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21 April 2021

This England: Gnome-where to be seen

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

Supply chain issues and the popularity of garden centres during lockdown are causing a shortage of garden gnomes. 

Ian Byrne, assistant manager of Highfield Garden World in Whitminster, said there had been a “massive upswing” in the sales of garden gnomes.

“We haven’t seen a gnome in six months now unfortunately,” he said.

BBC West (Godfrey Holmes)

[See also: This England: Flight of fancy]

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Not pheasant company

A postman has told how he has to run for cover on a village round after being repeatedly attacked by a pheasant.

 The male pheasant has taken a dislike to Kevin Keeler, flying at him, knocking letters from his hand and pecking at his ankles. Keeler said he believed the pheasant, whom he has nicknamed Mr Angry, was “just being very territorial”.

BBC Norfolk (Janet Mansfield)

[See also: This England: Snow place like home]

The great escape

A pig destined for the slaughterhouse made a dramatic escape. Smallholder Sarah Allan had been driving three pigs to an abattoir. But when she arrived she was astonished to find that one of the animals had jumped out of the trailer. It was later found in a field in Milton Damerel.

 Allan said: “I don’t think I have it in me to send him back.”

BBC News South West (Christopher Rossi)

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

Happy as a jam

Burton’s Biscuits is to hire 40 staff in Llantarnam, Gwent, due to “record demand” for its Jammie Dodgers during lockdown.

Daily Mirror (Daragh Brady)

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 21 Apr 2021 issue of the New Statesman, The unlikely radical