IT'S a sign of the times – a survey, reported in the Daily Express, claims that payments from the Tooth Fairy have shot up to as much as £10 a tooth as children feel the benefits of the economic up-turn.

Instead of the traditional coin under the pillow for a young child who loses a baby tooth, some parents are now leaving £5 or £10 notes and the average payment from the Tooth Fairy is £2.10 per tooth - up from £1.50 five years ago.

Interesting article in The Guardian for history buffs – it seems that the Women's Institute in England was born 100 years ago ...in the back room of a pub.

The Fox Goes Free pub in Charlton, West Sussex, has now erected a small wooden plaque on the wall celebrating the fact that it is one of the key sites in the history of the Women's Institute.

The organisation was founded in Canada in 1897, and the British wing – which now has 6,600 branches and 212,000 members – began in Anglesey, Wales in 1915, in response to the need to step up food production in the war.

But its first meeting was held at Fox Goes Free on November 9 of that year. It is believed it was held there because the innkeeper, a Mrs Laishley, was a founder member and the nearest village hall was then reserved for men.

Those who mock footballers as being bereft of brain power may have to think again.

The Daily Mirror says that scientists have discovered a link between strong legs and a fit brain that resists the effects of ageing.

Researchers found a "striking protective relationship" between more leg power and better preserved mental ability and brain structure over a period of 10 years,

Poetry experts are excited by the discovery of a lost anti-war poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley which they say will 'rewrite' the romantic poet's biography.

The Independent reports that the poem is to go on display for the first time in two centuries after it was acquired by the Bodleian Libraries.

The University of Oxford has bought the pamphlet Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things,

which was first published in 1811.

All copies were believed lost to fire until 2006, when one was rediscovered. 

Bodley’s Librarian Richard Ovenden, said: “This will completely change the biography of Shelley. It has been known he wrote it from the 19th century but no one has seen a copy of it. There was much speculation over what it would be like. It is the young radical poet sallying forth potentially risking imprisonment.”

According to the London Evening Standard, transport bosses have unveiled the first official map showing the walking times between central London's Tube stations.

A Transport for London spokesperson commented: “It’s often quite a difficult message for us because people think we just do the Tube and buses, but we’re also responsible for roads, walking and cycling.”

Tourists visiting London could be in for a big disappointment.

The Daily Star reports that Big Ben may be turned off for the first time in 30 years for £40million worth of repairs.

Members of Parliament have been warned that if the repairs are not carried out, the historic nine-foot timepiece could be out of action for an entire year if it breaks down.

If the clock is shut down, it will be the longest period Big Ben has ever been silent over its 156-year life span.

A Parliamentary spokesman said: “No decisions on works, timescales or costs have been agreed.”

There is a real drama taking place in Gotham! No, not the Gotham City of Batman fame but a sleepy Nottinghamshire village.

The Guardian says a community building in Gotham, which was built for the Royal British Legion in 1966, closed this year due to financial problems and is up for sale.

But now campaigners are raising money to buy the site in an attempt to save it from any potential developers.

One of the fundraisers is quoted as saying:“We all need a superhero around occasionally, don’t we? We are likely to be up against the big bidders, but this is worth fighting for. It would be fantastic to hear from any American friends of Gotham who might also invest in this exciting venture.”

Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)

Daily Star (www.daily star.co.uk)

London Evening Standard (www.standard.co.uk)