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EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Embattled Earl Bathurst turns his family estate into a ‘posh bed and breakfast’

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eden confidential embattled earl bathurst turns his family estate into a posh bed and breakfast
It’s a startling move by Allen Bathurst, who succeeded as 9th Earl on his father ‘Barmy’ Bathurst’s death in 2011

It’s a startling move by Allen Bathurst, who succeeded as 9th Earl on his father ‘Barmy’ Bathurst’s death in 2011

It’s a startling move by Allen Bathurst, who succeeded as 9th Earl on his father ‘Barmy’ Bathurst’s death in 2011

He was cut out of his ‘callous’ stepmother’s £33 million will and this week suffered the indignity of seeing her beneficiaries sell some of the family treasures worth nearly £2 million at Christie’s.

But, far from being reduced to despair, I can reveal Earl Bathurst has been spurred into action — by turning his family’s estate into a ‘posh B&B’.

It’s a startling move by Allen Bathurst, who succeeded as 9th Earl on his father ‘Barmy’ Bathurst’s death in 2011.

Though 3,000 acres of parkland and woodland are open to members of the public, ‘The Mansion’, as the family seat is known, is screened from the adjacent town of Cirencester by a 40ft-high yew hedge and has remained resolutely private.

But that is about to change with ‘posh B&B’, as the Earl’s wife, Sara, describes it. 

‘It will be quite fun,’ trills Countess Bathurst, who envisages guests having their own sitting room as well as bedroom. ‘In the morning, we will give them a lovely breakfast and maybe I will give them a bit of a tour.’

It’s not the only innovation which the Bathursts are about to initiate. ‘We are going to start doing weddings,’ explains the Countess, though emphasising that The Mansion isn’t about to become a Las Vegas ‘chapel of love’. 

‘I don’t want to put in a revolving door,’ she says, adding that the number of ceremonies will be ‘very limited — about half a dozen a year’, with ‘maybe some niche corporate events within the house to help pay the bills’.

With an estate extending to 15,000 Gloucestershire acres, such matters might normally be thought of negligible concern. But that changed with publication of the Dowager Countess’s will last November.

Gloria Bathurst, ‘Barmy’ Bathurst’s second wife, left almost all her personal £33.2 million fortune — much of it heirlooms and property in Bathurst hands for generations (and bequeathed to the stepmother, I should add) — to Grant White, an interior designer based in Fulham, and New Yorker Geoffrey Bradfield.

In doing so, reflected Allen Bathurst, this ‘callous woman’ broke his late father’s trust, and inflicted ‘a terrible tragedy’ on the family.

With an estate extending to 15,000 Gloucestershire acres, such matters might normally be thought of negligible concern. But that changed with publication of the Dowager Countess's will last November

With an estate extending to 15,000 Gloucestershire acres, such matters might normally be thought of negligible concern. But that changed with publication of the Dowager Countess's will last November

With an estate extending to 15,000 Gloucestershire acres, such matters might normally be thought of negligible concern. But that changed with publication of the Dowager Countess’s will last November

The smart set’s talking about…

Wellington niece’s fancy footwork

Now Eleanor Wellesley, the niece of Tory peer Charles Wellesley who has succeeded to the dukedom, is hoping to build her own legacy in footwear

Now Eleanor Wellesley, the niece of Tory peer Charles Wellesley who has succeeded to the dukedom, is hoping to build her own legacy in footwear

Now Eleanor Wellesley, the niece of Tory peer Charles Wellesley who has succeeded to the dukedom, is hoping to build her own legacy in footwear

Her ancestor, the 1st Duke of Wellington, wore his beloved leather boots so much that they were eventually named after him.

Now Eleanor Wellesley, the niece of Tory peer Charles Wellesley who has succeeded to the dukedom, is hoping to build her own legacy in footwear. 

For I can reveal the 24-year-old is planning to turn her eye for style into a money-making venture with an eponymous shoe brand. 

