UK News

Grandparents’ Wetherspoons trip ends in chaos after drinking game | UK | News UK News

A grandparents’ Wetherspoons trip has ended in total chaos after they took part in a hilarious drinking game. Their grandson posted the couple’s photo on a Facebook group called ‘Wetherspoons The Game’ where if a photo and accompanying story is entertaining enough members will send drinks directly to the participant’s table via the app.

Grandson Mark Hamlet said in his post: “Hey, brought nana and grandad out for their early night cap. 

“Explained to them about the game…Know it works as I’ve given a few in past. Nana thinks she about to be cloned and pension account emptied.

“Let’s show her we mean business.”

He goes onto say that his nana is partial to a glass of Melbec or Merlot Red whereas his grandad prefers a pint.   

Then he cheekily added: “Nothing crazy guys I’ve gotta put them to bed.”

Hilarious snaps show the couple being absolutely inundated with drinks – and looking a bit dumbfounded at the result.

The trio were enjoying a trip to The George Inn in Sandbach, in Cheshire according to the location posted on Facebook.

The pictures were then shared more widely on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter by @roblikesplanes.

The tweet has now been seen by 2.2m people and retweeted thousands of times.

Rob said: “Reason 52 why I can’t delete Facebook: a group called ‘Wetherspoons The Game!’ in which you put up a couple of photos of yourselves & explain the occasion, alongside the spoons you’re in. 

“If you’ve got a good post, people will send you a drink. Nana doesn’t know what’s hit her.”

One X user said: “I am howling at this, thank you for sharing it.”

Another said: “Honestly. Nana is my hero x”

“Laughed so hard at this. Hopefully Grandad got some kip with Grandma in a Malbec coma next to him,” added another.

The game works due to a loophole in the Wetherspoon’s app. 

Where apps for outlets such as McDonald’s and Pizza Express use your phone’s location services to verify you are physically at a location, Wetherspoons asks you to manually confirm which pub you are in and which table you are sitting at. 

To play the game you have to post your location and table number in the various Facebook groups that have been created dedicated to the fun.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-05 10:18:00

UK News

Christmas spending slump as even Black Friday only boosts retail sales by 2.7% | Personal Finance | Finance UK News

Black Friday failed to boost UK retail spending by as high a margin as last year as Christmas shoppers shied away from splashing the cash at the levels seen last year.

Consumers appear to be sticking to plans for a budget Christmas this year with retail spending remaining weak, figures released on Tuesday morning show.

Total UK retail sales increased by just 2.7% in November, a significant weakening on last November’s 4.2% uplift despite a push from retailers around Black Friday deals, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

And those figures are not even adjusted for inflation, masking a likely drop in volumes once today’s higher prices are taken into account.

Food and drink, health, personal care and beauty products continued to drive growth, but jewellery and watches took huge hits with the biggest decline in sales on the high street as consumers trend towards more budget-friendly gifting.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Black Friday began earlier this year as many retailers tried to give sales a much-needed boost in November.

“While this had the desired effect initially, the momentum failed to hold throughout the month, as many households held back on Christmas spending.

“Retailers are banking on a last-minute flurry of festive frivolity in December and will continue working hard to deliver an affordable Christmas for customers so everyone can enjoy some Christmas cheer.

“Looking ahead to 2024, retailers will have to shoulder many new cost pressures, including a rise to business rates, as well as costs from other new regulations.

“These combined with the biggest rise on record to the National Living Wage will mean retailers will have less capital to invest in lowering prices for their customers.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said: “With less than a month to go and sales growth limping along, the cost-of-living crisis has taken its toll on Christmas spending for many households, and the continued economic conditions are testing consumer resilience.

“With two of the three months of the crucial golden quarter seeing sales growth below 3%, it has already been a weak Christmas trading period.”

Mr Martin added: “Any excess stock not sold before Christmas could be further reduced leading to big January sales, and potentially having an even greater impact on already tight margins.

“As we look to the first few months of 2024, we can expect the challenges to continue which could lead to further casualties in the sector, particularly pure online players facing more than 28 months of consecutive sales decline.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-05 00:01:00

UK News

Furious drivers fume they can’t drive uphill due to 20mph Welsh speed limits | UK | News UK News

Furious drivers are fuming that they can’t drive uphill or travel with sheep because of 20mph speed limits in Wales.

Drivers say that the new limit, which replaces the 30mph cap, has devastated some of their businesses.

