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14 February 2024

This England: Send in the artillery

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 tank that was parked outside a Wickes store for more than a month by a disgruntled customer has been removed. Paul Gibbons parked the vehicle outside the Basingstoke branch in December in protest against the company, which installed his kitchen in February 2023.

The 63-year-old has demanded a refund from Wickes for the £25,000 installation, which he claims has been plagued with issues. Mr Gibbons had said the huge vehicle – a decommissioned Abbot self-propelled gun – wouldn’t be moved until he had received the refund.
Basingstoke Gazette  (Daragh Brady)

Oranges are not the only fruit

You could call her mission bananas… but Sally Orange won’t give a pip. The 49-year-old is celebrating after running a marathon on every continent dressed as a piece of fruit.

She’s been an orange, a peach, a kiwi, a pear, an apple and grapes, raising £800,000 for mental health charities.
Metro (Michael Meadowcroft)

Recovered from surgery

An NHS doctor who lost a diamond ring said she was “so happy” when it was found 100 miles away. Radhika Ramasamy had put the ring in her pocket before giving a patient anaesthetic at West Suffolk Hospital. Her scrubs were then cleaned and reissued to the Royal Free Hospital in London.

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Suraj Shah, who found the ring in his newly laundered scrubs, said it was nice to be part of a “little miracle”.
BBC News Suffolk (Steve Morley)

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This article appears in the 14 Feb 2024 issue of the New Statesman, Trouble in Toryland