When we were at school a mate of mine would occasionally turn up at things during the summer with a weird sidekick: a French kid called Xavier. Xavier was an exchange student, sent over for weeks at a time to learn English how it is really spoken. Unfortunately for M. et Mme. Frenchie, they’d sent Xavier to hang out with a load of teenage boys so all Xavier learnt was how to say “I ave gaz” and then belch very loudly.
But Xavier wouldn’t have got that far if it wasn’t for Birmingham for we had our very own exchange student, America’s Benjamin Franklin, who used to come over to brush up on science and invention as it really happens by spending weeks in the 18th century working alongside the gentlemen of the Lunar Society who, it turned out, actually did have
Photo CC BY: Robert S Donovan