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2 February 2022

This England: Too hard to handle

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 Dorset knob-throwing event, where participants hurl biscuits, has been cancelled.

In years gone by volunteers, known as “the knob crew”, would be on hand to help with knob-eating competitions, knob and spoon races, knob painting, splat-the-knob challenges and more.

But the committee behind the iconic event has said the pressure has become too much as it has grown in popularity.

Metro (Andrew Steed)

Loch Ness joker

South London residents had a shock after the Loch Ness Monster was apparently spotted in a lake in Wimbledon.

One resident shared a photo of the apparent monster on Facebook, and Londoners were offering theories about the sighting. “That’s an escaped elephant,” one person said. Others suggested the image must be “another dumped Boris bike” or else a “shopping trolley”.

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   “F****** wild swimmers!” was another theory. “They’re everywhere these days.”

My London (Steve Morley)

Fair game

A runaway wallaby called Ant will be reunited with his brother Dec after an 18-day search – thanks to his love of Brussels sprouts and sweet potato. Ant vanished from a petting farm but was seen at a tennis court, a golf course and a Christmas tree plantation. He even escaped a humane trap before being caught in one containing his favourite grub in Thurlby, Lincolnshire.

His owner Tracy Hall said: “It’s all a big game to him.”

Daily Mirror (Amanda Welles)

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 02 Feb 2022 issue of the New Statesman, Going Under