91 Pictures That Amazed Us During 2013 (PHOTOS)

12/20/2013 10:12 am 10:12:26 | Updated 25 January 2014

From meteor showers to photo-bombing tigers, some of the most recognisable pictures of the year have been captured by SWNS.

The news agency's award winning photographers and contributors have brought you extraordinary scenes of rioting in the wake of Margaret Thatcher's death and harrowing images of the Glasgow helicopter crash.

They were also on hand to see disgraced former minister Chris Huhne emerging from prison and the Rolling Stones performing at the Glastonbury Festival.

From close encounters with sharks to sumptuous Autumn landscapes, picture editor Jon Mills has combed through his archive to bring you his favourite images from 2013.

He said: "News never ceases to shock and inspire and our photographers are there in the thick of things, day after day, to capture each and every moment."

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  • Snapper Penkdix Palme , 27, caught the tiny tree frog sheltering from the rain in his neighbour's back garden. The aquaphobic amphibian clung on to the stem of the green leaf for a staggering 30 MINUTES as it was lashed by wind and rain. In the amazing series of photographs, the two-inch high frog appears to angle the makeshift umbrella towards the direction of the fierce downpour. Huge droplets of water gather at the bottom of the leaf and surrounding branch while the clever frog remains dry. Talented Penkdix, who only took up photography six months ago, said he was shocked when he stumbled upon the unusual scene in his hometown of Jember, East Java, Indonesia.
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  • This group of kayakers got the treat of their lives when they were joined in the sea by a massive basking shark. The group were out for an evening paddle around the coastal town of Peel on the Isle of Man just off the west coast of the Island. The incredible images were taken by Keirron Tastagh, founder of Adventurous Experiences, who was leading the kayak trip. Tastagh commented: “The Isle of Man is a known hotspot for Basking Sharks, but it’s rare to have everyone in the group experience such a close encounter.
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  • This cute puppy will always be able to show her owners she loves them - after being born with a perfect HEART-shaped patch. Adorable 16-day-old Valerie is a Jack Russell-Chihuahua-cross and is one of 25 dogs in the household. But owners Joanne and Dave Boardman will never be able to miss their new addition with the striking brown fur patch which resembles a perfect love-heart on her back.
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  • London’s Bonfire Night celebrations as seen from 800ft/244m above ground in The View from The Shard, the visitor attraction at the top of Western Europe’s tallest building.
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  • Lightning between the Perth suburbs of Beachborough and Caversham - the November photo of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s annual calendar.
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  • A woman had a miracle escape yesterday when a lorry flipped over and careered into her living room. The driver was also lucky to cheat death in the horror smash on the A90 in the tiny village of Lonmay, Aberdeenshire. He was rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with minor injuries and although the woman was uninjured she was said to be "badly shaken". Mark McDonald, 26, took these dramatic pictures which show the cabin of the lorry upside down and its trailer lying in the woman's living room. He said: "No one's sure how it happened but the trailer has actually squashed the house, it's right through the living room. "The lorry driver has been taken to hospital, but he's fine, somehow there's nothing wrong with him - he's not hurt. "The woman was actually sitting in the living room at the time and she's OK as well, but she got quite a scare and was badly shaken up by it”
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  • Caffrey the cat has purrfect balance - he gets around on just TWO legs. The impaired Persian can WALK and RUN despite missing both his front and back limbs on his left side. Amazed vets have told owner Sue Greaves they have never seen another case like it. She resisted calls to put down the crippled cat - and insists he is as content as any four-legged feline.
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  • A British tourist who miraculously survived plunging from a hotel balcony in Thailand has learned to walk and talk again despite missing – ONE QUARTER OF HIS HEAD. TOWIE extra Lee Charie, 32, fell from the balcony in Koh Tao and smashed the left side of his skull on December 18 last year while he was travelling in the far eastern country. Swimming pool maintenance worker Lee was found by hotel staff lying on the ground and was rushed to a local clinic before being transferred to a larger hospital on Koh Samui. When he arrived at the hospital Lee lost consciousness for two days before medics managed to bring him back to life. Lee, an extra for TV mockumentary The Only Way Is Essex, had to have part of his skull removed while in intensive care for a fortnight and his family were told he could be paralysed down his right-hand side. But luckily Lee was strong enough to be transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge on January 18 - with the piece of skull in a BOX.
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  • This van driver and his passengers had a flipping lucky escape when their vehicle was catapulted through the air - before wedging itself against a HOTEL. Amazingly the man and two boys were able to scramble free of their stricken motor, which landed nose-down in a grass bank with its wheels balanced precariously against the building. Nobody was hurt in Saturday's accident, that happened as the driver swerved to avoid a car on the busy A3075 near Newquay, Cornwall. Simon Hill, owner of the White House Inn, said that luckily no guests where the other side of the wall where the white van struck.
