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Poohsticks bridge picture up for auction

The original drawing by EH Shephard Credit: PA

One of the most famous images of Winnie the Pooh - as the bear plays "Poohsticks" with Piglet and Christopher Robin - is expected to fetch more than £100,000 at auction.

The illustration by EH Shepard - first published in 1928 - has been in a private collection for more than 40 years but will now be sold by Sotheby's next month.

Shephard's ink drawing featured in the AA Milne book The House At Pooh Corner, for Chapter 6 "in which Pooh invents a new game and Eeyore joins in".

The drawing will feature in Sotheby's sales of English literature, history, children's books and illustrations on December 9 and is estimated to sell for between £100,00 and £150,000.

The auction firm said: "The illustration can be counted among the most familiar, and most loved, cultural references in English literature."

The original wooden crossing on which the illustration is based - known as Posingford Bridge, at Hartfield Farm, Sussex - had fallen into disrepair by the 1970s.

It was carefully restored and reopened by Christopher Milne - the author's son who inspired the character of Christopher Robin - in May 1979 at a ceremony where it was called "as important a bridge as any in the world". It was completely rebuilt in 1999.

Laughing with The Lord: the clerics giving stand-up comedy a go

Clergy doing stand-up comedy? You've got to be kidding. Well, actually no. Preachers in the Diocese of Canterbury have been given the chance to take comedy classes as part of the Church of England's ministerial development programme.

Hannah Costigan went to meet the vicars learning ways to make their congregations laugh.

Her report includes interviews with Lay preacher, Lynne Watson, Rev Tricia Fogden, Rev Phil Sheldrake, Rev Ravi Holy and comedian Bentley Browning.

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Very weird 'planning notices' spotted in Brighton

Obviously a postmodernist HQ would be in the shape of a bus Credit: @PhilLucas

Something strange is afoot in Brighton and Hove.

A number of planning notices have been spotted around the city with ideas including a 40 metre plastic otter's head, an unusual site for an airport and something about Chris Moyles.

They are the brainchild of standup comedian Phil Lucas who has a lot of questions to answer.

Sussex County Cricket Ground have yet to comment on the idea Credit: @PhilLucas
Boris may have overlooked this idea Credit: @PhilLucas
If you know what Xteme taxidermy is please send us a tweet Credit: @PhilLucas
Chris Moyles? Credit: @PhilLucas
Why Phil? Why? Credit: @PhilLucas

Octopuses given own art exhibition in Brighton

The world's first art exhibition for a non-human audience goes on display at Brighton Sea Life Centre on November 7.

Creations include a bunch of grapes, a piece of swiss cheese and a plate of spaghetti, made of materials including ceramic, plastic, wood and rope.

The art will be displayed in five tanks and each piece is designed to stimulate an octopus's natural curiosity about colour, shape and texture.

The pieces have been carefully designed to ensure they are not a hazard, and have been slow-soaked in saltwater to leech out any possible toxins in the materials. Credit: BrightonSeaLifeCentre
Brighton Sea Life Centre’s common octopus gets to grips with Das Balloon’s bunch of grapes. Credit: BrightonSeaLifeCentre

'Das Balloon', a team of two sets of brothers from Worthing, are behind the collaboraiton and are renowned for the out-of-the-ordinary.

Sea Life curator Carey Duckhouse said: "Octopuses are among the brainiest of sea creatures and welcome the chance to explore and manipulate new objects. We think they're going to love them."

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Critically endangered cotton-top tamarins born

It's double trouble for one zoo in Winchester where two baby monkeys have been born.

The twins, which have not yet been named, are cotton-top tamarins and were born at Marwell Zoo.

Their parents, Inca and Roca,have been teaching their one week old babies how to look after themselves but it could be up to five weeks before the babies venture out on their own.

It's not yet known whether the proud parents have given birth to boys or girls.

Tamarins are on the critical endangered list and it's estimated their numbers have decreased by 80 per cent over the past two decades.

"Inca and Roca are first-time parents and they are doing a fantastic job for caring for the twins. Dad takes on most of the carrying duties and Mum takes over to feed them. Cotton tops are generally a bold species so we are looking forward to the babies becoming more independent and causing trouble."

– Claire Mound, Senior Zoo Keeper

Intrepid motorists brave the rain

The sky was grey and the heavens opened for much of the day - but that didn't put off the hardy souls taking part in the 2014 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

Many of the ancient vehicles on the sixty mile drive didn't have a windscreen - or even a roof! We sent David Johns along to see what makes this kind of motoring so magnificent.

He spoke to car driver Jason White; veteran car owner James Froomberg; celebrity baker Paul Hollywood; Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave; and veteran car owner Simon Robinson.

In for a treat: You don't need to wrap up today!

We're in for a treat today .... and the warmest Hallowe'en on record. Temperatures are expected to reach twenty one degrees today - eight degrees higher than average.

Hallowe'en Credit: PA Images

The Met Office says the last time the temperature was this high - at this time of year - was in Dartford, in Kent, in 1968. That was 20 degrees then.

Touchdown! American Football comes to Canterbury

English football - soccer as they call it in the States - is now part of the American sports scene. The World Cup's been held in the USA, and interest is growing all the time. It seems only fair then, that American football's made the return journey, and landed on the green and pleasant playing fields of England. With more than 14 million fans over here, the game's proving so popular that former NFL stars from the US are now coming over here to coach British youngsters. Andrea Thomas has been to their first American Football camp, being held this week in Canterbury.

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