IBR outbreak: compensation plan agreed
David Archer of Brookfield says he is ‘very satisfied’ with the compensation deal he has struck with neighbouring farmers after an outbreak of IBR (infectious bovine rhinotracheitis) spread from his land.
‘It has been very difficult, because the incident caused a serious rift in the family, but that’s all over now,’ said Mr Archer.
‘My wife Ruth and I have accepted responsibility and will be paying out full compensation to Bridge Farm and Home Farm, plus any associated costs, both foreseen and unforeseen, now and in perpetuity, no questions asked.’
Mr Archer added that his neighbours had been ‘very generous, considering’, in return. ‘Brian Aldridge has said we can borrow a spanner to fix our tractor any time we like, and we will still be invited to their Christmas buffet, as long as we wait for food until everyone else has been served,’ he said.
‘And Bridge Farm will be stocking our beef again – displaying it prominently behind the gluten-free baby rusks, so that’s great. It’s more than we deserve, really.’
The explosive Bridge Farm blog, which accused the Brookfield Archers of careless bio-security, has also been taken down. ‘Now that we have reached agreement with David and Ruth, it was the least we could do,’ said Pat Archer. ‘No, I wouldn’t agree they have written us a blank cheque. It’s much better than that. Ha ha ha ha ha.’
Fly-grazed ponies may have a future
A group of ponies found abandoned in Ambridge this week may be saved, after an entrepreneur said he could see they had ‘potential’ for his new business.
The ponies, which were underfed, neglected and carrying injuries, were found by Mrs Lynda Snell in her paddock at Ambridge View early on Tuesday morning. ‘How can anyone be so cruel?’ she said. ‘They just dumped the ponies in with my poor llamas, without giving them any form of warning or counselling. Llamas are quite sensitive, you know. They will be off their hay-and-vitamin-E smoothies for days now.’
Under fly-grazing law, the owners have four days to claim the ponies back but charities say this very rarely happens. However, racing magnate Matt Crawford (are you sure? Ed) has expressed an interest in acquiring the group for a bloodstock operation he is setting up in Costa Rica.
‘So they’re old and knackered, and one of them’s nearly dead with a leg hanging off,’ he said. ‘To be honest, I’ve seen worse than that in a selling plate at Felpersham. If I can get them fit at the right price, they could be ideal for the new race course I’m building. Fantastic location, beautiful grounds – here, just look at the brochure!’ (pictured, left).
Mr Crawford is currently staying at Grey Gables, where he is negotiating with stud farms on behalf of American investors.
‘My clients are all tax-exile millionaires, and I reckon they’ll be delighted if I can acquire some horse flesh at a bargain price,’ he said. ‘To be honest, they’re not really interested in livestock, unless it’s between two burger buns. But of course if the ponies don’t work out for racing, that can be arranged, know what I mean?’
Gin competition: vote for your winner!
Thanks to everyone who entered our fun competition, sponsored by Kenton Archer and Toby Fairbrother to celebrate the launch of their new joint venture, Scruff Gin. Named after a well-loved Ambridge pet, Scruff Gin is a high-quality, artisan gin with a unique mix of Borsetshire botanicals.
We asked you to come up with a marketing slogan for the new brand, for the chance to win a case of Scruff Gin and a VIP tasting session with Kenton, Toby and the editor of the Ambridge Observer. (oh no. Do I have to? Ed)
The judges have come up with a shortlist, and now it’s over to you to cast your vote! Email Ed@AmOb.com. The winner will be selected at random, much like the new brand’s business plan.
A Scruff Gin: it’s the dog’s b*l*o*ks!
B You’ll sit up and beg for Scruff Gin!
C You’ll never feel rough after a night on the Scruff!
D It’s a dog’s life without a glass of Scruff
E Don’t be moronic: order a Scruff and tonic
F It’s no dog’s dinner: Scruff Gin’s a winner
G Scruff: the gin that makes you howl at the moon!
H Mouth feel like a dog died in it? That’s the Scruff effect!
(That shortlist is long enough. Ed)
Debutante Lily makes her mark
Lily Pargetter proved to be the unexpected star of the Ambridge team that lost the opening match of the season against Loxley Barrett on Sunday.
Despite being hit on the elbow by a bouncer, tail-ender Lily scored a creditable two runs on her debut – double the score of veteran Will Grundy, who managed only a single, against last season’s run of form.
‘I never agreed with having women on the team, especially a slip of a thing like Lily Pargetter,’ he said. ‘I didn’t miss the ball, I just didn’t dare hit it in case it injured the girl. You know what women are like.’
Captain Harrison Burns said he was pleased with the team despite not getting the season off to a winning start. ‘With a decent innings from Rex Fairbrother and Adam Macy, we did get our score up into double figures,’ he said. ‘I’m confident that if we practise hard at nets every week, we’ll be able to notch up a century – between us.’
From the message boards
This week we drop in on the ‘Ambridge Women in Business’ forum to see what’s got the online community talking…
• Hey ladies, I love my job but sometimes the clients are gross! The other day, this creep tried to put his hand on my knee and when I emailed my boss about it (by mistake; I meant to email my mate) he just lectured me about email security! What would you do? Alice.
• Come on Alice, aren’t you married to a hunky farrier? Show your creepy clients a picture of him wielding a big hammer and tell them he gets insanely jealous. Should sort them out! Helen.
• Yes, and at least your husband supports you, Alice. Cooking you dinner, making you a packed lunch! Toby can’t even make me a coffee even though I’ve given him all my money and my mum hates me and everything is terrible. It’s SO UNFAIR! Pip.
• Ed’s being more supportive about my night shifts in the chicken factory now. Not Will, though. Tried to tell me I was neglecting George! Cheek of it! Nic and I had to sort it out between us. As she said, that’s men for you! Emma.
• Ah, but when you’ve been around as long as I have, you’ll realise men can be marvellous too, darling. Look at me and Justin. I’m back in my home, with the man I love, and a blank cheque to redecorate. And I’m sure Justin will be able to sort out his teensy little problem with the divorce. I mean, how many millions can one woman need? Lilian.
• But you’re all so lucky compared to me. I’ve made such a mess of everything and no matter how many times I say sorry my mum tells me it’s no good and it’s all SO UNFAIR! Pip.
• Shut up Pip! Everyone.