A message to all our readers: The Ambridge Observer is taking a break! The reporters need to sharpen their pencils and save up for new notebooks. Our crime editor is going travelling with Freddie Pargetter, our social correspondent will be spending the summer in Adam Macy's polytunnel, and the Editor was hoping for a long weekend in Bruges, but may have to settle for a day trip to Aberystwyth. We will be back on Sunday September 9. Have a lovely summer everyone!
Elliott under pressure to keep promises
Pat Archer has secured an unlikely ally in her campaign to have more affordable houses built at Bridge Farm.
Brian and Jennifer Aldridge have said they will ‘man the barricades’ to ensure that Justin Elliott builds more properties for low-income families on the new development.
News emerged this week that plans for the site have been scaled down, with developer Justin Elliott citing rising building costs.
‘He will not get away with this!’ said Pat Archer, who sold the building land to Mr Elliott to fund an artisan cheese-making centre for her children. ‘I need those affordable houses to salve my conscience – um, I mean, to provide forever homes for lovely little families like Ed and Emma Grundy, bless them.’
‘Pat and I don’t always see eye to eye,’ said Mr Aldridge, ‘but on this one we’re right behind her. Between you and me, Jennifer and I might find ourselves in need of one of these low-income property thingies, if our daughter Kate carries out her threat to make us sell Home Farm to pay for her wretched holistic retreat.
‘Jennifer says she’s sure she’ll be able to downsize, as long as there is room for the wine fridge, her boiling-water tap and all three dinner services. So brave.’
‘Fete worse than death’ for the vet?
Lynda Snell has praised local vet Alistair Lloyd for stepping in as a last-minute attraction for the Ambridge fete.
‘We nearly had a disaster when the Whack-a-Mole that Robert found at Felpersham tip turned out to be riddled with woodworm. So I was delighted when Alistair came forward,’ said Mrs Snell.
‘In ‘Whack-a-Vet, Alistair will stand in a stocks-like arrangement, and customers can choose one of two foam rubber mallets to whack him with. The ‘Anisha’ knocks his veterinary partnership on the head and flounces off to a fancy new job in Newmarket, and the ‘Shula’ knocks the stuffing out of him in the divorce courts.
‘It’s a pound a go, or £3 if you want to whack him with both at once, which Alistair, bless him, says he’s used to by now.
‘It’s wonderfully sporting of Alistair, especially as he’s been sounding a teeny bit grumpy lately,’ said Mrs Snell.
Lawyers celebrate bulge in briefs (are you sure? Ed)
Borsetshire Lawyers Group (BLaG) is planning a luxury trip to Glorious Goodwood later this month to celebrate a recent boom in business.
‘Several local firms have landed big cases lately and we think we deserve to let our hair down,’ said BlaG spokesperson Bill Moore-Offen.
‘Our members are currently handling a tricky family law claim, in which a widower is trying to gain custody of his two step-children from their biological father, and a divorce case that threatens to get messy as the two parties share business premises as well as a home.
‘We’re also expecting to take on a business partnership break-up (for the same client, poor sod). And just this week, we’ve been advising a holistic entrepreneur who wants to claim her rights in a family partnership and is threatening to sue her parents for it!’
‘Obviously, handling all this human misery with tact and discretion is very stressful, but luckily the big bucks we’re making out of it all mean we can afford to unwind in style,’ said Mr Moore-Offen.
‘So it’s chauffeur-driven limos, champagne on tap and five-star accommodation all round for a week. Glorious Goodwood here we come!’
Archers rubbish tip claim
Environmental health officers were diverted from the clean-up at Low Mead this week to investigate a ‘toxic tip’ at Brookfield.
Local residents reported lorry-loads of scrap machinery being dumped in David Archer’s yard (see picture).
Officials traced the source of the tip to Josh Archer, who said he had bought the machinery at a farm dispersal sale in Loxley Barrett and it just needed a ‘lick of paint and squirt of WD40’ to turn it into top-quality kit.
‘I’m planning to sell it on as fast as possible, but our vet, Alistair Lloyd, gave me another idea,’ said Mr Archer. ‘He says the huge pile of twisted, smouldering wreckage reminds him of his life. A bit dark, but I’m sure Borsetshire Open Studios would be interested in it as an installation piece and maybe I can flog it off to a gallery. Much better profit margins.’
New series: Mystic Olwen predicts
She warned that Justin Elliott wouldn’t build enough affordable homes, and ‘cursed’ Helen Archer so she didn’t win a Food & Farming Award. Now Mystic Olwen, everyone’s favourite homeless psychic, gives the Ambridge Observer her top three predictions for July:
• Susan Carter will regret offering money to her children to help them buy properties. Neil may be feeding from the hand of the Great Satan, Justin Elliott, just now, but mark my words, he will snatch it all back. The entire Carter family will end up living in pig arks and eating acorns. That’s the way the system works.
• Lilian Bellamy’s dog Ruby will win the Pets Party Pieces talent competition at the fete. That animal is, literally, a running dog of imperialist capitalism, and they always win. But Peggy Woolley’s Hilda Ogden will come a close second as fat cats always do well too.
• England will win the World Cup. England will not win the World Cup. (Subs, can you tweak this before press, darlings, depending on what happens?)