News Round Up

A Daily Mirror story has provided some figures about how much distance the average parent covers pushing a pram.

It quotes a study covering 1,000 mums and dads by which revealed that they clock up almost 750 ‘buggy miles’ a year – further than travelling from London to Barcelona.

Apparently the typical tot will be strapped into their pram eight times a week, for a stroll of around 1.8 miles on each occasion.



On display at the National Museum Cardiff will be a clear thumbprint left by Leonardo da Vinci on one of his drawings.

The Guardian newspaper reports that the print is in the centre of the left edge of one of his drawings of the cardiovascular system and principal organs of a woman, circa 1509–10 and its display is part of events marking the 500th anniversary of da Vinci's death.

Martin Clayton, the head of prints and drawings at the Royal Collection Trust, commented: “You can really feel the man at work on this drawing, with his inky fingers,That makes me feel a little tingly.”

“It has been observed before but it is the first time we’ve really stood back from it and said this is actually quite something. There are smudges and partial prints on Leonardo’s other drawings, but this is far and away the crispest, clearest, most definite Leonardo thumbprint or fingerprint.”



Back home after a four year break is Nala, a Staffordshire bull terrier which was stolen in Blackpool in 2014.

The Independent says that despite her owners reporting the theft to the police, the culprits were not traced and Nala was instead sold on to another family who did not know she had been stolen.

Nala’s true origins came out after a routine check-up at her new owners vet's in Kent, hundreds of miles south, revealed that she had been microchipped.

PC Martyn Tulk from Kent Police , said: “It was a pleasure to be able to reunite the dog with its rightful owner. After being away for so long it was great to see the recognition Nala had for her family.

“The person who had innocently bought Nala was extremely supportive and although they were also a victim in this they helped us to ensure she was returned.”



Discovered in the archives of Bristol central library was a ,previously unknown 13th-century version of a tale featuring Merlin and King Arthur, reports The Guardian.

The seven handwritten fragments of parchment were unearthed bound inside an unrelated volume of the work of a 15th century French scholar and tell the story of the Battle of Trèbes, in which Merlin inspires Arthur’s forces with a stirring speech and leads a charge.

The fragments are believed to be a version of the Estoire de Merlin – the story of Merlin – from the Old French sequence of texts known as the Vulgate Cycle or the Lancelot-Grail Cycle

Academic Dr Leah Tether said: “These fragments are a wonderfully exciting find, which may have implications for the study not just of this text but also of other related and later texts that have shaped our modern understanding of the Arthurian legend.”

He added: “Time and research will reveal what further secrets about the legends of Arthur, Merlin and the Holy Grail these fragments might hold.”



Finally the Daily Star tells us that a red panda has been found “safe and well” after escaping from Belfast zoo.

It was found following a 12 hour search after police said in an earlier statement: “Earlier today a red panda decided to take a surprise vacation from Belfast zoo, it is believed to be currently taking the sights of beautiful Glengormley.

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The Independent (

Daily Mirror (

Daily Star (www.daily

WELL it looked like he real thing!

According to the Daily Mirror, a stone circle thought to date back thousands of years has turned out to be a replica built in the 1990s.

The article explains that when the circle was discovered at Leochel-Cushnie in Aberdeenshire, archaeologists were excited as recumbent stone circles often date back 3,500-4,500 years and are unique to the north-east of Scotland.

However, a local farmer got in touch to say it was a model.

Neil Ackerman, historic environment record assistant at Aberdeenshire Council, commented: “These types of monument are notoriously difficult to date. For this reason we include any modern replicas of ancient monuments in our records in case they are later misidentified.”



A study has revealed that art-loving young people in Britain are using museums and galleries to combat the stress of modern life.

The Guardian story says that those under 30 are twice as likely to visit a museum or gallery at least once a month specifically to “de-stress” according to new figures analysed by the Art Fund charity.

The charity’s report claims that regularly engaging with museums and galleries contributes to a sense of well-being and that the survey of 2,500 adults showed that under-30s tend to feel much more satisfied than older visitors.



The Guardian also tells us that the National Portrait Gallery in London is to get a new main entrance more than a century after a rich donor insisted it should not point north towards the “filth of Soho and Covent Garden.”

The entrance is part of a £35.5m redevelopment that is intended to make the gallery more welcoming and less crowded.

A crowdfunding appeal to help raise money for the project, the gallery’s biggest redevelopment since its current home opened in 1896, was announced last week.

One of the biggest changes will be the new main entrance, created by converting three windows in the northern facade of the building into doors.



According to the BBC,one of the world's rarest sharks is alive and well, living off the Welsh coast.

