Money

Homeowners are more inclined to improve their current property rather than move house, research carried out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has found.

Property: Our romance with the manse goes on

The appeal of the old rectory is as strong, if not stronger, than ever. Savills had more than 700 inquiries and 170 viewings for the Old Rectory at Sherfield English, in Hampshire. One of the features that proved most attractive was its state of disrepair. It seems buyers either want the perfect house or a dilapidated one that they can transform in their own personal style.

Boy, 4, is found hanged

A YOUNG BOY was found hanging from a tie in his bedroom just an hour after being sent upstairs for being naughty, an inquest heard yesterday.

Spring Ram warning shocks City: Start-up costs and problems in bathrooms division blamed for profit fall

SPRING RAM, the troubled bathroom and kitchen products group, shocked the City yesterday with its third profit warning in a year.

Man burns himself to death in front of shop staff: Body of stabbed woman found in bathroom of a flat near by

A MAN burnt himself to death in front of staff in a shop yesterday after apparently having killed his girlfriend.

Bottom Line: A nice line in operational gearing

TIE RACK is a classic example of how 'operational gearing' - that phrase trotted out to justify the sky-high share rating of the most deadbeat retailer - can actually deliver the goods. Strangle your costs, and you only need a modest lift in sales to deliver a monster hike in profits.

Prudential demands changes at Spring Ram

BILL ROONEY, chairman of Spring Ram, has been told by the Prudential, one of the largest shareholders with 12 per cent, that he must bring in a strong group chief executive to bolster the board of the troubled kitchens and bathrooms company.

View from City Road: In need of a strategy change

Spring Ram told a story that was too good to be true. Despite the harshest recession in the building industry in living memory Spring Ram, maker and supplier of kitchens and bathrooms, posted better and better profits.

Bottom Line: Spring Ram may not get a third chance

IT LOOKS ominous for Spring Ram and its investors. Stock market confidence in the kitchen and bathroom company, already dented, evaporated yesterday as it delayed publication of its 1992 results and asked for trading in its shares to be suspended.

TELEVISION / Greene concerns and party politics: Giles Smith on Arena's Graham Greene profile and Marti Caine's Your Best Shot

One of many good things about Arena's Graham Greene profile (BBC 2) was its preparedness to enter a few reservations about Greene's writing - no small feat when you're simultaneously trumpeting him to the heavens by alloting him a three-part hellzapoppin' biographical special (Part 2 tonight, Part 3 on Sunday). Even amid the patient and admiring attention to the details, there was still someone to speak up for those who, given Greene, see red.

City File: Spring Ram

ANGUS PHAURE of County NatWest is yet again recommending the bathroom and kitchen maker Spring Ram in terms reminiscent of the heady days of the great bull market. 'A 1992 prospective multiple of 12 and a 1993 prospective multiple of 10 are just the wrong ratings for one of the most successful companies in Europe and one of the fastest growing companies in the UK.'

Caradon helped by interest fall

A SHARP cut in interest charges helped MB-Caradon, the bathroom, heating and cheque printing group, to push up taxable profits 28 per cent to pounds 61m in the first half to 30 June.

PHOTOGRAPHY / The talking picture show: Andrew Palmer reviews the retrospective of the work of Duane Michals, at the Royal Photographic Society in Bath

LIKE many photographers whose work has crept into the higher echelons of the art market, Duane Michals spends a fair amount of time taking pictures of himself. There is Self Portrait as if I Were Dead, in which Michals, clothed, looks down on his own unclothed corpse, I Build a Pyramid, a sequence which portrays Michals building a triangular effigy of himself in front of the great tombs of Cairo, and Self Portrait with a Feminine Beard, in which the bald-headed Michals appears with female genitalia superimposed on his chin. The list goes on.

Barn accommodation forces performers to muck in together: Fifty Fringe artistes are escaping exorbitant rents charged in Edinburgh by sleeping in a cowshed

DON'T put your daughter on the Fringe, Mrs Worthington, or she might end up sleeping in a cowshed.

Carer gets life for murder

A LIVE-IN carer was jailed for life at the Old Bailey yesterday for the 'appallingly brutal' murder of a wheelchair-bound pensioner.
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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
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Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own