News Round Up

IT looks as if British rock legend Rod Stewart is having a clear-out.

The BBC reports that the singer, who owns a mansion in Sheering near Harlow, is auctioning off some his furniture.

A spokesman for Sworders' Fine Art of Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, said that the collection of more than 60 lots includes a pair of gilt bronze-mounted side tables, estimated at £2,000-£3,000, a pair of late 19th century pier mirrors, estimated at £2,000-£3,000 and a set of four gilt bronze two-branch wall lights, estimated at £800-£1,200.



The Daily Express highlights an unusual way to raise money for a worthy cause...travelling around Britain on a lawnmower.

Andy Maxfield, from Inskip, Lancashire, took five days, eight hours and 36 minutes to travel the 874 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End on a John Deere X750 lawnmower (top speed 9mph) to raise more than £9,0000 for the Alzheimer’s Society as a tribute to his father James who died in January after a 13 year battle against the disease.

The challenge was recognised by Guinness World Records as the fastest lawnmower ride from the tip of the UK to the bottom.

He commented: “I was going down some busy dual carriageways with vehicles going past at 50 to 60mph.

“We found people had gone past us, then donated and left supportive messages on our fundraising page.”



Firemen who were called in to rescue Jessie the Macaw after it got stuck on a roof at her owner's house in Edmonton, north London, got a rude welcome, says the Daily Mirror.

They were told to tell the bird 'I love you' - to which Jessie replied 'I love you back'.

However she then swore at them in fruity language before flying off to another nearby rooftop.

Fireman Chris Swallow said: “We were told that to bond with the parrot, you have to tell her ‘I love you’, which is exactly what the crew manager did.

“While Jessie responded ‘I love you’ back, we then discovered that she had a bit of a foul mouth and kept swearing, much to our amusement.” The bird was later reunited with its owner.



The Guardian tells us that a 12th-century statue of Buddha, which stolen from India nearly 60 years ago, is to be returned to the country after it was discovered at a trade fair in the UK.

The bronze sculpture was one of 14 statues ransacked from the Archaeological Museum in Nalanda, eastern India, in 1961 and has now been identified at a trade fair in the UK by members of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art , an organisation working to preserve cultural heritage, and the India Pride Project, which aims to recover stolen artefacts.

Police said the current owner and dealer were unaware of the statue’s history and agreed for it to be returned to India.



It may have been one of the hottest summers on record in the UK but The Air Balloon pub in Filton, near Bristol, has already put up its Christmas tree.

The Daily Express reports that landlady Joanne Johnson admitted she would have put it up even earlier if it had not been for the World Cup.

“Last year I put up the tree in July but I delayed it a bit this year because of the World Cup.”

She added: “I don’t really do it for the purpose of decorating the pub, it’s more for advertising – to let people know that we’ve started taking Christmas dinner bookings.”

Reference list:

The Express (

The Guardian (

Daily Mirror (


AN article in The Guardian newspaper reveals that researchers at the University of Exeter have unearthed a treasure trove of poetry relating to Lancashire’s poverty-stricken cotton workers during the US civil war.

Up to 400,000 of the county’s cotton workers were left unemployed when the war stopped cotton from reaching England’s north-west in the 1860s and the mills were closed.

Without work, they struggled to put food on the table, and the university discovered that many of them turned to poetry to describe the impact of the cotton famine.

A university spokesman said: “It shows how strong working-class poetic culture was at the time – if you’re working for 12 hours, you might still have time to write a poem in the evening.”



“Wasp warning in the Daily Express.

Apparently the little blighters are getting drunk on fermented fruit and going on stinging rampages across Britain.

The paper says that an explosion in the wasp population triggered by the cold winter and heatwave means swarms are heading out to satisfy their taste for something sweet.

Shane Jones, who runs Ridtek Pest Control in Basingstoke, Hampshire, said: “They are really aggressive at this time of year – and because of the cold winter, the wasp season started about six weeks earlier.

“Wasps have built absolutely massive nests and, now that all the larvae have grown up and the queen has stopped laying eggs, the colonies have a workforce with nothing to do – and nothing to eat.

“So they go ‘down to the pub’, obviously. Wasps can’t handle their booze, so they get tanked-up and fight – like lager louts.”



The Daily Mail informs its readers that nearly half of British millennials aged between 18 and 24 do not know that the First World War took place between 1914 and 1918.

A poll of 2,000 people carried out by Ancestry also found that a quarter of all people aged over 24 do not know the start and end dates of the Great War.

Just over a quarter said they didn't know any of Britain's wartime allies, with some even thinking that Germany or the Austro-Hungarian Empire were on Britain's side!

A spokesman for Ancestry said: “This report suggests that many are in danger of forgetting the war's significance.”


Wemyss Ware cat ornaments were collected by the late Queen Mother and, reports the Daily Express, a rare piece from 1900 is expected to fetch up to £4,000 at auction later this month.