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  • These are the head-spinning 'star trail' images captured by a young photographer who spends his nights studying the Scottish skies. Kirk Norbury, 21, took the snaps deep in the Galloway forest, home to Scotland's first 'dark skies' park where observers can see the sky free from light pollution. The stunning shots of what appear to be fireworks are actually just photos of stars taken on a long exposure - with the rotation of the earth adding the effect of motion. Kirk, 21, of Ayr, said yesterday (Thur): "Scottish skies are among the clearest in the world and there is no better place to watch them than from Galloway forest.
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  • These are the incredible scenes of 8ft snow drifts in the warmest corner of the UK - the holiday isle of Guernsey. The Channel Island has ground to a halt over the past three days following the worst snow storms in decades. These pictures were taken by Danielle Stonebridge, 21, a Guernsey resident and part-time photographer, of her dad Dave, 61. Luckily for residents on the island, work has begun and most of the snow is now thawing out.
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  • Six police were injured - one seriously - as violence erupted at a street party to 'celebrate' the death of Baroness Thatcher. Trouble flared after midnight when a 200-strong crowd refused police requests to peacefully disperse in Easton, Bristol. Officers donned riot gear and used shields and batons as they were pelted with bottles, cans and rubbish. Firecrews were called to tackle a series of bins which were set on fire by the mob and a police car was damaged by the flying missiles.
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  • Daredevil Guerlain Chicherit, 34, sped towards a ramp in his specially built Mini Countryman at an exact 37mph. He then hit the quarter-pipe and took off - flipping a full 360 degrees backwards before landing rear wheels first on other side of the snow-covered ramp in Tignes, France. The jaw-dropping stunt was the result of four years of preparation with Frenchman Chicherit becoming the first person to successfully backflip a car.
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  • A stranded vehicle near Barr Beacon in the West Midlands. Thousands of homes are still without power and many roads remain impassable after severe weather affected much of the UK over the weekend. In Scotland several thousand homes were affected after snow and strong winds damaged power cables. In Northern Ireland some households in remote areas have been warned it could be several days before their supplies are reconnected. The Met Office issued a warning for ice as temperatures remain low. It warned of lying snow melting and then refreezing overnight into Monday - leading to icy patches across much of the UK. Also strong to gale-force winds will affect some roads, especially over high ground, where snow drifts have accumulated.
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  • A heavenly message which can only be read from above has remained virtually unnoticed for more than 20 years. Peter Gunner spent decades carefully pruning specially laid out willow cuttings which map out the words from the Bible passage John 14:6: “Jesus said to him: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’.” The 62-year-old wanted to create a maze in a Sussex field of his favourite verse from the Bible that people could lose themselves in as a metaphor for life. He said: “You walk around in it but you don’t really know what your life is going to look like from above.” This image is provided for one time use only to accompany SWNS story SWTREES February 7 2013. No sales, no archiving.
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  • Prince William takes part in the The Jerudong Trophy match at Cirencester Park Polo Club, Cirencester, Gloucestershire,14 July 2013.
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  • Olympic athlete and gold medalist Jessica Ennis MBE at her wedding to Andy Hill at Hathersage Church, Derbyshire. Beaming Olympic gold-medalist Jessica Ennis told how she felt "amazing" as she tied the knot (on Saturday).?Stunning heptathlete Jessica, dressed in an elaborate white wedding gown and floor-length veil, married long-term boyfriend Andy Hill at Hathersage church in Derbys., surrounded by around 150 friends and family. Glen Minikin /
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  • At 11.30am on Monday September 23, there was a robbery at a convenience store in Ilminster, Somerset. See SWNS story SWGUN; This video shows the moment of the robbery as an armed gunman challenges a security guard and makes off with his money bag. An investigation has begun and Police are appealing for anyone with information about the robbery to call on 101.
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  • A lottery winner’s luck ran out when he wrote off his GBP100,000 Bentley Continental – after he tried to drive through a flooded road. Hapless Robert Johnson, 65, splashed out on the brand new motor three years ago after scooping the GBP5million lottery jackpot in 2008. But he was forced to ditch his “pride and joy” when he drove through flood water in Tewkesbury, Glos, shortly after 8am on Wednesday 2 January 2013. The wealthy management consultant and landowner was driving along a country lane on the outskirts of the town when his car got swamped by 3ft of water after a stream burst its banks. Grandad-of-one Robert rang the AA and a rescue truck arrived but was unable to tow the car to dry land because Bentley’s can only be towed from the front. Rising flood water meant the AA truck was unable to reach the car – forcing Robert to leave the jet black vehicle to the mercy of the floods.
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  • A brave surfer makes the most of the stormy weather at the Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall. 03/10/2013
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  • This years Edinburgh Christmas schedule is launched with a spectacular preview of the hit international circus show LIMBO. The act includes music, dance, acrobatics, the highlight being Heather Holliday sword and fire eating. 24/09/13
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  • Sir Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, launches the 2013 festival which celebrates the interaction between technology and art.