Steering clear of her forebear’s footsteps, she will specialise in Spanish-style espadrilles.

‘Eleanor always knew she wanted to go into fashion,’ says a friend. 

‘She’s a hard worker and made great connections from her internship with Burberry and working with a top stylist in New York.’

Eleanor has flown to Italy with her boyfriend, Gustav Holst Stuge, 33, to oversee production. With the launch date yet to be set, she confirms excitedly: ‘They’re coming soon.’

Another one bites the dust for actor Laurence Fox, who has split from journalist Madeline Grant with whom he struck up a romance after meeting on BBC1’s Question Time in January. 

The 42-year-old started dating Grant after his then-girlfriend, photographer Sara McKinnon, dumped him in the wake of his infamous appearance on the show in which he accused an audience member of racism for calling him a ‘white privileged male’. 

Grant describes dating during the pandemic as ‘catastrophic’ for women who are looking for a ‘life partner’.

31170644 8558671 image a 23 1595638185697

31170644 8558671 image a 23 1595638185697

Despite famously having had multiple cosmetic enhancements, former Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson has made the surprising claim that she’s actually very low-maintenance when it comes to her beauty regime.

‘I don’t fall for all that stuff. I’m not a big product person,’ she insists. 

‘I love getting facials. I love getting massages.

‘I love all that. But if someone told me what I had to do first, second, third, I’m just not going to do it. I fall asleep in my make-up, I have mascara all over my pillow. That’s how it is.’

Ship-shape Macca pushes the boat out 

He’s probably the most famous musician in the world, with a net worth of £938 million — but Sir Paul McCartney still prefers the simple things in life.

The 78-year-old former Beatle is on holiday in The Hamptons with his wife, Nancy Shevell, 60.

This week the singer enjoyed some time alone on his beloved Sunfish dinghy, which he named Linda in homage to his first wife, who died in 1998.

Sporting a plain white T-shirt and blue shorts, the father of five sailed his boat around the bay before cooling off with a swim. Emerging from the sea, yoga enthusiast Macca showed off the figure he keeps in shape with his stringent exercise regime.

‘I do a bit of the cross-trainer, a bit of running, a bit of cardio and then I do some weights, some abs on the Swiss ball, before ending up on the mat doing a few stretches,’ he has said.

Sounds like a hard day’s night.

This week the singer enjoyed some time alone on his beloved Sunfish dinghy, which he named Linda in homage to his first wife, who died in 1998

This week the singer enjoyed some time alone on his beloved Sunfish dinghy, which he named Linda in homage to his first wife, who died in 1998

This week the singer enjoyed some time alone on his beloved Sunfish dinghy, which he named Linda in homage to his first wife, who died in 1998

He's probably the most famous musician in the world, with a net worth of £938 million — but Sir Paul McCartney still prefers the simple things in life

He's probably the most famous musician in the world, with a net worth of £938 million — but Sir Paul McCartney still prefers the simple things in life

He’s probably the most famous musician in the world, with a net worth of £938 million — but Sir Paul McCartney still prefers the simple things in life

Sporting a plain white T-shirt and blue shorts, the father of five sailed his boat around the bay before cooling off with a swim

Sporting a plain white T-shirt and blue shorts, the father of five sailed his boat around the bay before cooling off with a swim

Sporting a plain white T-shirt and blue shorts, the father of five sailed his boat around the bay before cooling off with a swim

Iris Law’s sparkler surprise for Jude

While Jude Law prepares for the birth of his sixth child, his daughter, Iris, is celebrating some good news of her own.

The 19-year-old Burberry model, whose mother is Jude’s ex-wife, Sadie Frost, marked her two-year anniversary with artist boyfriend Jyrrel Roberts, 22, this week — and is now brandishing a diamond ring on her engagement finger.

One online snap, a close-up of her left hand on which she sports a new heart-shaped sparkler, prompted fans to speculate about an engagement.

