Mancunian Andy Sykes came up with a great solution to rescue the family's pet hamster Fang after it got trapped down a pipe for three days.

The Daily Mirror reports that Fang got stuck in the pipe after darting through a hole in a skirting board.

Andy built a tiny ladder out of chicken wire so that the six month old pet could climb free.

The Daily Mirror tells of an historical find in the overgrown shrubbery of a house in Ringwood, Hampshire.

The 'garden ornament' turned out to be a stone statue of Queen Victoria which is believed to have been removed from the Houses of Parliament during restoration work in the early 20th century.

The life-size figure was thought to have been among decorative items taken down because they were no longer needed, and members of Parliament were free to take them.

It was transported from London to the property in Ringwood, where it was displayed as a garden ornament.

Guy Schwinge, from Duke’s Auctioneers of Dorchester, Dorset, was carrying out a routine valuation on a number of the current homeowner’s other items when he spotted the statue.

More history in a Daily Express article which says that archaeologists have uncovered one of the largest hauls of Tudor shoes during excavation work in London.

A total of 22 individual shoes made of thick leather, which would have belonged to ordinary Londoners, were found.

Other belongings found in the re-discovered Faggeswell Brook, which flowed past Charterhouse Square, include a horse harness strap with an unusually ornate buckle and knotted reins and a scabbard for holding a sword, knife or other large blade.

Sam Pfizenmaier, a senior archaeologist at MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), said: “From the clothes worn by noble families to waste created by butchers working at nearby Smithfield market, these finds paint a picture of London as a vibrant late 16th-century trade hub, similar to London of today. The shoes would have belonged to men and women. It's difficult to say what size they would equate to today.“

The Independent informs us that police had to chase a swan along a busy motorway as rush-hour traffic queued behind them after it apparently mistook the road for a river.

The swan blocked two lanes of the M27 in Hampshire and Highways England said the swan  attempted to fly away but was rescued and “safely taken away”.

According to the BBC, a group of conservation charities is launching its biggest ever recruitment drive to recruit 5,000 volunteers to help protect the native red squirrel, from its American cousin the grey squirrel.  

The red squirrel remains under threat because of disease and competition for food from the larger north American grey squirrels.

Volunteers will be asked to monitor the animals and to set up motion sensitive cameras for continuous, detailed surveys and will also be asked to look out for the larger, much more common grey squirrels, so that where they are encroaching on the reds' habitat, they can be culled.

Sticking with squirrels, according to the Times on Sunday, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, prefers  a more humane alternative to culling.  He wants to sterilise grey squirrels to protect native reds by  concealing  oral contraceptive in chocolate spread.  I don't know how they will ensure that only grey squirrels eat it.  I'm sure red squirrels would be partial to a bit of Nutella too.

Reference list:

The Express (

The Independent (

Daily Mirror (


The Sunday Times (