This England: Arousing suspicion

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.


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A village became the centre of attention after a resident took offence at erotic fiction in its mini-library. An angry message railing against “pornographic” titles was stuck to the book-swap box in Cornholme, West Yorkshire. It urged people to take their filth to nearby Hebden Bridge, describing the town as a “cesspit”.

 When the BBC visited the mini-library it found titles by Ruth Rendell, Wilbur Smith and Maeve Binchy.
BBC Yorkshire (Janet Mansfield)

All fired up

Firefighters attended a small fire on York Road, Driffield. The incident, reported at 6.17pm, was extinguished by the crews using one bucket of water.
Driffield & Wolds Weekly
(Matthew Harrison)

 [See also: First Thoughts: Guardian airbrushing, lobotomised TV, and saving our subtitles]

Outstanding growth

The Queen has honoured the UK’s biggest sex toy company Lovehoney, based in Bath, with the Award for Enterprise for “outstanding continuous growth”.

The award will allow Lovehoney to use the Queen’s Award emblem in advertising, marketing and on packaging.
Metro (Peter Barnes)

[See also: Leader: Why the SNP has a mandate for a second Scottish referendum]

Back-seat voter 

A voter has cast his ballot in a car boot after the church warden opening his polling station “overslept apparently”. Toby Porter said he cast his vote in Oxford at 7.25am, and the normal polling station was “up and running” by 7.30am. He said around a dozen people voted in the car before the centre at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies was opened.
Express and Star
(Nigel Huddleston)

[See also: Nicola Sturgeon wants a second Scottish referendum – but will she get one?]

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

This article appears in the 12 May 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Without total change Labour will die

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