UK News

‘Incredibly rare’ 2,000-year-old ‘gladiator’ Roman armour gives vision of ancient warrior | UK | News UK News

An “incredibly rare” piece of Roman armour “inspired by gladiators” has been reconstructed from dozens of fragments for the first time in 2,000 years. The brass arm guard, owned by National Museums Scotland, will be seen for the first time in its entirety when it goes on loan next month to the British Museum in London for its exhibition, Legion: Life In The Roman Army.

Conservators spent weeks reconstructing the arm guard, which is the most intact example of its kind and is one of only three known from the whole Roman Empire.

The armour was previously in more than 100 pieces when it was discovered at the Trimontium fort site near Melrose, Scottish Borders, in 1906.

The fragments have been in National Museums Scotland’s collection for more than a century, with the upper section previously on display for 25 years.

Now that all fragments have been reassembled, the arm guard will go on permanent display in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh after the British Museum exhibition ends.

Fraser Hunter, principal curator of prehistoric and roman archaeology at National Museums Scotland, said: “This is an incredibly rare object, and it’s great that this exhibition gave us the opportunity to rebuild it.

“The transformation is striking. Now that it’s been reconstructed, you can picture the legionary who once wore it. It was both protection and status symbol – brass was expensive and would have gleamed like gold on his sword arm.

“It offers a vivid connection to this important period when Scotland sat on the Roman Empire’s northern frontier.”

Bethan Bryan, assistant artefact conservator at National Museums Scotland, added: “It’s been a privilege to work on such an extraordinary piece of Scotland’s history.

“I’m thrilled that it can now be seen by audiences in a new light and has been preserved for generations to enjoy.”

Richard Abdy, curator of roman and iron age coins at the British Museum, said hosting the exhibition is a “splendid privilege”.

He said: “The flexible arm guard is an iconic piece of equipment for Roman gladiators, so it is unusual to see it as a sword arm protection for Roman soldiers too.

“Its display, posed with classic legionary segmental body armour, is stunning. The latter is also possibly derived from gladiator kit and we even think that the training regime for the amphitheatre originally inspired combat training of the professionalising Roman army.

“The image of Roman soldiers and gladiators appropriately unite in one artefact – two characteristic strands of the dark side of Roman civilisation that have long fascinated public imagination.”

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This notice was published: 2024-01-22 12:44:00

UK News

Tesco tech glitch branded ‘shambles’ as deliveries cancelled | UK | News UK News

Tesco customers have branded deliveries a “shambles” as a tech glitch meant orders were cancelled or delayed on Sunday.

Shoppers took to social media to vent their frustration, criticising the communication from the supermarket giant. The retailer has since issued an apology, informing customers they can place a new order.

Website Downdector shows over 1,000 customers reported issues with the Tesco app or website at around 9am on Sunday. With customers reporting problems into the evening.

Writing on social media platform X on Sunday evening, Jason Underhill said: “Really disappointed to have Tesco home delivery cancelled on a Sunday evening. Especially with all the supermarkets closed by 4pm. Makes school packed lunches extremely difficult.”

Steve Pearce was expecting his delivery on Sunday morning. He said: “Supposed to have a Tesco home delivery between 9-10am today.

“Been trying to contact since 11am as payment taken and order showing as preparing. Finally spoke to you [Tesco] to be told order cancelled but couldn’t let us know as phones were down. Absolute shambles!”

Another Tesco customer said: “Awful service. At 7.46 cancelling an order for delivery 8-9. No reason given. No thought about extra costs the customer will incur.”

Another shopper claimed they were housebound and only received confirmation their delivery had been cancelled 20 minutes before it was due to arrive.

Customers who had their deliveries cancelled were reportedly told they would now have to wait between three and four days for a refund. A Tesco spokesman said: “Due to technical issues we’ve had to cancel some orders and our customer service team are experiencing high contact volumes.

“Unfortunately, we’re unable to reschedule these orders. We apologise for the inconvenience.”

