THE Daily Mail shines the spotlight on great-grandmother Barbara Peters, from Halifax in Yorkshire, who on her 80th birthday has become the country's oldest ballet dancer, having passed a top exam at the Royal Academy of Dance in London.

She told the paper that she had just received a text from the Academy - “It told me I had passed with merit the grade seven exam, and have become the country’s oldest ballet dancer. I am thrilled.”

Barbara took the 55-minute practical test last month, 58 years after her last ballet exam.

“Ballet has kept me fit and raising my leg a metre high to place my foot on the barre was easy. I also held my leg straight out front and side on at a 90 degree angle for a few seconds.”

She added: “I can only do two pirouettes on the trot now but still do cartwheels, though I haven’t done the splits for the past 10 years.”


A US army dog that attacked a German machine-gun post during the Second World War has been posthumously awarded Britain's highest honour for animal bravery.

The Independent reports that Chips, a German shepherd-husky cross, was awarded the Dickin Medal for actions during a 1943 beach landing in Sicily by veterinary charity PDSA in a ceremony Monday at the Churchill War Rooms in London.

The honour was accepted by 76-year-old John Wren of Long Island, whose father donated Chips to the war effort.


 The Guardian reports that documents about William Shakespeare have been recognised for their international cultural significance.

The 90 documents which relate to Shakespeare's baptism, burial, family matters, property records, legal actions and business dealings, have been listed on the Unesco International Memory of the World register.

They join the likes of the Gutenberg Bible, Magna Carta, Bayeux Tapestry and the films The Battle of the Somme and The Wizard of Oz on the register.

Amy Hurst, collections archivist at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, in Stratford-upon-Avon, said: “The documentary trail left by Shakespeare provides a rich narrative of his life, giving unique insight into his personal circumstances, and how these may have influenced his creative work.”


 Police in Norfolk are hunting thieves who stole a rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone from a bookshop.

The Independent says that the book is worth about £40,000 and was among a number of valuable titles taken by two suspects from SN Books in Napier Place, Thetford


The Independent reports on a bit of a scare in Berkshire when a wolf escaped from a wildlife sanctuary.

The animal, called Torak, got out of the UK Wolf Conservation Trust in Reading, but was later recaptured.

Teresa Palmer, who founded the Trust, helped to encourage the 12-year-old animal into a trailer around eight miles away from the park.

The names of the sanctuary’s other nine wolves are Mai, Tala, Tundra, Nuka, Mosi, Motomo, Pukak, Massak and Sikko.


Reference list:

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)