Quirky World: Mourners come together to bid farewell to Beatles guide

Pallbearers carry the coffin of tour guide Philip Coppell.

Some of the stranger stories from around the world


Pallbearers dressed in Sgt Pepper outfits bade a final farewell to one of Liverpool’s first Beatles tour guides.

Phil Coppell, 66, who died on August 1, had led countless Magical History Tours around the city, which he knew “like the back of his hand”.

At the service, mourners were asked to wear bright ties in homage to his collection of Beatles design ties.

The service was held at St Mary’s Church in Little Crosby and saw mourners transported in a psychedelic Magical Mystery Tour bus.

Licence low


Organisers of a cannabis festival which attracted 700 visitors are being investigated by police — for not having the right music licence.

Campers at an event organised by Teesside Cannabis Club in Redcar enjoyed a weekend of food, music and — although the organisers did not encourage it — smoking the class B drug.

Alcohol was banned and police made no arrests, but officers from the Licensing Support Unit went to Redcar Rugby Club to make inquiries about a potential anomaly with the licence.

Club founder and event organiser John Holliday was interviewed, but said there had been no arrests at any of the organisation’s 200 events.

Bringing Bella home


Two police officers drove 1,046km from New Jersey to South Carolina to reunite a dog with its owner.

Wall Township Patrolman Frank Kuhl last month responded to a call from a man from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in a disabled vehicle who needed medical attention.

The man also had a basset hound named Bella.

Mr Kuhl took the dog to the Monmouth County Humane Society, which could only hold Bella for seven days before placing her for adoption.

Bella’s other owner could not make the trip to New Jersey, so the patrolman made arrangements to keep the dog with his family for two weeks. Mr Kuhl and another patrolman then reunited Bella with her family.

Erroneous call


Police are investigating how an officer mistakenly telephoned a Serbian who was suspected of being the ringleader in a mafia-linked assassination plot.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said the officer intended to call his counterpart at Interpol’s office in Serbia in March this year, but erroneously called the suspect instead.

An investigation found it was a genuine mistake and not corruption-related.

Police said the error happened after they were informed by Belgrade about a planned assassination attempt .

Taste sensation


A 500-year old Austrian vine has yielded its first batch of wine and experts say it is a taste sensation.

The bad news is the supply is very limited.

State-run broadcaster ORF said vintners have produced 300 litres from offshoots of a solitary vine they identify as an ancient form of white wine grape gruener veltliner.

But it took a while. The vine was discovered 16 years ago near the eastern city of Eisenstadt. Cuttings had to be cultivated before the first harvest last autumn.

Regional vintner Hans Moser describes the wine as “interesting and very spicy” and says colleagues from as far away as the US are impressed.

He hopes for greater future yields through efforts to spread the vine to new slopes.


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