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6 October 2021

This England: Guiding star

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 police officer feared she was being pursued for miles by a drone – but the bright light in the sky was actually a planet. It was only after a drawn-out “pursuit” that she sought help from senior officers, who told her it was Jupiter – some 365 million miles away.

A police source said: “Everyone was quite concerned so you can imagine the red face and embarrassment felt when it was pointed out that the bright light following her was a planet millions of miles away.”

Daily Record (Ron Grant)

A good urn

A masked man has returned two flowerpots which were stolen from outside a retired policeman’s home and which contained his mother’s ashes.

Allan Clifford, 63, had reported the theft in Herne Bay, Kent. When the stranger, who was “a bit cagey” about how he came to have found the pots, turned up with them, Clifford was moved to tears.

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The Times (Linda Calvey)

On home turf

A baffled homeowner found “keep clear” markings painted on the road outside his home – a converted village school that closed down 18 years ago.

Greg Smith, 56, bought the building in Grewelthorpe, North Yorkshire, eight years ago. He said the work had left him in the “ridiculous” position of risking a fine for parking outside his home.

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Despite his protestations, he said council contractors repainted the zig-zag markings and suggested he go out with a tin of black paint once they had left.

BBC Yorkshire (Edwin Clark)

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

This article appears in the 06 Oct 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Unsafe Places