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  • Spectacular view from the top of the Forth Road Bridge. One thousand exclusive tickets for a once in a lifetime chance to scale the heights of the Forth Road Bridge are to go on sale from Wednesday 30th Oct at 1pm. Demand is expected to be high for these on-off tower top trips which will take place in July and August 2014 in the run up to the Forth Bridges Festival. 28/10/13
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  • A homeowner has been ordered to tidy up the front of his property after it became so overgrown with ivy and weeds - it now covers his ENTIRE house. Lazy Ken Mould's three-bedroom detached home has been completely consumed by rampant ivy and conifers leaving it invisible to passers-by. The 50-year-old's garden is so overrun with plants not even the chimney of the house manages to poke above the mass of foliage. The deep wilderness extends so far forward from the house on the quaint cul-de-sac in Rugeley, Staffs., the shape of the building can no longer be made out from the pavement. Amazingly Mould still lives INSIDE the house with his wife Diane, 50, despite the roof and first-floor windows being totally hidden under a thick covering of ivy.
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  • Princess Beatrice visits the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) in Edinburgh to mark her first official engagement in her role as Patron of The Sick Kids Friends Foundation.
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  • A rainbow and sunshine on a glen south of Kingussie after the morning rain has subsided.
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  • Heel Hitler - Here's Patch the puppy with an uncanny resemblance to Nazi leader Adolf. A dark mark on his top lip mirrors the Fuhrer's famous moustache. And another large brown area over his left ear completes the look of the evil dictator. But the resemblance ends there as seven week-old Patch has a gentle and loveable temperament. The tiny puppy, a cross between French bulldog and a shih tzu, has two brothers and lives with owner Clare Whitehead in York. / Glen Minikin
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  • Phillip Simelane is arrested by West Midlands Police on Harborne Road, Birmingham just hours after the murder of Christina Edkins. The man accused of murdering Birmingham schoolgirl, Christina Edkins will appear in court today Wednesday 2 October, where he is due to enter a plea. Phillip Simelane, from Walsall, is accused of murdering 16-year-old Christina as she travelled on a bus to her school in Halesowen. Christina was stabbed as she sat on the top deck of a bus as it headed along the Hagley Road, Birmingham at around 7.30am on March 7. She died at the scene. The case against Simelane, aged 23, was last heard on 6 September during which Birmingham Crown Court heard that he was deemed unfit to stand trial. The case was adjourned until 2 October for further psychiatric reports.
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  • Five sheep stand on a stone wall to escape the frost covered grass as the sun rises over Malmesbury, Wiltshire, November 26 2013. Temperatures have fallen well below freezing in the South west for the first time this year.
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  • A former Villa goalkeeper drove his ex-girlfriend to the brink of suicide in a harassment campaign. Ex-England youth international Matthew Ghent was branded a “true stalker” by a judge after he admitted harassing the pretty probation officer, whom he met on a dating website. The 32-year-old, from Tamworth, bombarded her with 70 emails and text messages after their six-month relationship ended and she refused to go on a holiday he had booked behind her back. A court heard that Ghent – who was previously convicted of attacking another ex-girlfriend – even turned up at the woman’s office and only left when her colleagues threatened to call the police.
    A romantic husband who was born without a left hand has had his bionic limb customised - so he is always wearing his wedding ring. Luke Medland, 31, was fitted with a carbon fibre Terminator-style mechanical hand - which is controlled by two electrodes on either side of his stump - seven months ago. The new bebionic3 myoelectric(double corr) hand moves like a real human limb by responding muscle twitches in Luke's lower arm. Incredibly, the robotic arm is so sensitive it means the Luke can stand up on the tube - with the bionic hand gripping the bar and his other holding his bag - for the first time in his life.
    An 88-year-old D-Day veteran has been given £24,000 by a mystery benefactor after insurers refused to stump up the cash to rebuild his collapsed cottage. Former Royal Navy serviceman Gordon Fowler and wife Betty, also 88, were left homeless after the recent wet weather tore down the side of their house. Despite having a £500-a-year home insurance policy, insurers Prudential claimed frost had caused the damage - something the elderly couple were not covered for. But in an incredible act of generosity, a mystery man has now given them the cash to rebuild their home.
    Chris Huhne leaves Leyhill prison, Leyhill, Gloucestershire. 13 May 2013. Huhne and his former wife Vicky Pryce were each jailed for eight months on March 11 for perverting the course of justice a decade ago when Pryce took speeding points for her then husband.
    Britain's youngest break-dancing champion who became a worldwide internet sensation after footage of her emerged at a competition in Paris was yesterday revealed to be a six-year-old schoolgirl - from WOLVERHAMPTON. Tiny Dachiya Atkinson wowed the judges at the Pro Chelles international dancing competition with a breathtaking routine which had the crowd on their feet. Within five days of the footage of her amazing breakdancing skills emerging on Youtube and views of the video rocketed to a staggering 2.8 million. In the short video she stuns the crowd with her moves by spinning on her head, performing windmills and forward flips like a trained professional.
