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26 July 2023

This England: Collars and cuffs

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 school pupil gave his peers the shock of their lives when he turned up to his end-of-year prom handcuffed in the back of a police van. But all wasn’t as it seemed: it quickly transpired that 16-year-old William Barlow had set up the remarkable entrance with the help of the local force.
Derby Telegraph
(Andrew Sellors)

Till death do us part

A woman who “married” the ghost of a Victorian soldier last year has revealed that they have now divorced. Brocarde, 40, from Oxfordshire, insists she met soldier Edwardo after the ghoul “burst” into her bedroom one night during a storm, but after their “wedding” on Halloween 2022, things went downhill.

“He grew increasingly more aggressive and nasty and began to haunt me with the sound of a screaming baby,” she said. “He had an unsettling fascination with Marilyn Monroe. It started on our wedding day when he spotted her in the chapel, then he’d disappear for days on end and reappear, smelling of Chanel No 5.”
Daily Mail
(Steve Morley)

Police on a roll

Bedfordshire police “laid down the law” by stopping a driver with multiple rolls of carpet sticking out the back and side of his van. The motorist was spotted carrying the dangerous load through Luton.

As he was flagged down by cops his VW Transporter hit the wing mirror of a parked car.

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“Driver reported, not one to be swept under the carpet,” officers tweeted. “He needs a made-to-measure punishment if he gets carpeted by the magistrate,” one follower replied. Another joked: “Come on guys, no need for the pile-on.”
(Daragh Brady)

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 26 Jul 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Summer Special