News

Robber needed money for polio-stricken cousin's surgery

Freemason sues leaders for £23m to save hospital

Courts/ 'Brothers' at odds

Masons may be forced into open

Freemasons face the threat of having to lift their traditional secrecy before the Nolan inquiry into standards of public life and an all-party committee of MPs.

Book divides churchgoers

THE VICAR of Enoch Powell's local church said yesterday that Mr Powell was following an 'impossible' route by disregarding all previous theological thought, writes Glenda Cooper.

PROPERTY / Houses in the Landscape: Great feats of clay: Brick: From Tudor times until the 19th century, bricks were an art form. Dug from the earth, baked and stacked to create highly-textured finishes, they glowed with local character until mechanisation reduced them to bland uniformity. Caroline McGhie reports

ELEONORA Knowland recalls the time she first saw her prospective marital home. She was stunned. First the sky-scraping avenue of oaks raised her expectations; then the never-ending brick walling of the long barn worked its charms; finally she was confronted with the house itself. A towering mille-feuille of wafer-thin, patterned Elizabethan bricks presented itself - in duplicate, because the walls plunged straight to the edge of the moat and were reflected in the water.

PROPERTY / Houses in the Landscape: Houses for sale: Brick

THE earliest example of herringbone brickwork in Dorset appears on the facade of Abbey House, on the edge of Witchampton village. The main house had a new front added in 1890 but the early Elizabethan brickwork remains intact and has been much admired by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. The house warrants a Grade II rating. Set in seven acres of grounds with river frontage between Bournemouth and Salisbury, Abbey House has nine bedrooms, gym and sauna, stabling and a coach house. Savills and Knight Frank & Rutley have priced it at pounds 700,000.

Unknown killer

A verdict of unlawful killing was returned on Andrew Birjukov, 37, a bricklayer shot by a contract killer in a pub in Catford, south-east London, last September.

Travel: The things I've seen: The Crooked House

THERE was extensive coal mining for many years on the Black Country estates of the Earl of Dudley. There were brickworks too, and a network of goods railways, now dismantled. An underground tunnel from Baggeridge Colliery passed very close to a licensed beer shop near Dudley known as The Siden House, because of its proximity to the railway sidings.

Wild things down in the cornfields: Reg Presley thinks that somebody out there is trying to tell us something. Martin Whittaker meets the Trogg turned crop-watcher

In a field near Silbury Hill in Wiltshire, a new formation of crop circles recently appeared. Small groups of walkers tramp past in the driving rain, barely acknowledging the odd patterns in the corn. A few years ago, says Reg Presley, a veteran rock star turned crop-watcher, these hedgerows would have been lined with tourists, the press and television crews.

Letter: TECs means to match local needs

THE Government set up Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) to match local needs ('You just can't get the staff nowadays', 24 April). This appears to have suggested to employers that the Government will provide. It is no good the Ben Barrett brickwork contractors whingeing it can't get bricklayers. Surely it has enough expertise to see the recovery coming and provide for it?

You just can't get the staff nowadays: Devastated by recession, Britain's building industry now faces a severe skills shortage as it attempts to exploit the nascent recovery

BEN BARRETT, one of the biggest - and, after the recession, one of the last - skilled brickwork contractors in the country, has a problem. It is being forced to consider turning down work - because it cannot find the bricklayers it needs to put in credible bids for contracts.

Obituary: James Begg

James Begg, master plasterer and building conservationist: born Bo'ness 23 March 1911; married 1936 Helen Clydesdale (two sons, one daughter); died Livingston 2 April 1994.

Flat Earth: Kangaroo court

THEY don't speak with the same accent. Say after me: Crosby Stills and Nash. If you are an Australian, it will be Crosby Steels and Nash. A New Zealander will get the 'Stills' bit right, but it will come across as a gutteral mumble.

Leading Article: Talking to a brick wall on training

BRITISH bricklayers have been shamefully misled, the Daily Mirror gleefully reported last week. Responsibility for a 'cruel job con' lay with its rival tabloid, the Sun. The paper had reported that, after fire had swept the Malibu area of California, bricklayers, painters and carpenters could make fortunes rebuilding homes. More than a hundred readers flew out, some sinking their savings into the air fare, only to find that there were no jobs available. Now, some men are stranded, sleeping on the beaches.

Church appeals

Door into the Chapter at Rochester Cathedral, Kent - the cover illustration to Inside Churches, a guide to church furnishings and decoration, published by the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies and Capability Publishing ( pounds 9.95)
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent