News Round Up

FOXES are usually regarded as a pest by farmers but now they've also annoyed motorists in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, says The Guardian.

Apparently, foxes have chewed through the brake cables of several cars and police have warned drivers to check their brakes before setting off on journeys.

Wildlife expert John Bryana was called in by police to see if there was an explanation other than deliberate damage to six vehicles in the second half of May and he concluded that a family of teenage fox cubs, rather than a human vandal, had gnawed through the brake cables.

“It is the cubs who are teenage hooligans now, so they are up to all sorts. They get under cars and snap away at all the cables when they are hyped up,” said John.

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The Daily Express tells us that people in Manchester really like their biscuits.

Research by analysts Mintel showed that 96 per cent of people from the northern city cannot resist a daily biscuit.

Biscuit sales reached a record £1.8 billion last year as Brits consumed 420,000 tonnes.

A spokesman for the company said: “While the majority of people are concerned about sugar, Brits still love a biscuit treat and sales of biscuits are holding up well.”

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People who live to a ripe old age put their longevity down to a host of things and great-grandmother Florence Guy, who has just turned 102, tells the Daily Express that her secret to a long life is

doing a daily crossword before breakfast every morning.

Florence, who lives in Bilborough, Nottingham, said: “I have had a good life. I'm not as good as I used to be at doing crosswords but it keeps my brain young.”

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You never know... a BBC story says that a “dusty old cup” found in a university cabinet has sold for £3m after it was found to be a rare piece from the Chinese Ming dynasty.

It was among a collection of antiques discovered by chance at Staffordshire University. Valued at £2m, an unknown buyer paid £3.17m at auction in Hong Kong.

Professor Flavia Swann said the antiques had been discovered in the 1970s after a chance conversation with the head of the ceramic technology department.

“It was after they said: 'I've got some dusty old pots cluttering up my corridor, would you like to have a look?'”

The pots, including the cup, were put into storage at the university and only emerged again last year.

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Roman wooden tablets unearthed by archaeologists the earliest handwritten documents ever found in Britain, reports the Daily Mail.

They were found beneath a pub during work on financial news company Bloomberg’s new European headquarters near Bank Tube station in London.

Most of the documents, written in wax on a folding wooden frame, date from between AD55 and 85.

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An Aston Martin prototype car, which played a big role in the company's history, may sell for around £1 million despite being a wreck which has not been driven for years.

The Daily Express says the Aston Martin DB2 is a non-starter with damaged panels, a rusty engine and an interior covered in cobwebs.

It will be one of the star cars at Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in West Sussex and the auction house has given the Aston a guide price of £600,000 to £900,000 with premiums taking it to the £1 million mark.

It seems that British boys are doing much better than girls when it comes to pocket money.

The BBC reports on the annual pocket money survey carried out by the Halifax building society which revealed that parents gave boys 13 per cent more every week and the gender gap has grown by two per cent from the previous year.

The survey involved more than 1,200 children and 575 parents and found boys between eight and 15 received an average of £6.93 a week, with girls getting £6.16.

 

Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)

SPECIAL heritage protection has been given to an underground wireless station set up in 1940 by Winston Churchill.

The BBC says that the secret station was manned by civilian volunteers who would send and receive messages for the Army.

It was discovered in 2012 at a house just outside Norwich called Pinebanks and was concealed by a fake bookcase and had an escape tunnel.

Read more: News RoundUp 196

News Round Up

by Patrick O'Connor

ACCORDING to the Daily Mirror, a plague of fleas is set to hit Britain this summer.

Forecasters reckon the UK could have its hottest summer for 40 years and experts say a mild and wet winter followed by a summer of heatwaves are ideal for fleas to thrive.

Rob Simpson, of pest control group Basis Prompt, warned: “Fleas, which would usually remain dormant for much longer, became active sooner, leading to more prolific breeding and therefore a larger population.”

A Daily Mail report says that 60 year old prospector Vincent Thurkettle has found Britain's biggest ever gold nugget just off a beach in Anglesey, North Wales.

The size of a small chicken's egg, it is believed to worth around £50,000.

Vincent found the three ounce lump gleaming in a crevice on the sea bed and it may be part of a £120 million haul of gold which went down with the Royal Charter when it was shipwrecked in 1859.

Apparently treasure hunters have spent years trying to find traces of the lost gold and Vincent has devoted around six weeks each summer for the last seven years looking for it with a team of his family and friends.

“I was absolutely stunned when I first saw the nugget. The sun was out so the gold was gleaming and because it was under water it was magnified, so it looked huge.” he said.

As the nugget was found close to a shipwreck he has had to notify the Receiver of Wreck and the piece is now property of the Crown.

Rohit Jiwa, from Preston, in Lancashire, rents out the driveway of his house to commuters, people going shopping or off to the football match and has told the the Daily Mirror he now has enough money for a holiday in Mexico.

Rohit charges up to £12.50 a day as his home is within walking distance of the main railway station, city centre and County Hall and he reckons he has earned over £2,000 in a year.

“I've had hundreds of people use my drive and it's all very low maintenance.

"They book and pay online and all I have to do is give a little customer service when they arrive, which I think is an important part of it.”

The Daily Express reports on the woes of Ian Gillett who became mayor of Lostwithiel in Cornwall for just 47 minutes.

Ian was asked to step down following a bureaucratic bungle because the town council had only published their agenda for the annual selection meeting two days in advance and not three as required by law.

This was pointed out by former parish council clerk Janet Haley who said that made the vote illegal as the council had not given enough notice to local residents.

Now the council will now have to rerun the meetings and go through the mayoral election process again.

Mr Gillett said: “It was an interesting experience being the mayor of Lostwithiel even though it was very brief, and was not quite what I expected.”

Lovely tale in the Daily Express about two pen pals who have met up for the first time in 50 years after writing to each other from opposite ends of the globe.

Rosemary Caskin, from Kingswood, Gloucestershire, began sending letters to Edith Dawson in Australia when she was nine-years-old.

Now Edith, 63, has left Australia for the first time in her life to travel from her home to celebrate Rosemary's 60th birthday.

Edith said: “When we were aged nine and 12 you couldn't even imagine being 50 years old let along actually corresponding with someone for that length of time.” 

Rosemary added:“It was the thing to have pen friends.  Schools were encouraging it and my school friend had a pen pal.” 

Reference list:
The Express (www.express.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)