Andrew Martin

Journalist and novelist Andrew Martin is the author of the 'Jim Stringer' series of novels based around railways. He has written for the Independent on Sunday, the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times and the New Statesman among others.

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Thomas the Tank Engine stole my son

Was the Rev W. Awdry related to L. Ron Hubbard? Those little engines are not just part of a harmless children's story, they're part of a cult. And it's taken over my family

Irritations of Modern Life 10: Televised Sport In Pubs

I REALISED the extent of the televised-sport-in-pubs disease about a year ago when I walked into my local to find the entire clientele watching a bodybuilder in sparse underpants who was flexing his muscles and mincing around to an anonymous piece of heavy metal. "A good performance from the Finn, there," breathed the commentator when the man eventually finished.

Real Living: Man's World

"WHAT you need," said my wife as I sat sighing in the kitchen last Sunday, "is a hobby."

Football: pounds 10m bid for Yorke rejected by Villa

ASTON VILLA continued to shrug off the unwelcome advances of Manchester United for Dwight Yorke yesterday, after they rejected what they have described as United's second and final faxed offer of pounds 10m for the striker.

Football: Wilson on warpath

DANNY WILSON, the Sheffield Wednesday manager, has denounced speculation linking him with a player-plus-cash move for Nottingham Forest's Pierre van Hooijdonk.

Football: Villa say pounds 10m for Yorke `too low'

ASTON VILLA continued to shrug off the unwelcome advances of Manchester United for Dwight Yorke yesterday after they rejected what they have described as United's second and final faxed offer of pounds 10m for the striker.

A bloke writes: The barber, my father and a short back and sides

MY FIRST haircuts took place in a north of England barber's shop, where the burble of Jimmy Young could always be heard from the trannie. I waited with my father on a row of wooden chairs, he having taken the Sporting Life from the magazine rack and tossed me a three-year-old Beano. Then one of the two barber's seats would become vacant, the barber would thrash at it with his white towel to clear away the hairs, and I'd nervously step forward.

Football: Charity and faith is Vivas' hope

NELSON VIVAS is expected to make his debut for the Double winners Arsenal against Manchester United at Wembley today as the Charity Shield announces the beginning of the new season for the elite clubs.

Would you trust this man with your crisps?

A bloke writes

Football: Anger at 'crazy' ticket allocation

AFTER the roar of Lens, the silence in St Etienne may be just as deafening, with a mere 2,049 tickets allocated to England fans for Tuesday's second-round meeting with Argentina.
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Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?