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20 September 2023

This England: Buried treasure

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 lost a hard drive said to be worth £160m ten years ago has threatened his council with legal action if it refuses to let him dig for it.

James Howells’ ex-girlfriend accidentally threw out the drive containing 8,000 Bitcoins in 2013. The Newport local has been battling for a decade for permission to dig up the Newport City Council landfill site. The council has repeatedly refused Mr Howells’ requests to access the site, saying there is a lack of realistic prospect of recovering the iPhone-sized drive.
Daily Mirror (Steve Morley)

Here comes the bride

A bride who met her future husband on a building site drove 40 miles to their wedding in a JCB digger. Jessica Clair Bull, whose initials match the plant machinery firm, travelled from the Diggerland amusement park in Strood, Kent, to tie the knot with carpenter Christopher Elkins in Essex.

Jessica asked JCB for help with her big day and it in turn called on Diggerland. A park spokesman said: “We celebrate creativity and uniqueness,” adding they were “honoured” to help.
Metro (Daragh Brady)

A step too far

An Orkney driver has revealed that a Devon RAC mechanic was given the “ridiculous” task of travelling to the islands to fix her car.

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Hayley Green’s car broke down near the ferry terminal in Stromness. When she called, an RAC mechanic warned it might take longer than an hour for him to get from Devon to Orkney. “He said he had looked it up and it was 750 miles, which I agreed was fairly far to come,” Green said.
Aberdeen Press and Journal (Ron Grant)

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

[See also: This England: Not-so namaste]

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This article appears in the 20 Sep 2023 issue of the New Statesman, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers