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24 May 2023

This England: Threat of extinction

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 psychedelic dinosaur roaring from a rooftop in Cullen, Moray, has split opinion as it faces being consigned to the Jurassic era in a planning row.

The brightly painted head has been proudly towering above the door of an antiques dealership for nearly a year as the owners try to sell it.

The owner of the Cullen Antiques Centre, John Webb, has been forced to apply for planning consent to save the dinosaur. He said he already has interested buyers and they only put it up as a “positive uplift”.
Aberdeen Press & Journal
(Ron Grant)

Head vs heart

A woman has visited her own heart at a museum 16 years after it was removed during life-saving transplant surgery.

Jennifer Sutton, from Hampshire, said it was “incredibly surreal” to see the organ as an exhibit at London’s Hunterian Museum. “I’ve seen lots of things in jars in my lifetime but to think that’s actually mine is weird.”
BBC South
(Steve Morley)

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Moo-tual cover

An Essex couple have won compensation after a herd of water buffalo trampled through their garden and plunged into their swimming pool.

Andy and Lynette Smith were forced to pay more than £25,000 in repair bills after the herd escaped from a rare-breed farm last July.

The farm’s insurer, NFU Mutual, accepted liability, but failed to agree a settlement for nearly a year. “We accept that they deal with claims far more serious than a damaged pool,” said Smith. “But their failure to communicate has caused us countless sleepless nights.”
Evening Standard
(Mark Ireson)

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

[See also: This England: Delivered from danger]

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This article appears in the 24 May 2023 issue of the New Statesman, The Tory Crack-Up