News

Robber needed money for polio-stricken cousin's surgery

Property: The hammered house of horror

Buying a wreck to do it up may seem a good idea, says Gwenda Joyce- Brophy. But expensive and hazardous surprises may be lurking...

Tourist unburdens herself of castle curse

A New Zealand tourist who stole a stone from a Welsh castle has air-mailed it back because she believes she had been cursed.

Doctor on the house: So you had a rounded education at school? Think again, says Jeff Howell

Buildings are such simple things to construct and maintain - it's amazing that people find them so bewildering. I mean, be fair, when you get some "builders" round to work on your home, they're not usually your actual white-coated scientist types are they? They're not often what you'd describe as intellectuals.They're just ordinary blokes. In some cases a bit too ordinary - tattoos, fags, beer bellies hanging out of their trousers, racist and misogynist attitudes by the shovelful. Some of these guys have problems reading the Sun. So how come you defer to them, and assume they are possessed of secret skills and knowledge that you yourself could not hope to attain?

Persimmon sees sustainable homes growth

Persimmon, one of the UK's biggest housebuilding groups, forecast no return to the unsustainable boom of the 1980s as the strong housing market in the South-east ripples out across the UK.

DOCTOR ON THE HOUSE

The kind of walls you have matters, writes Jeff Howell. But finding out can be tricky

McAlpine's Fusiliers march back to Dublin as a building boom sends wages soaring

British construction firms face shortage of skilled workers

The last gang in town ...

The Tindersticks considered splitting for a while. But after much band-analysis, the six decided that sticking together made perfect sense. Nick Hasted asked lead singer Stuart Staples to explain

Strikes threat as construction workers reject pay offer

The recovery in the construction industry could be under threat from nation-wide strikes after union negotiators yesterday rejected a 45 per cent increase in basic pay over four years.

Letter: Driven out of the building trade

Driven out of the building trade

Skills shortage hits builders

Building employers yesterday called on the Government to provide more funding for youth training amid fears that worsening skills shortages could throw the industry's recovery off track.

Sweet dreams are made of Kim Basinger

No 172: PEUGEOT 406; PETER YORK ON ADS

When it starts falling down before the paint's dry

What should you do if your brand new house develops cracks? Richard Phillips explains

Masons pressed to declare allegiances

Labour would introduce a requirement for all participants in court cases to reveal membership of the Freemasonry, according to Jack Straw, the shadow Home Secretary.

Masons told to reveal themselves

The days of freemasonry as a secret organisation may be numbered. Freemasons in the police force and the judiciary should be forced to disclose their membership of the organisation, an all-party group of MPs will recommend in a report to be published next week.

Three of the best apartments

Bar Lodge, a late-Victorian house divided into three apartments, is perched above the Bar at the entrance to Salcombe Harbour in Devon. The property has spectacular views of the open sea and across National Trust coastline. The upper apartment has four bedrooms, with two balconies and a sun terrace. Residents have access to a private beach. pounds 275,000 through Marchand Petit (01548 857588).
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Independent Travel
Bruges
Lake Como
Burgundy
South AFrica
Paris
Northern Corsica
Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran