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8 December 2021

This England: Mouse gap

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

Mouse gap

A bridge for dormice costing £80,000 will be built above the Furness Line in Morecambe Bay after the railway split new populations. People’s Trust for Endangered Species and Network Rail will pay for the 39ft tube to help the endangered wild hazel breed.
Metro (Amanda Welles)

[See also: This England: Attack of the clones]

Baby shambles

A new mum accidentally offered to give her baby away while trying to donate her old sofa online. Lucy Battle, 20, intended to upload a snap of the unwanted two-seater, but in error posted one of seven-month-old Oscar with the words: “Need gone today”.

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She realised her mistake when she was inundated with enquiries about her son’s behaviour. Queries on the local Facebook group included: “How’s he at washing up?”

One mum offered a “two-for-one” swap, posting: “Teenager 14, brother six, and I’ll throw in the father free”.
Daily Mirror (Daragh Brady)

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[See also: This England: Flight of fancy]

Welsh grit

Cardiff city council has named its snow-gritting fleet of trucks with homages to sporting figures. They are called Gareth Hale (Gareth Bale), Nigel Snowins (Nigel Owens), George North Pole (George North) and Snow Ledley (Joe Ledley).

From the world of Hollywood and pop come Catherine Sleeta-Jones (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Taron Sledgeton (Taron Egerton) and Dame Shirley Bass-sleet (Dame Shirley Bassey). There’s also Grit Rhys Jones (Griff Rhys Jones), and, in a league of its own, is a truck called “Tha’s Slush, That Is”.
BBC Wales (Neil Stone)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to comp@newstatesman.co.uk or on a postcard to This England.

This article appears in the 09 Dec 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas Special