Robert Methven Heron introduced the distinctive Scottish pottery range, called Wemyss Ware, in 1882 and fashioned his first pieces in his factory in Gallatown, Kirkcaldy and they attract an international market, with serious collectors in North America and Australia.

Reference list:

The Express (

The Guardian (

The Independent (

Daily Mail (

NINETY- five year old Charles Betty, who left school with no qualifications, has become Britain's oldest university student after he was awarded his second PhD.

The Daily Express reports that Charles is now a Doctor of Philosophy after completing a 48,000-word thesis on why elderly ex-pats living in Spain return to the UK.

He took five years to complete the long-distance course while also caring for his disabled wife, Eileen, flying from his home in the Spanish town of Benalmadena to attend his graduation ceremony at the University of Northampton.

He only started his academic career after he retired from being a school inspector aged 70.

and completed his first PhD in Education when he was 75 and five years ago began studying for his second.

He said: “The thesis is all about the reasons why people return to Britain, we've got 300,000 Brits in Spain and most living in the Costa del Sol according to the census.”



Spice Girls fans are in for a treat, says The Guardian, when a collection of memorabilia goes on a UK tour of 12 cities.

It includes costumes, dolls, flasks, lunch boxes, plates, cups, Christmas crackers, toys, biscuits and cushions.

“I’ve always been a bit of a magpie,” said Alan Smith-Allison ahead of the opening of his Spice Girls exhibition in London.

The new show features thousands of examples of the merchandise that accompanied the girl band, along with hundreds of costumes the Spice Girls wore for their performances, videos and movie.



More memorabilia news from the BBC...the jacket worn by Harrison Ford when he played Han Solo in Star Wars' The Empire Strikes Back is expected to fetch up to £1m at auction in London next month.

It is one of 600 lots going under the hammer including Marty McFly's Back To The Future Part II hoverboard and Johnny Depp's Edward Scissorhands costume.

Auction house Prop Store said the sale would include “some of the most iconic cinematic artefacts of our time”.

The upcoming auction will be held at the BFI Imax in London, where the items will be on display for the public to view from September 6-20.



According to The Guardian, a 13th century bible, one of a handful of books which survived intact when the library of Canterbury Cathedral was broken up at the time of the Reformation, is back in the building after almost 500 years.

The Lyghfield bible is the only complete bible and the finest illuminated book known to have survived from the medieval collection.

It was bought at a recent rare books sale in London and the cathedral plans to put it on display in a new exhibition area.

Cressida Williams, head of the cathedral archives, said: “It is of the utmost significance to us to have here in our collections a copy of the core Christian text which was owned by one of the last monks of the medieval monastic community.”



A new report says that the number of voice calls made on mobile phones in the UK fell for the first time ever in 2017.

The BBC says that according to telecoms regulator Ofcom, a total of 78 per cent of all adults now own a smartphone and on average, people check them once every 12 minutes during their waking hours.

Two in five adults look at their phone within five minutes of waking, while a third check their phones just before falling asleep.

However the report finds that the total volume of calls made on mobiles fell by 1.7 per cent in 2017, even though making them is the cheapest it has ever been.



The Daily Express tells us that pensioner Dennis Whyard, from Tovil in Kent, has been reunited with Sprocket the springer spaniel after the dog played a major part in finding him after he went missing for five days.

His son Mick Whyard reckoned Sprocket saved his father's life and the animal was the guest of honour at Dennis' 90th birthday.

Dennis, who has dementia, went missing after walking out of his home but Sprocket

sniffed him out underneath a bramble bush.

More than 180 people, drone and sniffer dog teams searched for him before Sprocket found the OAP in a "very frail" condition in woodland near Allington, Kent.

Mick said: “My dad has no recollection of the whole thing.”

Reference list:
The Express (

The Guardian (


IT'S perhaps not surprising that an international study of internet traffic has shown that seven in the evening is one of the most popular time to order take-away food.

The BBC says data research from biologists at the University of Aberdeen, examined patterns of looking for food online, such as pizza or Chinese meals, across the UK, US, Canada, Australia and India.

Similar "twin peaks" pattern appeared in all countries - at 7pm in the evening and then at 2am, suggesting ancient "foraging" behaviour has now switched online.



The Daily Mail reports on a holiday disaster for a family from Winchester – thanks to their cocker spaniel puppy Bailey.

Ella Arundell, her partner Russell Mack and their three young children were all set to go off for a £2,500 week long break in Majorca when they discovered the puppy had ate the children's passports!

The Mail said the family were unable to use the normal 24-hour fast-track service because they were child passports and the airport warned them that it wouldn’t accept ones that Ella had desperately tried to tape together.



The things you find in a junk box...the Daily Mirror reports that such a item was a book written 175 years ago by the world’s first computer programmer which has just sold for £114,000.

Only six copies of the 50-page “Sketch of the Analytical Engine” written by Lady Ada Lovelace, are known to exist.

