It was the lack of vanadium for high-melting point alloys, caused by Royal Navy action, that prevented German Me 262 engines being serviceable; had German World War 2 engineers had a greater supply of vanadium and molybdenum, the engine life (around 12 hours maximum, from entering service in April 1944 to the end of the war) of their jet engine would have increased much more, which would have been significant to the war's outcome. Although having a slightly smaller percentage of the vote than the neighbouring East Midlands, the geographic area of the West Midlands is more Conservative, due to Labour's vote now consigned to the urban areas of Birmingham, Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent. 6 ft 9 Daniel Kawczynski, a Shropshire MP, is the tallest MP ever. Amtico (flooring) is based in the south of Solihull, with a main factory in Foleshill, Coventry. BT's Madley Communications Centre, claims to be the world's largest earth station. The Erdington site, owned by Iceland's BDR Thermea, closed in May 2012. Compin UK, with Fainsa, are in Solihull, and make train and bus seats. Alexander Parkes invented the first man-made plastic (thermoplastic) in Birmingham in 1856. This is one of the most heavily urbanised counties in the UK outside London. Norgren (part of IMI) is an international pneumatic technology company on the A5192 in Lichfield. There is some confusion in the use of the term "West Midlands", as the name is also used for the much smaller West Midlands county and conurbation which is in the central belt of the Midlands and on the eastern side of the West Midlands Region. "Sir Gawain and the green knight and the literary achievement of the north-west Midlands: the historical background. Anthony E. Pratt from Birmingham invented Cluedo. West Midlands | Bridgestone UK, Telent (near the A46 bypass), Calor (on Tachbrook Park off the A452), next to Co-operative Energy and near Magna Powertrain UK, Baxi (now owned by BDR Thermea, and on the A429 near Warwick railway station) with Potterton, Volvo Trucks UK (next to the A46 bypass) and a large data centre of IBM are in Warwick. Damit sind sie nach dem Großraum London die zweitbevölkerungsreichste englische Provinz. The city of Worcester is county town and largest settlement. RAF Defford, in the south of Worcestershire between Pershore and Croome Park, was where many important airborne radars were developed, such as H2S (radar) and anti-submarine radars. Poundland is in Willenhall, on the side of the Black Country Route (A454) towards the M6 junction 11. Channel 4's 4Talent network has a hub in the West Midlands dealing with rising media talent from the region.[92]. Essar Steel UK (former Servosteel) on the A4101 Pensnett Road in west Dudley, is the largest independent steel toll processor in the UK. Conex Bänninger (former IBP Conex), on the B4166 in New Town, west of West Bromwich on Birmingham Canal, make pipe and compression fittings. J. R. R. Tolkien grew up in Birmingham, Kings Heath, then part of Worcestershire, and was inspired by Moseley Bog and Sarehole, and perhaps by the Perrott's Folly. Spirit Pub Company (which demerged from Punch Taverns in August 2011, and owns Chef & Brewer, Flaming Grill and Fayre & Square) is near the A5121/A38 junction, with Punch Taverns slightly further north. The National Sports Centre at Lilleshall Hall is in Sheriffhales, Shropshire, north-east of Telford; it was largely established by the Central Council of Physical Recreation in 1949 as a National Recreation Centre; the south of England had theirs at Bisham Abbey on the Thames. [17] and brought into use in 1938, later extended to Manchester in 1940. 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