The supermarket said it was receiving a “high contact volume” of calls after the incident. It told customers they would face delays when trying to speak to the customer service department.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-22 00:18:00

UK News

Primary school forced to close five times in three months due to ‘failing’ £358k heat pump | UK | News UK News

A faltering heat pump forced a school to shut its doors five times in under three months, leaving parents exasperated as they claim they’ve been forced to collect their children with little notice.

Kingsnorth Primary in Ashford, Kent received its first pump – a type of ultra-efficient gas boiler alternative designed to be more environmentally friendly – in summer 2023.

Officials installed the units as part of a government initiative to cut school carbon emissions in Kent, but the plans have not panned out as hoped.

The failing pumps have left classes without power and heating on several occasions, forcing teachers to send pupils home.

The persistant failures have enraged parents, many of whom have complained about having to leave full-time jobs to come and collect their children on short notice.

Kingsnorth was first forced to close early on November 30 last year when gas and electricity stopped working and staff were unable to provide food for the children.

A second failure followed just over a week later on December 6, forcing another all-day closure, with a third, fourth and fifth happening in quick succession on January 10, 11 and 12 this year.

Parents have claimed they were only informed of these decisions with “random messages”, one mum said, with another saying they were “getting annoyed” at the short notice.

The mum, who asked not to be named, said: “Whenever there is an issue, we get random messages during the day to say come pick your children up.”

“I work full time and I can’t always just leave my job. We keep being told it will get sorted as quickly as possible, but it has been going on for too long now.”

Another mum said she was “really worried” the repeated need to pick up her children would mean she loses her job, and called on the school to “get it sorted”.

She added one of her year six children is preparing to study the SATs this year, but they have now “lost five days of learning”.

A spokesperson for Aquila Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust, which runs 16 schools in Kent and commissioned the heat pumps, apologised for the issues and said it was working to rectify the issue by installing a power backup.

They said: “We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to Kingsnorth Primary School’s pupils and families and we want to assure the community that we have been, and are continuing to, do everything within our power to rectify this situation as quickly as possible.

“Our priority has always been to keep Kingsnorth open, but there have been occasions where we have had no choice but to close due to a complete failure of the heating system, electrical power issues, and the associated wider safety concerns.”

They added: “We have planned to install an additional power source for part of the new heating system so we can remove some of the electrical load from the school’s electrics and have the system fully operational as intended,” the spokesperson explained.

“These works are planned for the week commencing January 22 while the school remains fully open and operational. Once this has been completed, we will have all specialists on-site to reinstate the air source heat pump system.”

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 20:32:00

UK News

Measles infection rates soar sparking jabs warning | UK | News UK News

Some experts fear a heavy-handed approach will scare parents and fail to reverse vaccination rates after they slumped to a 10-year low.

On Friday, the UK Health Security Agency announced that unvaccinated children could be sent home from school for up to 21 days in a bid to stem the spread of the disease across the West Midlands.

It declared a “national incident” after more than 300 confirmed or likely cases were identified in the region since October.

Meanwhile, cases of the highly infectious virus doubled across England and Wales last year.

The agency’s chief executive Dr Jenny Harries made a “call to action”, urging parents to get their child’s ­vaccination status checked.

Uptake has dropped below the recommended level of 95 per cent since the pandemic, to just 82 per cent in Birmingham and as low as 68 per cent in parts of London, Liverpool and Manchester.

Experts say that lockdown measures, with reduced face-to-face child health services, meant many infants did not have access to routine jabs. Professor Robert Dingwall, an infectious disease expert and former government adviser, said: “It is too easy to blame parents for the failure in vaccine services.

“What is being proposed about keeping unvaccinated children out of school will interrupt their education for little or no benefit and could be counter-productive. We need to rebuild community child health services in hard-to-reach areas and encourage people to take up vaccines.”

And Professor Carl Heneghan, an urgent care GP and director of Oxford University’s Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine, said: “Children cannot afford to miss 21 days of school.

“Instead of coercion, control and forced absence from school, public health officials should be giving ­education advice and support to communities where there is low vaccine uptake. People are sick of being talked down to and given mandates.”