She helped fellow mathematician Charles Babbage in inventing the world’s first computer, the Difference Engine, in 1822.

The book, signed by her, contains her translation of a presentation in Turin by Babbage, along with her own interpretation of his theories.

It was found during a clear-out by a couple from the Cotswolds – who had no idea they owned it.



The things you find in an old bread basket...the Guardian reports that such an item was the only known recording of a demo track featuring David Bowie (then known as David Jones) when he was 16.

And the recording, with Bowie singing I Never Dreamed with his first band, The Konrads, is expected to fetch £10,000 at auction.

The Konrads did not win an audition with Decca, although the record company did give them a trial later that year – and turned them down – before Bowie left the band citing artistic differences.

The tape was rediscovered by David Hadfield, who was Konrads drummer and manager, when moving home, stashed in an old bread basket that had belonged to his grandfather.

Hadfield said: “We had decided that we would do a couple of guitar instrumentals and one original song. I chose I Never Dreamed and decided that David was the best person to sing it and give the right interpretation. So this became the very first recording of David Jones singing 55 years ago.”



According to the BBC, crew members of a ship which sank off the Kent coast more than 275 years ago have been identified.

Researchers using archive documents, were able to name 19 of the 237 shipmen who were on board the Dutch ship the Rooswijk, carrying coins and silver ingots, which sank on Goodwin Sands in January 1740.

An international team of maritime archaeologists are diving, excavating and recording the Dutch East India Company wreck as part of the #Rooswijk1740 project.

Reference list:

The Guardian (

Daily Mail (

Daily Mirror (


THE Daily Mirror puts the spotlight on ABBA superfan Clive Roe,71, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

His living room has become a shrine to the group, with more than 850 pieces of memorabilia lining the walls and filling every shelf.

Clive reckons each piece of memorabilia makes him feel closer to his heroes – whether it is an ABBA soap bar, keyring or signed album cover.

He listens to their music almost daily, has danced through 86 tribute gigs and has been on a TV quiz with the group as his specialist subject and even named his daughter Agnetha after one of the band's singers.

“Whenever I need a little lift, I look through all my ABBA bits and bobs and it takes me back to happy times, “ said Clive.



England was full of World Cup fever even though the national team only made the semi-finals and BBC reported that a London Underground station was temporarily renamed after the team's manager.

For 48 hours Southgate Tube station in Enfield, north London was rebranded Gareth Southgate.

Transport London said: “We're delighted to be able to show our appreciation to Gareth and the team by renaming the station in his honour.”



The UK's first spaceport is to be at A’Mhoine peninsula in Sutherland on Scotland's north coast, says The Guardian.

The UK Space Agency said the site, between Tongue and Durness, was chosen as it is the best place in the UK to reach highly sought-after satellite orbits with vertically launched rockets.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), a Scottish government agency, will be given £2.5m from the UK government to develop the spaceport which could be up and running by the early 2020s.

Agency chief executive Graham Turnock said the spaceport grant would “help kick-start an exciting new era for the UK space industry”.



Work is to be carried out to protect a Tudor shipwreck, found on Kent mudflats by a local history and archaeology group.

The BBC reported that Timescapes discovered timbers from the 16th century wreck protruding out of sand at Tankerton Beach, Whitstable, while hunting for World War Two pillboxes.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has scheduled the wreck, and another in Camber Sands, for protection on the advice of Historic England.

Experts from Wessex Archaeology, with the help of Timescape volunteers, surveyed the exposed remains, which measured more than 12m long and 5m wide (40ft by 16ft).

Samples of the age of the wood revealed one oak plank comes from woodland in southern Britain and was felled in 1531.

According to Historic England, the hull's construction suggests it is a late 16th or early 17th century single-masted merchant ship of around 100 to 200 tonnes.



The Morrisons supermarket chain has introduced a “quieter hour” to help customers who struggle with the noise of shopping,

The Daily Express says they will dim lights, turn music off and reduce the volume of bleeping checkout machines in all stores between 9am and 10am every Saturday.

Daniel Cadey, from the National Autistic Society, which helped develop the initiative, said: “Around 700,000 people are on the autism spectrum in the UK.

“This means they see, hear and feel the world differently to other people, often in a more intense way. “Morrisons’ ‘quieter hour’ is a step in the right direction for autistic people, who find supermarket shopping a real struggle.”



According to The Guardian, a new and less intimidating entrance has helped the V&A in London achieve record visitor numbers, bucking a trend of sharp falls across the UK’s museums and galleries.

More than 4.4 million people visited the V&A and its London satellites, Blythe House and the Museum of Childhood, a 26% rise of almost a million visitors on the previous year.

The museum’s director, Tristram Hunt, said finally getting a new entrance on Exhibition Road had helped drive up visitor numbers. It was less intimidating than the grand “castle keep” way in on Cromwell Road.

Reference list:

The Express (

The Guardian (

Daily Mirror (