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2 December 2020

This England: Given up the goose

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 man who got two pet geese for company in lockdown may have to get rid of them after complaints about their honking.

Sven Kirby, 34, has hand-reared the pets – Beep Beep and Norbert – who waddle around his house in nappies. A noise abatement notice from Leeds City Council now warns he must “prevent recurrence” by 8 December or face a fine of up to £5,000.

Sven, of Armley, said: “I love my geese. It almost feels as if social services are taking my kids away.” The council said he could appeal the notice.

Daily Mirror (Daragh Brady)

[see also: This England: Fast and loose]​

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Metro (Amanda Welles)


Counting sheep

Anne passed away at her home in Mere on 18 December 2018. Her love of her beloved sheep was a prominent feature in her life and Anne is buried in a white, woollen coffin made by a specialist Yorkshire firm using the fleece of three sheep.

The Blackmore Vale (Ruth Eyre)

[see also: This England: If a tree falls]

Magic mushrooms

Several carved wooden mushrooms have been removed from a park after a council received a complaint they looked “unnecessarily phallic”. The wooden features were carved out of tree stumps at Cwmdonkin Park in Uplands, Swansea, last winter by the council parks team.

Paul Durden, a co-writer of Twin Town, said many locals oppose the removal.

BBC Wales (Christopher Rossi)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to comp@newstatesman.co.uk or on a postcard to This England.

This article appears in the 02 Dec 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Crashed