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15 May 2024

This England: Rabbit roundabout

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 unnamed individual has continued to supply the bunny colony living on Garthdee roundabout, Aberdeen with fresh carrots, raising concerns from the city council. Although the “local animal lover” means no harm, the Scottish SPCA has warned motorists in the area to be careful to avoid putting the rabbits at risk on the busiest route into the city.
Press & Journal (Kathryn Black)

Possessive residents

North Yorkshire Council has provoked the wrath of residents and linguists alike after announcing that it would ban apostrophes on street signs to avoid problems with computer systems. Some residents expressed reservations about the removals, saying they risked “everything going downhill”. The council is not the first to opt to “eliminate” the apostrophe from street signs. Cambridge City Council tried to do the same, before it bowed to pressure and reinstated the apostrophe after complaints from campaigners.
Guardian (David Lamming)

In a while crocodile

A crocodile in flood water reported to the police turned out to be the head of a plastic toy. Thames Valley officers responded to a call about a reptile on the loose. The witness who rang 999 was fooled by the lifelike head floating after heavy rain in the small village of Cholesbury, Bucks. A Thames Valley police spokesman joked: “Do not be alarmed, the croc is now with us at the police station.”
Bucks Free Press (Amanda Welles)

[See also: This England: Shell-ebrating crustaceans]

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This article appears in the 15 May 2024 issue of the New Statesman, The Great Stink