BRITAIN'S Flying Scotsman train has been voted the best-known locomotive in the world.

The Daily Mirror reports that, in a survey commissioned by the National Railway Museum and carried out across four continents, people were asked to name five trains or engines they had heard of.

The Flying Scotsman beat Japan’s bullet train, India’s Rajadhani Express and the fastest-ever steam locomotive, Mallard.

And the engine, the first to hit 100mph, is set to be back on the tracks soon after after a £4.2million renovation.

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The Guardian says the British Museum is to exhibit more than 200 ancient Egyptian treasures which were buried beneath the Mediterranean seabed for more than 1,000 years.

The exhibition, which is due to be held next year, will tell the story of two lost cities at the mouth of the Nile – Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus – which by the 8th-century AD had been swallowed completely by the sea. Underwater archaeologists have been slowly excavating the area since 1996.

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Movie cartoon characters the Minions, are topping the popularity chart for 2016 calendars, says the Daily Mail.

Boy band One Direction, who were top for three of the last four years, have dropped to fourth behind Star Wars: Episode V11 and Manchester United.

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A worrying article in the Daily Mail says that more than a quarter of bird species in the UK are now under threat.

Puffins, nightingales and curlews have been added to the at-risk list for the first time. Seven of Britain’s 244 bird species, also including the turtle dove, cuckoo and starling, are now on the ‘Red List’, meaning they are judged to be ‘of highest conservation concern’.

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There was a lovely festive tale in the Daily Express about how a five year old's letters to Father Christmas have been found up a chimney almost 80 years later.

They were written by Christine Churchill, now 82, asking for a hymn book, a box of crayons and a dolly case.

The letters, which were dispatched up the chimney in 1938, were found during works to an old fireplace at the Grade II-listed Garthmyl Hall, in Powys, Mid Wales, as new owners were renovating the building.

Mrs Churchill said: “I was just flabbergasted to see the letters. I remember we were told to put them up the chimney in the playroom, I presume because they were not in use.” 

She added: “We had very simple wants. There was no television and no radio. I learned the piano from about the age of five, so I could read music and books.

“We had simple presents: My brother had little wooden building bricks and a jigsaw puzzle and I had my dollies.”

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Dog lover Jan Brown (52) from Seaburn in Sunderland has spent more than 4,000 hours knitting Christmas jumpers and coats for abandoned greyhounds.

A Daily Mirror article says that Jan has created more than 300 festive designs to give warm woolly gifts to the dogs.

She said: “I started knitting from an early age and after making a few coats for my own greyhounds it seemed like a great way to help the animal shelters.

“ I think they look really sweet and it's giving much-needed help to the rescue centres. Greyhounds have very thin fur so they really feel the cold during the winter so my gifts help keep them warm during walks.”

Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)