    The bride walked towards the three-year-old Indian elephant after tying the knot in Phuket, Thailand. But as she edged closer, the naughty mammal’s trunk wrapped around the lady, bringing her in towards its mouth. She was then handed a huge dose of bad breath by the elephant, which quickly let her go to screams of laughter. -
    The FA is to unveil a giant maze today (Wednesday) in celebration of 150 YEARS as UK football's governing body. Farmers painstakingly cut an incredible image of the watchdog's iconic emblem into a field of MAIZE. The 10-acre creation - which features the three lions found on the England squad's shirts - boasts a whopping three MILES of walkways. Around 30,000 people are expected to descend on the attraction at the National Forest Adventure Farm near Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffs., by the end of the summer. The farm sits just three miles from state-of-the-art St. George's Park football centre, where the England squad trains ahead of international matches. The £105 million facility was opened last year by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in October last year.
    The unnamed partygoers were dressed as the individual Twin Towers, where more than 2,700 people lost their lives in the 2001 atrocity. Their 'fun' outfits - marked North Tower and South Tower - included models of the two hijacked planes crashing into the New York skyscrapers. The sick costumes also had tiny models of people falling to their deaths and were topped off with the women wearing the Stars and Stripes flag on their heads.
    The red poppy is one of the most iconic symbols of remembrance and a Royal Navy ship is wearing hers with pride. The company of HMS Lancaster have taken time out of their busy patrols in the Caribbean to remember the brave men and women who have given their lives, or been injured, in the line of duty. Thousands of miles from home, the ship’s company mustered on the flight deck and paid their respect by creating a bright red poppy, bowing their heads in silence. HMS Lancaster’s Commanding Officer, Commander Steve Moorhouse, said: “It is a great honour and a privilege for me and my ship’s company to make this small gesture to all those who have served and been affected by war and conflict. “I hope this will help symbolise the eternal respect and honour that we all have for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.” Royal Navy personnel from across the Service have been donning their poppies and putting into words why they are wearing their poppies ahead of Remembrance Day on 11 November. Taking the photo onboard HMS Lancaster was Leading Airman (Phot) Jay Allen, who said: “I don’t wear my poppy to feel good or right, nor to make a social statement or because I feel I have to. “I wear my poppy to remember the fallen, the injured and the brave, and the sacrifices they have made, and to show that I remember them.” The 2013 Poppy Appeal was launched at the end of October and every poppy helps raise the £1.6 million needed by the Royal British Legion deliver practical help and advice to the Armed Forces community.
    Jockey A.P. McCoy celebrates at his pub The Outside Chance, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, after his 4000th career win.
    Millions of Britons face a winter struggling to heat their homes - but our greedy energy firms have no such worries when it comes to their plush offices. These striking thermal images show where some of our money is glowing - keeping their headquarters nice and warm. The tell-tale pictures from an infrared camera reveal just how much heat is being given off by their buildings AFTER normal working hours. They were taken at head offices of four of the so-called big six suppliers: E.ON in Coventry, EDF in West London, Centrica in Windsor, Berks and NPower in Worcester.
    Swans glide through the mist rising from the River Avon in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, November13 2013. For the first time this autumn temperatures dropped below freezing in some places givnig a widespread frost.
    Visitors to the National Arbouretum in Westonbirt, Glos, enjoy the most spectacular colours of the year, as the autumnal display reaches it's peak, November 20 2013.
    Scouse residents are worried house prices in their SEMIS might plummet when would-be buyers check Google Earth because their cul-de-sac looks a PENIS and BALLS. Locals on George Road, Edward Road, and Yeoman Cottages in Hoylake, Wirral, fear potential house-hunters wouldn't want to buy a property in the phallic-shaped area. Remarkably, when viewed from above the red roofs on homes in the three roads make the cul-de-sac look like a PENIS and SCROTUM. And when viewed from maps on an iPhone, the shape of the rude roads is exaggerated by the green fields surrounding them. One embarrassed resident, who didn't want to be named, said: "Since someone spotted this on Google Earth we have all become a laughing stock. You can't argue because it really does look just like a man's private parts. I haven't heard of anyone moving out because of it but we are definitely worried it would put of potential buyers if we ever wanted to sell.”
