The Spectator

Barometer | 26 November 2011

Cook’s recipe

Shares in Thomas Cook fell 60 per cent after the tour operator entered talks with its banks.
— The company’s name has been synonymous with package tours since 1841, when Leicester cabinet-maker and temperance campaigner Thomas Cook took 500 supporters on a day trip to Loughborough on the newly opened railway line for a shilling each.
— The first Thomas Cook holiday took place four years later: a trip to Liverpool, or for the more active, a steamboat journey on to Caernavon followed by a night ascent of Snowdon.

Incapacity crowd

One in 14 working-age people is out of work and receiving incapacity benefit. Some common conditions among claimants of incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance:

Number of claimants, August 2010

Depression:  399,000
Back pain: 168,000
Anxiety disorder: 102,000
Alcoholism or drug abuse:  79,800
Schizophrenia: 49,800
Epilepsy: 48,000
Stress or malaise and fatigue: 47,000
Obesity: 1,830

Source: Department for Work and Pensions

Fall and rise

A 1960s block of flats, Glencairn Tower in Motherwell, was demolished, the latest in a number across the country felled in recent months. The dream of high-rise living peaked in 1968 when 160 residential towers over 115ft high were finished. That fell away to none in 1978. Yet there are now plans for five residential towers in London:

‘House 2’, Mellor Street, SE1 832ft
‘House 3’. Mellor Street, SE1 690ft
The Pride, 15 Marsh Wall 685ft
City Tower, Nine Elms, SW8 656ft
1 Lansdowne Road, Croydon 651ft

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