26. Wales is the most important sheep raising area in Europe.
Despite its small size, only a fraction over 8,000 sq. miles (slightly larger than the state of New Jersey), and with a population just under 3,000,000, Wales raises more sheep than any other area in Europe. Its 11,000,000 sheep represent about 15 percent of the sheep in the European Community. Because of the relatively poor soil of much of the land and high rainfall, about 80 percent of Wales is designated as "less favored areas" by the European Community. The conditions, however, are ideal for the raising of sheep. Especially famous is Berwyn Lamb, a succulent delicacy raised on the lush, green pastures of the Berwyn Mountains.
Metal grids to prevent the sheep from trespassing are found on main roads and country lanes throughout the country. A legend has grown up about a famous sheep in Merthyr Tydfil who taught her offspring to conquer their fear of the thin metal bars in the grids by rolling over them! Countless townspeople swear to the veracity of this event, though an equal number of reporters have failed to witness it.
27. The world's first mail order shopping began in Newtown, Wales.
Some time in 1859, astute businessman Pryce Pryce-Jones, of Newtown, Montgomeryshire (Powys) began to cater to the needs of many of his rural customers by offering goods for sale through the mail. Many of the area's farmers lived in isolated valleys or in mountain terrain and had little time or suitable transportation to come into town for their many needs. The Pryce Jones Mail Order business was the perfect answer, especially since the Post Office reforms of the 1840's had made the mail service cheap and reliable. The Newtown Warehouses, packed with goods, began a service that quickly caught on in the United States, with its even greater distances and scattered population. As we all know only too well from our mailboxes ever bulging with catalogs, mail order shopping was here to stay.<
28. A Welshman was the last Briton to die in WW I.
On Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, Able Seaman Richard Morgan of Devauden, Gwent (Monmouthshire) died while serving on HMS Garland. He thus became the last British serviceman to die in the World War I and the last of 40,000 Welshmen who lost their lives in the fighting.
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