The model declined to comment but has made no secret of her desire to start a family young, admitting: ‘I want to have all my kids by 30.’ 

While Jude Law prepares for the birth of his sixth child, his daughter, Iris, is celebrating some good news of her own

While Jude Law prepares for the birth of his sixth child, his daughter, Iris, is celebrating some good news of her own

While Jude Law prepares for the birth of his sixth child, his daughter, Iris, is celebrating some good news of her own

The 19-year-old Burberry model, whose mother is Jude's ex-wife, Sadie Frost, marked her two-year anniversary with artist boyfriend Jyrrel Roberts, 22, this week — and is now brandishing a diamond ring on her engagement finger

The 19-year-old Burberry model, whose mother is Jude's ex-wife, Sadie Frost, marked her two-year anniversary with artist boyfriend Jyrrel Roberts, 22, this week — and is now brandishing a diamond ring on her engagement finger

The 19-year-old Burberry model, whose mother is Jude’s ex-wife, Sadie Frost, marked her two-year anniversary with artist boyfriend Jyrrel Roberts, 22, this week — and is now brandishing a diamond ring on her engagement finger

Rosie’s brother shows off legal eagle lover

M&S model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who has been engaged to Hollywood hardman Jason Statham for four years, could still be beaten to altar by her brother Toby — even though he split from his fiancee last year.

The swimwear model and personal trainer, 31, has found love again after breaking up with yoga instructor Cicely Brown.

Toby, who lives in London, is now courting beautiful French lawyer Noa Murcia, 34, with whom I’m told he is ‘totally besotted’.

This week he whisked her away for a holiday in Santorini, Greece, where they posed for their first picture together, which Toby shared online. ‘

They’ve known each other for ages,’ says my source. ‘But they were never single at the same time — until now.’

This week he whisked her away for a holiday in Santorini, Greece, where they posed for their first picture together, which Toby shared online

This week he whisked her away for a holiday in Santorini, Greece, where they posed for their first picture together, which Toby shared online

This week he whisked her away for a holiday in Santorini, Greece, where they posed for their first picture together, which Toby shared online

Ewan’s nephew raps up his movie dream

Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor was said to be thrilled when his nephew, Jamie, started following in his footsteps by pursuing a career in film. But the 21-year-old reveals he’s abandoned his Hollywood dream to launch himself as a rapper.

Jamie plans to release his debut song, The Party And The Rave, shortly. ‘I used to be into film but have a great passion for music, and swayed more into this,’ Jamie tells me.

Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor was said to be thrilled when his nephew, Jamie, started following in his footsteps by pursuing a career in film

Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor was said to be thrilled when his nephew, Jamie, started following in his footsteps by pursuing a career in film

Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor was said to be thrilled when his nephew, Jamie, started following in his footsteps by pursuing a career in film

(Very) modern manners

While it’s socially acceptable for women to boost their height with a pair of heels, what should men do if they want to look taller? 

Pop star Robbie Williams admits he’s started wearing ‘Spice Girls-style’ platforms to add a few inches to his frame. 

‘I am 6ft, 6ft 1in. I’ve got these new trainers that have got this thick sole and in them I am nearly 6ft 3in,’ he says. ‘Every little helps.’ 

Edited by Juliet Conway 

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Body is found in the sea off Brighton

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body is found in the sea off brighton

Police in Sussex are trying to identify the body of a man who was found in the sea off the coast of Brighton yesterday afternoon. 

The man was recovered from the sea in Lancing at 1.40pm yesterday. A dinghy containing a shopping trolley and mobile phone was discovered nearby. 

Officers believe the man was from the Sussex area. 

The body of a man was recovered off the coast of West Sussex yesterday

The body of a man was recovered off the coast of West Sussex yesterday 

A major search operation was launched yesterday after the body was reported into the water

A major search operation was launched yesterday after the body was reported into the water

Police recovered this dinghy containing a shopping trolley and mobile phone from the sea near the man's body

Police recovered this dinghy containing a shopping trolley and mobile phone from the sea near the man’s body

A Sussex Police spokesman said: ‘At 1.40pm on Monday afternoon (10 August) police were informed by the Coastguard that a small unoccupied dinghy had been found floating in the sea off Shoreham and was being brought to shore.

