I wonder what the odds on this happening are:  A couple who disobeyed their parents to marry in Scotland 60 years ago have accidentally bought back the motorbike they eloped on, and reports the Daily Mail, the machine still had their love note in the engine.

Teenagers Jean and Bob Smith were married in secret at Gretna Green in 1956 because their parents considered them too young to wed and made the two-day 600 mile journey from their home in Cornwall on a 1947 Royal Enfield Flying Flea motorbike.

Jean and Bob had to sell the bike a few years later to cover bills but when 79 year old Bob recently spotted a similar model at a vintage rally he decided to buy it for old time's sake.

And when he repaired the crank shaft, he found the long forgotten note.

Jean (77) said: “ I could not believe it. It had both our names on and the year and place we were married. My husband couldn't even remember writing it. He normally writes a note in the crankshaft on all his bikes with his name so he knows which one he has done up - but this one was obviously extra special for us.”


The Daily Express tells us that a small bible dropped by a wounded soldier during the Battle of the Somme has been reunited with his grandson - 100 years after it was lost.

The leather-bound pocket edition belonged to 17-year-old Private Alfred Sidney Manners who was serving with the 134th Field Ambulance in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

According to the Express, he lost it during a battle at Thiepval Wood in France in 1916.

The book was picked up by a soldier, Edward Beaumont, who took it home where it was passed down through his family to his grandson who traced Private Manners' grandson.

Eric Manners, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, commented: “It was so hard to take in. I know very little about Alfred and I have only one photograph, but here was a bible he actually carried with him in the Battle of the Somme, one of the most famous battles in history.”


Continuing on the war theme, a Daily Mirror article says that the first British flag to be raised on Sword Beach during the D-Day landings is up for sale and is expected to go for £3,000 when it is auctioned next month.

The White Ensign was shot by Germans and suffered smoke damage during the battle but was later recovered from the beachhead and ended up being sold to a military memorabilia collector.

London auctioneer Charles Miller said: “It clearly shows evidence of action, with bullet holes, smoke damage and wear on the edges. These are true battle scars.”


Brits are falling out of love with canned soup, according to the Daily Express.

Latest research revealed that the UK's canned soup market slumped in value by 8.2 per cent last year meaning that a massive £28.7million was wiped off sales.

It seems that it is mainly young people who are turning their back on canned soup with more of them choosing chilled soups which have a wide variety of exotic flavours and are viewed as healthier and more nutritious.


It is likely that a letter Beatle John Lennon wrote to the Queen when he turned down an MBE will fetch as much as £60,000 at an auction.

A Daily Mail article says the letter, written on November 25, 1969, was discovered in the sleeve of a record bought at a car boot sale 20 years ago.

Lennon wrote: “I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts.'”

Experts believe the note could be a draft of the final version sent to the Queen as the smudged signature might have prompted the musician to throw it away. 

The letter was valued at a Memorabilia Day at the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool.


Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)