This England: The Newsreel! 9th August 2019

Building bridges?

Due to open this Sunday after a £5 million project, Tintagel Castle Bridge in Cornwall is not for the fainthearted.

Visitors may well suffer from vertigo owing to the design which consists of two cantilevers of 33 metres (108ft) each which don’t quite touch in the middle, leaving a 40mm gap and a view 60m down into the gorge.

As reported in The Times, the gap, (according to the architects), is said to represent ‘the transition between the present and the past, history and legend’. But it didn’t seem quite so romantic when a slight sway in the bridge, owing to the design, was tested by a large group of workmen jumping up and down!

And it’s not just the bridge that having a bit of a wobble. Residents have complained about the structure seeing it as an imposition on a protected landscape and protected geology ‘without due respect for either’. Ouch.


A ripe old age

Britain’s oldest man, Alfred Smith, has died aged 111.

The retired farmer put his long life down to eating porridge for breakfast and enjoying his job. He was also something of an optimistic soul which may have helped keep him going, said to have taken out a ten-year warranty on a washing mashing when he turned 100.

Why on earth not, we say. You’re only as old as you feel!


Top of the crops

It’s not a fruit you’d typically associate with Britain, but balmy weather has triggered a bumper apricot crop in the country this year following months of ‘ideal’ conditions – namely a frost-free spring and the extremely clement weather during July.


‘Apricots are still something of a niche crop in the UK, but as the climate continues to change, an increasing number of farmers are looking to cultivate them, especially those in warmer parts of the country’, said David Long, who grows apricots on a family-owned farm near Rochester in Kent.


Talking to Waitrose Weekend, he continued ‘It’s not unusual for entire crops to be wiped out by a spring frost, so we feel truly blessed to have had such a fantastic start to the summer this year’.


It’s welcome news in the light of food policy expert’s Tim Lang’s opinion published this week that Britain will face a dire shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables in a disruptive no-deal Brexit.



Battle of words

President Macron’s ministers are in disputes with French advertisers after many English language words are being used instead of French in national advertisements. Air France were denounced for using the slogan ‘France is in the air’ and the Carrefour supermarket chain for employing ‘Act for Food’. Words such as ‘love’ as also widely being used instead of the French ‘l’amour’.


‘In this linguistic globalisation, our duty is to refuse any tendency to move towards a single language’ said Franck Riester, the culture minister, who is trying to adapt a 25-year-old law that forces companies to offer French translations of foreign language words or slogans.


No l’amour lost there then!



Literary royalty

The Duchess of Sussex’s latest venture is said to be writing a children’s book about dogs, meaning she will join the ranks of Prince Charles and Sarah Ferguson who have also published children’s books in the past.


Meghan is said to love rescue dogs and is considering adopting one for son Archie with whom he can associate his childhood. The Sussex household is known to contain two canines already – a Labrador and a rescue beagle called Guy.


The royals have long been a family of dog lovers from King Charles II though to Queen Victoria and Edward VII. Read all about it in the new autumn issue of This England (out now!) which traces the story of one small wire-haired fox terrier called Caesar, Edward VII favourite companion.



Picture Credit: Eddie Mulholland/Getty Images