Sightings from fishing boats suggest the mysterious angel shark((which only established stronghold was believed to be the Canary Islands) is now present in Welsh waters, although no-one knows exactly where.

“If we lose the angel shark, we lose a really important lineage of evolutionary history that we can't get from any other shark species,” said Joanna Barker, of the Zoological Society of London.

A professor at the University of St Andrews in Scotland has warned that the world's helium supply is on course to run out within a decade unless we recycle more of the inert gas.



The Independent says that David Cole-Hamilton, emeritus professor of chemistry has urged people not to have helium balloons at parties as the gas is needed for MRI scanners and deep sea diving.

He commented: “By having helium balloons at your birthday party you may prevent people from having an MRI scan. We are recycling it from the MRI scanners and most of it from deep sea diving, but we are not recycling from the balloons. In both of those applications it's recycled, however helium is very light so if it gets into the atmosphere it can escape.”



Brexit continues to dominate discussions in the UK and an article in The Independent claims that the owner of a London pizzeria is offering 25 per cent off food for customers who can prove they have written to their MPs to ask for a second referendum.

Oliver Kenny says five workers at Apollo Pizzeria in Stoke Newington are from mainland Europe, adding “If I’m going to have visa [or] paperwork [problems]I would like to know about that as quickly as possible. I’m not anti-Brexit, but I do want Brexit to go away.

“I buy a lot of fresh cheese from Italy that can’t stay in a lorry park in Calais. I’d like to know my supply chain [and] ... I’m unable to plan that at the moment.”

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The Independent (

Daily Mirror (


KEY moments in British history will be featured in a set of coins celebrating 50 years of the seven-sided 50 pence piece, reports the BBC.

The Royal Mint has unveiled the commemorative coins mark and the events include Sir Roger Bannister running the first sub four-minute mile, the 250th anniversary of the founding of Kew Gardens in London and the founding of the Scouts and Girl Guides.

The 50p coin was introduced in 1969 to replace the 10 shilling note, and was one of three decimal coins to be put into circulation before decimalisation in 1971.



According to the Daily Express, sales of classical music have gone up 10 per cent in the last year.

The paper says that BBC Radio 3's Music Matters has revealed that 2.23 million classical albums were purchased, downloaded or streamed in the past 12 months.

Music Matters presenter Tom Service, said: “The news of this leap in consumption of classical is a great start to the year.

“It feels as though we're beginning to witness the impact of this new generation of young artists who really took to centre stage last year - such as saxophonist Jess Gillam at the Last Night of the Proms, and former BBC Young Musician winner Sheku Kanneh-Mason, performing at the royal wedding.”



An article in The Guardian says that a roll of canvas-backed paper discovered underneath a lecture theatre in Scotland may be the world’s oldest surviving periodic table chart.

It was found during a clean-out at the University of St Andrews and appears to date from 1885 – 16 years after the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev published his method of showing the relationships between the elements in 1869.

Researchers at St Andrews said they had been able to trace the origins of the chart, which was printed in Vienna by Verlag v Lenoir & Forster.



Grey is the colour it seems when it comes to Brits buying cars.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders half a million drivers choose to buy a grey car in 2018,making it the most popular colour for the first time.

A BBC report says that just over one in five new car registrations last year were grey with more than half of new cars either black, grey or white.



A story in The Independent says that a pair of Humboldt penguins stolen from a zoo in November have been recovered.

However Nottinghamshire police are refusing to name the zoo or give any other information such as where the penguins had been kept for the past two months and in what conditions.

Reference list:
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The Guardian (

The Independent (


ART lovers are in for a real treat in April, according to The Guardian.

The British Museum will feature a rare lithograph of Edvard Munch’s The Scream as part of Edvard Munch: Love and Angst, the biggest UK exhibition of the Norwegian artist’s prints in 45 years.

The version being displayed at the British Museum is a black and white print, which followed a painting and two drawings of the image.

Exhibition curator Giulia Bartrum commented: “The emotional impact is incredibly important. Munch was deeply, deeply aware of mental instability, mental illness, a huge subject at the time, and that’s what he was trying to portray. Anything which tries to express the inner workings of the mind … has huge resonance today.”

The exhibition features 83 artworks in all, including 50 prints from Oslo’s Munch museum. Other themes include women, with whom Munch had a series of disastrous relationships, and sickness and runs from April 11 to July 21.



The picturesque Warwickshire town of Henley-in-Arden, where average house prices exceed £460,000, has attained unwanted notoriety this week.

For as the Daily Mirror explains, it tops a list of burglary hotspots in the UK.

A study of more than 2.5 million home insurance quotes over the last two years has identified the worst areas hit by thieves.

According to the survey, Henley-in-Arden has rate of 50.46 claims per 1,000 insurance quotes in the last two years, knocking Guildford, Surrey, off top spot.