‘A search of the area off Shoreham has been continuing for any person or any items from the dinghy, which is not thought to be connected with asylum seekers.’ 

A coastguard helicopter was also involved in yesterday's search and rescue operation

A coastguard helicopter was also involved in yesterday’s search and rescue operation 

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Boris Johnson is urged take on teachers like the miners in 1980s

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boris johnson is urged take on teachers like the miners in 1980s

Boris Johnson was today urged to emulate Thatcher’s battle against coal miners and force teaching unions to get children back in schools.

Tory MPs are demanding the PM stays ‘unbreakable’ despite claims of attempts to sabotage his drive to get all pupils back in classes in England next month.

There are also increasing signs of a backlash against Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, with complaints he has been ‘practically invisible’ and comparisons with hapless comedy character Frank Spencer. 

Mr Johnson turned up the heat in the standoff yesterday by insisting that there is a ‘moral duty’ to get all schools up and running in England in September. Scotland’s schools are returning from today, because their holidays end earlier. 

The comments came after one union said ministers should have a plan B – such as a ‘week-on, week-off’ rota system for pupils – in case of further lockdowns and spikes in Covid-19 cases.

Margaret Thatcher in 1987

Boris Johnson visits a school yesterday

Tory MPs are urging Boris Johnson (pictured right visiting a school yesterday) to emulate Margaret Thatcher’s (left) battle against coal miners and force teaching unions to get children back in schools

Scotland's schools are returning from today, because their holidays end earlier. Pictured, pupils arrive at Kelso High School in the Scottish Borders

Scotland’s schools are returning from today, because their holidays end earlier. Pictured, pupils arrive at Kelso High School in the Scottish Borders

There are signs of a Tory backlash against Education Secretary Gavin Williamson (pictured last month), with complaints he has been 'practically invisible' and comparisons with hapless comedy character Frank Spencer

There are signs of a Tory backlash against Education Secretary Gavin Williamson (pictured last month), with complaints he has been ‘practically invisible’ and comparisons with hapless comedy character Frank Spencer

There have also been extensive lists of safety demands – which critics say are designed to be impossible to meet. 

On a visit to a school in London yesterday, Mr Johnson said he hoped schools would not be forced to close as a result of local lockdowns, adding it was the ‘last thing’ that the Government wanted to do.

‘But clearly what we are doing – the way we are trying to manage the Covid pandemic – is to have local measures in place and local test and trace to introduce restrictions where that’s necessary,’ he said.

‘As we have all said, the last thing we want to do is to close schools. We think that education is the priority for the country and that is simple social justice.’

Ministers have become increasingly frustrated with the teaching unions in recent days, particularly after the National Education Union published a ‘nit-picking’ list of 200 safety demands for all schools to adhere to.

But the government is facing increasing pressure to take a tough line. 

The Tory chair of the education select committee, Robert Halfon, told the Telegraph: ‘The Government needs to be absolutely unbreakable on this. If teachers won’t go in, be Maggie about it and say ‘we will find alternatives’. ‘ 

Former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith added: ‘Unions have got one objective – to use their political muscle to damage Boris Johnson. 

‘It’s a re-run of the Eighties except it’s not the coal miners, it’s the teaching unions.’ 

One backbencher delivered a withering verdict on Mr Williamson’s performance, telling the paper: ‘Boris has got to show the courage of Thatcher in his battle with the unions, but that’s quite difficult when his divisional commander is Frank Spencer.’  

The unions insist they are not trying to sabotage the back-to-school plans but are asking genuine questions about the Government’s approach and the lack of a plan B should virus cases escalate again.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: ‘This idea that demonising the trade unions lets the Government off the hook with difficult questions we are asking. 

