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Is it really illegal to jump the line at the Tube ticket hall? 11 weird laws you might want to be aware of

You might not be the law abiding citizen you thought you were

Be careful of a life behind bars...(Image: Andy Stenning / Daily Mirror)

Britain is a fascinating country and one reason behind that is our unwritten constitution.

That means today's modern laws have been layered over all the laws from centuries ago, dating back to the Magna Carta.

Some pretty archaic and outdated laws have slipped through the net though as you may know if you've flown a kite in an annoying manner or if you've tried to ride a London bus with the plague.

Here are some questionable laws you might want to stay on the right side of, just in case!

Beware fancy dress

The Seamen’s and Soldiers’ False Characters Act 1906 makes it illegal to pass yourself off as a member of the armed forces.

That means, come Halloween you need to leave the combat fatigues or admiral outfit and home and get a less lazy costume.

It's called a Public House for a reason

You might think you're well within your rights to get drunk at the pub, it's probably the reason many of us go, but it could give you a nastier bill than you imagined.

Under Section 12 of the Licensing Act 1872 "every person found drunk in any highway or other public place, whether a building or not, or on any licensed premises". It could mean a £200 fine for over-indulging at your local.

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage with a pint of beer while on the general election campaign trail(Image: PA)

Not the horse loophole

If you do find yourself a little too intoxicated to drive and you need to get home, a horse or cow is not the way around the law.

Being "in charge" of a horse or cow while drunk is illegal thanks to an 1872 statute.

(Image: Coach & Horses)

Speaking of animals

Don't keep a pigsty in front of your house.

It may be a tempting thought or even a novel way to recycle your kitchen waste, even, but a pigsty at the front of your house could land you in it, unless properly hidden, according to an 1847 law that's still in place today.

Suspicious salmon handling

One of the more modern laws on the list is from the 1986 Salmon Act.

The law makes it illegal to handle salmon in a suspicious manner.

Don't be alarmed

You've definitely been breaking this law if you've not given a neighbour, friend or family member a spare key and then set the alarm on your home.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 makes it an offence to activate your burglar alarm and leave the house if you have not nominated a "key-holder" who can access your house to switch off the alarm if it goes off.

If your maxim is 'trust no-one' this could be tricky.

Take back control

Long before Brexit, the UK did manage to stop the influx of Polish potatoes from coming into the UK.

Don't bring back any potatoes from a trip to Poland

 

That was because ring rot had been discovered at farms in Poland and potato farmers here were worried it could spread.

The Polish Potatoes Order 2004 makes it illegal to "import into England, potatoes which he knows to be or has reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes"

They're walking all over us now

Do NOT beat you doormat in the street after 8am. Section 60 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 makes it an offence.

What's worse is the £500 fine you could get for beating your carpet in the street, no matter what time of day. Makes more sense just to buy a vacuum cleaner right?

WRONG!

Vacuum cleaners are fine if you're organised but be careful.

Leave your vacuuming to the end of the day and you could fall foul of a noise nuisance law that says you cannot vacuum between 11pm and 7am.

Night owls and early birds beware.

Keep your joyfulness to yourselves please

We're a modest, reserved nation and childish excitement at flying a kite is not welcome.

Flying a kite, or indeed playing any game in annoyance of the inhabitants of any street, is proscribed by the 1839 Metropolitan Act and the fine is a hefty £500.

How low can you stoop

Yes, Londoners are often in a rush but that's no reason to forget your manners.

It is in fact illegal to jump the queue at a Tube station ticket hall but, of course, there are very few if any left as tube station tills have been closed in favour of machines.

It is unclear if the law still applies but the laws of nature most certainly do, so single file it is.

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