The new limit could severely damage the economy according to a report by the Welsh government which found that the measure brought in to make the roads safer could cost the country’s £4.5billion.

There are also fears about the environmental cost with drivers claiming they are spending more time at higher revs in lower gears as they travel up the multitude of steep hills.

As a result, there are growing calls for the limits to be reversed before lives, businesses and livelihoods are lost.

Speaking to the Telegraph, the Wellness Pharmacy’s Phil Bullen said the new speeds are creating limits to the number of prescriptions they could deliver per day.

He said: “Where before we were able to get all the deliveries out in one day, now we can’t because we have to drive slower. Deliveries for stock from our wholesale drug manufacturers are coming an hour later than before.

“We have to tell customers that if a prescription is going to be at 9am, it won’t be ready until 11 o’clock. We were probably doing about 30 [deliveries] a day before. We’re managing to get into the 20s but we definitely can’t do more than 30.”

On the environmental impact, resident Darrell Ingram said: “You put it in a lower gear and you’re causing more pollution by driving slower. We’re supposed to be fighting against that.”

When the Labour run Welsh government brought in the plans there were claims that the new speed limit would only add on average one minute to journey times.

However, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) has disputed this. The OSR’s director general for regulation, Ed Humpherson, wrote a letter to the government to say more could have been done to support drivers.

In response, a spokesperson for the Welsh government said: “We welcome the letter from the Office for Statistics Regulation.

“The figure referred to is supported by a technical document that explains how population, car journeys and distances travelled data were used within the calculation. We have taken OSR’s advice and have made this additional information available online.”

While the move has caused controversy, some of its supporters say it is only a matter of time before drivers adapt.

Speaking to the BBC, Christine Nicholls said: “I feel safer crossing the road. If they brought this law in a long time (ago), this generation of drivers would be used to it and for those driving a long time, it’s a lot to get used to. It’s got its pros and cons.”

Fellow resident Joanna Davies added: “By schools and hospitals, it’s a good idea. But if you’re driving at 20mph on a normal road, it’s causing mayhem.

“Congestion has got worse. I don’t think there’s many people for it around here and the buses are late too as they’re going 20mph as well.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-04 18:58:00

UK News

Chris Packham dramatically announces he’s taking Rishi Sunak and Tories to court | UK | News UK News

Chris Packham has announced he is taking Rishi Sunak and his government to court after a number of key climate commitments were scrapped. The TV presenter announced today (Monday, December 4) that he will challenge the u-turn in the High Court.

Speaking on X, formerly Twitter, he said: “In September the Prime Minister and his Government announced delays for key climate commitments , tearing up plans to tackle vehicle emissions & phase out gas boilers .

“Today I can announce I’m taking them to the High Court – but I need your help.”

We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story.

For the latest news and breaking news visit: /news

Stay up to date with all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you.

Follow our social media accounts here on and @daily_express

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This notice was published: 2023-12-04 11:28:00

UK News

UK EV firm secures huge £1billion boost in win for British car making | UK | News UK News

A British electric vehicle firm has won more than a billion pounds of funding towards boosting the UK electric vehicle market.

Octopus Electric Vehicles has secured a £550million securitisation facility with Lloyds Bank, with the deal taking total funding to £1.2billion.

Funds will supercharge Octopus’ flagship EV salary sacrifice scheme, which has more than 4k businesses signed up. Launched in 2021, the firm said the scheme empowers drivers to save 30-40 percent each month on a brand new electric vehicle.

Octopus offers an all-in-one service, providing the brand new car, charger and discounted energy tariff.

The electric car market has rocketed in recent years, with close to 900,000 cars registered on UK roads and forecasts predict that the UK will register more than 500,000 new electric cars each year by 2028.

Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, said: “Electric cars are revolutionising our roads.

“With battery prices down 90 percent since 2010, electric cars are more affordable and can travel further than ever on a single charge. Drivers can fill up at home, work or on public networks, many saving over £1,000 every year on fuel.

“The tech in our pocket transformed when Apple led the smartphone revolution. Now our roads are catching up, and with Tesla leading the way, there are now almost 30 brands with great EVs on sale in the UK.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Lloyds to supercharge the transition, with an additional £550m to help drivers switch from old school gas guzzlers to a cleaner alternative.”

Octopus EV, the EV specialist business from the Octopus Energy Group, has become a driving force in the transition to clean, electric transport in fewer than five years.

