Each week, Ben Hopkinson looks back at a serious, crazy, and happy news story from the past week.
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson outlined a new 1.25% National Insurance Tax increase to boost the funding for health and social care. Johnson’s manifesto promise was that taxes would not increase; however, this has not been the case – whether it would have still happened if we were not in a pandemic is another question. The Prime Minister says “everyone will contribute according to their means. You can’t fix the Covid backlogs without giving the NHS the money it needs”. The decision went to a vote on Wednesday evening, at 7pm and the outcome was that it will go ahead.
In what is a very unique wedding venue, let’s just it is off the rails! Laura Dale and Jane Magnet met on the West Coast Main Line, and so winning a competition to have their wedding on a service on the same line was a “dream come true”. The newlyweds fought off 150 other entries for the chance to say “I do” on a train. Aboard the Marriage Carriage were the invitees for the service, which was supposed to go ahead two years ago, but was delayed to the pandemic, finances, and logistical issues. Just before departing London Euston, they had a champagne reception before they all boarded a Pendelino carriage dressed up for the special occasion. Laura Dale said “as a huge train fan, today has been a dream come true, having Jane and our friends and family with us as we celebrated our wedding at high speed”. The line connects London to Glasgow with branches to Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh – I wonder if any of these were where the honeymoon was1
Kev Crane, a plumber from Leicestershire has been give a recording deal after singing while he worked. While fitting bathrooms for a client, he was singing as one does, but wasn’t aware that he was working for Paul Conneally who owns New Reality Records. Paul noticed that he had a “good voice” after singing along to the radio. The label was launched during the first lockdown, and Paul said “He sings along to the radio as he tiles and plumbs in bathrooms. I told him he had a good voice and he mentioned he’d been writing and recording songs. He sent me some and I was blown away by his writing and his attention to detail in producing a sound that is so 80s but so now at the same time”. Kev said “It just feels surreal. I never expected anything like this to happen. When I went round to give Paul a quote, he mentioned he owned a record label, but I didn’t think much of it”. He built his own studio and is self-taught on mixing and recording by watching YouTube videos. Since this, Kev has released an 80’s influenced album.