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13 March 2024

This England: Paws clause paused

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

The Inverness paw print trail will stay in the city centre – because the council fears incurring a five-figure bill to remove it. The trail is designed to direct people to the revamped Victorian Market.

The Inverness councillor Alasdair Christie tabled a motion to have the paw prints removed last year, saying a number of people told him they were “shabby” and “gaudy”.

Although it cost only £895 for the trail to be added, removing the prints could cost as much as £12,000 because of the risk of damage to the paving stones.
Aberdeen Press & Journal (Ron Grant)

The end of the skinny dip

A naked swimming club has warned it may have to shut due to a reduction in leisure centre opening hours.

The Western Swimming Club in Monmouthshire has been meeting for nearly 50 years but fears its weekly swim sessions without swimsuits to cover their modesty will no longer be “economically viable”.
South Wales Argus (Patrick Fletcher)

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Pensioner suspension

A gran who was left dangling upside down 7ft in the air when she became caught in a shop’s electric shutters said: “It could only happen to me.”

Cleaner Anne Hughes, 71, was waiting outside the shop for her shift to start when her coat got stuck on the roller.

The CCTV footage of her being slowly lifted into the air while still clutching her shopping trolley and screaming for help went viral this week.

The Sun (Richard Fearn)

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This article appears in the 13 Mar 2024 issue of the New Statesman, The battle for Keir Starmer’s soul