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21 September 2022

This England: Supermarkets shushed

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

Morrisons has turned down the volume of its checkout beeps as part of the supermarket’s response to the Queen’s death.
The Yorkshire Post (Michael Meadowcroft)

Guinea pigs shelved

A special week dedicated to the welfare of guinea pigs was postponed, also as a result of the passing of Elizabeth II.

The start of Guinea Pig Awareness Week, which aims to raise the profile of the animals, would have coincided with Her Majesty’s funeral. In a somewhat bizarre display of respect, the groups behind the campaign announced it would be moved to the week following the ceremony.
Metro (Ruth Kitching)

Counting sheep

A group of friends had a surprise visitor when staying in an Airbnb near Abergavenny when a sheep ended up on their bed.

The group were staying at the house to attend their friend’s wedding when the visitor broke in; the animal certainly wasn’t sheepish, barging into the home and leaving them a little “present” to clear up.

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Ed Hitchcock, 23, who was staying at the house, said: “It was there standing on the bed looking at us… If you lived down there you could probably grab it, but for us it was so unexpected we had no idea what to do.”
Abergavenny Chronicle (Daragh Brady)

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[See also: This England: Story of my life]

A long way to go

A man has invented the world’s longest mobility scooter, measuring 22 feet. Kevin Nicks, 57, is aiming to set a new Guinness World Record with his “invention”, which is as long as a fully grown elephant.

The self-employed designer and builder from Oxfordshire is no stranger to odd creations, having already made “the world’s fastest shed”.
Independent (Steve Morley)

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

[See also: This England: Pie in the sky]

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This article appears in the 21 Sep 2022 issue of the New Statesman, Going for broke