Open season as Thatcher handbag hits the target

Ascot week and Wimbledon have been followed by a new event in the social calendar, marked not by the thunder of hooves, nor by the pop of rackets, but by the thump of a handbag on ministerial heads. We are in the midst of Baroness Thatcher's social season.

Perfect man for a batting crisis

If Jack Russell's monumental innings lacked anything, it was a touch of the magical, but graft, not craft, was the order of the longest day. And there were times in the remaining two and a half hours of his heroic effort when the figures on the field were as still as the famed stone circle.

Obituary: John Snagge

Recordings of John Snagge's distinctive resonant voice provide separate memories for different generations. Elderly listeners recall the Reithian style of pre-war announcing at its best, and the man who made the Boat Race exciting even for those who had little interest in Oxbridge. Wartime listeners who were glued to the news each evening as Europe was being liberated are reminded of War Report on the Home Service at 9.15pm. For the generation that missed the Second World War but relished the original screening of Dad's Army the association is with the anonymous introduction that set the scene for each hilarious episode.

When skirts were full and women were furious

Dior's 1947 New Look made fashion history. Annalisa Barbieri on plans to celebrate it

obituaries: Sir Kenneth Robinson

As Harold Wilson's first Minister of Health, from 1964 to 1968, Kenneth Robinson negotiated the General Practitioners' Charter, which formed the basis of the successful development of primary care in Britain, at that time the envy of most other countries in the world. Robinson updated Aneurin Bevan's health service.


Concluding his series on the problems facing our artistic institutions, Peter Popham looks at the V&A: the museum may have a new roof, some glitzy new galleries and a new director, but what and who, at the end of the 20th century, is it for?

Capital gains in agitprop

Alternative investments: the price is right for propaganda posters; Despite the risk of hiding posters denounced by Stalin, many have survived

V&A director wants pounds 10 admission fee

Museum charges: Trustees told donation system no longer efficient way to raise funds


2 London: historian John Julius Norwich discusses the last volume in his Byzantine trilogy; Cottesloe Theatre, South Bank Centre, SE1; Mon 13, 6pm, pounds 3.50/pounds 2.50. 0171 928 2252

CHILDREN: Hands on, brains off?

Interactive is the buzzword, but does a museum for children have to be all flashing buttons and jazzy colours?

PR men scramble for pounds 2bn defence deal

Chris Blackhurst traces the lobby firms' battle over the order for 90 Army attack helicopters

Special operations

Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road,London SE1 (0171-416 5000) from 5 July

site unseen Admiral Bligh's tomb, SE1

one infallible way of finding out a person's age is to ask them which actor played Fletcher Christian. Senior citizens (or should it be recycled teenagers?) will reply Clark Gable, the middle-aged Marlon Brando and the young Mel Gibson. Try the same question as regards Captain Bligh and you will get the answers Charles Laughton, Trevor Howard or Anthony Hopkins.

Spectators see aviation history fill the autumn skies at Duxford

Plane spotters scanning the sky for historic aircraft at the autumn air show at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, yesterday. The Vickers Viscount 701 shown, the oldest survivor of its type, is one of the permanent exhibits at the Imperial War Museum at the airfield.
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