    Prince Charles leaving Harewood House, West Yorkshire, on the day that Kate Middleton has gone into labour. When asked by the press of any news on the baby he replied "No, no, no. You'll hear before I do." / Chris Fairweather
    Sale Sharks rugby fly half Danny Cipriani leaving Leeds General Infirmary after he was hit by a bus the night before while drinking in Leeds. / Glen Minikin
    The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton arrives in Grimsby Firestation to see young people who are turning their lives around with help from youth charity The Prince's Trust will meet Kate at Grimsby Fire Station / Chris Fairweather
    One hundred year old Kit Redpath with The Burry Man. Andrew Taylor who is this years Burryman. The Burry Man is the central figure in an annual ceremony that takes place in South Queensferry on the second Friday of August. The meaning of the ceremony is long lost, but was first recorded in 1687. The "costume" is made up of hundreds of burrs and decorated with flowers. The Burry Man walks the streets and is greeted by people who offer him whisky. 09/08/13
    A kite-surfer makes the most of the stormy conditions in Newquay, Cornwall. An amber weather warning has been issued across large parts of England and Wales as a hurricane-strength storm builds over the Atlantic and moves towards Britain. Meteorologists have warned the fierce winds of up to 80mph and torrential rain - which will strike the south-west of England - could leave a trail of destruction as the storm gusts north-east across the country, damaging buildings and bringing down trees and power lines.
    Road markings on a York street ended up looking more like crazy paving than double yellow lines after builders bodged the job of relaying the cobbles.
    An armed robber wielding a MEAT CLEAVER was caught on this CCTV footage - threatening to cut off a terrified woman's ARM. (file video grabs) A grandmother has told a jury how she took a knife off a robber and used it to chase two masked raiders out of her shop. Trude Mian, aged 65, was about to close the convenience store at the Knowle Garage, near Braunton, North Devon when two men armed with a meat cleaver and kitchen knife burst in and demanded money. She said she thought the raid last November was a belated Halloween joke until she saw the weapons. A jury at Exeter Crown Court have been shown dramatic CCTV footage from the shop showing one of the attackers hacking at the counter with the cleaver as she swayed out of the way.
    Rachel Curley (right) and Ellie Newland finish lighting over 700 pumpkins with hearts carved into them in the small town of Hope, Derbyshire. See SWNS story SWHOPE: The tiny village of Hope in Derbyshire glows with the light from up to 700 brightly-lit pumpkins. The stunning sight - which featured pumpkins with carved out heart shapes - was created by international children's charity, World Vision to highlight the plight of the planet's vulnerable children. Dozens of villagers, many young children, joined in to help carve the pumpkins for the Halloween Night of Hope in the Derbyshire's Peak District. Yesterday Lesley Waters, celebrity chef and supporter of World Vision's Night of Hope campaign, said: "I want to look at Halloween in a new light and stand with children who have no choice but to live in fear.
    Race drivers competing over the weekend were stunned to see one adrenaline junkie taking on making his way around the track on the ROOF of his car. But off-duty police officer Jeff Bloch was just behind the wheel of his latest creation - the incredible ‘Upside Down’ race car. Jeff, known as Speedy Copy, takes time out of chasing criminals to catch racing drivers by taking part in the offbeat ‘LeMons’ race series. The cut-price competition sees the endurance racers driving around the race circuit in a series of budget motors where wackier is better.
    Some of the sets of twins that will be starting school in the Inverclyde area. (L to R) Brooke and Taylor Campbell run as Murdo Gilberts trousers start to fall down. August 13, 2013.
    ky gazers enjoyed clear skies and no moon at the high point of the annual Perseid meteors, as the Earth's orbit takes it through a stream of dusty comet debris. Fragments left behind when comet Swift-Tuttle passed close to Earth in 1992 burn up as they strike the atmosphere, creating spectacular streaks of light across the night sky. The meteors appear to come from a point in the constellation of Perseus, hence the name Perseid.
    Multiple bolts of lightning illuminate the sky over Mount Vesuvius in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, August 14 2013. The dramatic photo was taken by British tourist and amateur photographer Richard Stoodley from the San Francesco al Monte hotel using a basic camera resting on his balcony.
    This is the heart-breaking picture of a distraught dad with his brain damaged son who was left in a coma when he was hit by a VAN as he cycled to work. Ryan Smith, 16, was NOT wearing a helmet when he was involved in the horror collision last month because he did not want to mess up his HAIR. The teen has remained in a coma ever since the accident near the seaside village of Chapel St Leonards, Lincs. Dad Mark has spent every day by Ryan's bed for the last five weeks after being told his son might not survive the night. And the paramedic is now urging every cyclist to wear a helmet after saying his son didn't wear one because of his hair-do.
    Thousands of commuters were brought to a standstill when two separate crashes merged on the busy New Sheppey Crossing, in Kent, during rush hour. Witnesses said they heard screeching breaks then thuds around them almost continuously for TEN MINUTES as more and more vehicles added to the "carnage". Police said it was clear the huge crash had been caused by think fog drifting over south east Britain as the country's weather took a dramatic turn for the worse. And there were claims the massive crash was added to by ignorant drivers SPEEDING on the dual carriageway despite the greatly reduced visibility.
    Made In Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh and her rapper husband Professor Green pose for pictures outside the chapel after getting married at Babington House near Bath. 10 Sept 2013.
    The sun rises to a stunning misty scene in Malmesbury Wiltshire as summer gives way to autumn, September 16 2013. A weather front is expected to bring the first storms of the season in the coming days.
