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Quiet day in the office? In need of some inspiration to fill that slot on the features page? Check out our story ideas here and see if you can take news developments from around the UK and localise them for your patch.

If you would like to share a story idea with our readers, you can email us at [email protected] and we will upload it to the site.

1959 is the new 2009

Children of the noughties would scoff if you suggested they tried knitting, cake baking classes or some rock ‘n’ roll sessions down the local dance hall. But it appears good old-fashioned entertainment which typified the 1950s is making a comeback.

Please bee careful

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution attended, perhaps, the weirdest shout imaginable. A couple had to be rescued off the Cornwall coast after their yacht was attacked by a swarm of bees – read about it here. We often hear tales

Go on, take a guess – you're probably wrong!

Nothing is more amusing to tiger-like interviewers such as Jeremy Paxman than a bumbling politician who can’t answer a question on immigration. But Joe Normal wandering the streets of Britain may not do much better. According to new research by

Teachers who are toughing it out

Teachers working in the UK’s “toughest” schools will receive a loyalty bonus of £10,000, under new government plans. The cash windfall would be given after three years of service along with specialist training to cope with problem students. The package

Carnival queen could be a king

A village in south-west England has been suffering a recruitment crisis for its annual carnival. Not enough women applied to be the carnival queen in the village of Stickler, Cornwall, so crossing-dressing men are now being invited to see if

'Ello 'ello 'ello – I've got me eye on YouTube

Devon and Cornwall Police appear to be the first in the UK to use YouTube to catch a criminal. The force has posted CCTV images of a suspect it is seeking for an alleged assault in April 2009. So have

Perilous online purchasing

Almost a third of all internet users are too worried about online fraud to purchase goods using their credit cards via the web. Meanwhile, Office of Fair Trading research suggests of those who do shop online, 54pc feel it is

Unwanted pets are even more unwanted

The number of unwanted pets has soared during 2009, according to the RSPCA. It seems animals are also not immune from the credit crunch as the charity reports a 60pc spike in the number of dumped pets – 1,432 in

Do you know a 'Neet'?

Young people are often demonised as good-for-nothing layabouts and new research is doing little to dispel that reputation. The number of young people classed as ‘Neets’ – not in education, employment nor training – rose to 850,000 in 2008, a

Art really is the alternative

The arts and antiques markets underwent something of a revival in the recession-hit first quarter of 2009. Those lucky enough to still have some spare cash are looking for investments away from banks and buildings societies. Every town has some

Rolling back the years

An elderly couple from Somerset are proving the theory that if you look after something it will serve you well for years. Eric and Nancy Kingston bought a rolling pin when they got engaged in 1938 for just 6d. Nancy

Place for prayer and a postage stamp

For centuries your local church was the place for sanctity from the outside world, offering a peaceful environment to pray or meet your fellow community members. While this is still available, you might also find some added reasons to drop

The countryside – boring or what?

Fresh air, rambling fields, endless space to enjoy the great outdoors – apparently these are still not good enough for many Britons. New research by hotel chain Travelodge suggests that over half the nation thinks the countryside is ‘boring’ while

Finance not paying the bills

Jobs in the financial services industry are being slashed at the fastest rate since 1993, new research claims. We all know about the highly publicised cases such as banking mergers and the problems at the Royal Bank of Scotland. But

A masters in making yourself social

The seemingly unstoppable rise in the popularity of social networking websites like Facebook has prompted one university to launch a new masters qualification. For £4,400, Birmingham City University will spend a year teaching students the art of setting up a

Charity begins (and sometimes stays) at home

While Comic Relief 2009 enjoyed record donations, it seems not all is well in the charity sector. Just over half of those organisations working for the greater good in England and Wales have seen their work affected by the credit