The Belgian frigate has transported its cargo of sacred soil from the cemeteries of WWI battlefields in Flanders to London for use in a new Flanders Fields Memorial Garden at Wellington Barracks.


THE BOILERHOUSE GALLERY Victoria & Albert Museum, London SW7

Letter: Towering eyesore

Sir: I would like to make a suggestion for a turn-of-the-century project, namely the demolition of that late Victorian eyesore and bottleneck, Tower Bridge. I suggest the project be put out to competition to the architects and engineers of Europe and Japan for a modern replacement more fitting to the forward-looking country that I hope we will belatedly become.

how to be Santa Claus

Santa Tom is stumped. In more than 20 years of "ho-ho-hoing", he's had to deflect a range of tricky questions, from the feeding habits of reindeer, to the practical difficulties of squeezing down chimneys. He's studied for his Master of Santa Claus degree; gone on to train Father Christmases from all over the world, and now he's leading the School for Santas one-day course.

Opera faces interval outside Covent Garden


Indoor kite flyers indulge in high life

This is not an elaborate joke. Apologies for the caveat, but just about everyone I've spoken to thinks indoor kite flying is impossible, as ridiculous as rowing races on the M6 or table tennis with a basketball. Don't believe me either? Then pop along to the London Arena in Docklands on Sunday and watch the British (though it could be the European or maybe even the world) indoor championships.

Putting the boots in


Flotsam and jetsam moored for midsummer show


Bridge accident

Bridge accident

I was beaten by penguins

Bruce Millar finds it takes him five minutes to overtake a baby

Labour on roll as campaign comes up roses

Patricia Wynn Davies reports on the launch of `the biggest political education initiative ever undertaken'

THE FULL PICTURE : The Forth Bridge - falling into neglect

When the Forth Bridge was opened 105 years ago it was hailed as a triumph of engineering but not of aesthetics, writes Ian Jack. William Morris, who was a kind of one-man English Heritage of his day, found it brutal and nakedly functional - all that steel and not a stone Gothic spire in sight. Compare and contrast London's much more modest Tower Bridge, opened four years later, with its mechanics cloaked in the stonework of a French chateau and thus a superficial medieval charm that made it almost instant heritage.

The hi-tech historian strikes again

Sir Michael Hopkins' new Inland Revenue building exemplifies his gift for making Modernism cosy and likeable, says Kenneth Powell

Ordeal of manic depressive left to fend alone

Neil Woods's first manic attack came out of the blue. One minute he was working, the next he was tearing round his office, on the floor and, he says, barking like a dog.

Old ships sail into uncharted waters

A PARADE of old ships will steam and sail its way from Tower Bridge to Greenwich in London this afternoon to herald the launch of Heritage Afloat, an organisation which aims to raise the profile of the relics of Britain's marine history, writes Richard D North.

Tower mystery

Police are trying to identify a woman in St Thomas's hospital who fell from Tower Bridge on Tuesday. She is about 40, white, 5ft 8in, slim, with brown short hair, and was wearing a light green tracksuit and trainers.
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