Take Two with Colin Drury

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And talking of independent Devonshire Street shops, news of Rare And Racy’s demise have been much exaggerated, it seems.

Rumours have persisted that the second-hand book store – something of a city jewel – might close since a ‘for sale’ sign went up in the window a couple of weeks ago. A certain forum has added fuel to the fire.

But fear not, people.

That ‘sign’ is simply a piece of art. The store is still racing along nicely.


Now, how about this for a ruse?

The case was reported 100 years ago today of domestic servant Alice Sagar, appearing before Doncaster Magistrates.

Her crime? Ingenious really. She’d apply for domestic jobs in the homes of the rich, and, after being interviewed, would, if the opportunity arose, remain hidden in the house until nightfall. Then, when the family went to bed, she’d sneak out, swipe money, jewellery and anything else that might make a pretty penny, and walk out the front door as bold as brass.

The plan went slightly awry in Balby, however, when – apparently by accident – she set a house on fire and was caught by nearby police. She was jailed for five years.


And while we’re on anniversaries, it was 75 years ago tomorrow that, with World War Two still almost a year away, Sheffield had its first black-out rehearsal. Sirens sounded and total darkness was ordered from 1 to 3am on October 22, 1938. RAF planes flew overhead to check if the steelworks would give away the city’s location, while three derelict houses in Rock Street, Burngreave, were set alight as a training exercise.