Champion Rob despatches rivals to the boundary
The Ambridge annual Single Wicket Trophy was won in breathtaking style by Rob ‘Mighty Gladiator’ Titchener, who defeated Ambridge First XI stalwart Adam Macy and thrusting newcomer Toby Fairbrother on his route to glory.
Rob, the most popular man in Ambridge, was carried shoulder-high from the field by cheering villagers (are you sure? I thought no one could stand him. Ed), his lovely fiancée Helen Archer looking on proudly from behind a pile of washing-up.
But this was only the start of an excellent week for Rob. Stefan the milker, the sole witness to Culvertgate, found he suddenly had to return home after his grandmother broke her leg – and was so traumatised it seemed he could be contacted only by Rob.
‘If someone tried to save Borchester Land property at the expense of someone else’s, that would be probably illegal as well as completely immoral,’ warned a frustrated and grumpy Charlie.
‘La la la, fingers in ears, can’t hear you!’ replied Rob, who was off home to save even more of his bacon by getting Helen to give a talk at the Open Day on Berrow Farm’s thrilling new array of solar panels. ‘But everyone knows me as part of an organic family business!’ protested Helen, reasonably.
‘But you’re part of my family business now darling,’ replied Rob…. As indeed she is, up to her neck. Rather like Charlie in the culvert that Rob absolutely did not block and now there is no one to prove he did. Lucky Rob!
Fun and games promised for Open Farm Sunday
Local farmers are throwing open their gates with more gusto than ever this year as they prepare to welcome visitors on Open Farm Sunday. Here’s a taste of the exciting events on offer:
• Five farm trail walks
• Educational talk by Helen Archer on Berrow Farm’s new solar array
• Get up close and personal with Adam Macy’s huge machine (arranged by C Thomas)
• Fabulous prizes: win a 4x4 driving day, family point-to-point tickets, tractor driving day
• Farmers’ market featuring Home Farm’s famous strawberries
• Tom Archer’s legendary hog roast
• No appearance at all by Stefan (for family reasons, arranged by Rob Titchener)
• Absolutely no dead calves
• Teas and a few cakes, some of them home-made
• We would have had a hog roast, but Berrow Farm got there first
• Acorn farm trail, if we can find an acorn. But we’re really pushed because the kids have got exams and Eddie’s working in Borchester
• Erm, that’s it. But we’ve been here much longer than Berrow Farm, so we deserve your loyalty, even though we were going to move!
Ambridge flood claims yet more victims
Ambridge’s crack Rural Crime Unit (PC Harrison Burns) has warned against a spate of ruthless burglaries targeting homes left empty by the flood. ‘There’s been a few of them in Grange Spinney,’ he told Jolene Archer, landlady of The Bull (surely, a high-profile press conference? Ed).
Mrs Christine Barford of Woodbine Cottage was devastated to find the heartless thieves had even taken her grandmother’s wedding ring and her late husband’s walking stick.
‘Unfortunately, I was too busy organising barbecues and having lunch with my ex-lover to pop round and check Aunty Chris’s house was OK,’ said her niece Shula Hebden-Lloyd. ‘It’s such a shame. Look at all this post piled up in the hall.’
And there was fresh heartache for Lynda Snell, late of Ambridge Hall, whose hopes of finding her beloved dog Scruff were raised by a call from a rescue centre halfway across Borsetshire. Off she went with Lilian for moral support, taking Scruff’s lead, spare collar, vaccination certificates, squeaky toy (which did nothing for Lilian’s hangover) and treats. But it was not to be; the dog was not Scruff. ‘I’m grateful to you for keeping my spirits up,’ Lynda sniffed, waving away Lilian’s hipflask. ‘But Scruff has gone, and I have to accept he’s never coming back.’
What a long, sad shadow the flood continues to cast over the lives of so many in our community!
High jinks at the Young Farmers social?
The new generation of British agriculture will be out in force at Borsetshire Young Farmers’ next exciting social event, a Treasure Hunt (God help us, Ed).
‘Don’t make the clues too hard; the Young Farmers don’t read books and stuff,’ Phoebe warned Josh, who was trying to think of something to rhyme with ‘duck’.
It looks like an opportunity for Ambridge’s young singles to mingle. Pip is desperate for a Fairbrother brother, preferably Toby, to partner up with her. But Toby may have his eyes on Kate (who’s not so young, and technically, not single) having been taken by her googlies at the Single Wicket. ‘I like a challenge; she looks like she’d be fun to take on,’ he said, much to Jolene’s disappointment.
Kate is certainly up for an adventure, as course work is upsetting her yin-yang balance and Phoebe, although she’s thawed slightly towards her mother, is proving to be a frustratingly sensible teen, working hard for her exams. ‘You should never use food as a reward,’ Kate said in despair. ‘Chocolate is self-indulgent and inward-looking. A night out clubbing is all about physical activity and socialising with people!’
But with Phoebe unable to partner her mum in the treasure hunt (because she knows all the answers), will Kate end up helping Toby find a rhyme for ‘duck’? And if so, will Pip push her in the pool at the after-party? Go Kate!
Kenton’s big screen: one step closer to bankruptcy?
While Ed and Will Grundy are getting on famously (for now, at least) time is not proving to be a healer in the rift between Kenton and David Archer.
With the FA Cup Final coming up, Kenton was organising a big event at The Bull, featuring a quiz, club colours and bunting (oh no, not bunting. Still missing). But thanks to Neville Booth trying to insert one of his dodgy videos, the big screen TV in the Flood Bar went bust.
Shula’s bright idea was for the family to club together and buy Kenton and Jolene a new one. But when Kenton learned of the surprise, he took the opportunity to tear into his little brother. ‘Where do you get off on all this do-gooding stuff? Why can’t you butt out of my life? Why do you keep treating me like a child? Where did my dummy go when I spat it out? I want MY POTTY!’
David, who was trying to bale hay and stop his mum from overhearing their row, gave in and got Josh to post the TV they’d ordered back to Amazon.
But Kenton wasn’t finished; he bought a 50-inch TV on credit he doesn’t have, and plans to go ahead with his event regardless. ‘You’ll see, you won’t regret it. By the end of the FA Cup Final the TV will be half-paid for already!’ he promised Jolene, who was quietly sending her last pair of hoop earrings off to GoldIsUs….