With information coming at you from all angles these days, it can be hard to know what to pay attention to. Helpfully, John Gilding is here to serve you with the finest the past week had to offer.


  1. Temporary Jen Reid statue erected in Bristol.

In Bristol, where the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was rolled into the harbour a few weeks ago, a new statue was erected in secret in the early hours of Wednesday morning. It recreated the powerful photo of protester Jen Reid standing on the empty plinth with her fist raised in the air.
The statue split opinions, and it was soon taken down and carted away in a skip, as the council weren’t happy about not being consulted.
However, the artist of the statue, Marc Quinn, did emphasise that it was only meant to be temporary, a placeholder for whoever the council eventually decided to put there. But when they do decide on the worthy winner, I think they should consider going back to Marc and asking politely if he wouldn’t mind putting their statue up for them.
It took just fifteen minutes for Marc’s team to put the statue of Jen up, but if the council were doing it, it would take 3 months of paperwork, then 3-5 working days to put up fencing, then a whole day to actually put the statue up. It’ll be a lot less hassle, that’s for sure.


  1. Leeds United return to the Premier League

On Friday, Huddersfield Town beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 in the EFL Championship. The city of Leeds rang out with the sounds of jubilation as this meant that Leeds United were back in the Premier League for the first time in 16 years. It has been a long time coming for many fans, and they make their triumphant return in a very different world to when they left.
Back in 2004, Facebook was just a bright idea being started in Mark Zuckerberg’s university bedroom. Google only launched Gmail on April Fool’s Day, 2004, and Kanye West released his debut album “The College Dropout” about a month before. Some iconic tunes hit the charts such as Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ and Peter Andre’s ‘Mysterious Girl’.

On screen, Friends aired its final season in the US, and the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released, although the Half Blood Prince book wasn’t even published for another year.
In sport, Usain Bolt finished 5th in his first Olympic race in Athens, failing to qualify for the second round of the 200m. Lionel Messi also made his debut for Barcelona, and both of them were just 17.

It’s strange to look back now and see how it all turned out. I feel like watching Friends now.


  1. Elton John commemorative coin 

The Royal Mint are like the medical students of the Treasury, in my mind. Their work is very important, making money and so on, so when they feel like they’ve earned a break, they like to go a bit more ‘out there’ than the rest of us. Case in point: this week’s commemorative Elton John £5 coin, featuring glasses/musical notes, a bow tie and a hat. You can pick yours up for just £13, or you can upgrade to a ‘Half Ounce Silver’ coin for £60, or go the whole hog and splash out on the ‘Kilo Gold’ £1000 coin, yours for only £68,865.
Although if you’ve got 70k to spend on a coin, I would imagine that you’ve probably met Elton John anyway, at the Queen’s lunch club or something. At least, I assume the Queen has a lunch club. Just imagine the gossip that would go on around those sandwich platters. Glorious.


Image Credit: Jørund Føreland Pedersen


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