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24 November 2021

This England: Once in a blue moon

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 retired university lecturer was arrested in his back garden by six police officers for baring his bottom at a speed camera, an act he said was on his “bucket list” things of things to do before he died.

He was later released from custody on suspicion of indecent exposure and dangerous driving as he left the scene of the mobile camera van in Kidderminster. West Mercia Police said: “Inquiries are ongoing.”
The Times
(Linda Calvey)

[See also: This England: Spurring stuff]

Dig deep

The naming of a town’s festive event as the “Bury Santa Experience” has been mocked on social media.

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People have jokingly asked if they needed to bring a shovel to the event, which runs at the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds.

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Others have said omitting the words St Edmunds from its name was a “massive faux pas”. But the town’s mayor said that, given the attention the event had attracted, maybe it was “marketing genius”.
BBC East of England
(Daragh Brady)

[See also: This England: Flight of fancy]

Dad’s Army

A hired tank driven to a Remembrance Day service by two former soldiers smashed into a war memorial garden after “someone forgot to put the handbrake on”.

Local councillor Mark Fearn and ex-mayor Andy Langdon paid £950 for the vehicle for the stunt in Cheshire. But the 7.8 tonne machine rolled into the memorial gates, smashing them to pieces.

Fearn said he was a “bit embarrassed to say the least”.
Manchester Evening News
(Michael Meadowcroft)

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

This article appears in the 24 Nov 2021 issue of the New Statesman, The Agent of Chaos