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13 January 2021

This England: Out on a limb

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

Out on a limb

Fans of HG Wells have expressed annoyance at a new commemorative £2 coin honouring the author. The coin features a Martian machine from The War of the Worlds, but the “monstrous tripod” on the coin has four legs, rather than three.
Northampton Chronicle & Echo (Chris Rossi)


Feel the burn

A man attacked his neighbour with a kitchen blowtorch in a drunken argument, a court heard. Clyde Best, 49, singed George Boyd’s hair with “a crème brûlée torch” after he was involved in a row with teenagers outside his home in Paignton, Devon.

Handing him a two-year suspended sentence at Exeter Crown Court, Judge Timothy Rose did not add a restraining order. He said: “I do not want to fan the flames of resentment.”
Metro (Allegra Madgwick)

[See also: This England: Don’t get the small stuff]

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Phoning it in

Two burglars hit a bum note when one sat on his phone and accidentally dialled 999 mid-crime, police said. In a new twist on the pocket dial, the “cheeky” intervention meant arrests quickly followed.
BBC West Midlands (Janet Mansfield)

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[See also: This England: Best laid plans]

Lodge and found

Travelodge has revealed the most bizarre items left behind by guests last year, including a pair of alpacas named Ant and Dec, and an oversleeping best man.

The budget hotel chain also listed a 5ft floral unicorn, a Tiffany engagement ring and an Aston Martin.
Daily Mirror (Daragh Brady)

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

This article appears in the 13 Jan 2021 issue of the New Statesman, American civil war