    Five year-old meningitis survivor Marshall Janson will now be able to play tag with his school friends after receiving a pair of state-of-the-art running blades. Marshall, who is in year one at Perranporth Community Primary, has received a new pair of Power Rangers running blades which will enable him to join in with play-time and PE lessons. Stephanie Harris, Marshall's mum, said: "Marshall was getting upset that he couldn't keep up with the other children and the only way he could was with these blades. "He was so happy when he saw the Power Rangers blades for the first time - he was just amazed and ecstatic.
    A British schoolboy who was trapped in Abu Dhabi because of his acute fear of flying touched down in Britain – after being HYPNOTISED. Joe Thompson, now 12, had been due to fly back to Britain with his family last June after his father Tony’s work contract in the UA ended. He tried four times to board a plane with his family, but each time he broke down in tears and refused to fly. His acute fear of travel also meant he was unable to board a boat or car to make the 4,500-mile journey. But now he has been reunited with his family when he was hypnotised into overcoming his fear of flying when he touched down at Heathrow at 5.30am. He was accompanied by his father Tony, 62, and internationally renowned hypnotherapist Russell Hemmings who treated the troubled schoolboy after learning of his phobia.
    HMS Dragon's Mk8 Lynx Helicopter is pictured releasing all it's counter measure flares at it passes over the Type 45 destroyer on manouveres in the Mediterranean. This powerful image of Royal Naval capability – both sea and air – was captured by Leading Photographer David Jenkins, the current Royal Navy Photographer of the year. One of the Navy’s newest Type 45 destroyers, HMS Dragon has arrived back from the Gulf and is now in the Eastern Med, patrolling UK sovereign base areas and taking part in locally based exercises. LPhot Jenkins said: “There are times when you take plenty of pictures and have very little to show for them. The images taken that night were as a result of some careful planning and good fortune. What is rewarding for me is that the crew are pleased with the picture because it represents the capability that HMS Dragon delivers on a daily basis.”
    Three-year-old Harry Edwards-Brady competes at the Horse of the Year show at the NEC Arena in Birmingham, England on October 9 2013. Harry is the youngest ever competitor to qualify for the Horse of the Year show. Harry, who has already won an impressive four best rider titles at local shows, has qualified two different ponies for the event. The tot only began riding earlier this year but is already well on his way to becoming an expert rider. Photo by Peter Summers.
    The sky turns red as the sun rises over Malmesbury, Wiltshire, October 10 2013. The stunning scene was captured by amateur photographer Robert Peel who has dedicated himself to capturing glorious views of his home village through the changing seasons.
    Despite the changeable weather it didn't stop people from taking in the sights during a punt along the River Cam in Cambridge today, Thursday. Picture shows punters taking shelter beneath their umbrellas as the heavens opened during their punt.
    A fire involving 50,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material and a factory unit in the West Midlands has been declared "a major incident". The fire service said 200 firefighters were at the scene in Smethwick. Nine firefighters have been taken to hospital after tackling the fire at the Jayplas depot in Dartmouth Road. A plume of smoke is rising 6,000ft into the air. Birmingham International Airport has been alerted although there is currently no impact on flights. The incident is on an industrial estate, but the closest residents are being advised to keep windows closed. The fire service said Dartmouth Road, Halfords Lane and Brasshouse Lane were closed to traffic and that the fire was likely to cause congestion in the area. It also urged motorists to avoid junction one of the M5 if possible.
    Aerial photo of the fire at the Jayplas, plastics and paper recycling depot in Smethwick, West Midlands. Covering 13 acres and having consumed over 100,000 tonnes of plastic and paper, the fire is the biggest that the West Midlands fire service has ever tackled.Ten firefighters have been injured battling a dramatic blaze when up to 100,000 tonnes of plastic recycling went up in flames near Birmingham - caused by a CHINESE LANTERN. Over 200 firefighters have been tackling the massive fire on an industrial estate in Smethwick, West Mids., in the biggest blaze West Midlands Fire Service has ever seen. Thick plumes of black smoke billowed up to 6,000ft in the air and could be seen over 80 MILES away including Oxford, Coventry and by hundreds of motorists driving on the M40 and M1 motorways towards London. Shocked residents described "apocalyptic" scenes "like something from an action movie" that unfolded at 11pm on Sunday (30/6) evening. Over 35 fire appliances as well as police and ambulance crews rushed to the scene at the J & A Young recycling plant, on Dartmouth Road, where they battled throughout the night to control the flames. The smouldering wreckage of the gutted building continued to burn throughout yesterday (Mon) as fire bosses warned the flames could burn all week.
