|Photo: Golden Ball website|
Harvard Gazette interviews David Hemenway, author of Private Guns, Public Health: "People think we have a violence problem in the United States, but we really don’t. We’re an average country in terms of all the violence measures you can think of, in terms of crime. But where we’re very different is guns. We have lots more guns than anybody else, particularly handguns. A lot of countries have hunting rifles, but we have these handguns, and then we have these assault weapons."
Mike Booth, writing on Southport's Kew Focus, says his career has mirrored that of Ken Barlow.
York Mix takes us to The Golden Ball - a pub in the city's Bishophill district that is now owned by its regulars.
"It was a pretty sight, and a seasonable one, … in the fore-court, lit by the dim rays of a horn lantern, some eight or ten little field mice stood in a semi-circle, red worsted comforters round their throats, their fore-paws thrust deep into their pockets, their feet jigging for warmth … As the door opened, one of the elder ones that carried the lantern was just saying, ‘Now then one, two, three!’ and forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the old-time carols that their forefathers composed… and handed down to be sung in miry streets to lamp-lit windows at Yule-time." Life Must be Filled Up revisits a favourite chapter of The Wind in the Willows.
Mark Cole analyses Christmas number one singles.