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2 November 2022

This England: Swan Song

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

Henry the Swan, the 37-year-old resident of Grasmere, has died. The swan was a legend of the town, well known and loved by locals and tourists. He came to Grasmere as a cygnet in 1985 and never left.

When Rick Martin took ownership of the boat-hire business Faeryland Grasmere, the two became firm friends.

Henry the Swan might have been the oldest in Britain. The previous record went to Pickles the whooper swan at Leeds Castle in Kent, who died aged 30 last year.
Westmorland Gazette (Terry Hanstock)

[See also: This England: You’re stuffed]

These boots are made for talkin’

Wrexham FC has said that its forward Paul Mullin will not be allowed to wear his boots inscribed with the message “F*** the Tories!” at matches.

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The Welsh club, owned by the Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, distanced itself from photos posted on Instagram, which showed the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial boots imprinted with the anti-Conservative Party message and “Mullin10”, a reference to the player’s shirt number.
The Times (Amanda Welles)

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Luxury services

A transformed Bradford petrol station has opened after a £1.5m redevelopment.

The reopening brings to completion seven months of work, with the petrol station completely stripped down in order to turn it into its new state-of-the-art design.

The premises now feature a modern, expanded Spar store, with Costa Express machines, Fwip gelateria, and a frozen Fanta machine.
Telegraph & Argus (John Etherington)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to comp@newstatesman.co.uk or on a postcard to This England.

[See also: This England: Better late than never]

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This article appears in the 02 Nov 2022 issue of the New Statesman, The Meaning of Rishi Sunak