    Review of the year in pictures by SWNS 2013 - One of the top 100 pictures from the SWNS group. This adorable snap shows the softer side of the police when an officer posed his newborn baby daughter enjoying a snooze - in his HELMET. See NTI story NTIHELMET. PC Andy Ross popped four-day-old Isla in the hard hat to pose for the picture. And the normally hard-nosed copper admits that the beauty of the photo made him emotional. Andy, who has been a policeman for West Midlands Police for six years, also has an 18-month-old son. He said: "It represents my job and my family. I loved it, it brought a tear to my eye." The officer, from Warwickshire, had the photo taken by snapper Bethany Anne Smith in her studio in Bedworth. As the youngster slept the helmet was propped up by several cans of BEANS and she was placed in the blanket while she had an afternoon nap.
    Harley the British Bulldog with his best friend Tigger the kitten. Usually this pair would be going for each other like cat and dog. But instead the adorable couple have become inseperable after bulldog Harley became an unlikely surrogate to two-week-old Tigger. The two-year-old pooch has been keeping a close eye on the tiny kitten - and has even started producing MILK to feed him. The love-affair began when rescue puss Tigger was brought home by Clare Evans, 37. The abandoned kitten had been found alone in a church and was brought into Arvonia Vets, in Cheltenham, Glos., where Clare works.
    These heart-stopping pictures reveal the moment fearless thrillseekers risked their lives scaling city sky-lines - for the VIEW. The daredevil group of 14 to 24-year-olds have been captured spending their free time jumping on rooftops, freestanding pillars and industrial cranes. In their latest stunt, in a video posted on YouTube last week, the group can be seen scaling a giant crane without any safety equipment. They dangerously dangle their legs over the top of the crane, peering perilously down to the street below.
    More than 40 firefighters are tackling a fire at a woodland in Shropshire. A large area of gorse and trees is alight, on a hill at Grinshill Woods near Wem, the fire service said. It started at 20:00 BST on Wednesday. One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital. Andy Johnson, from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, said they did not know how the blaze had started but added dry weather conditions "were a problem".
    Zara Philips on her horse Hanua at the Dauntsey Park Horse Trails, Wiltshire.
    Incredible new footage has been released to show the work of a fighter jet pilot as he performs an acrobatic display over the Cotswolds. The Polish Air Force Mikoyan MiG-29 flown by Pilot Capt Adrian Rojek is captured on camera doing rolls and high g-force turns at the Fairford Airshow watched by 130,000 visitors. Fast jet pilots are trained to do special clenches and breathing to avoid the risk of g-force induced lack of consciousness (GLOC) they also wear special clothing. The Russian built fighter jet can fly at Mach 2.25 and has a top speed of almost 1500 miles per hour making it a giant among modern-day combat jets.
    The sky is filled with lightning behind the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, as thunderstorms and lightning struck across the UK.
    This is the heroic moment a staggering 867 festival-goers dressed as SUPERMAN to smash the world record. Music fans fans from across the country had earlier descended on the Lake District for the Kendal Calling festival. And they took time out of watching the likes of Primal Scream, Basement Jaxx, The Charlatans and Public Enemy for the hilarious record attempt. In total a staggering 867 dressed up in the Man of Steel’s unmistakable blue and red uniform, smashing the previous record of 566 people. 27th July 2013.
    Aerial view of the GCHQ building in Cheltenham. The US government has paid at least £100m to the UK spy agency GCHQ over the last three years, according to documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
    A hot air balloon at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta is seen from inside the envelope as it flies over Bristol, August 10 2013. Photographer henry Nicholls used a 26ft carbon fibre pole and a minature wifi camera to capture the unusual angle. The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is now in its 35th year and is Europe’s largest ballooning event.
    Sky gazers enjoyed clear skies and no moon at the high point of the annual Perseid meteors, as the Earth's orbit takes it through a stream of dusty comet debris. Fragments left behind when comet Swift-Tuttle passed close to Earth in 1992 burn up as they strike the atmosphere, creating spectacular streaks of light across the night sky. The meteors appear to come from a point in the constellation of Perseus, hence the name Perseid.
    Tomsk the Ural Owl chick who is being bred at the Scottish Owl Centre in West Lothian. Tomsk named after a Womble is the first the centre have bred of this species and he will be a flight display bird. He's "a bit thick" and he may look like a tea cosy -- but he's actually about to become part of a crack flying display team. Baby Ural owl Tomsk, who was saved and hand-reared after his sibling was accidentally killed by his parents, is the latest recruit to the aerial squad at the Scottish Owl Centre in West Lothian. Rod Angus, 53, who runs the centre with wife Niccy, said: "Tomsk is five weeks old, really laid back and quite friendly. "He's less than a foot tall, he looks like a tea cosy and he's a little bit thick but we haven't got a Ural owl in the flying team.
    Newborn Quadruplets Elisha, Caroline, Alexis, Darcy at Rotherham Hospital. The quads are very rare and could be a UK first after they were all born from a single embryo.
