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29 November 2023

This England: Possessive signs

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

St Mary’s Terrace in Twyford has regained its lost punctuation after a row that even drew in local author Jane Austen.

It began with a grumble from a retired teacher who was dismayed to spot that an apostrophe had vanished from the road sign of a lane in the Hampshire village.

The complaint led to intricate discussions at the local council, during which the sometimes erratic punctuation of Austen, the area’s most famous writer, was cited.

But after a 12-month battle, the status quo was restored and an apostrophe has been added back in to the sign for St Mary’s Terrace.
Guardian (Catherine Dyer)

[See also: This England: Gargoyle wars]

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Unfair fare

A business owner whose van was being transported through a city centre on the back of a breakdown recovery vehicle was stunned to receive a clean-air zone fine.

Eve Scragg, 38, was accused of breaching Bristol City Council’s low emission zone and fined £69. But she “laughed” when she saw the photo of her van on the back of an AA lorry. The council has cancelled her fine.
Metro (Michael Meadowcroft)

Cow pats for sale

With their immense physique and distinctly agricultural scent, cows are not the first animal you would expect people to be willing to pay to cuddle.

However, a farm in East Yorkshire has animal lovers queuing to spend hours hugging, stroking and lying with a group of retired milkers. People drive for hundreds of miles and pay good money to meet the dairy cows.
Times (Amanda Welles)

[See also: This England: Cold press]

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This article appears in the 29 Nov 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Being Jewish Now