An amusing article appears in the Daily Express about Muirfield Golf Club in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland, which came in for a fair amount of stick for banning women from joining.

According to the paper, a plaque appeared on a bench in Edinburgh's West Princes Street gardens which 'excludes' members of Muirfield from sitting on it.

The plaque, which was later removed by the city council, read: “The members of Muirfield Golf Club are hereby excluded from sitting on this bench. By the order of the female population.”

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The Guardian writes about some of the unusual items of historic interest which have recently been listed by the government.

They include a rock face with carvings by First World War conscientious objectors, the wreck of a US-built ship buried in Minehead beach in Somerset, the oldest water chute in Britain, built in the 1920s in Northamptonshire, and a bronze age burial mound deep in south-east London.

The list was compiled on the advice of Historic England and the items were among 1,033 added to the register over the year.

Roger Bowdler, head of listing, said: “Historic England strives to keep the list rich and relevant so that the best of our, often weird and wonderful, heritage can continue to be enjoyed and understood for future generations.”

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And the BBC informs us of some of the strange gifts people have given to charity.

A sheep's head, a prosthetic leg and a ferret are among the items which feature in a top 10 list of strange donations, were given to charities including Oxfam and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The list, which was compiled by the Charities Aid Foundation, also includes a ventriloquist dummy and two canaries.

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The Christmas Day truce between British and German troops was a remarkable event during the First World War.

Now, reports the Daily Express, the medals for a soldier who took part in the football game in 1914, have been sold for £15,000.

Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Naden’s five medals for gallantry – three Distinguished Service Orders and two Military Crosses – were among 12 sold by his family.

Frank was one of the first soldiers to leave the trenches on Christmas Day to mingle with German counterparts on no man’s land. and exchange food and cigarettes. 

In a letter he later wrote home, he said: “We had a rare old jollification, which involved football, in which the Germans took part.” 

His medals have been bought by a private collector at an auction in London.

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The recipe for a Christmas drink for 17th century monks, which begins with 10 pints of brandy, has been rediscovered in the archives of Ampleforth Abbey, North Yorkshire.

The Guardian reports that the recipes were written down for English Benedictine monks who were in exile in France after the dissolution of the monasteries.

Dr James Kelly, from the department of theology and religion at Durham University, said:“The quantity, and the time taken to make the drink, suggests that this was something to be enjoyed on special occasions by the whole monastic community – not a quick drink for cocktail hour.”

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How about this for first class service – eight year old Iris Corbett wrote a letter to 'Somewhere in Paris, any house' and received a reply from the Louvre.

Iris, from West Bridgford, Nottingham, wrote the note, including 10 questions about Paris, the food, and its culture, after learning about France at school, says the Daily Express.

Now she has received a reply from the world famous Louvre Museum thanking her for her interest.

Iris said: “I didn't know who to address it to so just put 'Somewhere in Paris, any house' and hoped it would be delivered somewhere.

"I didn't know if I would get a reply but was really happy when the Louvre wrote back.”

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Retired professor Peter Field reckons he has finally found the location of King Arthur's Camelot – on the outskirts of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.

The Independent reports that Professor Field, an expert in literature on the mythical Arthur, has claimed the location of Camelot was a small Roman fort at Slack, to the west of Huddersfield.

He said: “It was quite by chance. I was looking at some maps, and suddenly all the ducks lined up. I believe I may have solved a 1,400-year-old mystery.”

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Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)