    This is the dramatic moment a ship is blown up to demonstrate a powerful new missile. The Norwegian armed forces took a decommissioned frigate out into the sea for a game of target practice. They then fired the new ‘Joint Strike Missile’ at the vessel with pinpoint accuracy, causing a huge explosion and major damage to the vessel. Credit: Peder Torp Mathisen / Norwegian Armed Forces.
    The super cute record litter of puppies born to Doberman Gina and Storm.A couple told by a vet their Doberman was expecting six puppies were stunned when their dog gave birth to THIRTEEN - the biggest ever pedigree litter for the breed in Britain. Mark, 57, and Olga, 52, Holtom have owned family pet Gina, two, since she was just a pup and made the decision to breed the pedigree dog in the new year. After meticulous selection they settled on award-winning four-year-old Storm, who came fourth at crufts this year, to father the pups. When Gina fell pregnant vets took a scan at six months and told her owners to expect a litter of half a dozen tiny Doberman - and for three to survive.
    A British explorer is celebrating after leading a team of adventurers to the lowest depth ever recorded by cavers in the Western Hemisphere. Adrenaline junkie Chris Jewell, 31, spent seven weeks navigating the huge Sistema Huautla cave system in Mexico. The group, which was made up of 40 people from around the world, managed to dive, swim, climb and descend through a myriad of pitch black tunnels. They had the gruelling task of navigating eerie, water-filled abysses known as sumps and at one stage swam underwater in darkness for 600 metres in a 28 metre deep river. During these dives, the group had no knowledge of where they were heading. Jason Mallinson, from Huddersfield, reached the incredible depth of 1,545 metres, the deepest anyone has been in the Western Hemisphere and the eighth deepest in history.
    The official wedding picture of Karma and Andrew Madgwick which was photobombed by a tiger at Paognton Zoo. A wedding couple were left with a photo to remember after a tiger 'photo bombed' their official pics. Karma and Andrew Madgwick were taking a break from their reception at Paignton Zoo when the endangered animal was the latest to join the craze, appearing from behind a toughened glass barrier. Photographer Vicki Boulter said: 'It was amazing. We were talking and Karma shook her wedding dress. Within 20 seconds he came over. I think he thought it was dinner. He was gone just as quick but we managed to get the photo.
    Melanie Mills and Pete Conway, father of Robbie Williams, walk to the church on the Compton Bassett Manor estate where they are due to marry, May 1 2013. Newspaper reports have suggested that Robbie will sing at his father's wedding which he is also hosting at his spacious Wiltshire house.
    Orphaned Dartmoor Hill Pony Breeze who snuggles up with a teddy bear at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary in Newton Abbot, Devon. An orphaned foal skips for joy as he's finally well enough to take his first trot - after being nursed back to health with the help of a GIANT TEDDY. One-month-old hill pony Breeze was found abandoned on Dartmoor National Park just a few hours after his birth. Unable to find his mother, the tiny foundling was stumbling hopelessly around the hillside, desperately dehydrated and trying to suckle other mares. Rescuers from a local equine sanctuary nursed him back to health but he was missing one vital thing - a mum to cuddle and snuggle up to.
    Druids carry out a sunset ceremony at Stonehenge as thousands of people flock to the prehistoric monument to celebrate summer solstice. Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. 20 June 2013. Thousands of people including pagans and druids flocked to spend the night at sites like Stonehenge and Avebury in Wiltshire in order to watch the sun rise on the longest day of the year.
    Jenny Twiss, 31, Genna Mann, 27, and Sophie Twiss (back middle), 25, run to the entrance at the start of Glastonbury Festival. Pilton, Somerset. 26 June 2013. After a year off the 2013 festival of performing arts will see headline sets by the Rolling Stones and Mumford and Sons
    The millionaire boy racers are back and they’re already behaving badly after this outrageous GBP350,000 Lamborghini was impounded. Wealthy playboys from the Middle-East descend on London every summer in their supercars. And the Arab owner of this purple Lamborghini Aventador, understood to be a member of Qatar’s ruling Al-Thani family, has fallen foul of the law. The 24-year-old, who only arrived in the country on Tuesday, was pulled over by officers on Wednesday evening on Brompton Street in Knightsbridge for not having a front registration plate. When officers spoke to him at the road, they found he couldn’t prove he had a driving license or insurance and the car was impounded.
    The biggest crowd in the history of the Glastonbury Festival gather to watch Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones perform the Pyramid Stage, Worthy Farm, June 29 2013. Over 50 years since the band formed they took to the main stage for the first time.
    The incredible velvet covered Ferrari spotted in central London Passersby in a posh part of London were stunned when they saw a 205mph Ferrari which had been wrapped in - VELVET. The 'Furrari' 599 was spotted parked on a posh London street with its unique bodywork of black velvet. Cheekily, the left-hand drive car has a personalised number-plate on the back, but nothing on the front. The £150,000 motor, seen parked on single yellow lines in upmarket Sloane Street, has been customised with a layer of velvet-type material covering all the bodywork - at a cost estimated to be in the region of £5000.
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