Bad news for UK shops after figures for Christmas shopping habits were released.

An article in the Daily Express says they suffered their worst Christmas for a decade.

Sales flatlined in December from a year earlier, the first time retailers had failed to boost their performance since the financial crisis, as even big discounts failed to attract shoppers.

The joint British Retail Consortium-KPMG report showed that online growth slowed to 5.8 per cent from 7.6 per cent and a separate Barclaycard survey showed a drop in clothing spending for the third straight month in December.

Barclaycard director Esme Harwood said: “Despite a desire to support their local high street, Brits remain cautious amid ongoing economic uncertainty”, noting that nearly half feel less confident about their personal finances than they have done “for many years”.



The Sun tells us that a 50 year old time capsule hidden in a wall at the University of Stirling in Scotland has been opened revealing cash, whisky and old sporting relics.

The box was sealed in 1969 and built into the university's Gannochy Sports Centre - which is currently undergoing a £20million redevelopment.

Contents included old photos, cricket, tennis and squash balls, exam papers, editions of the Stirling Observer and Glasgow Herald and a bottle of Bell's whiskey.

Prof Malcolm MacLeod, the university's senior deputy principal, commented: “The contents are in remarkably good condition and provide an intriguing snapshot of campus life in the early years of this university, and Scotland as a whole in the late 1960s.”



The Guardian has put independent book shops in the UK under the spotlight, reporting that

official figures from the Booksellers Association revealing a growth in numbers for the second year in a row.

Apparently the numbers had declined every year since 1995 but 2017 marked a tiny turnaround: and now latest membership numbers has shown an increase in the number of independents from 15 to 883.

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The Guardian (

Daily Mirror (

The Sun (

THE owners of a cat which had been missing for FIVE years have been reunited with their pet, reports the BBC.

Seven year old Rozy escaped during a visit to the vets in Kingswood, South Gloucestershire in 2013.

Despite scouring the surrounding streets searching for her and putting up posters, owner Vicky Stokes could not find the cat.

But when a bedraggled Roxy started hanging around in Amy Ward's garden recently, she took her in.

She took her back to the very same vets she had disappeared from and as she was microchipped, they were able to trace her owner.

Vicky said: “She is our little Christmas miracle, we are totally elated. I thought she was dead but she seems OK, we are so grateful to Amy for bringing her in.”



The Daily Mirror tells us that a rare piece of Second World War memorabilia involving the 'Great Escape' from the Stalag Luft 111 camp in Poland has been sold for £3,200.

The gold caterpillar badge was awarded to Flight Lieutenant Bram van der Stok after he joined the unofficial Caterpillar Club for RAF airmen who had bailed out over land.

He parachuted from his Spitfire into Nazi-occupied northern France in 1942, which led to his capture and imprisonment.

In March 1944, with 75 others, he took part in the Great Escape, immortalised in the 1963 film starring Steve McQueen - in which parts of van der Stok's story were played by James Coburn.

Flt Lt van der Stok was one of only three to evade recapture and eventually reached Britain via Gibraltar.

The badge was auctioned by Lockdales in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, selling for five times its £600 estimate.



Still on a war theme, the Daily Express reports that fisherman Glenn Gallager netted a live Second World War German bomb off the coast of Largs, in North Ayrshire, Scotland.

Glenn felt an unusually heavy object tugging at the nets and lugged it onboard his boat, The Two Boys, initially mistaking it for a boiler but it turned out to be a Mark 7 Second World War Two depth charge.

Glenn commented: “When we pulled it out the weight nearly tipped us over. The bottom of the boat went right over, we nearly capsized.”

The bomb was later detonated at sea by the Royal Navy.



When he was a young boy, Michael Woodfield, from Warwickshire, went to see the film Zulu starring Michael Caine and was so impressed by the bravery shown by both sides in the Battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879 that he decided to collect Zulu artefacts.

Now, according to the Daily Express, he selling his collection of 120 artefacts accumulated over 40 years.

At the battle, the 140-strong British garrison defied all odds to defend their station from 4,000 Zulu warriors.

Items for sale include a rare 1870s Zulu battle shield covered in white fur, measuring 4ft by 2ft, which is valued at £1,500.

Cartridge cases, bullet heads and brass buckle fittings from the battles are set to sell for £1,000 and a Zulu executioner's "knobkerrie", with a bulbous head covered in metal hobnails, is valued at £500.

A spokesman for C&T Auctioneers of Ashford, Kent, said: “The defence of the mission station at Rorke's Drift was one of the most historic and recognised actions in British military history. It is a high quality collection which will serve as Mr Woodfield's pension fund.”

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Daily Mirror (