News Round Up

A real treat for Game of Thrones fans revealed in the Daily Mail.

Several locations that were used to film scenes are set to be opened to the public next year.

Some of the most famous landmarks in the show, such as Winterfell, were filmed in .Northern Ireland

Now HBO intends to celebrate the show's legacy by converting some of the Northern Ireland filming locations into tourist attractions.

Jeff Peters, vice president of licensing and retail for HBO, said: “HBO is thrilled to celebrate the work of the Game Of Thrones creative team and crew by preserving these locations and inviting fans to visit Northern Ireland and explore Westeros in person.”

 

 

An array of rarely seen documents from the Second World War are to be published for the first time by The Imperial War Museum in London.

The Guardian says they include a hasty sketch detailing the plan for one regiment’s escape from Dunkirk, to the handwritten annotations on Winston Churchill’s End of the Beginning speech.

The museum’s head of documents Anthony Richards sorted through thousands of papers in the archives to come up with 20 he felt defined the Second World War.

These include a “diagrammatic layout of embarkation” in which Captain Ken Theobald of the Fifth Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment detailed the plan the British Expeditionary Force would use to help his regiment escape the Dunkirk beaches in 1940.

“People remember Dunkirk because of the scale of it – it was such an enormous operation. The plan in the book only covers a very small part of the beach there – it was intended for just one special unit. It makes it more personal.”

 

 

There was a massive shock in store for Stephen Hope, from Stockingford, Nuneaton when he popped into his loft to look for books, reports the Daily Mirror.

For when Stephen opened the hatch a seven foot boa constrictor fell to the floor!

The snake, believed to be around 14 years old, has been taken to the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary but no-one has any idea how it got there into the loft.

 

 

Business could be booming for British wine, reports the Daily Express.

According to the paper, Chapel Down in Kent is expecting to pick its largest crop ever at its 115-acre vineyard and believes that national production could exceed the previous record of 6.3 million bottles in 2014.

The company's marketing director Mark Harvey commented: “We are only at the start of the picking harvest but Chapel Down is expecting our biggest yield ever in part due to the summer’s good weather.”

Apparently the number of vineyards in Britain has doubled to more than 500 in the past 10 years and now accounts for 2,500 hectares of farmland – the equivalent of 3,500 football pitches.

 

 

UK embassies around the world are to get an artistic makeover.

An article in The Guardian says that a still life with artificial flowers, flock wall paper and lace doilies is to be the first in a series of government art commissions as part of a £500,000 scheme commissioning 10 artists over 10 years to create limited edition prints for diplomatic buildings.

Painter Hurvin Anderson Anderson was asked to come up with a work about Britain and responded with a snapshot of his mother’s front room in Birmingham. His parents were part of the Windrush generation and the glass vase is one of his mum’s prized possessions, which travelled with her from Jamaica.

“It is very important for our collection that we continue to acquire and show and reflect the society that we’re living in,” said Penny Johnson, the director of the Government Art Collection.

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)

BRITONS are facing a crisis of huge proportions, warns the Daily Star.

The paper claims that we will have to eat shorter chips next year because the summer heatwave has yielded smaller potatoes!!

Apparently we annually import around 750,000 tonnes of frozen chips from Belgium and the Netherlands where farmers suffered a 20 per cent cent cut in crop yields due to drought.

Pierre Lebrun, the co-ordinator of the potato sector of Wallonia, Belgium, confirmed chips will be an inch shorter than their usual 3.5 inches length.

 

 

Eighty three year old Bill Platts, from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, is certainly a creature of habit.

The Daily Mirror reports that Bill and his daughter Ruth have holidayed together for 50 years at the Biarritz Hotel in Jersey. - spending an estimated 660 nights there.

He first visited the hotel in 1968 when Ruth was just one years old and Bill estimates that he has stayed in the same room for 660 nights and outlasted five different managers.

Bill commented: “The hotel just serves our needs so well - we ask them to save us the same room every year.”

Around 20 years ago Ruth began bringing her husband Shawn Rabon, on the trips.

 

 

On a similar theme, the Daily Express tells us about headteacher Fran Lysyj who has just retired from her dream job as headteacher of St Thomas of Canterbury Roman Catholic Primary School in Bolton, 54 years after leaving the same school as a pupil.

Fran first left the school at the age of 11 but returned as a 21-year-old teacher and stayed for another 44 years, eventually becoming its principal. 

Fran said: “I found out about the job from the parish priest when I went to arrange my wedding.

“He told me there was a job going at St Thomas' which I jumped at as I had been a pupil there and loved it. But it was a bit strange as my old headmaster interviewed me for the job.”

