IT seems that when it comes to making marmalade, the Brits are pretty ace.

The Daily Mail reports that in the World's Original Marmalade Awards, held in Cumbria, five of the seven main awards went to British competitors.

Among the 3,000 entries were marmalade-makers from South Africa, America, Australia, Portugal and Korea.

One of the gold award successes was Ali Berwick, from London, who picked up six awards for flavours including stem ginger, clementine, and tri-colour delight. 

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There was a surprise in store for Luke Irvin when he decided to run an electrical cable from his house in Wiltshire to an old barn so his children could play ping-pong.

For, says the Daily Express, as contractors laid the cables in a trench across a field they discovered the remains of one of the largest Roman villas ever found in Britain.

They hit 'something hard' which turned out to a mosaic floor that had lain undisturbed for nearly 2,000 years.

Mr Irwin recognised the age of the tiles and stopped the cabling work before calling in experts from Historic England and Salisbury Museum

He said: “It was lucky I was there. One person was about to get his pick-axe and hammer through. Because of my artistic background I had an idea that it was very, very old, but I didn’t know for sure.”

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The fascination with the Royal family obviously extends to the cars they drive.

A Daily Mirror article says that an Aston Martin, once owned by the Duke of Edinburgh, has been sold for a record-breaking £350,000.

The 1954 convertible was sold to an online buyer after a number of bids, breaking the world record price for a 3-litre Lagonda.

The Mirror says that the Lagonda 3 Litre Drophead Coupe was fitted with an extra vanity mirror - reportedly to let the Queen adjust her hat and a phone which allowed Prince Philip to speak to Buckingham Palace .

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Another auction story in The Guardian – a notebook used by Queen singer Freddie Mercury which contained lyrics for some of his final songs and which he carried with him between 1988 and 1990, is to be put up for sale.

A spokesman for auctioneers Bonhams said: “We see and sell lyrics from all sorts of different artists but they tend to be one piece of paper for one song. To have a notebook which contains tracks recorded over a three-year period is really exceptional. I can’t think of another one.”

The standard notepad has a price label from the shop on Goldhawk Road, London, where it was bought.

Inside are lyrics, written in blue and red pen, for 19 songs from two albums. The notebook is expected to fetch between £50,000 and £70,000.

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109 year old Nellie Wright, from Scarborough in Yorkshire, puts the secret of her long life down to abstinence from the opposite sex.

Nellie told the Daily Express that she had never had a proper boyfriend - let alone a husband and that she shunned the prospect of candle lit dinners and moonlit walks in favour of a daily treat of jelly babies.

“I've stayed away from men all my life - full stop. That's my secret, no men. And living off jelly babies - I eat a packet a day.”

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

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)