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Skewed finances leave Championship a poor second best

News of the agonising decision facing poor old Theo Walcott – the Arsenal player who can barely sleep at night, worrying whether he might sell himself catastrophically short by signing a new contract worth a mere £75,000 a week – puts the second tier of English rugby and its business model into some kind of perspective.

The Photography of Bedford Lemere & Co, By Nicholas Cooper

The self-assured structures of an empire at its height were the stock-in-trade of Bedford Lemere & Co, the architectural photographers, whose archive of 20,000 glass negatives is the source for this bitter-sweet glimpse of a vanished world.

High Kicks and Low Life: Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec has been described by a contemporary critic as, ‘the quintessential chronicler of Paris’. The work of the artist (1864-1901) immediately evokes the decadent atmosphere of fin-de siècle Paris. And a touch of gay Paree might well rub off on Bedford next month when the British Museum Tour of his work arrives at Bedford Gallery.

Inside Lines: Bouquets for Bedford but London's transport goes down

The London Marathon is the greatest pro-am mass participation event in the world, something of which Britain can be justly proud. Simply magnificent, brilliantly staged by Dave Bedford and his team. The way that race director Bedford got every international elite competitor to the starting line this year amid the volcanic ash crisis was a masterpiece of organisation.

Yamauchi goes the extra miles for marathon test

It was not the kind of preparation that the late, great Cliff Temple listed in the pages of Challenge of the Marathon – alongside carbohydrate loading and race week tapering. Mara Yamauchi was still finding her feet yesterday following her six-day, 6,500-mile marathon trek to get to England for the mere 26.2 miles of the London Marathon on Sunday. The afternoon after making it to the race headquarters in the shadow of Tower Bridge, the Oxford woman had every reason to feel more like Steve Martin in the midst of his Planes, Trains and Automobiles ordeal than the lean, mean, fully revved-up marathon racing machine ranked second in the world in 2009.

Edward Bawden, Bedford Gallery, Bedford

Like Dufy, Edward Bawden looks easy to imitate, until you try. Unlike the ebullient French painter of pleasure, however, Bawden could not have been more English – in the manner of his time.

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