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19 April 2023

This England: High foot traffic

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

Hundreds of trainers dumped outside a sports shop near Penrith sparked a frenzy.

As word spread, motorists were seen rifling through a skip filled with New Balance footwear. Many were thought to be single shoes or samples.

Mark Proudfoot, the landlord of the Crown Inn near the Factory Shop in Shap, Cumbria, said it was “disgraceful” to see people, some with families, “rummaging through the skip”.

Penrith town councillor Jonathan Davies said: “It was Shoemageddon.”
Daily Mirror
(Peter Willmott)

Dozy Doris

A cow has attracted sympathy from across the globe for “pretending” to be asleep to get out of being milked.

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Doris – part of a 200-strong herd on an Isle of Wight dairy farm – has attracted more than 1.5 million views on TikTok.

The video prompting all the fuss shows farmhand John Brodie trying to coax an unimpressed-looking Doris outside on a cold morning two weeks ago.

Mr Brodie said the footage demonstrated how Doris was “more person than cow”.
BBC South
(Christopher Rossi)

[See also: Your therapist shouldn’t be on TikTok]

Lens flare

Hapless Tom Arnold admits he’s really made a spectacle of himself – after accidentally buying 60 pairs of reading glasses online.

The 61-year-old meant to buy ten pairs to leave dotted around the home but accidentally put in an order for 12 sets – 60 in all.

BBC Radio 2’s Anita Rani asked Tom if he’d had his glasses on when he made the order. He replied that he might not have, so is planning to keep ten on hand and return the rest.
(Michael Meadowcroft)

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

[See also: Is the clock ticking for TikTok?]

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This article appears in the 19 Apr 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Axis of Autocrats