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Oxfordshire

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Oxfordshire (abbreviated Oxon, from the Latinised form Oxonia) is a county in the South East of England, bordering on Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Warwickshire.

It is divided into five local government districts: Oxford, Cherwell, Vale of White Horse (after the Uffington White Horse), West Oxfordshire and South Oxfordshire.

The county has a major tourism industry. The area is noted for the concentration of performance motorsport companies and facilities. Oxford University Press has headed a concentration of print and publishing firms; the university is also linked to the concentration of local biotechnology companies.

The main centre of population is the city of Oxford. Other significant settlements are Bicester, Banbury, Kidlington, and Chipping Norton to the north of Oxford; Witney to the west; Thame and Chinnor to the east; and Abingdon, Wantage, Didcot and Henley-on-Thames to the south. Future population growth in the county is hoped to be concentrated around Banbury, Bicester, Didcot and Witney, near the South Midlands growth area.

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Thames Valley Police is one of the largest Home Office police services in England and the largest non-metropolitan one, covering 2200 sq mi (5,700 km²) and a population of 2.1 million. The force is responsible for the Thames Valley area covered by the ceremonial counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

In December 2003, Thames Valley Police employed over 6,000 staff, including 4,189 police officers. Its motto is Sit pax in valle tamesis (Latin: 'Let there be Peace in the Thames Valley'); its slogan is reducing crime, disorder and fear.

The Chief Constable of the force is Sara Thornton who was promoted to the position in April 2007.


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Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, MBE, GM (April 2, 1940 – March 23, 1981) was a British Grand Prix motorcycle road racer regarded by many as one of the greatest racers of all time. He was known as "Mike The Bike" because of his natural riding ability. Later in his career he went on to compete in Formula One auto racing, becoming one of the few men to compete at the Grand Prix level on motorcycles and in auto racing.

Mike Hailwood was born at Langsmeade House Great Milton in Oxfordshire, His father, who also raced in the pre-World War II era, owned a large motorcycle distributorship and young Hailwood was raised in relative affluence. He began riding at an early age, starting on a minibike as a small boy. He learned to ride in an eight-acre field near his home and wore an oval track from the constant laps he rode on Sunday afternoons after church. He was educated at Pangbourne College, but left early and worked for a short time in the family business before his father sent him to work at Triumph motorcycles. He married Pauline Barbara Nash on 11 June 1975 and had a son and a daughter.


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