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It's been a long wait, but the 1901 Census of England Wales is finally online - well, kinda.

Eight months after its ill-fated launch - and embarrassing crash - the site is undergoing testing to see if the faults that beset the service have been fixed.

For the last couple of weeks the site has been available at a number of terminals at the Public Records Office (PRO) in Kew.

This week, though, it's been made available online for Net users across the world. Opening hours are 09.00 to 19.00 hours (BST) Monday to Saturday.

A notice on the site reads: "We are conducting this test phase in order to undertake detailed monitoring and further optimise the site settings to ensure a good user experience for the high levels of demand we expect when we launch the live service."

Of course, there has been no fanfare to accompany this period of testing. Who knows what might happen if there was a rush of people trying to get on it, and the thing fell over again. Can you imagine the embarrassment? It'd be shocking. Oh dear, just shocking.

So, keep this one under your hat, OK. ®

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