Property: Know your nails, or I'll insist on a tusked tenon

DOCTOR ON THE HOUSE; There's more to joining timber than hammering in a brad here, a spike there and pins everywhere, says Jeff Howell

Schools lose their badges of shame

Ministers will today celebrate the recovery of 73 schools which were once labelled as failures. Judith Judd, Education Editor, explains why Stephen Byers, the school standards minister, is holding a Commons reception for the school heads.

Cavalier colonel goes out with a bang

Ronnie Kray, the gangland killer, asked that he be laid next to his mother, Violet, at the family plot in Chingford in Essex. Charles Irving, the former MP for Cheltenham, asked that his ashes be scattered over his constituency from a plane.

Television: Mirren shows her all is not lost

It takes a lot of nerve to show off your naughty bits after 45. To be honest, only Helen Mirren could have got away with it. I am sure that other personalities - like Peter Snow, say, or Esther - are wise to keep their togs on. But the divine Helen gives hope to us all that there are great bonks to be had after the menopause.

Captured on film: the changing times of an English town

An Essex man has filmed the passing of history on the streets of his home town. Paul McCann, Media Correspondent, watches the minutiae of 40 years' living slip past.

Government literacy school, Leytonstone, east London

Summer School

albums of the week

"Arrival Platform Humlet" (from In a Nutshell) sounds like as good a place as any to start, and may or may not be where you make your connection to Train Music. That's a journey to nowhere, the tantalising torso of something that threatened to be even bigger than The Warriors (our final destination) if Grainger had only got around to finishing it. But we're only here for the ride, and Grainger takes us places we've never even dreamt of. What kind of "Pastoral" terrain is evoked in the huge central tableau of In a Nutshell? A blasted heath, a mountainous pass, the valley of the shadow of death? Such harmony - the harmony of nature's disharmony - and who knows where it's shifting next.

Football: Hardy still has hunger for success

Rupert Metcalf talks to the veteran manager of FA Trophy finalists Dagenham & Redbridge

Criticised councils turn over a new leaf

Councils criticised for their poor record in providing services have improved remarkably over the past year, according to the Audit Commission's annual local-authority performance indicators.

'After three, groove on down to the booth'

The Referendum Party is planning to rock the vote with its single "Let the People Decide", sub-titled "The Rabble Army Song". It will be released in the run-up to the General Election in a bid to get youngsters boogying on down to the booths. Its creator was George Hargreaves, the man whose hit "So Macho" took Sinitta to number two in the charts in 1986.

Housing trusts prove costly

Housing Action Trusts, designed to regenerate some of Britain's worst council estates, have proved to be extremely expensive with each new home in one scheme costing pounds 122,400, according to a report by the National Audit Office.

Letter: Chingford line

Your story on the Greenwich Meridian ("The invisible line that could make pounds 1,000 a day", 19 January) couldn't name every location that it passes through, obviously. But here in Chingford - or "east of Enfield" as Stephen Goodwin calls it - we couldn't help feeling disappointed that no mention was made of the notable feature on our suburb's northern borders. This is Pole Hill, on whose summit, 299 feet above sea level, stands an obelisk marking the transit of the original Greenwich Meridian. There are several other places in Waltham Forest, too, where markers in the pavement indicate where the meridian passes.

Social work high-flyer who was darling of left

Roger Dobson assesses the career of David Divine

A pint of lager, a decent curry, and a word with Chingford CID

It Was an Accident by Jeremy Cameron Touchstone, pounds 14.99 My Ride with Gus by Charles Carillo Sceptre, pounds 8.99 By Desire by Sam North Secker, pounds 12.99

Case of the cavalier council that nursed a costly lie

The history books are littered with cases of local authorities losing their shirts on financial and commercial engineering, so no one should be too surprised or upset at the addition of Welwyn and Hatfield district council to the roll-call, except perhaps its unfortunate council taxpayers.
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices