Sunday, 23 August 2015

Rob departs, David breaks his mum’s heart and the village hall falls apart: a momentous week in Ambridge

Ambridge Village Hall: have your say!

The Ambridge flood continued to take its toll this week as the iconic Village Hall collapsed, completely burying much-loved local character Joe Grundy in the rubble. (Surely, a near miss with a roof tile? Ed)
As the Brownies have been banned from all public buildings, following an unfortunate incident in their temporary HQ at Penny Hassett, Borchester Town Council is considering a number of applications to take over the Village Hall – and would like to consult readers’ opinions. Vote now for your preferred option:
• David and Ruth Archer would like to turn the building into a care home, initially for Jill, Bert and Heather but eventually for other bewildered elderly, like Brian and Peggy. ‘How different can it be from running a farm? Old people like frozen pizza, don’t they?’ said Ruth.
• Hazel Woolley plans to turn the hall into high-end apartments, linked to her other upmarket development at the village shop by a spectacular glass swimming pool, 50m in the air. ‘It’s just what wealthy, sophisticated incomers are looking for – and there will be cleaning jobs for the little people, like the Grundy woman,’ she said.
Rob Titchener aims to build a high-security breeding unit. ‘Helen’s really not up to having a job, like making cheese and running a shop,’ he said, ‘so I’m going to take over that side of things. And with my experience of intensive dairy farming I’ll make the unit comfortable and efficient, so all she has to worry about is having my babies.’
Kate Madikane sees the Village Hall as the perfect location for her holistic wellbeing retreat. ‘All I have to do is pluck up courage to ask Brian for the money,’ she says. ‘Perhaps I’ll wait until he’s stuffed himself senseless on mum’s bacon and mushroom vol-au-vents, and slip my business plan into his jacket.’

The nation celebrates a little prince’s special day…

Ambridge put out the bunting this week for Mungo Bellamy, known to one and all as ‘Lynda’s little prince’, who returned from his London residence to celebrate his first birthday. Villagers entertained each other with stories of where they were when Mungo was born, and queued for hours to catch a glimpse of the toddler as he arrived at the Dower House with his parents, Leonie and James.
‘Of course, we’re having a very special party,’ said doting grandma Lynda Snell. ‘Mungo is a sensitive and creative child, given to expressing himself forcefully! Just in case he decides to reprise his performance at his sensory class, guests will be issued with monogrammed earplugs.
‘On advice from Mungo’s mother, Robert and I have also covered every surface of the Dower House with plastic sheeting. And we have ensured that the children’s entertainer, Monsieur Le Pape, is booked in for trauma counselling after the party.’

….. while Kenton throws another toddler tantrum

For someone who earns a living in hospitality, Borsetshire’s most miserable landlord really doesn’t like parties. Having refused to attend his own birthday lunch last week, this week it was an invitation to a farewell dinner for Pip at Brookfield that set him off.
‘We can have the meal at any time to suit you,’ Jill assured Jolene, who was nervous about even broaching the subject with her prickly spouse. And sure enough, the village was deafened by the noise of Kenton chucking his toys out of the pram.
Afterwards, he was remorseful, but of course it was all Phil and David’s fault. ‘Dad respected and trusted one of us, but it wasn’t me’, he reflected. Which is why he got together with ‘poor old Kathy – I thought that was all I deserved,’ he confessed, adding graciousness to the list of virtues Jolene loves him for.
Kenton credits Jolene with saving him – but, as he helpfully pointed out, her livelihood and home are in ruins, largely thanks to him. Will she stand by her man, or pack up her rhinestone waistcoats and hit the highway? It remains to be seen…   

Letter to the Editor

Dear Madam,

Following the sudden departure of dairy manager Rob Titchener from Berrow Farm, I’d just like to clear up any misunderstandings that your readers may have about this. As you know, the board of Borchester Land has already stated that Rob leaves us on good terms; the company is grateful to him for steering Berrow Farm through the flood and respects his decision to take on fresh challenges.
As his line manager, I would just like to add:
• There is no truth in the rumour that Rob flounced out because I was about to bring in a consultant to investigate his financial management.
• Rob didn’t make any veiled threats to reveal what he knows about my relationship with Adam Macy. And even if he did, there is absolutely nothing to reveal. Nothing at all.
• Rob is definitely not a manipulative, homophobic, vindictive bully and I am not scared of him, so there.
I wish Rob every success for the future and can confirm there will be no awkwardness when we next turn out for the Ambridge cricket team.  None at all.
Happy to set the record straight!
Yours truly,
Charlie Thomas.

High hopes for new bird at Hollowtree

Rex and Toby Fairbrother, purveyors of celebration poultry, are delighted to announce that they have a very special addition to their flock at Hollowtree Farm.
‘We’re raising a prize goose, and we’re calling her Pip,’ said a proud Toby. ‘She’s going to be a huge asset to this business, though she doesn’t know it. Can you believe, she actually thinks I value her experience, when I really just need the Archer name to sprinkle some farming stardust about when I meet customers?
‘Yes, Pip is shaping up nicely. I just can’t wait to pluck her at Christmas!’
(That’ll do. Ed)

Situation wanted

Experienced and capable grandmother seeks new family. Unexpectedly available after being made redundant from previous position.  Excellent housekeeper, proficient with casseroles, lemon drizzle cakes and Sunday roasts. Skilled with hens, bees and vegetable growing. I only need a small room, and wouldn’t be any trouble. You’ll hardly know I’m there. I can live anywhere. Even though I’ve just been turned out of my family home for my daughter-in-law’s mother who Isn’t Even An ARCHER! No, really, I’m fine.  Apply to: Jill Archer, c/o Brookfield Farm.

Italian without tears

In the first of a new series for the holiday season, Christine Barford has come up with some useful phrases for readers who are heading for ‘La Bella Italia’ this summer:

Zitto Jim.
Shut up Jim.

• No mi condiscendenza
Do not patronise me.

• È noioso vecchio pedante
You boring old pedant.

Non c'è niente di sbagliato con la mia pronuncia.
There is nothing wrong with my pronunciation.

Volete mangiare questo amaretti semi-freddo, o indossarlo?
Would you like to eat this amaretti semi-freddo, or wear it?

• Non me ne frega un lancio su Cosi Fan Tutte!
• I don’t give a toss about Cosi Fan Tutte!

 That’s enough Italian. Ed.


  1. Thank you for making my day, there is so much going on, I'm having trouble keeping up. So many voices sound the same.

  2. Good work Ambridge Observer. Carry on.

  3. Thank you! Will do. It was certainly a busy week: the Observer will have to start publishing supplements at this rate...

  4. OOOh thank you for this- I needn't feel alone in my little Archer rants now!

    1. Ranting? We're not the Daily Mail you know! :-) Feel free though

  5. Thanks for getting it all down! The Omnibus is my Sunday treat - I listen on my mp3 while I'm cleaning the bathroom! I actually felt in a bad mood by the end of the most recent Omnibus - the whole Rob story is winding me up something rotten! 😤

    1. Good to hear! The more dismal the plots, the cheerier the Ambridge Observer gets, mainly :-)

  6. This is great and has cheered up my Monday no end! Will be following your in-depth articles from now on, and keeping a particular eye on those Situations Vacant.

    1. Thank you! I expect the Sit Vac for the new manager at Berrow Farm will go ' must be nothing whatsoever like Rob Titchener'.

  7. The Italian phrases will certainly come in handy next Sunday...

    1. Are you having an Italian dinner party? Don't forget to invite Jim to keep your pronunciation perfect!