 

 

According to The Guardian, archaeologists believe they have identified the exact site of Henry VII’s birth in 1457 after excavations in the grounds of Pembroke Castle in Wales uncovered the remains of a massive medieval mansion.

James Meek, who is heading the excavation for the Dyfed Archaeological Trust, said: “We know [from documentary evidence] that he was born in the castle, which was at that time owned by his uncle, Jasper Tudor ... it’s more likely that he was born in a modern residence, for the time, than in a guard tower on the walls.”

 

 

Funny story in The Independent about James Coad, from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, who arranged for a six foot Subway sandwich to be delivered in the middle of his wedding speech as a reminder of his first date with new wife Lucinda.

Talking about a “typical work night”, James said: “Later in the night I took her to Subway and thought I’d be romantic by offering her an Italian 6-inch BMT.

“But when I handed it to her – she dropped the whole lot on the floor. I didn’t offer her mine though, that went home with me.”

 

 

Comeback tail for the large butterfly in The Guardian.

The specimen was declared extinct in Britain in the late 70s but has since made a dramatic comeback and has now enjoyed its best UK summer on record thanks to the lovely weather and a conservation efforts in the West Country of England.

Professor Jeremy Thomas, the chair of the joint committee for the restoration of the large blue butterfly, said: “This rare butterfly is really important because it is more difficult to conserve than other butterflies due to its complex life cycle.”

 

 

The Daily Express gives the thumbs up to D-Day veteran Harry Read who has taken part in his first high-level skydive since he parachuted into Normandy 74 years ago.

The 94 year old jumped 10,000 feet after taking to the skies from Old Sarum airfield in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

During the Second World War, Mr Read was a 20-year-old wireless operator and part of the Parachute Brigade landing in Normandy on June 6 1944.

He commented: “This was my first high-level skydive and whilst I was a little nervous I have always enjoyed the thrill of parachuting.

“It was amazing to experience the freefall and then cruising down was simply beautiful. I feel so lucky to have been able to experience this at my age.”

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)

THINGS aren't looking good for hedgehogs, reports the Daily Mail.

Researchers from the universities of Nottingham and Reading surveyed 261 rural sites across England and Wales to track hedgehog footprints and found the animals at only 55 sites – 21 per cent – and said numbers were ‘worryingly low’

An increase in badgers, hedgehog predators whose numbers have doubled in the past 25 years, may be to blame for the decline.

Added to that, farmland is replacing the hedgerows the creatures live in and pesticides are damaging populations of earthworms they feed on.

 

 

The Guardian tells us that restoration of the room George IV created at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton is almost complete after three years of work.

“It was the ultimate expression of his taste, and it is quite something,” said David Beevers, the keeper of the Royal Pavilion.

“The work was carried out by Robert Jones, a man of genius, and it is his masterpiece – but you do wonder if he was on something.”

The paper says that the saloon, dating from 1823, “heaves with crimson and gold silk, with silver walls, golden dragons, palm trees, winged solar disks, an explosion of sunflowers and a carpet reminiscent of a volcanic eruption.”

Apparently it took years of research to recreating every element of the room.

 

 

British doctors have been urged to use simple language when communicating with their patients, says the BBC.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges says too often correspondence contains complex medical jargon rather than plain and simple English.

Using the phrase "twice daily" to explain the dosing of a medicine is better than the Latin abbreviation "bd", for example.

The Please Write to Me initiative is aimed mainly at doctors working in outpatient clinics, although it is best practice for all clinicians who need to write clinical letters and they are being asked to write directly to patients, rather than sending them a copy of a letter penned to their GP.

The Academy suggests any medical words should be translated in plain English and hospital doctors should also consider telephoning the patients rather than breaking bad news in the letter if test results are potentially upsetting.

 

 

Want to go and see an exhibition with a difference?

Well, The Guardian reports that one of the Royal Academy of Arts’ main galleries will be flooded with water and mud for a major solo exhibition devoted to the work of Antony Gormley.

The Gormley show will be a mix of his new and old work reconfigured for the RA spaces, said artistic director Tim Marlow.

A key piece is called HOST, which Gormley first made in 1991 when he flooded a room in the old city jail of Charleston, South Carolina, with mud and sea water from the city’s harbour.

He did a similar thing in Kiel, Germany, in 1997 using 5,000 litres of mud from inland Saxony and 5,000 litres of water from Kiel harbour, and in Beijing in 2016, using red clay and sea water from the nearby Tianjin coast.

 

 

If felt like it and now it's been confirmed - 2018 was the joint hottest summer on record for the UK as a whole, and the hottest ever for England.

The BBC reports that the Met Office said that highs for summer 2018 were tied with those of 1976, 2003 and 2006 for being the highest since records began in 1910.