Mr Johnson (pictured visiting a school in Upminster yesterday) turned up the heat in the standoff yesterday by insisting that there is a 'moral duty' to get all schools up and running in England in September, and it is the 'right thing for everybody'

Mr Johnson (pictured visiting a school in Upminster yesterday) turned up the heat in the standoff yesterday by insisting that there is a ‘moral duty’ to get all schools up and running in England in September, and it is the ‘right thing for everybody’

‘They ought to be facing difficult questions because we are in the middle of something extremely challenging.’

Mr Barton added: ‘We would like to see more thought given to blended learning as a back-up plan, which could be a rota system of children in for one week and then learning at home for one week. This would be better than children returning solely to remote education.’

Avis Gilmore, deputy general secretary of the National Education Union, called for a more robust test, track and trace system to be in place to ensure the welfare of pupils and school staff.

She said: ‘Government could do much more to assure schools and local authorities that, should a second spike occur, either nationally or locally, there is a clear Plan B in place.

‘This plan needs to spell out what action must be taken in a variety of situations, so that schools and colleges can make the preparations parents expect of them.’

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Inventive vicar uses extra-long chopsticks to dish out bread to worshippers amid Covid pandemic

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inventive vicar uses extra long chopsticks to dish out bread to worshippers amid covid pandemic

In a world changed by social distancing, everyone is looking for new ways to keep the old traditions alive. 

That has sparked one vicar to come up with an inventive to give bread during Holy Communion.

Tapping into her Southeast Asian heritage, the Rev Eileen Harrop, who is vicar of St Mary’s in Gainford and St Andrew’s in Winston, County Durham, is using extra-long chopsticks to pass the bread to parishioners while maintaining social distancing. 

Rev Harrop, who left Singapore for the UK in 1979 and was ordained in 2012, has since administered the bread at the Eucharist at both of the churches she serves.

Tapping into her Southeast Asian heritage, the Rev Eileen Harrop, who is vicar of St Mary's in Gainford and St Andrew's in Winston, County Durham, is using extra-long chopsticks to pass the bread to parishioners while maintaining social distancing

Tapping into her Southeast Asian heritage, the Rev Eileen Harrop, who is vicar of St Mary’s in Gainford and St Andrew’s in Winston, County Durham, is using extra-long chopsticks to pass the bread to parishioners while maintaining social distancing

She said: ‘Many of my parishioners were quite anxious at the thought of taking communion, even though we are only permitted to do so under strict guidelines to ensure that there is no chance of transmission of the virus.

‘I thought ‘Why can’t I use a long pair of chopsticks, real bread rather than wafers, and drop it into the communicants’ hands?’

‘Administering the communion in this way ensures that there is no cross-contamination and my parishioners feel reassured and confident to take part.

‘It’s rather special that the long chopsticks I use are normally used for the festive occasion ‘Lo Hei’, meaning ‘stir the uplifted breath of life’.

‘They take on an even greater meaning used in this context.

‘This is a first for both churches, and perhaps a first in any parish church in the diocese.’

Rev Harrop came to Keele University in 1979 and met her husband of 35 years, Brian.

Rev Harrop, who left Singapore for the UK in 1979 and was ordained in 2012, has since administered the bread at the Eucharist at both of the churches she serves

Rev Harrop, who left Singapore for the UK in 1979 and was ordained in 2012, has since administered the bread at the Eucharist at both of the churches she serves

The couple moved to Singapore before relocating to the UK again in 1996, after which she was ordained in 2012.

The current Church of England Covid-19 advice for Holy Communion states that communicants should be offered only bread, not wine as there should be no ‘common cup’.

Mrs Harrop has been using chunkier bread rather than the traditional wafers for Communion as it is easier to grip.

The Eucharist is a key part of Christian worship and is celebrated around the world as a memorial of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The Church of England say the shared meal of bread and wine recalls Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, where he associated the breaking of bread and sharing of wine with his own imminent death. 

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