daily: phonebox
Monday, 20 January 2014

The Daily: January 20

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Sarah Fortescue
Lucky eBay art buyer could have made up to £250,000 unknowingly
Following an episode of BBC antiques programme Fake or Fortune, the search is on for a mystery eBay buyer who purchased a canvas for £3,000 on the online auction site eight years ago. The canvas, which depicts a couple enjoying Champagne and oysters, could be worth up to a quarter of a million pounds- it was part of a pair painted by late 19th and early 20th century French impressionist painter, Édouard Vuillard. Writer Keith Tutt, owner of the second painting, took his canvas to the experts on the popular BBC show where it was revealed that art dealer Robert Warren had hastily sold the second painting on eBay, but could not remember who bought it.

British bat from Bristol makes remarkable journey
The first recording of a bat to cross the sea from the UK to Europe has been confirmed by experts. The bat, a tiny Nathusius' Pipistrelle, set off from near Bristol and was discovered in a busy farm in the Netherlands by Teddy Dolstra of the Friesland Mammal Working Group. The remarkable journey could mark the first evidence that bats migrate across the North Sea, as the migratory movements of these thumb-sized bats have so far been largely unknown, as they are too small to carry the tags fitted to birds. The bat travelled over 600km, avoiding numerous hazards such as roads and wind turbines.

Red phone boxes to be transformed into mini art galleries in Cheltenham
Some of Britain's distinguished red phone boxes are to be restored to their former glory as part of an imaginative new art installation. The Grade II listed phone boxes, which date back to 1935, have been on Cheltenham's Promenade since their construction but have since fallen into disrepair. The project is to be funded in part by Cheltenham Borough Council, and is expected to cost around £22,000. The boxes themselves were bought from BT for just £1, but they will need to be taken off site to be refurbished with as many of their original features retained as possible. The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

51 year-old female pilot recreates historic 8,000 mile solo flight in a 1940s plane
Tracey Curtis-Taylor has been flying for more than 30 years, and was just 16 when she first flew a plane- but this 8,000 mile trip was an adventure with a difference. Curtis-Taylor, now 51, embarked on an eight-week journey from Cape Town to Goodwood, recreating Lady Mary Heath's historic journey, in which she became the first person to fly alone across Africa. Curtis-Taylor flew in Artemis, a 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane, which has a top speed of 95mph and a maximum altitude of 10,000ft, and landed in dreadful weather conditions in West Sussex in time to celebrate New Year's Eve. Her remarkable journey is to be made into a feature documentary which is expected to be finished by the spring.

Sir Roger Bannister's pacemaker, Sir Christopher Chataway, dies from cancer at 82
Sir Christopher Chataway, who acted as pacemaker to Sir Roger Bannister when he became the first man to run a male in under four minutes, has died. He passed away yesterday in London Hospice, drawing tributes from Sir Roger: 'He was gallant to the end. Our friendship dated back over more than half a century. We laughed, ran and commiserated together'. Sir Christopher, a former Tory minister, was a distinguished runner– he won the 5,000 metres at the White City Stadium, setting a new world record of just under 14 minutes. He also represented Great Britain in the 1952 Olympic Games, coming fifth in the 5,000 metres final in Helsinki. Prime Minister David Cameron said Sir Christopher was 'a rare politician in that he enjoyed such extensive, wide-ranging and successful careers both before and after he served in Parliament. My thoughts and prayers are with his family'.

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