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14 October 2020

This England: If a tree falls

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 Lymington woman said she was a second away from dying after a tree fell inches in front of her car. Joanne Page, 58, was driving back from the hairdressers when a tree “majestically” fell on Southampton Road. Ms Page told the Daily Echo: “A man was driving behind me when it happened. He said if I was a second faster I would not be here… I was coming back from the hairdressers and that would have been a waste of money.”

Bournemouth Echo (Paul Kelly)

Cuff luck

A couple had to call firefighters after their five-year-old son locked himself in a pair of “adult fun” handcuffs and they couldn’t find the key. The crew used bolt cutters to free the youngster’s ankles in Bristol.

Metro (Allegra Madgwick)

The right sort

Wanted: a rich tenant to take on a struggling stately home in Somerset. “No lefties or Marxists” need apply, says Benjamin Slade, the cash-strapped aristocrat who hopes to find tenants to help pay
the bills while his wedding venue business limps through the pandemic.

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The Times (Amanda Welles)

Hang up the claw

A “one in 30 million” orange Canadian lobster has been saved from the pot by a fishmonger and sent to live out its days in an aquarium. The apricot-hued arthropod, which are normally a speckled dark brown colour, was found by Steve Atkinson in a delivery to his shop in Fleetwood. He called Sea Life Blackpool after spotting the crustacean, which “stood out dramatically” in the box.

BBC Lancashire
(Christopher Rossi)

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 14 Oct 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Can Joe Biden save America?