New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. World
  2. UK
29 September 2021

This England: Upping sticks

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

Upping sticks

Sir, it is clear from Prue Blake’s letter that it is still virtually impossible to return walking sticks or crutches to an NHS hospital.

Some years ago I had the same problem, having promised an elderly friend with an overdeveloped conscience that I would find a way to return her crutches. In the end I went into the local emergency department, laid them on a chair and then ran like hell.
A letter in the Times
(Terry Timblick)

[See also: This England: Spurring stuff]

Better late than never

Select and enter your email address The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

As excuses for the late return of a library book go, Clare Henderson’s was one of the best. When the archaeologist was contacted about her overdue book, The Buildings of St Kilda, she said she couldn’t return it because she was repairing the buildings of St Kilda, 112 miles from the mainland.

Henderson, 41, borrowed the book from a library in Perth when she was applying for the job on St Kilda, and after she was offered the post, asked if she could have the book for a bit longer. Culture Perth and Kinross Libraries have accepted that the book will be nearly 17 months late by the time it is returned.
Sunday Post
(Ron Grant)

[See also: This England: Flight of fancy]

Numpty Dumpty

A health centre in Shetland has apologised after a “rogue” phone message addressed the caller as a “complete numpty”.

The fault at the Lerwick GP Practice stemmed from an automated test message which was accidentally left on its new phone system.
Aberdeen Press & Journal 
(Chris Cope)

[See also: This England: Nen or neen?]

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

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy

This article appears in the 29 Sep 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Spirit of the Age