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22 September 2021updated 23 Sep 2021 10:28am

This England: Like father, like daughter

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

A toddler needed emergency assistance to remove a toilet seat from her head during her first time potty training – more than 30 years after her dad featured in the Hartlepool Mail for the same thing.

Clodagh-Mae Cafferkey, three, repeated what her dad managed to do 34 years ago.

After discovering what Clodagh-Mae had done, her mum tried everything to remove the toilet seat, including applying oil and butter, before dialling 999.

After trying to remove the seat themselves, the fire brigade were forced to use cutters to get it off Clodagh-Mae and shared a giggle with the toddler by giving her a teddy bear and letting her ride in their fire truck.

Hartlepool Mail (David Walsh)

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In the long run…

Brighton Marathon organisers have apologised to runners after it emerged the course was 568m (0.35 miles) too long.

About 7,500 marathon participants set off from Preston Park on a course they thought was 26.2 miles.

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Organisers apologised for the error and said they hoped it had not “marred the experience” for runners.

BBC Sussex (Richard Worrall)

Whack the pony

An animal sanctuary boss was shocked when her planning application was refused on the grounds it was “proper whack”.

Amey James, owner of Happy Pants Ranch, Kent, had been awaiting a decision for six months. Swale Borough Council blamed an error but said published decisions must be overturned by a court.

BBC Kent (Jenny Woodhouse)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to comp@newstatesman.co.uk or on a postcard to This England.

[see also: This England: Hounds of love]

This article appears in the 22 Sep 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Great Power Play