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Avon county came into being in 1972 at the time of local government
reorganisation and comprised the city of Bristol and parts of Somerset
and Gloucestershire. It ceased to exist in the same form in 1996. At the
inception of the ALSPAC study, there were three maternity hospitals in
the former Avon Health Authority.
The old Avon county was situated on the south west coast of England along the Severn Estuary, 120 miles west of London. It covered approximately 1336 square kilometres and was made up of six local authorities: Bristol, Kingswood, Northavon, Woodspring, Bath and Wansdyke (although the latter two were outside the ALSPAC study area).
The population of Avon in 1991 was 919,800 which included Bristol with 500,000. Despite its relatively large urban population much of the county was rural.
Historically, Bristol has been a major port since the twelfth century trading in wine, tobacco and (until it was made illegal) human slavery. Between the two major wars of this century Bristolís glass making and coal mining industries declined rapidly, and only the manufacture of Bristol Blue Glass remains today. Heavy bombing of Bristol during World War II lead to a large migration of people from the inner city to suburban housing estates. Bristol is today the administrative capital of the South West and one of the most important financial centres in England outside London. It imports molasses, petroleum products via pipeline, concentrates for Commonwealth Smelters Ltd and bulk products including forest products.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up
repayments on your mortgage
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