Dr Alasdair Munro, a leading child specialist, added: “Vaccine hesitancy is a challenging problem and a large part of it is linked to the lack of community health services and declining numbers of health visitors exacerbated by the lockdown measures.

“Shutting children out of school because they are unvaccinated should only be a very last resort. Instead we need to reinvest in our child services.”

The West Midlands UKHSA said unvaccinated children could be asked not to attend school for up to three weeks. Its statement said: “If a child is unvaccinated and is a close contact of a measles case, we may advise that the child not come to school.” 

Parents in London have also been sent letters warning if their children are unvaccinated and come into close contact with a measles case, they may need to self-isolate for up to 21 days.

One in five children who get infected with measles will have to go to hospital, with one in 15 developing serious complications such as meningitis or sepsis. One in 5,000 will die.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 13:40:00

UK News

National Lottery creates three millionaires in £11.8 million draw | UK | News UK News

Three new millionaires were made during an £11.8 million “must be won” National Lottery jackpot.

However, no single ticket managed to successfully match all of the Lotto numbers. Three players each guessed five correct numbers as well as the bonus ball.

They each will walk away with £1,042,922. Wednesday’s Lotto jackpot will now stand at £2 million.

The winning Lotto numbers were 07, 14, 20, 29, 38 and 49 – and the bonus number was 42. Set of balls 10 and draw machine Lancelot were used.

No players matched all five numbers to win the Lotto HotPicks, which uses the same numbers as the main draw, but 14 tickets matched four numbers to claim £13,000 each.

The winning Thunderball numbers were 18, 20, 24, 26 and 33 – and the Thunderball was 14.

No-one scooped the £500,000 top prize, but two players won £5,000 each for matching five numbers.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 00:36:00

UK News

‘Dump’ UK seaside town named Britain’s worst that depressed locals regret moving to | UK | News UK News

In March 2023, Rhyl in North Wales was named the country’s worst seaside town despite drawing flocks of tourists every year. Now, the town has been branded a “dump” as visitors complain about the area being “shoddy” and “rundown”.

Many of the town’s amenities have shut down as holidays abroad have become cheaper, meaning Rhyl’s appeal has weakened. The once-popular Pavilion theatre, its old pier and its beach funfair have all closed in recent times.

Like many coastal towns that used to go-to holiday destinations, it’s become bleak and uninspiring for those visiting.

Recent visitors have branded the place as a “dump”, claiming that it failed to live up to the limited hype it had left. One Tripadvisor user wrote of the place: “Got moved here in June and what a big mistakes it was. Rhyl is such a dump it’s depressing.
Would not advise visiting at all.”

Another said: “Never been in such a shoddy run down place, even worse than Holyhead. Went on a lovely sunny day, when wet in mid winter it must be even more miserable. Couldn’t even get a decent meal and ended up in McDonald’s! Don’t waste your time going”.

A third attacked the town, saying: “The town itself is a shadow of its former life and it’s heartbreaking to see it on its knees. This town like many others were hit hard before Covid and after they are really up against it.”

Last year, Rhyl was awarded the unfortunate title of ‘UK’s worst seaside town’.

However, not everyone is so negative about Rhyl as YouTube sensation Walk With Me Tim once visited the town and shared a video of his experience. The video, released in summer 2022, has been viewed nearly 350,000 times and his review of the place was far less brutal.

He said that its beach was “beautiful” and “absolutely massive” and that it took an age to reach the water’s edge. Looking out from the harbour as the sun shone, Tim told his viewers that the view was “absolutely amazing”.

Despite its negative reviews, WalesOnline reports that over the last few years, the town has worked hard to get rid of the negativity. News plans mean nearly £25m is being spent on the town centre to help improve it, as part of the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns initiative.

More than £65million in investment has also been attracted for projects like the SC2 Waterpark, Pont y Ddraig bridge and harbour improvements. The Pavilion Theatre has been renovated and the 1891 Restaurant has been opened. Rhyl also now has a Premier Inn and Travelodge.

