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28 July 2021

This England: Flopping out

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 seal seeking shade from the sun turned up in a country garden, 26 miles away from the coast. The sea-dweller looked surprisingly chilled when she was found on a patio by a woman in Billinghay, Lincolnshire. It turned out the mischievous mammal, named Dandy, was known to the law. She hit the headlines after hitching a ride on a woman’s paddleboard last year. PC Green said the seal “made her way inland along Billinghay Skirth”. After being checked by the RSPCA, she was returned to the sea.
(Amanda Welles)

[See also: This England: Flight of fancy]

Beyond a joke

A couple are “devastated” after their life-sized figures of comics Laurel and Hardy were stolen for a fourth time. Lesley Haylett, 61, bought the 6ft figures for her partner. They have been stolen numerous times over the years. In 2018 they were returned after being taken three years earlier. Mrs Haylett said: “I’m gutted, I can’t believe that they have been nicked again.”
Yorkshire Post
(Michael Meadowcroft)

[See also: This England: The tusk at hand]


A local history enthusiast has been left baffled after stumbling across a batch of postcards for Plymouth that don’t actually show pictures of Plymouth. The postcards, which Benjamin Barton found on sale at WH Smith in New George Street, feature images of donkeys on the sand, a packed beach and what seems to be Weston-super-Mare pier.
Plymouth Herald
(James Shepherd)

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Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to or on a postcard to This England.

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This article appears in the 28 Jul 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Summer special