Sunday, 25 October 2015

Rob takes over, Adam saves the day and it’s bad news at Berrow Farm… a shocking week in Ambridge

Dangerous epidemic hits Ambridge

Contaminated apple juice from Eddie Grundy’s cider press has been blamed for an outbreak of Titchener Superiosus that swept through Ambridge this week. ‘It can lie dormant for months, then suddenly flare up and cause mass delusions about a situation or individual,’ explained local vet Alistair Lloyd.
‘For instance, the whole village seems to believe that the outbreak of botulism at Berrow Farm was caused by Rob Titchener’s departure,’ said Mr Lloyd. ‘There is no reason for this, apart from Titchener telling everyone that he tried to warn them and begged for help to stop cutting corners and improve bio-security.
‘But when you hear people saying: “Rob did his best but is better off out of it; we don’t know how he stuck it for so long” you see how bad it can get.’
‘In the most severe cases, someone struck down by Titchener Superiosus might allow Titchener to assume legal responsibility for their child, take over their farm shop business and convince them they are mentally unstable – and all the time, the victim insists they are happy and grateful. It’s devastating. The sooner we can eradicate it in Ambridge, the better.’
• Have you been affected by Titchener Superiosus? If you feel the urge to start a petition to close Berrow Farm, or secretly admire Titchener’s project management skills, please call our Helpline to talk to a trained counsellor.

Local policing under scrutiny

The Borsetshire Rural Crime Unit (PC Harrison Burns) defended his policing priorities this week following an emergency meeting of Farmwatch, at which locals accused him of being ‘no Dick Barton’.
‘It’s quite wrong to say that we take the disappearance of an angora goat in Penny Hassett more seriously than the widespread poaching of game and theft of a bullock herd in Ambridge,’ said PC Burns.
‘But it is our duty to protect the whole community and this week I will be focusing on the safety of young women in rural areas. I will be escorting Ms Fallon Rogers to the outdoor screening of The Shining at Arkwright Hall, to ensure she is not out in the dark by herself. Then we’ll return to Woodbine Cottage for some ‘apple bobby-ing’, if you catch my drift gentlemen! We’ve christened every room in our new home now…’ That’s enough policing. Ed.  

Autumn Fiction Special: The Trials of Charlie Thomas

 In chapter 3 of our serial by award-winning romantic novelist Lavinia Catwater, our hero glimpses hope in the depths of despair:

Charlie Thomas looked at the scene of devastation around him in the barn. Everywhere, cows were falling over, writhing on the ground, groaning or gasping for breath. His staff and the vet team were doing what they could for the poor beasts, which was pathetically little.  Outside, another fallen-stock lorry was pulling into the yard.
Oh God, how had it come to this? A few short days ago, his only problem was wondering how to tell the kindly but ancient Mike Tucker that he wasn’t up to a milking job. And now he was in Hell! His pocket throbbed as the pager, with its direct line, to Justin Elliott went off again. 
He shut it off and was about to throw it across the barn when a hand stayed his arm. ‘Brian! I didn’t see you!’ he said, attempting a smile. Brian was Adam’s step-father. Was he perhaps bringing a message?
‘I had to come and see you Charlie,’ said Brian gently. ‘Naturally I’m deeply concerned about the welfare of my shares in Borchester Land – I mean, these poor creatures, of course. But my God man, what’s going on here?’
‘I can see how it looks, Brian; we don’t know what’s causing it. But I’m on top of it!’ Charlie protested, aware of how feeble his voice sounded.
‘As far as I can see you’re not on top of anything! Wait till the board hears about this!’ Brian barked, turning on his heel as another stricken milker fell at Charlie’s feet…


Two days later, food and sleep were distant memories for Charlie. The vets suspected botulism, but until it was confirmed, he didn’t know how to treat the sick cattle. And they were rapidly running out of feed. His eye fell on the banana he’d meant to eat earlier, and he thought of Adam. Strong, capable Adam. He’d know what to do… Despairing, he sank to his knees in the muddy yard and turned his face up into the falling rain. ‘Oh God, help me!’ he mouthed silently. Then all at once he heard that dear, familiar voice call his name. ‘Charlie – get up! You’re shaking!’ It was a miracle. Here was Adam, putting his arm round him, helping him into his office, making him tea. ‘Oh Adam, you’ve no idea how much I’ve missed you – I mean, missed your valuable farming input and experience,’ he sobbed. ‘I’ve felt so alone!’  ‘It’s OK Charlie. I’ve brought you some silage. Enough to last for a day or two. Everyone’s rallied round,’ said Adam. Silage! More  precious than diamonds, because Adam brought it. Perhaps they could get through this together, somehow…


