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As the announcement was made on Thursday evening that their city had been chosen as the United Kingdom’s next City of Culture - ahead of the other contenders, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea - the people of Coventry were understandably jubilant. We will now watch with interest as they plan their programme of events for 2021, with those who organised the bid hoping to “change the reputation of the city” and emulate the success of Hull, the current UK City of Culture, where it is estimated that the local economy has been boosted by tens of millions of pounds and attracted £1 billion of new investment. In the meantime, here are a few facts about the Midlands city.

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Over the years, numerous "Evergreen" readers have written to us recalling their first jobs and amusing experiences in the world of work. The satisfaction of receiving your first wage packet marks one of those key moments in life when you feel as if you are finally making your own way and "earning a living". How did your working life begin? For many people a Saturday job was their introduction to employment. It was a rite of passage that gave you extra pocket money and independence while still at school and helped boost your confidence and experience. A recent survey has revealed, though, that Saturday jobs undertaken by teenagers aged 13 to 15 are in marked decline and have fallen by a fifth in the last five years.

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I’ve been harbouring my dark secret for…well, it must be several years now, but in line with the old saying that “confession is good for the soul”, and finding that the burden of keeping it hidden from the world has become too much to bear, I’ve decided that it’s time to own up and face the consequences. It isn’t easy revealing what I am about to reveal. I know that it flies in the face of public opinion and what has become accepted by most right-thinking people as a normal, unquestioned position. In fact as soon as I have finished writing this I will be putting on some old clothes and bracing myself in readiness for the inevitable opprobrium that will be heaped upon me. (I don’t know what opprobrium is - some sort of building material like sand or cement? - but whenever it is mentioned it always seems to be being heaped upon people) I can only hope that by “coming out” in such a public way I will encourage other like-minded men and women, realising that they are not alone, to pluck up courage and do the same.

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Humour and happiness feature prominently in the current issue of Evergreen, which is now on sale (click here to order a copy). We have a typically tattyfilarious tribute and interview with the squire - or perhaps that should be the Knight – of Knotty Ash, Sir Ken Dodd. Regular readers will recall that in 2016, This England campaigned for Ken, who has just celebrated his 90th birthday and is still playing to packed houses around the country, to receive his knighthood and we were thrilled when he was awarded the honour earlier this year. In the article you can discover more about his childhood, his comic influences and his career which, I’m delighted to say, shows no sign of slowing down.

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A week ago I heard the astonishing news that one of my cousins who lives in the North of England had won £1 million on the National Lottery. My Uncle Michael had telephoned my sister to give her the glad tidings. Congratulations were asked to be passed on and light-hearted comments exchanged about how it was “all right for some” and the inevitable enquiry made into how he intended to spend the money. I haven’t seen cousin Derek for many years but immediately joked to my friends that, funnily enough, I had been intending to look him up and see how he was getting on, and that, although I might not have shown it, he had always been my favourite cousin and someone who I admired immensely. I then found out the times of trains to the small town on the edge of the Lake District where he lives, and said that I didn’t think he would mind when I turned up on his doorstep, suitcase in hand, and greeted him like a long-lost friend: “Derek! Great to see you again! How are you?!”

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In their life together they have celebrated their silver, golden, ruby and diamond wedding anniversaries, and on Monday 20th November, Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip will reach their platinum anniversary – marking an astonishing 70 years together. In the winter issue of Evergreen, which is now on sale (click here), we have a fascinating feature looking back at the build-up to the royal couple's magical wedding day in 1947, which lifted the spirits of the nation and the Commonwealth in the years after the war.

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I am sure that everyone who witnessed this year’s Invictus Games, which took place in Toronto in September, will have marvelled at the courage, skill and steely determination of the competitors in all their different fields. Since the Games were launched in 2014, Prince Harry’s brilliant concept of creating a multi-sport event for injured Armed Services personnel to demonstrate, in the Prince’s own words, “the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and demonstrate life beyond disability”, has really captured the public’s imagination.

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This weekend the nation will pause to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts throughout the decades. Churches and cathedrals, together with memorials in villages, towns and cities across Britain will become the focal point for remembrance. These war memorials stand as sacred sentinels; an eternal reminder of the valour and selfless dedication to duty of those who served on the front line. Their names are inscribed in stone for eternity and, in the words of Laurence Binyon’s poignant poem "For the Fallen": “We will remember them.”

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Transport heritage, whether by road, rail, sea or air, is always a popular subject that gets readers’ – and authors’ - memories going and prompts some wonderful recollections. Our current autumn issue includes the “Motoring Adventures” article, which takes us on a terrific journey across Europe as a writer recalls his family holidays by car from the 1960s and 1970s. Evergreen's winter issue, which is published on 22nd November (click here for subscriptions), features an article highlighting an entirely different method of transport that was once a familiar sight on the streets of certain towns and cities across the UK; the trolleybus. Remember them? They looked just like a conventional bus, but were attached to a network of overhead cables and wires.

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Given the riches to be found in every corner of our country, whether places of natural beauty, great history or human invention and discovery, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to discover that, of the 1,073 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered across the globe, 31 can be found in the United Kingdom and British Overseas Territories. And of those 31 sites, selected for their cultural, historical, scientific or physical significance, an impressive 18 are located in England, with the Lake District (pictured) becoming the most recent addition in July 2017. An article in our forthcoming edition of Explore England 2018 will look at them in more detail (click here to order your copy), but here is the full list:

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