Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. The Back Pages
21 June 2023

This England: The great escape

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 Tegu lizard “that can run like a T-rex” is currently on the loose in Cumbria. Echo, who is 4ft long, escaped after managing to dig through her cage. The lizard’s owner, Siobhan Harkness, of Pet Encounter Cumbria, said Echo may whip strangers with her tail.

“I had to pop a meerkat to the vets because he’s got a poorly tooth. I was gone for 20 minutes and she dug a hole. I just don’t want anyone having a heart attack if she’s in their garden sunbathing and they think it’s a crocodile.”
Lancashire Post (Steve Morley)

[See also: This England: Get your ducks in a row]

Can’t fly the nest

A Christmas tree is still up in a town six months after festivities ended – because a wood pigeon made it its home. Councillors were told they can’t move the spruce in Beverley, East Yorkshire, as it’s illegal to disturb a wild bird’s nest when it is in use.
Metro (Daragh Brady)

Cheesed off

A cheesemaker has been accused of “emasculating” Dorset’s Cerne Giant by censoring the naked figure’s famous appendage on its packaging. The Oxford Cheese Company has been slammed for featuring an image of the giant on its “Cerne Abbas Man vintage cheddar” – minus the figure’s oversized phallus.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Vic Irvine, the head brewer at Cerne Abbas Brewery, was left “apoplectic” after discovering the famous landmark had been castrated – and believes the giant has been “watered down” to spare the easily offended.

“He has been emasculated,” Irvine said. “I think [the cheese manufacturers] are terrible rotters.”
Dorset Echo (Catherine Dyer)

[See also: This England: Muscle man]

Content from our partners
<strong>What you need to know about private markets </strong>
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

Topics in this article : ,

This article appears in the 21 Jun 2023 issue of the New Statesman, The AI wars