When it launched its own lease offer in 2019, there were only a handful of electric vehicle models available to customers but it now offers over 85 vehicles from 28 brands, with a fleet exceeding £450million in value.

Octopus EV now has more than 4,000 companies signed up to its salary sacrifice offer, including British businesses such as Dyson, McLaren and Innocent Drinks.

Since launching its salary sacrifice offer in April 2021, Octopus EV has created more than 300 new green jobs across offices in London, Weybridge, Brighton and Manchester. Octopus recently took its expertise to America with the launch of Octopus Electric Vehicles in the US.

Miray Muminoglu, Managing Director, Head of Securitised Products Group and FIG DCM at Lloyds Bank, said: “We’re delighted to become a funding partner to Octopus EV with this innovative £550m securitisation facility.

“Given the alignment across the two institutions in supporting the transition to net zero, and our leading auto franchise within SPG, this facility demonstrates not only our strategic ambitions to broaden and deepen our client relationships but also our commitment to help Britain prosper.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-04 00:01:00

UK News

Couple fly all the way to Africa for day out after spotting ‘bargain’ £35 flight | UK | News UK News

It’s hard to believe that you could travel to Africa for less than the price of a tank of fuel but one Edinburgh couple paid just £35 each to fly to Morocco last month.

Jamie and Sarah MacLeod picked up the bargain flights after browsing Facebook page ‘Extreme Day Trips UK’.

They left Edinburgh in the early hours of November 18 and flew through Barcelona before arriving in Marrakech six hours later at 11.15am.

After enjoying Morocco’s souks and the Kasbah Mosque, just 17 hours later they were back on a plane. 

Jamie told Wales Online that Marrakesh was one of his bucket list destinations and was excited to find out he could make the trip in one day.

She said: “It was amazing. We went to see the markets – did all three souks, saw the tombs, it was beautiful.

“We didn’t have a lot of time, so we just spent it wandering about. The weather was really nice, 32C heat in November.”

He added: “There was a bit of trouble – in Morocco, when you’re going through the gate, you need to tell them your job title, hotel name and show them your boarding pass.

“Of course, we didn’t have a hotel name as we weren’t staying – which the guy at the gate wasn’t having at all. It took a bit of time negotiating with him – but once I saw Sarah getting stamped through in the queue next to me, he let me through.”

Unable to take a direct flight home in the evening, Jamie and Sarah flew to Barcelona for £24, though they did have some problems at the airport.

The couple spent £77 on a budget hotel and were up and out early the next day to make the most of the Sagrada Familia, shopping at the Bullring Centre and Plaça de Catalunya.

They boarded their £29 flight back to Edinburgh at 10pm and landed at around 1am on November 20.

Jamie said: “I’ve always wanted to go to Marrakech and we realised a one-way flight from Scotland was only £35.

“We looked at it and just thought, ‘let’s do it’.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-03 17:43:00

UK News

UK’s best schools for 2023 revealed – check if your child’s school has made the cut | UK | News UK News

A list of the top-performing secondary schools in the UK has been unveiled – with some surprising top placers.

Wilson’s School in Sutton, London, beat Eton, Westminster and Winchester after turning in stellar A-level and GCSE results to claim the Sunday Times Parent Power title.

The all-boys grammar school is home to 1,290 pupils and jumped eight places in the league tables from 11th in 2022.

Wilson’s head teacher, Nathan Cole, said the students were “forged in the horrors of Covid”. She said the school’s determination to maintaining standards around welfare and lessons benefitted the students, helping them flourish.

Ms Cole said: “The school took delivery of the curriculum [online during lockdowns] very seriously. It may look hilarious when you see 170 boys doing exercises and games on Zoom at the same time, doing all sorts of things with socks and oranges, but it tells you there is something very wrong with the world.”

According to the Sunday Times, which uses its own criteria to judge schools, this is the first time that A-levels and GCSEs results have returned to pre-pandemic levels in England, with many of those that kept up high-quality lessons online during the pandemic reaping rewards this year.

The top schools in the state sector, which is typically dominated by selective grammars, have kept pace with private schools year-on-year, according to the publication. Of the 100 schools in the combined league table, three-quarters are fee-paying, 25 are state grammar school, with one more state school in the top 100 than last year.

The top 10 state secondaries in the southeast are all in the UK top 50 with Reading School topping that list and coming in eighth nationally making it the Southeast Secondary School of the Year.