The hottest day of 2018 so far was Thursday, July 26, when temperatures reached 35.3C in Faversham, Kent.

Reference

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)

DID you know that goats are drawn to humans with happy facial expressions?

The BBC tells us that scientists showed goats pairs of photos of the same person, one of them featuring an angry expression, and the other a happy demeanour and the animals made a beeline for the happy faces.

The results of the tests have been reported in the journal Open Science and scientists reckon

they implies that the ability of animals to perceive human facial cues is not limited to those with a long history of working as human companions, such as dogs and horses.

The study was carried out at the Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats in Kent and co-author Dr Alan McElligott, said: “The study has important implications for how we interact with livestock and other species, because the abilities of animals to perceive human emotions might be widespread and not just limited to pets.”

 

 

It seems that us Brits tend to plump for fridge magnets when choosing a holiday souvenir.

The Daily Mail reports on a survey by the airline Flybe, which questioned 2,000 Britons about breaks of up to three days.

Women were more likely to buy a memento than men, and over 75 per cent bought at least one per trip and decorative fridge magnets were the top choice attracting 26 per cent of us, followed by sweets on 24 per cent.

 

 

An article in The Guardian newspaper details some of the entries that have reached the shortlist for the annual prize of The Carbuncle Cup, given by Building Design magazine for the building readers select as their least favourite of the last 12 months.

They include a low-energy home, said to look more like an electricity substation and a “grotesque” city centre hotel extension.

Building Design editor, Thomas Lane, said the competition was meant as a light-hearted exercise but that it also drew attention to examples of “bad architecture” in the UK.

The magazine says the house at 20 Ambleside Avenue in Streatham, south London, meets demanding Passivhaus standards for low-energy designs but looks like an electricity substation.

And the rooftop extension to the Shankly Hotel in Liverpool is described as “grotesque”.

 

 

The Daily Express says the Forgone brothers in Hertfordshire, who own rival fish and chip shops, are “battering” it out to be named the UK's best chippy.

Tony has run Captain’s Fish and Chips in Hoddesdon, for 20 years and narrowly missed out on a top-three position in last year’s National Fish and Chip Awards.

Big brother Liberato runs Sidney and Sons Fish and Chips less than a mile away and they are both among the top 20 entrants for the award.

Tony said of Liberato: “If he wins, good luck. The person who really wins in the end is the customer. For Hoddesdon to have two fish and chip shops in the top 20 is brilliant.” 

Liberato added that if Tony landed the title “I’ll say congratulations”.

The winner will be revealed in January.

 

 

It's one of the more eccentric of English 'events' but the Daily Mail highlighted the 11th annual World Gravy Wrestling Championships which took place at Burnley in Lancashire.

Apparently it's all in aid of charity!

Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)

THE animals went in one by one...

It was a busy old time at London Zoo this week, reports the Daily Mail, where over 19,000 animals were having their annual weight and height checked.

Some creatures, such as rhinos, tigers and okapis, had to be coaxed on to specially constructed larger scales.

The statistics are shared with other zoos across the world to allow keepers to compare information about endangered species.

Zoological manager Mark Habben said: “We have to know the vital statistics of every animal at the zoo, however big or small.”

 

 

Described as a 'macabre relic,' a porcelain pot which survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 intact has been sold at a UK auction for £3,250.

The Daily Express reports that the small white jar and lid had a chunk of melted glass welded to the side of it from where it had been flung towards it in the nuclear explosion.

It was picked up by an Allied soldier weeks after the bombing and has now been sold at Henry Aldridge & Son of Devizes, Wiltshire as part of a collection kept by a British man.

A spokesman for the auctioneers said: “This pot shows the horrific, raw power the Atomic bomb created.

“The glass stuck to the side of it had melted to goo and was flung towards the pot and solidified.

“When you think that glass melts at temperatures of 1,000F, it gives you some idea of the intense heat the bomb caused.”

 

 

On the market for £750,000, is a cottage in the Cornish village of Zennor with an interesting history.

The Daily Mail says Tower House has been rented by DH Lawrence in the past and also owned by Michael Morpurgo when he wrote War Horse.

Apparently both men used the location as inspiration in their writing.

Writer and poet DH Lawrence and his German wife Frieda moved to Zennor in December 1915 and rented the property for £5 a year.

 

 

In what is seen as the latest move towards a cashless society, the Royal Mint has cut the number of coins it puts into circulation by nearly half in four years

According to the Daily Express, the government-owned mint issued 1.3 billion coins last year – down from 2.3 billion in 2014.

The number of 1p, 2p and 5p coins being issued all fell by more than half, while the number of pound coins trebled due to the introduction of the new 12-sided coin last year.

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Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)