The timeline started its life at the magnificent Notting Hill Prep in London, where it snaked through the assembly hall, up the stairs and along the passages, describing anything and everything historical; art and architecture, religion, discoveries, inventions, battles, kings, queens and even the occasional figure of legend.
The pupils at the school would have these events as their daily backdrop. Even if - when they left - they could not always put a precise date on something like Stephenson's Rocket, they would definitely know that it was on the floor above the Black Death and on the one below the Berlin Wall. Visual hooks were the name of the game, and with them they learned to place important events from history in their proper order.
Matthew Faulkner (who devised the timeline as Head of History) and Fiona Macpherson (who painted it) finally worked out how to reproduce the timeline in a portable, self-adhesive and cost-effective form - and the rest, as they say, is history!