This boys-only state grammar has 1,139 pupils with some students offered board. Headmaster Ashley Robson said the school’s success is down to its mission to building the character of pupils.

It teaches children “mental softness” over resilience, encourages a positive image of masculinity, and helps them to develop respectful relationships with girls. Kids also enjoy a trip to the Arctic Circle to build igloos and must learn to play a musical instrument.

London and southeast England continue to dominate but Northern Ireland has moved up the table with five schools. Selective grammars continue are the rule to success in the Midlands and the North with St Mary’s College, a mixed Roman Catholic secondary and sixth form in Hull taking the title of Comprehensive School of the Year 2024.

The head of St Mary’s College, Maria Stead, said: “We firmly believe that no child should be left behind. All have a right to experience events such as symphonies and mock trials, alongside developing an understanding of the importance of positive activism in a world where there is not always peace and justice for all.”

However, state school face post-pandemic woes like funding cuts, crumbling buildings, low attendance and mental health issues related to lockdowns, which is pushing them further into the unknown.

The top secondary school for academic performance

Altrincham Grammar School for Boys

Secondary school of the year

Wilson’s School (grammar school for boys), Wallington

Comprehensive school of the year

Cheadle Hulme High School

Top independent school for academic performance

Withington Girls’ School, Manchester

Independent school of the year

King’s School, Chester

International Baccalaureate school of the year

Tonbridge Grammar School


East Anglia

Secondary School of the Year – Colchester Royal Grammar School

Comprehensive School of the Year – Impington Village College

Private School of the Year – The Perse School, Cambridge

East Midlands

Secondary School of the Year – The King’s School, Grantham

Comprehensive School of the Year – Landau Forte College, Derby

Private School of the Year – Leicester Grammar School

West Midlands

Secondary School of the Year – King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon

Comprehensive School of the Year – St Paul’s School for Girls, Edgbaston

Private School of the Year – King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham


Secondary School of the Year – Wilson’s School, Wallington

Comprehensive School of the Year – JFS, Harrow

Private School of the Year – St Paul’s Girls’ School, Hammersmith

The North

Secondary School of the Year for Academic Performance – Ripon Grammar School

Comprehensive School of the Year – St Mary’s College, Hull

Private School of the Year – Queen Ethelburga’s College, York

The Northeast

Comprehensive School of the Year – Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Private School of the Year – Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne

The Northwest

Secondary School of the Year – Altrincham Grammar School for Girls

Comprehensive School of the Year – Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College, Blackburn

Private School of the Year – Withington Girls’ School, Manchester

The Southeast

Secondary School of the Year – Reading School

Comprehensive School of the Year – St Andrew’s RC School, Leatherhead

Private School of the Year – Guildford High School

The Southwest

Secondary School of the Year – Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham

Comprehensive School of the Year – Kingsbridge Community College

Private School of the Year – Cheltenham Ladies’ College


Secondary School of the Year – Cowbridge Comprehensive School

Private School of the Year – Cardiff Sixth Form College

Northern Ireland

Secondary School of the Year – Lumen Christi College, Londonderry


Secondary School of the Year – Jordanhill School, Glasgow

Private School of the Year (Highers) – St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh

Private School of the Year (A-Levels) – St Leonards, St Andrews

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This notice was published: 2023-12-03 11:36:00

UK News

Kids’ trip to see Santa in Lapland cancelled due to too much snow in UK | UK | News UK News

A festive trip to see Father Christmas in Lapland had to be cancelled yesterday – due to heavy snow in Glasgow. Scores of excited children and parents were due to fly to Kittilä in northern Finland, north of the Arctic Circle, where the day-time temperature yesterday fell to -17C (1.4F).

But snow which Glasgow Airport’s operators say was “heavier than forecast” closed the runway, so the £730-a-head day trip with travel firm TUI had missed its slot. A Met Office warning of snow west of Glasgow was in place at the time.

TUI said it had offered passengers the chance to see Santa on another date. But the disruption also cancelled flights to London Heathrow, Amsterdam and Barra while many more were delayed.

Fiona McCaig, of Glasgow, wrote on social media: “Glasgow Airport a shambles this morning – four hour delay and counting.” Arlene Elliot replied on the ‘Go Giffnock’ Facebook page: “My daughter is flying up from Gatwick and is delayed. That’s
what she’s been told.”

