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8 March 2023

This England: Black and white inking

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 Newcastle United fan who predicted a cup-final win by getting a tattoo says he “got a little bit carried away with myself” after his team lost. Kris Cook had the chant “Tell me ma me ma, NUFC cup winners” tattooed on his leg. But the Magpies lost 2-0 to Manchester United in the EFL Cup, their first visit to Wembley since 1999.

“I think my mam is still a little bit livid; my grandma, she went ballistic,” said Mr Cook, who is from Northumberland.
BBC North East & Cumbria (Nigel Huddleston)

A conspiracy of Daves

A landlord offered to serve punters called Dave a free drink on St David’s Day. Glen Ellis, of the Queen’s Head, Monmouthshire, said: “We have a large population of Daves who drink in the pub… It’s been a running joke that we always need a Dave on the premises – like the ravens at the Tower of London.”
Metro (Daragh Brady)

Local hero

The locals around Jeremy Clarkson’s farm are clearly enamoured with the ex-Top Gear host making a new home there. Signs for his Diddly Squat farm have been amended to direct visitors to something else entirely – the first three letters of Squat were replaced with “Tw”.

“Someone’s been busy in the night,” noted the weary presenter. His village neighbours have reportedly been irritated at the crowds his farm shop draws.
Daily Mirror (Amanda Welles)

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On your bike

A sign displaying the words “Psychopath to Inverness” was installed – and later removed – from a public road near North Kessock.
The Press and Journal (Kathryn Black)

[See also: This England: The best a cat can get]

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This article appears in the 08 Mar 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Why universities are making us stupid