WHAT do you do when a 'party bus' fails to turn up for a six year old boy's birthday party?

Wait for the police to arrive of course!

The BBC tells us that when the bus didn't arrive for the party for Anna Banyard's son Alexander and 21 friends at her home in Warfield, Berkshire a friend tweeted for help and police turned up with a riot van!

Anna commented: “We rushed outside with Alexander and there was a riot van, a sergeant and a PC. It was mad.

"They immediately invited Alexander to sit in the driver's seat and press all the buttons. They opened up the side doors and the back doors and just let the kids pile in.”

 

 

Bit of gory historical news in The Independent

A red silk velvet bag discovered in the attic of West Horsley Place, a stately home in Surrey, could be the one used to carry the severed head of explorer Sir Walter Raleigh.

The Mary Roxburghe Trust, the charity which manages the manor house, has asked historians to examine the bag.

Some historians believe Lady Raleigh kept her husband’s embalmed head in a red bag by her side wherever she went but other accounts reckon she kept it inside a bag at West Horsley Place, where she lived with her son for four years.

 

 

Some fascinating items are up for sale in an auction from a collection put together by Christopher Cone and Stanley J Seeger, reports The Guardian.

Seeger, a wealthy and reclusive American heir who once owned one of Britain’s grandest homes, Sutton Place, died in 2014. His partner, Cone, has held a number of sales from their huge collections since then.

“He is having a clear out,” said David Macdonald of Sotheby’s, who is in charge of the sale. “But what an amazing clear out. There are quite serious things and fun things.”

Objects including Marilyn Monroe’s squashed picnic basket, Pablo Picasso’s cigarette box and a Fabergé copper pot given out to First World War Russian soldiers.

Other items include the judge’s copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover that he relied on during the 1960 obscenity trial; Lord Byron’s snuff box and a beautifully carved canoe from Kerala, India, which the couple hung from the timber rafters of their home.

 

 

When lakes at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, were drained in a bid to save a bridge, a series of mysterious rooms were revealed, says the BBC.

The stately Oxfordshire home needs to remove 400,000 tonnes of silt to protect the Grade I-listed Grand Bridge which contains more than 30 rooms that were flooded when Lancelot "Capability" Brown created lakes on the estate in the 1760s.

It contains ground floor rooms with fireplaces and chimneys, and a large windowless chamber that appears to be a theatre and discoveries range from graffiti dating from the 1760s to sunken boats used for reed cutting in the 1950s.

Head of estates Roy Cox said: “We're currently undertaking a full internal 3D survey as part of a major restoration project.

“It has already revealed a large number of rooms and passageways, some containing original plasterwork, stairways and potentially cooking ranges.

 

 

An article in the Daily Mirror explains that Britain is going to become more crowded and an ever-increasing proportion of the inhabitants will be pensioners.

They quote findings from the Office for National Statistics, which says the population is now at a record high of 66million – and will rise even further.

It is estimated that the UK will house 70million people by 2029 and 72.9million by 2041.

Ten years ago just 15.9 per cent of the population was aged 65 and over but last year that

reached 18.2 per cent, which is 12million, and is set to be 24 per cent by 2037 – one in every four Britons.

 

 

Volunteers carried more than 2,000 books the 150 metres to new premises for a community bookshop in Southampton.

The Guardian says that a rent increase left October Books unable to afford their old premises so 250 people formed a human chain to their new home in a former bank building that October Books managed to buy with funds raised from donations and loans, where the stock will be kept in the old vault.

“It was a tremendous show of support and community and we’re moved and incredibly touched by it. We are of, and for, our community and it is truly heartening to see that reciprocated,” said Clare Diaper, who works at the bookshop.

Reference list
The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)

  • BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)