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29 March 2023

This England: On the silk road

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

The growing desire among the super-rich to personalise their luxury cars helped Bentley to motor to another year of record profits in 2022.

Bentley buyers can change the stitching in the seats to silk, or upgrade the dashboard to a rotating display that can switch between the usual dials and a more modern screen. Typically about a quarter of customers would be expected to add those to their cars. In 2022 more than 90 per cent of customers chose to do so.
The Times
(Keith Turner)

Gone to ground

A man has caused a stir after deploying bailiffs to Luton Airport to recover money owed to him from Wizz Air.

Russell Quirk, 55, was left £3,900 out of pocket when he had to buy last-minute flights to Portugal when the airline cancelled his just three hours before take off. After months of waiting for the airline to make it right, Quirk ended up sending in the bailiffs.

He joked they could recover an aircraft if the airline refused to pay up.
(Steve Morley)

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[See also: This England: Story of my life]

Air play

A barrister who sued the Crown Prosecution Service after a colleague told him to stop breaking wind in the office has been awarded £135,862.
The Times
(Amanda Welles)

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Two for one

Cash-strapped couples are showering with each other to save money, a survey has found.

Three in ten adults have changed their washing habits – and while the typical Brit still has six showers a week, 17 per cent now combine showering with brushing their teeth.
(Michael Meadowcroft)

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

[See also: As a unified sense of British nationhood fades, we must ask: what is England?]

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This article appears in the 29 Mar 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Easter Special