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Some 12,000 years ago a map of Europe would have looked something like the above. Sea levels were over 100 metres lower, global warming is nothing new folk!. What is now the English Channel is where the Thames flowed into the Rhine and, had anyone been living in what is now Covenham, it would have been a long walk to the beach!

As the glacial ice retreated the sea levels rose leaving an island now known as the Dogger Bank that finally disappeared under the waves some 7,000 years ago (give or take a couple of weeks).

Until we became an island people would have travelled freely across these lands, the climate allowed for large game animals and I imagine the pickings would have made these lands a good choice for living.

With isolation through rising sea levels our population would have been reduced and more permanent in nature. Subsequently we have been invaded Saxons, Vikings and Normans (to name but three) but remarkably these invasions have added very little to our resident gene pool.

Invasion, whether hostile or by trade has shaped our nation over thousands of years. The reaction to new peoples by the native population has, in all probability, always been defensive. Long before Enoch Powell got so upset, Queen Elizabeth I, in an open letter (1596) to the Lord Mayor of London announced "there are of late divers blackamoores brought into this realme, of which kinde of people there are allready here to manie," and ordering that they be deported from the country." Blackamoor being a term to describe a dark skinned muslim. Our multi-ethnic nation is much older than many of us realise.