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14 April 2021

This England: Bench with a view

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

Bungling workers set a new benchmark in sloppiness by installing a seat the wrong way round. The bench in Andover, Hampshire, was meant to overlook a river – but was positioned to face a store. Council leader Phil North said: “Maybe they’re fans of 1960s architecture.” The bench will be turned around.

Metro (Daragh Brady)

Show me the money

A lottery winner from Hampshire used a photo of her £2m scratchcard win as an IOU for payment for a vet bill for her pet parrot.

Lesley Herbert said the African grey dislocated its foot while she was waiting to have her winnings confirmed. She said: “It was a crazy moment when I found out I had won and, as I was waiting to get the ticket validated, everything got a little more chaotic as Bibi had an accident. The vet team were brilliant but were shocked.”

Herbert, 42, is now searching for the perfect home for her family and her collection of animals. She is also hoping to finally have the space to house some chickens she has been waiting to buy.

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The News (Rob Ford)

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Rat race

A pet owner was baffled to see the signal on his cat’s missing GPS collar darting around his neighbourhood.

Andy Kindell, 52, of east London, checked the tracking app when his cat came home without a collar.

He said: “I could see this GPS signal crossing the road but there was nothing in front of me. It occurred to me it was underground. It was a rat in the drains.”

Daily Mirror (Amanda Welles)

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

This article appears in the 14 Apr 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Careless people