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4 January 2023

This England: Santa jam

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 vintage armoured vehicle filled with Santas had to be freed by police after getting stuck in a Cornish lane. The Santas, who were believed to be on a pub crawl, got wedged in a hedge.

Devon and Cornwall Police were called after reports that a vehicle had been damaged. Ian Jepson, who shot video footage of the jam, said the lane was blocked for about two hours.
Global Herald (Mark Ireson)

Walruses come first

A seaside town’s fireworks were cancelled on the advice of wildlife experts due to the presence of a wandering walrus. The mammal, known as Thor, popped up in Scarborough on Friday afternoon. The Arctic walrus is taking a break during a journey north.

Scarborough Borough Council cancelled the town’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display on the advice of British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
Sky News (Kate McIntosh)


Police have spent three months struggling to find a man with his own name tattooed on his forehead.

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Kieran Bond, 19 – who has “Bondy” inked over his right eye – failed to turn up in court. He is accused of making threats with an offensive weapon.
Daily Mirror (Amanda Welles)

Dylan on the cobbles

Bob Dylan has been offered a walk-on role on Coronation Street after revealing he is a fan of the TV soap. The 81-year-old songwriter could “sing karaoke with Ken Barlow and Rita Sullivan” during an open-mic night at the Rovers Return pub if he agreed to appear, producer Iain MacLeod told the Telegraph.
Metro (Jenny Woodhouse)

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[See also: This England: Going, going, gone]

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This article appears in the 04 Jan 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Sunak Under Siege