This week, we kick off a big, new idea. Wouldn’t it be good if vendors had a way of being more visible on the street, perhaps some sort of portable, easily assembled shop, we thought. What if our ever resourceful readers were invited to come up with ideas for this? What if we made a decent noise, got in some great judges with a keen interest in The Big Issue and in rejuvenating the British high street, like Wayne Hemingway? What if we opened it to school kids to send in sketches or design students to make it a key project – and everybody else in between? So we have. This week we launch Build Your Vendor A Shop. Full details inside.
In south Wales, they’re making the lame walk. So goes the claim of a new pentecostal church that has sprung up from nowhere and is drawing increasingly big crowds. Adam Forrest went down for a few days to seek redemption – a great piece, with speaking tongues.
Letter To My Younger Self is a humdinger of a special. We speak to Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon – or, as Buzz has it, the first lifeform ever to return from another planet to earth. There are a lot of regrets, anger, booze, broken marriages and urination in space suits.
John Bird considers mortality, his own and ours. It’s a piece that’ll make you stop. The Big Issue in Japan also features.
Brendan O’Neill is on fine chin-out form, challenging received notions that the Baby Boomers were the lucky generation and that we, their children, are the ones paying the piper.
My Week this week features fine bearded comedian Bill Bailey. He’s had a carnivorous plant named after him. That’s pretty good.
We also have 400 - that’s FOUR HUNDRED! – tickets to give away to the first ever musical staged at The Globe theatre. Arthur Darvill, once of Doctor Who, wrote the soundtrack. He talks about this and more.
There is much else, of course. Our featured vendor is Stuart Davies, who works in Newport. A glass half full sort of chap, he is a United fan who thinks Moyes is doing a good job. Historian Alwyn Turner writes about the challenges of detailing very recent social history; MacKenzie talks evolution and Tarzan with one-time super-selling comedian Rob Newman.