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Halfway point

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mckeonj
613051.  Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:14 pm Reply with quote

There is in England a town called Meriden, which means halfway or middle.

 
suze
613054.  Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:07 pm Reply with quote

Looking on a map, the halfway-ness of Meriden seems to be as between Coventry and Solihull.

There are a few places in the UK called Halfway as well. We discussed this once before and found four - one in South Yorkshire (halfway between Sheffield and Chesterfield), two near Glasgow (Glasgow and Hamilton, and Glasgow and Paisley), and one in Kent (Sheerness and somewhere else).

 
Moosh
613064.  Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:44 pm Reply with quote

Meriden also claims to be the geographical centre of England, and has done for at least 500 years.

On the other hand, so does Leamington Spa, Haltwhistle, Dunsop Bridge and Weedon Bec.

 
Peregrine Arkwright
613177.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:51 am Reply with quote

.
Halfways
There are plenty of places called Halfway in South Wales, and for the life of me I can't work out where they are halfway between. One of them consists of about four nondescript houses a few miles out of Llandovery en route to Brecon.

Chesterfield used to claim to be the mid-point of England but I believe the Ordnance Survey now place it some way south of there.

Is there anywhere that claims to be the mid-point of the USA?

Peregrine Arkwright
.

 
Celebaelin
613193.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:47 am Reply with quote

Re Meriden the rumour has it that if you get an outline of mainland Britain
and locate the centre of gravity (hang it from any three points on the
coastline and take a plumb line to it and see where the three lines cross)
then it will be at Meriden. How accurate this is is another question but it's
not far away - I guess you'd need quite a big cut out to do it with any
accuracy but we did it at primary school and it seems to be about right.

 
suze
613331.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:32 am Reply with quote

For the answer to that question to be Meriden - or somewhere reasonably close thereto - wouldn't we have to consider purely mainland England rather than Great Britain?

The question of where the centre of Great Britain is appears to be controversial - see this article from the BBC - but it's clearly somewhat further north.

 
BigStu
613341.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:56 am Reply with quote

The geographical center of the US depends (as always) on what you measure. The center of the entire US is in South Dakota. But that includes Alaska (which is enormous), and Hawaii (which has considerably less area, but is so far away that it has a big influence on the result).

The center of the contiguous 48 states is in Lebanon.

No, really. The town of Lebanon, Kansas, not the country. See http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/7032. According to that website, there was a small chapel there, and a 10 foot high marker. Unfortunately, the chapel was destroyed on June 1st 2008 when a vehicle crashed into it and destroyed it...

 
Starfish13
613439.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:11 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
For the answer to that question to be Meriden - or somewhere reasonably close thereto - wouldn't we have to consider purely mainland England rather than Great Britain?

The question of where the centre of Great Britain is appears to be controversial - see this article from the BBC - but it's clearly somewhat further north.


Really? Taking into account Rockall and Muckle Flugga and the Scillies?

 
suze
613523.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:44 pm Reply with quote

Good question. To me, "Great Britain" means just the "big island" - i.e. that island upon which most of England, Scotland, and Wales are situated.

But that BBC piece says that it includes the "big island" and 401 "associated islands", but it doesn't say what that term means. The number of islands which make up the UK is many more than 401, so it can't be all of them - so maybe it's only those which are pretty close to the mainland (Sheppey, Wight, Anglesey, Skye, etc) but not the Orkney and Shetland groups, Lewis/Harris, Man, and such like.


For a couple of quick bonus points, what is the third most populous of These Islands, after "big island" and the island of Ireland?

 
exnihilo
613525.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:49 pm Reply with quote

The Isle of Wight?

 
suze
613526.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:57 pm Reply with quote

Sorry exnihilo, but I think that may have set the klaxons off. This came up in the research forums a while back, and you gave the same answer as one of the research team - but it's not the correct answer.

I'll give the answer below in whiteout, so that others can at least think about the question.

The answer is in fact Portsea Island, the island upon which most of Portsmouth is situated. It has a population of 147,000, compared with 133,000 for the Isle of Wight (2001 census figures; more recent estimates show Wight having caught up a bit but still being 7,000 behind).

samivel, would you have gotten it right?

 
samivel
613613.  Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:39 am Reply with quote

Aye. In fact, I asked this as a question elsewhere on tinterwebs and got the same klaxonable answer.

 
jdean
614134.  Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:52 pm Reply with quote

There is a brass plaque in the village of Swanbourn in Buckinghamshire (near my home town of Milton Keynes) that claims it is the furthest point from the sea in England.

Incidentaly, Suze, the French SI people calculated that the geographical centre of Europe is a few kilometers outside of Vilnius, Lithuania (it just keeps coming up!).

And I would guess the answer to your question is The Isle of Sheppy?

 
suze
614152.  Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:21 pm Reply with quote

Sheppey only has a population of 38,000, in fact, and so is actually some way behind being the answer. I'm not surprised that samivel knew the answer since he comes from fairly close to it, but I wasn't particularly expecting many other people to get it right.

As for the geographical centre of Europe being near Vilnius, does that depend on considering rather more of Russia as "Europe" than we usually would?

 
jdean
614157.  Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:33 pm Reply with quote

The French National Geographic Institute located the centre at 54 degrees and 50 minutes latitude, 25 degrees and 18 minutes longitude, placing it just 6km north of Vilnius old town.

Who am I to argue with the good people at the Institute! But I agree, when I read this I looked at a map, and it does not look right to me.

 

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