After snow-clearing efforts were successful, Glasgow Airport tweeted: “Our runway is now fully operational again and we are working with our airline partners and their handlers to resume flight schedules. Thank you to everyone affected for their patience and understanding.”

Yesterday, Scotland endured its coldest morning this year since March 9, with -11C (12.2F) recorded at Aviemore in the Highlands. Private gauges at Dulnain Bridge on Speyside showed -16C (3.2F). Eleven SPFL football matches were called off due to the conditions, including Livingston versus Ross County in the Premiership.

Heavy snow near Dundee forced gritters to de-ice the Tay Road Bridge and ScotRail said services were disrupted due to points failures. Trains between Glasgow and Cumbernauld were halted and a signalling problem at Rutherglen hit services into Glasgow Central.

Marco Petagna, senior meteorologist at the Met Office, said it will be Thursday before we see a rise in temperatures, due to milder air coming from the south west. He added: “Sunday morning could be even colder at -12C (10.4F), especially where snow is lying on higher ground.

“On Sunday, there should be a lot of sunshine around, with the odd patch of freezing fog. The cold weather will take a while to shift and it could be Thursday before anything warmer moves in.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-02 22:37:00

UK News

Fury as primary schoolgirls told ‘men can have periods’ | UK | News UK News

A UK period product company has attracted fury over a leaflet that tells schoolgirls that men can have periods.

In information aimed at pre-pubescent youngsters, Hey Girls states that “not all women have periods” and that “some men have periods”.

The leaflet also states that when people are talking generally it is best to use the phrase “people who have periods”.

Two videos for schoolgirls released by the company do not use the words woman, women, girl or girls according to the MailOnline – although the word people is used 11 times in total.

Hey Girls is a major provider to the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales.

Lucy Marsh, of the Family Education Trust, told the MailOnline that only girls and women could get pregnant and that “to claim otherwise is not progressive, it’s deeply insulting [and] biologically incorrect”.

She added: “It also affirms the idea that girls can be ‘born in the wrong body’, which is incredibly harmful, especially for those girls who are already feeling distressed about how their body is developing.

“Telling children that people have periods is not only lying to them, it’s dehumanising and misogynistic.”

Responding to the MailOnline, Hey Girls co-founders Celia Hodson and Kate Smith said it was an “inclusive social enterprise” that was working to end period poverty in the UK – and said they stood by their “inclusive language and support everyone who has a period”.

They added: “The language we use in our materials has changed in response to feedback from our customers and is deep rooted in our belief that period education and the access to products should be inclusive for all who menstruate, no matter how they identify.

“Materials such as the booklet in question are designed to be inclusive for all, including those who are transgender, have gender dysphoria or are members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are rarely represented in period product education and marketing.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-02 16:31:00

UK News

The most remote place in England that’s six miles from the nearest main road | UK | News UK News

Many of us long to get away from it all. And that can most definitely be the case when the Christmas music is blaring and frazzled workers inch toward their festive break.

But if you truly want to ditch the melee then England’s most remote spot might be the place to clear your head.  Riggs Moor in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is England’s most cut off place where the nearest road is 2.4 miles away, but the nearest main road is even further – six miles.

The beauty spot, situated in the district of Harrogate, is accessible from Upper Nidderdale and the Yorkshire Dales. Expert hikers have claimed the walk to Riggs Moor is possibly the most difficult walk in the area of Upper Nidderdale but one of exhilaration – it can’t be an easy task to cross the open Moors.

And this remote spot is not for the faint-hearted, but after a long trek you’re rewarded by incredible views.

And as well as being one of the places most cut off from civilisation in the UK, it is also one of the most Instagrammable.

The little known location came in at 18th on a list of the ‘top 20 most social media worthy destinations’ in a poll commissioned by Sky Mobile.

Lesley Tate is a ,chief reporter at The Craven Herald and Pioneer – and she wrote about her trek to the desolate point.

She said: “There were more people than I expected along the way, which made me think England’s most remote spot would be crowded with other walkers, all wanting ‘to be alone’. 

“However, it wasn’t long before the place became deserted, apart from a farmer in a four by four, it was just me, cattle, sheep and some Dales ponies, who as far as I could see, were in exactly the same spot when I came back down off the fell some three hours later.”

And for the those who would like to make the trip the Ordnance Survey Grid Referene is: SE 0397 7262 • X/Y co-ords: 403974, 472622 • Lat/Long: 54.14939880,-1.94066704.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-02 10:00:00