It wasn’t all bad


Bri­tain’s old­est poppy seller – a war vet­eran who sur­vived Auschwitz – is now 100, but in­sists he has no plans to re­tire. Ron Jones was cap­tured in Beng­hazi in 1942. He spent two years in a labour camp that formed part of the Auschwitz com­plex, and was sent on a death march in 1945. By the time he was freed, he weighed just seven stone. He be­gan sell­ing pop­pies in New­port, South Wales, af­ter re­tir­ing as a dock­worker in 1980. “If they need help, I’m there,” he said.

In a scene straight out of Pixar’s hit an­i­mated film Up, a Bri­tish ad­ven­turer has been car­ried 1.5 miles into the sky, sus­pended from 100 large he­lium bal­loons. But whereas the film’s el­derly hero at­taches his house to the bal­loons, Tom Morgan, 38, from Bris­tol, sat in a camp­ing chair for his 15-mile flight, above a stretch of desert out­side Jo­han­nes­burg. “It was a fairly in­de­scrib­able feel­ing, waft­ing across Africa on a cheap camp­ing chair dan­gling from a load of bal­loons,” said Morgan, who founded the fundrais­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion The Ad­ven­tur­ists in 2004. “Sort of peace­ful and ter­ri­fy­ing in equal mea­sure.”

A Scot­tish comic book cre­ator who sold his com­pany to Net­flix for a ru­moured $50m has vowed to use a large chunk of his for­tune to re­gen­er­ate the town of his birth, Coat­bridge in La­nark­shire. Mark Mil­lar, the man be­hind the Kick-ass and Kings­man se­ries, and his wife Lucy plan to de­velop brown­field sites for fam­ily homes and then pump the prof­its back into a range of com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties. Al­ready this year, they are fund­ing a Christ­mas din­ner and a va­ri­ety show for lo­cal pen­sion­ers, and a trip to the panto in Glas­gow for chil­dren.

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