It’s Archer vs Archer in bitter industrial dispute
Ambridge was reeling with shock this week as one of its leading farmers announced plans to sue her own family for constructive dismissal.
Mrs Ruth Archer of Brookfield claims she has been ‘forced out’ of her role on the farm by husband David, daughter Pip and mother-in-law Jill, since she had to take time off to care for her mother.
‘It started with little things, like not telling me they were spending me mam’s inheritance on cows, and making jokes about getting scurvy from my cooking,’ said Mrs Archer. ‘Then it was Jill and Pip drinking champagne without us, and Jill rearranging the cereal packets. And the mug tree. And inviting Carol to Christmas lunch. And David was patronising to me about the calves.
‘But the last straw was about my special role on the farm. As the only Geordie in Ambridge, it’s my job to say ‘way aye man’ to the cows every day. I’ve had refresher courses up North and everything.
‘Then I found out David had replaced me with a ‘way aye man’ from an agency and was paying £30 a cow! It was completely humiliating.’
Mrs Archer’s solicitor, Usha Franks, said she would be seeking ‘exemplary compensation’ in view of her client’s distress. ‘Mrs Archer is going to New Zealand with the Felpersham Dairy Discussion Group, and will pursue her case on her return, unless she meets a widower with nice eyes and a family-run beef unit outside Auckland, and decides to stay,’ she said.
Ambridge ladies vote for all to bare
In a daring ultra vires move in his role as chair of the Parish Council, Neil Carter forced a vote among the cast of Calendar Girls requiring actor-director Lynda Snell to join them in a nude photo shoot.
‘We’re all in this together, ‘said Mr Carter. ‘Well, not me obviously – although I must say there’s been a bit more chilli on the menu at home lately. Acting makes Susan quite frisky! But all the ladies agreed with me that Lynda should take part, especially as her own husband is taking the photos.’
Mrs Snell said she was ‘happy’ to appear in the calendar, which will be shot at various Ambridge locations this week. ‘It’s all about the bonding process with one’s actors,’ she said. ‘Robert is looking forward to it too; he’s been polishing his massive new lens all week. I just hope he’s more successful than the ‘Life study’ photography club he used to go to in Borchester, where the pictures were never good enough to show me, for some reason.’
Meanwhile, Ambridge’s bakers are being called upon to cook up giant cakes and pastries for the production’s props department. ‘We need big buns, monster muffins and colossal cream horns to preserve our ladies’ modesty,’ said Mrs Snell.
Braking-distance boffin shines in test
A local 17-year-old who hopes to go to Oxford University has scored the highest ever marks in the driving theory test. ‘We were surprised when the candidate ignored our multiple choice questions and wrote essays,’ said Melvyn Crossley of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. ‘But to be honest it was quite refreshing. I’d never thought about the impact of the Chinese rare minerals industry on roundabout etiquette before.’
The high-IQ highways boffin was revealed as Phoebe Aldridge of Home Farm, who said she was too busy revising to comment.
The Bull is ready to charge this Christmas
After weeks of renovations the new-look Bull will officially re-open on December 4, to coincide with the grand Ambridge Christmas lights switch-on. And in a novel twist, customers will be cooking their own festive meals as hosts Kenton and Jolene Archer haven’t yet recruited a chef. ‘We were too busy sorting out where Freda’s memorial rose will go in the garden,’ said Mr Archer. ‘But customers understand and are rallying round.
‘For instance, Ian will be cooking the wedding breakfast when he and Adam celebrate here on December 14. Adam was lovely about it. "It will be great food, and gives me time to have a bash at ‘It should have been me’ with Charlie Thomas on the karaoke", he told me.’
Other festive events planned for The Bull include:
• Christmas quiz
• Christmas disco
• Christmas party
• Christmas carol-oke (one for the churchgoers!)
• Christmas stockings night (one for the gentlemen!)
• Christmas tree festival (one for the tree surgeons!)
• Christmas Carol Tregorran
(That’s enough Christmas events. Ed).
Local family relives violent farm tragedy
Pat Archer of Bridge Farm has described how she feared a repeat of the horrific accident to her husband Tony that happened a year ago this week.
‘It was bad enough when Tony took on Otto, our new and temperamental bull, which nearly killed him,’ she said. ‘But when I saw him arguing with Rob Titchener about café tables my heart was in my mouth. I was so worried Rob would be upset! He hates having his retail design skills challenged. And when Rob said Tony’s rustic tables sent out a message of ‘organic mumbo-jumbo’ I cheered!’
‘But luckily, they both backed off, the tables look lovely, and we were able to focus on looking after Helen. She had a car accident, poor love, and Rob and I agreed she shouldn’t be driving at all. Not since pregnancy removed her brain. Rob always knows the right thing to do.’ (Subs: can you check these quotes are right? Doesn’t sound like the real Pat Archer at all Ed.)
Fairbrothers plan a perfect match
Young guns Toby and Rex Fairbrother claim they will ‘shake up dull old Ambridge farming’ with a novel sports and business promotion event.
‘It’s, like, a no brainer,’ says Toby. ‘We’ve got geese, and now Pip’s swung it for us to have some cows with Adam as well. So, with all my contacts, what better than to put on a rugby match – geese versus cows? We’re calling it ‘Feathers will Fly.’ It’ll be hilarious! Of course, the geese are likely to come off worst, but that’ll save us some processing costs – and spectators can take their own Christmas roast home with them!’
Old timer finds a new home for Christmas
Villagers were thrilled and relieved this week to learn that an old, homeless resident will soon be making a fresh start. ‘Yes, I can confirm that my old kitchen units will be used in the refurbished village hall,’ said Jennifer Aldridge. ‘To be honest, I still think they are a bit too good for charity. I bet Susan Carter will kick herself for not taking them, every time she's on WI tea duty. But that’s her problem.’