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23 August 2023

This England: Fish first

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 plumber who was given a restraining order that banned him from being near the home of his ex-partner’s brother asked a magistrate to reduce the boundary as the property is near his favourite fish and chip shop.

Neil Wainwright, 40, of Runcorn, received the order after he threatened to blow up the house, where his ex was staying. The court in Cheshire agreed to his proposal.
The Times
(Philip Conford)

Abandon ship

A driver who parked his van on a beach was left shocked after his stricken vehicle floated out to sea when the tide came in.

RNLI teams scrambled a response craft after the van was seen drifting 50ft from the shore near Bridlington Beach, East Yorkshire. Body-cam footage showed the driver’s compartment flooded with water and parking tickets positioned on the passenger window.
Yorkshire Post
(Michael Meadowcroft)

Not-so Smarty Pants

A thief was caught on CCTV sticking two £425 golf clubs down his trouser leg before limping out of a shop.

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“The standard of crooks today has really gone downhill,” Ferndown Forest Golf Course said.
(Amanda Welles)

The Wonka Wing

A Willy Wonka superfan’s house is choc full of memorabilia – after he spent £150,000 to build his own world of pure imagination.

Nick Anderton, 44, has 2,500 items in a “Wonka Wing” at his home in Warrington, Cheshire.

His collection features the handprints of Gene Wilder, who played the eccentric chocolatier in the 1971 Roald Dahl adaptation, as well as a Wonka bar used in the film. 
(Daragh Brady)

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

[See also: Britain has never faced decline like this before]

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This article appears in the 23 Aug 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Inside Britain’s Exclusive Sect