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10 November 2021

This England: Sweating the small stuff

This column – which, though named after a line in Shakespeare’s “Richard II”, refers to the whole of Britain – has run in the NS since 1934.

By New Statesman

A shopper who dialled 999 saying he had been refused entry to Primark to purchase sweatpants was told to “jog on” by police. The shopper complained that security guards stopped him buying “grey joggers” in Leeds. But West Yorkshire police tweeted: “Ringing 999 is not going to gain you entry either.”

Metro (Daragh Brady)

Showing his hand

A graffiti vandal who caused more than £130,000 worth of damage claimed he was “creating a job for the person cleaning it”. Bacari Adams, 33, was caught red-handed when police discovered the main tag he had been spraying was tattooed across his knuckles.

Metro (Amanda Welles)


Signs in Henley, Shiplake and Goring were defaced after MPs voted on sewage. The boards welcoming people to Henley-on-Thames had cardboard signs put over the word “Thames” that read “poo”.

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“It’s certainly eye-catching,” said Henley town clerk Sheridan Jacklin-Edward. “Although we note the use of eco-friendly sign materials, we prefer our original name.”

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Henley Standard (Mark Ireson)

No meat on the bones

A Greggs superfan has had a tattoo of a vegan sausage roll inked on her leg. Beth Kweeday, 24, had the idea after colleagues made jokes about her daily visits to the chain.

“Why would I not get a tattoo of something I like so much? It is my leg and I am happy,” she said.

BBC North West (Christopher Rossi)

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This article appears in the 10 Nov 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Behind the Masks