This week's UK news: 15 November 2013
15 November 2013

More than 300 people go to stranger's funeral

Harold Percival was 99 years old when he died last month. He had no close family, and the people who had looked after him were worried that nobody would attend his funeral service. But Mr Percival had served in the Second World War, including as part of the team which used a bouncing bomb. The people organising his funeral asked if any people from the army, the navy or the Air Force could attend - and the appeal went out on Twitter.

There was a surprise on the day of the funeral when more than 300 strangers turned up, and flowers were sent from Australia, Canada and New Zealand. More than 200 people stood outside the service in the rain because there was no room for them inside.

Mr Percival's nephew said the family was surprised and pleased. He said that Mr Percival was very private and would have "hidden around the corner" from all the people if he had been alive.

Would you like to live in Britain's biggest student house?

Regent House in Plymouth has been in the news recently. It was identified as Britain's biggest student house, housing 32 students from the city's university. It has 32 bedrooms, 3 kitchens, 7 showers and 22 toilets.

Journalists report that it is a typical student house, with messy kitchens and fridges full of strange things. The local newspaper thinks the students consume 50 instant noodle pots, 100 tins of beans in tomato sauce and 500 cans of beer each week.

The students use a special Facebook page to decide things as house meetings are impossible to organise, and it is a good place for parties. One day the house manager found six times more people asleep in the house than were meant to be there. One student said: "When you are here, you are never alone."

New breed of dog for the UK

Lots of people in the UK love dogs. We are so serious about dogs that an organisation called the Kennel Club was created in 1874. The Kennel Club recognises different types of dogs (called breeds) and keeps a record of dog families. This means that people can buy a "pedigree" puppy in a particular breed and know how it is likely to look and behave.

At the start the Kennel Club recognised just 43 breeds. but it went up to 2,012 this week when the Portuguese Pointer was added to the list. 137 of those breeds began outside the UK. The breeds most growing in popularity are all overseas ones, and some UK breeds are now so unpopular that they have become very rare.

The most popular breeds now include the Labrador, the German shepherd, the pug and the French bulldog.

Have you got a tattoo?

Years ago, it was mostly sailors who had tattoos put on their skin. Tattoos are permanent, and most people did not think it was nice to have them. Now they are very popular and lots of people in all sorts of jobs have tattoos done.

But tattoos can still be surprising. Television presenter David Dimbleby is well known for being serious. He has presented TV coverage of every general election since 1979 and a weekly news programme. But he has been filmed getting a real tattoo as part of his new TV show. The programme is about Britain and the sea, and one episode is about how sailors brought tattooing to the UK more than 200 years ago.

Mr Dimbleby, who is 75, said he had always wanted a tattoo. "You are only old once. I thought I might as well have it done now.


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