…
1. What name do islands in England, Scotland and Wales all share?
2. Britain’s longest river rises in Wales; what is it called?
3. Which islands lie between Iceland and the Shetland Islands?
4. Which area of land in England is administered by Verderers?
5. What is the most easterly point of mainland Great Britain, and which OS Landranger Map is it on? – OSGB grid reference please!
6. What is the length of the coastline of Great Britain, including all major islands, at Mean High Water at 1:10,000 scale, to the nearest 10 kilometres?
7. What is England’s Second Largest Cathedral?
8. Why is Sixpenny Handley, Dorset, so called?
9. Name the three towns or cities that have contained Ordnance Survey’s Headquarters?
10. What was the first map to contain the words Ordnance Survey?
[Image by Sybren A. Stüvel via Flickr]