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29 June 2022

This England: If he could speak to the animals

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

Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, has named his new tabby kitten Attlee, after the postwar Labour prime minister. Hoyle also owns a parrot called Boris, a Patterdale terrier named Betty and a tortoise named Maggie, “who has a hard shell and isn’t for turning”.
The Times (Amanda Welles)

[See also: This England: Hot-hoofing it]

Not a happy bunny

A rabbit that was struck by a car somehow survived a 40-mile ride trapped in the vehicle’s grille.

Mark Pearson said he was travelling at 30mph when he heard a “dreaded thump”. He checked his rear-view mirror but when he saw nothing, carried on driving to Bangor, north Wales. Later a colleague told him he had a rabbit stuck in his bumper.

“[I was] thinking it would be half a rabbit,” he said. “I was surprised to find this lucky fella had gone through the grille and got trapped in an enclosed compartment.”
BBC Wales (Christopher Rossi)

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It’s not unusual

A woman paid tribute to her late grandma by taking a pair of her knickers along to a Tom Jones concert.

Helen Gauntlett was a Tom Jones superfan, but sadly never got to see the singer live before she passed away last year. But her granddaughter Kirsty made sure her gran was there in spirit when she attended his Cardiff concert.

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Kirsty wrote on a pair of her grandma’s underwear: “These are my nan’s (clean) knickers. She is watching from heaven. But left these to throw at Tom.”
Chronicle Live (Steve Morley)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to or on a postcard to This England.

[See also: What is “Britishness” – and does it still matter? With Gary Younge, Jeremy Deller and Jason Cowley]

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This article appears in the 29 Jun 2022 issue of the New Statesman, American Darkness