Wales Online also spoke to Rhyl residents who were far more positive about the town.

One said: “In Rhyl you have some really decent, down to earth people with no airs and graces. I have the best neighbours. There are plenty of working people in Rhyl. Unfortunately some extremely bad decisions by DCC are leaving a town centre empty. They seem to think only of tourism and not about the locals.”

After seeing the rankings, Jess Hymus-Gant wrote: “What a shame. I’ve lived in Austria, Germany, Spain, México and I have chosen to settle in Rhyl and raise my family here. Yes it has its problems but believe me, so does everywhere else. In Rhyl you have some really decent, down to earth people with no airs and graces. I have the best neighbours. There are plenty of working people in Rhyl. Unfortunately some extremely bad decisions by DCC are leaving a town centre empty. They seem to think only of tourism and not about the locals.”

UK’s 10 worst seaside towns

  1. Rhyl

  2. South Shields

  3. Weston-Super-Mare

  4. Blackpool

  5. Morecambe

  6. Cleethorpes

  7. Southport

  8. Torquay

  9. Southend-on-Sea

  10. Scarborough

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This notice was published: 2024-01-20 20:45:00

UK News

Removal from work chat viewed as ‘less favourable treatment’ | UK | News UK News

Removing staff from work WhatsApp group chats while they are on maternity leave is discrimination, ruled an employment hearing.

Asha Lad took Lily Head Dental Practice Sales Limited to a tribunal after a male colleague refused her access to the chat.

The firm’s Chris Mayor said he felt there was “no reason” for her to have access.

Ms Law said it made her feel isolated.

Judge Rob Childe said her removal was “viewed as less favourable treatment” for someone on maternity leave.

A hearing to decide her compensation will be held at a later date.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-20 10:14:00

UK News

Man leaves people ‘crying with laughter’ at perfect revenge on noisy neighbour | UK | News UK News

A man has left people in stitches at his genius revenge on his noise neighbours. In a video captioned “getting my lick back. If I can’t sleep y’all can’t”, he can be seen to grab a table with wheels.

He then lifts the four-legged frame over his head and started banging the ceiling with it.

Admittedly with little regard for whether or not he scratched the paintwork, the man proceeded to drag the frame along the ceiling, making a terrible scratching sound.

TikTok users were left in stitches over the man’s novel tactic. One user said that his ploy had her “wheezing”, while another said it had her “hollering”.

A third said: “I wanna do this so bad.”

Recognising the pain that can be inflicted by the upstairs neighbour on those below, another TikTok user said: “I am the upstairs neighbour, so I try to be as quiet as I can because I once was the downstairs neighbour.”

Elsewhere, more neighbour drama unfolded on Reddit with a young couple renovating their new home and garden worried a “grumpy neighbour” may cause trouble after she rowed back on agreeing to them building a new privacy fence.

They said they had just moved into their first house two weeks ago and that most of the people in adjacent properties were older and retired.

The new homeowner explained they had plans to build a sauna in the garden and wanted a higher fence as they have a pet. They added that the previous owner had been “a hell of a gardener” and those living nearby had said they enjoyed looking at the well-kept backyard.

However, after getting started on their new fence and having some friends over at the weekend during the day to help, the person said conflict reared its ugly head, writing: “Now that it (the fence) is in, one of the neighbors freaked out via text – ‘actually, no one with property touching yours or in view of your yard is happy about this fence’.

“She said she’s more upset about us ‘building a hot tub’ and that loud music, loud voices, and partying will make spending time in her yard not enjoyable.”

Taking issue with their neighbours assessment and grasp of the facts, the Reddit poster added: “Dear reader, there is no hot tub being built, and we have not thrown any parties, we have have lived here for two weeks.

“I can think of some days when we have had a couple friends over to help with yardwork/painting/other DIY stuff, but each time it was on a weekend, during the day, and we weren’t playing any music, yelling, or anything like that.”

