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31 January 2024

This England: In the bag

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 woman was reunited with a handbag that was stolen 30 years ago, after it was found washed up in Aberdeen. The item had been taken from 81-year-old Audrey Hay at her former workplace in the city. It’s believed that the thief may have taken money from the handbag before throwing it into the River Don. Eleven-year-old Maisie Coutts was walking at the mouth of the river with her parents when she found the old bag containing various items. And, within days, Ms Hay had her property back thanks to the power of social media.
Aberdeen Press and Journal (Ron Grant)

On the rocks

A beach game dating from the 16th century could be culled over safety fears. In Cornish hurling, teams in St Ives scramble to keep possession of a silver ball. The winner is showered with coins thrown by the mayor. But changing tides mean the game will be played on unstable rocks next month and insurers won’t cover against injury, putting the tradition in jeopardy.
Metro (Daragh Brady)

Teething trouble

Dentures, glass eyes and clown costumes are among unusual items left behind in hotel rooms by British holidaymakers, new research shows. A study by easyJet Holidays revealed that many of the 100 European hotels it surveyed said they stored false teeth in lost property.
The Yorkshire Post (Michael Meadowcroft)

[See also: A Tory reckoning]

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This article appears in the 31 Jan 2024 issue of the New Statesman, The Rotten State