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2 June 2021

This England: Nen or neen?

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

Nen or neen? 

Northamptonshire have won bragging rights over the correct pronunciation of “Nene” after beating their Cambridgeshire rivals in a game of croquet.

Over this side of the river [Northamptonshire], the pronunciation is “Nen”, but all that changes at Oundle where they use the alternative pronunciation of “Neen”.

Peterborough and Northampton croquet clubs faced off in the grudge match of the year to decide which pronunciation will prevail for the next year. Northampton ran out worthy winners seven games to two.

Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph (Graham Reeves)


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Caught blue-handed

A football fan who stole a safe from his own club while wearing its colours left tracks that led police straight to him.

Sam Turner, 47, broke into Gillingham FC’s Priestfield Stadium three times, initially stealing bottles of booze. On his final break-in he took the club’s safe containing cash and a ring worth up to £45,000. The marks he left dragging the safe home led to his house a few hundred yards away.

Daily Mirror (Amanda Welles)


Supermarket sweep

A metal detectorist using his gadget for the first time was stunned when he stumbled across a hoard of stolen Roman and Viking treasure.

Charles Cartwright, 43, was using his new detector when it started buzzing. He was amazed to find a stash of Roman and Viking jewellery, Egyptian statues and Bronze Age treasures just a few inches under the dirt and stuffed inside a plastic Aldi shopping bag.

Surrey Live (James Shepherd)

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Credit: Alex Brenchley 

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This article appears in the 02 Jun 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Return of the West