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This notice was published: 2024-01-20 05:30:00

UK News

Post Office scandal: Political insider demands ‘more prisons built’ to house senior bosses | UK | News UK News

Kelvin MacKenzie, a former newspaper editor and conservative columnist, laid into the latest revelations in the Post Office scandal.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Mr MacKenzie said that Britain would “have to build more prisons to house all the Fujitsu and Post Office senior staff”.

This comes after Paul Patterson, a senior executive of Fujitsu, admitted that staff at the Japanese company knew of bugs in the Horizon software.

Between 1999 and 2015, the Post Office privately prosecuted hundreds of sub-postmasters and post-mistresses based on Fujitsu’s faulty Horizon computer software.

More than 900 were prosecuted over claims they were stealing from the Post Office – but the missing money was actually due to errors in the Horizon software.

The hard-hitting columnist also urged authorities to speed up compensation to the hundreds of innocent victims.

He said: “This is incredible. Paul Patterson, the European boss of Fujitsu has just told the judge led inquiry that the tech giant knew from 1999 – and passed on to the Post Office – the fact that there were multiple glitches in the Horizon software.

“And he said the fact that the bugs were not included in the witness statements during the multiple court cases against the sub-postmasters was ‘shameful’.

“We are going to have to build more prisons to house all the Fujitsu and Post Office senior staff who will be going to jail before this scandal ends.

“Notice that even the Fujitsu bosses have washed their hands of their old colleagues.

“And can we please, please speed up the compensation payments to the innocent. It’s the least that can be done.”

Giving evidence in person for the first time to the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry, Mr Patterson said staff knew about bugs and glitches in the software as far back as 1999.

The director of the Japanese firm’s Europe arm said the firm had “clearly let society down, and the sub-postmasters down”.

Earlier this week, he said he was “truly sorry” for Fujitsu’s role in what he described as an “appalling miscarriage of justice”.

Fujitsu has said it plans to compensate those wronged in the Post Office scandal.

The scandal was brought back into focus following the release of the ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

The Government has also announced a new law to exonerate victims.

However, only 93 wrongful convictions have been overturned.

Thousands are still waiting for compensation settlements more than 20 years on.

The global chief executive of Fujitsu, Takahito Tokita, also apologised for the firm’s part in the scandal earlier this week.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Tokita said: “This is a big issue, which Fujitsu takes very seriously.”

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This notice was published: 2024-01-19 20:50:00

UK News

POLL: Are energy chiefs paid too much? | UK | News UK News

Chris O’Shea, Chief Executive of British Gas owner Centrica was on the sofa with Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty today, discussing the profits his company has made.

Mr O’Shea told the BBC his pay last year was £4.5 million, adding that his salary is “impossible to justify”.

He said while he did not set his pay, while Britons are struggling to pay bills “you can’t justify a salary of that size”.

Mr O’Shea also discussed the soaring costs of gas and electricity, which have impacted households across the UK.

At a time when Britons are struggling due to the cost of living crisis, the shocking salary Mr O’Shea takes home was hard to stomach for some.

Energy customers in the UK have fallen behind by almost £3 billion on bills.

However, many viewers praised the CEO for his honesty over how extortionate his salary is.

Writing on X (formally Twitter) user @SAINTSGUS said: “One of the best and most honest interviews in a good while. Didn’t duck a single question. Answered honestly. Refreshing. Also knew his facts Maybe if a few politicians were watching they could learn and listen That’s what we want.”

User @Stegg08 said: “At least he has come out and been honest so we all can see what goes to high end earners. Doesnt make it any easier to hear though.”

And @apowell01 wrote: “Honest, but it makes you fume.”

Mr O’Shea declined a £1.1m bonus in 2021 because of the “hardships” customers were facing, and previously turned down bonuses in 2020 and 2019 due to the pandemic.

In 2022 profits for Centrica hit £3.3bn following the soaring prices of oil and gas after Russia invaded Ukraine.

So what do you think, are energy chiefs paid too much?

Vote in our poll and have your say in the comments. If you can’t see the poll below, click here.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-19 13:09:00