Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
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]

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

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.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them

 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 or on a postcard to This England.

This article appears in the 21 Apr 2021 issue of the New Statesman, The unlikely radical