Issue 1213

11 Dec 2017
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About this issue: Overview

The first of our bumper Christmas issues is out this week. The magazine costs £3 – up 50p from the usual cover price – giving our vendors the chance to make more money now the cold weather has really set in. And we’re giving you much more for your money with an extra 16 pages.

Giving vendors the best chance of selling the magazine is an extremely talented cover artist – 4-year-old Molly O’Mara from Barnsley. Her brilliant painting of a snowman won judges of our Christmas cover competition over. In a feature showing a selection of the best entries from talented children across the North West and Yorkshire she tells us: “I’m really happy and very excited”.

Us Brits are known to go into a bit of a spin when ice covers our towns and cities but we meet a handful of people who are experts when it comes to the cold stuff – from ice skaters to ice sculptors. Elsewhere we meet a group of medical students temporarily studying at UCLan after being displaced from the Caribbean island of St Martin following Hurricane Irma; celebrate the centenary of a local women’s football team that nearly dominated the game before male officials called time; print a letter from Abba’s Benny Anderson to his younger self; and speak to investigative journalist Luke Harding about collusion between Russia and the White House.

It’s become tradition at Big Issue North to give our vendors a chance to send their Christmas greetings to their loyal customers. This week, in the first of two installments, we hear from vendors from across the North West.

We have all our usual news and opinion pages, ­this week looking at issues spanning child poverty, social housing, pollution and gay marriage. And in a bumper arts section we round up the best family theatre being staged across the north – without a panto in sight – and the best new kid’s books to help you fulfill the last of your Santa duties.

Puzzle fans will have more than our regular crossword and Sudoku to get stuck into. With help from puzzle book author Alex Bellos we provide some fiendish brainteasers to see you through the holidays.