Happy Hump Day News: Lost Letters and New Connections

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This might feel like the longest January since records began, but guess what? It’s that happy time of the week again, which means that we’ve powered through another seven days of lockdown. Grab yourself a treat and feast your eyes on some soul-warming stories from around the world.

Long Lost Letters

When a wad of letters dating back to World War One was found inside a sewing machine donated to a Sue Ryder charity shop in Sunderland, there was an appeal to find the relatives of the writer and recipient. The letters were written by George Fortune, who served the Durham Light Infantry, to his wife Mary and their daughter, Marjorie. Sadly, George died during the Battle of the Somme, and when the couple’s daughter died childless, her possessions were given away. Happily, the letters have now been reunited with David Bambrough, whose great-grandfather was Mary’s brother.

When the Chips are Down


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A ten-year-old aspiring rugby player from Wales has raised £4000 to help buy tablets for hospital patients, so that they can communicate with their loved ones. Corey Williams, who often helps out in his dad’s fish and chip shop, added an unusual element to a trio of steep climbs — he completed them while carrying a sack of potatoes! Corey hiked to the top of Penrhys hill in Rhondda, biked to the summit of Bwlch and ran up to the peak of Rhigos. We reckon he deserves a mound of chips after that effort.

Blue Lights at The Berkeley

The five-star Knightsbridge hotel, The Berkeley, has restarted its free drive-thru for frontline emergency services workers — but this time, it’s taking place every day during lockdown, rather than monthly. Hotel staff will serve up free tea, coffee and hot soup between the hours of 9am and 5pm, and is welcoming any donations from local businesses who want to get involved too.

Rare Opportunity


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BBC Radio 1 breakfast show presenter Greg James surprised one of his young listeners by introducing him to Sir David Attenborough via Zoom. The schoolboy interviewed the national treasure for his school project, which is all about Sir David himself. You can watch the lovely interview in full here.

Trading Places


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This March, a national register of tradeswomen will be launched in the UK: a not-for-profit project set up by the founder of Stopcocks Women Plumbers, Hattie Hasan MBE. The register has collaborated with Women’s Aid and is free to sign up to and use. It aims to help qualified and aspiring tradeswomen with their careers, while making vulnerable people feel safer when they need to hire a stranger.

Get the Ball Rolloe-ing

A design student at London South Bank University has created a device that attaches to bicycle wheels and purifies the air as cyclists ride around. Kristen Tapping won the 2020 Design Innovation in Plastics for her invention, which adapts technology already used in wind turbines. You can learn more about the Rolloe wheel cap, which will hopefully be launched in 2022, in the video above.

And finally…

We have two funny videos for you this week because, well, it’s January… Need we say more?