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Paper Monitor

11:30 UK time, Friday, 30 March 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Getting old was once associated with putting your feet up, lighting a pipe and handing out Werther's Originals.

But today's papers suggest that age is being respun. The Daily Telegraph - using the headline "A wheelchair to negotiate the long and winding road?" - reports how Beatles fans are now being targeted for mobility aids.

The page three story is based on a European Court of Justice case in which a Dutch wheelchair company was fighting for the right to use the word "Beatle" for one of its models.

The company lost in court but it doesn't stop the Telegraph from indulging in a bit of grumpy old men-style nostalgia about the 60s generation fading away.

"Beatles' fans, once a byword for love, freedom and youthful abandon, are now in the market for wheelchairs, according to the European judges," the story reads.

Notice how Europe is now not only telling us what shaped bananas we can eat, but questioning the sprightliness of Beatles' fans.

On the same page, the paper features Prince Philip's banter with someone on a motorised buggy. It relates how on a tour of east London the Prince asked a 60-year-old mobility scooter-user: "How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?"

The Daily Mail has a different take on the elderly. Far from being in a wheelchair or motorised scooter, they should be out building dens, climbing trees and taking bark rubbings.

It cites National Trust research suggesting that fewer than 10% of children play in wild places and argues that the area in which they roam around has declined by 90%.

In contrast their grandparents spent half of their time outdoors. The over 65s are said to spend more time with children than parents do so are well placed to drive through change, says the charity.

That's if they can manoeuvre their Beatle mobility scooter through the woods.

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