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11 April 2023

This England: Let’s park that

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 driver has claimed victory in a legal battle against Britannia Parking – over a £4.50 ticket.

Andrew Mogridge, 59, took action after he was unable to pay the original fee due to a faulty machine. As time elapsed the charge went up and he refused to pay the higher price of £7.50.

He ended up owing £300 including a fine but after taking the case to county court – which took four years – the fees were waived. He won £14.50 to cover his costs, but said: “It was a victory for the small man. I know lots of people have been stung.”
(Michael Meadowcroft)

Snow joke

A concerned female passenger’s tweet from 2018 has gone viral after she asked train station staff members to check on a man who looked as though he had “frozen to death”, only to be told that it was a statue.

Emma Obank was on a train passing through Woking station when she spotted what she thought was a man sat on a bench looking unwell and covered in snow.

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A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Seated Man is still OK, but we are glad that our customers are keen to look out for one another.”
Daily Mail
(Steve Morley)

Chop chop

A man is hoping to set a world record for being the fastest to run the London Marathon dressed as a lumberjack. Chris Garratt, 47, from Kempsey in Worcestershire, has been training to run in a lumberjack’s heavy boots, carrying a replica axe.

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Mr Garratt wanted to challenge himself but was looking for a “target that was realistic”.
BBC West Midlands
(Daragh Brady)

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

[See also: Why we need a train network like France’s]

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This article appears in the 12 Apr 2023 issue of the New Statesman, The Anniversary Issue