By Friday evening, Charlie had made the grim discovery that at last, promised to bring his nightmare to an end. Stopping only to change his filthy clothes and spritz on some ‘Eau de Herbal Ley,’ he made his way to Ambridge to share the news with Adam, as he’d promised. But he was only halfway across the green when Lynda Snell hove into view, brandishing a clipboard. ‘Thank goodness there aren’t any parts for men in Calendar Girls, Charlie Thomas, because no one wants to see you on stage, and here’s the proof!’ she screeched, sticking a petition with many signatures under his nose. ‘We need to shut down Berrow Farm right now!’
Suddenly, all the rage and frustration that had built up in Charlie in recent days exploded. ‘Someone should shut you down, you ignorant, pious old…’
‘What the …!’ Yet again, Adam had materialised as if in answer to his prayers.  Charlie, stop! He’s been under a lot of stress, Lynda.’
Gently, he led Charlie away and smiled that devastating smile. ‘Come on. Come to Fallon and Harrison’s party, and then back to the cottage. You can stay over if you like. Ian’s working…’
Charlie could hardly believe his ears. Could he really be stepping from his worst nightmare into a dream date? He pinched himself to check he wasn’t dreaming. Then he remembered. ‘Adam, about this dead dog we found in the silage….’ he said. To be continued…

NEW SERIES: Ambridge Marketing Forum

Local businesses need to keep reinventing themselves to stay on top in these competitive times.  Some of Ambridge’s leading marketeers share their top tips:

Helen Titchener: ‘In food marketing, the question is: which do consumers value more – organic or local produce? Obviously, value is important, but if your products are traceable, with high welfare standards and no food miles, that can command a premium too… oh, sorry. Rob says I’m rambling again.’
Toby Fairbrother: ‘Hey guys – remember you are your own brand! For instance, suppose you’ve spent a fortnight on an Argentinian dude ranch, and your father once owned some cows. With just a few tweaks to your CV, you’re a fully-qualified beef farmer. Result!’
Pip Archer: ‘As a new graduate, you’ll be full of bright marketing ideas – not that silly Hassle the Lamb thing you did years ago. Make sure you keep notes with the silver fountain pen Granny Heather gave you from beyond the grave. Oh, and find a mentor. Toby Fairbrother puts fire in my belly! Do you know him?’
Eddie Grundy: ‘Get a website! Grundy’s Turkie’s is online – and I don’t mean Clarrie’s washing line! Our Emma’s done a great job with pictures of the kiddies and you can read the whole history of the Grundie’s, from Caleb the RaddleMan to today’s multi-million pound, award-winning poultry empire. (Yes, OK. Leave it to Advertising Standards. Ed).

Letter to The Editor 

Dear Madam,

After our disastrous trip to Ambridge back in spring, my wife Wilma and I swore we’d never be back. But then the folks at Grey Gables sent us an invite for a free stay (from a smart young guy, Roy Tucker). So we thought we’d give it another whirl and Wilma called up to make reservations for late fall. Man, you guys need to know that either she had a crossed line, or Grey Gables ain’t the place you think it is. All Wilma asked about was a double room, but this grand-sounding dame seemed to be selling some kind of swingers’ party! ‘Yes, you will need to take your clothes off,’ she said. ‘But there’s plenty of furniture and bowls of fruit. No one will see your private areas – although people will love to see you expand your repertoire! And of course we’ll do all we can to make you comfortable. Complete discretion is assured.’
I don’t know what the hell was going on – Wilma called 911 and was taken off to the Oprah Winfrey Rehab Centre in Charleston before she could tell me the whole story.
But you guys need to know that your sleepy little old country house hotel is nothing less than Sodom and Gomorrah and you won’t never see a Cornstalk there again.
Wilbur M. Cornstalk, West Virginia, USA.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Helen calls the midwife, Ed calls the cops and Charlie calls the vet: a dramatic week in Ambridge

Spooky tales turn off the tourists

Hallowe’en plans at Lower Loxley were in disarray this week as owner Elizabeth Pargetter was forced to cancel a series of ‘Ghost Walks’ led by veteran local farmer Joe Grundy.‘All I asked was for Joe to dress up in a bedsheet with some chains and talcum powder make-up, and tell a few yarns about the Headless Maid of Madeley Cross and the Beast of Borchester Down,’ said Mrs Pargetter. ‘But he terrified children and adults alike with wild stories of anthrax poisoning, burning piles of corpses and Ed Grundy’s zombie herd of rustled bullocks, spreading death and disease through the county.‘We’ve already had DEFRA vets and Environmental Health officers on site, and the software engineers’ conference for next week has cancelled. It’s a disaster.’
Mr Grundy said he apologised if anyone was distressed by his talks.
‘But it’s all true enough,’ he protested.  ‘There was a dozen cattle down at Berrow Farm; Mike Tucker seen ’em. You mark my words, this affliction that’s hit them beasts is a judgment on that Charlie Thomas and his unnatural practices. It’ll be a plague of locusts and frogs by Christmas or I’ll eat Bartleby’s bridle.’


Cops get tough on Ambridge crime wave

Borsetshire’s Rural Crime Unit (PC Harrison Burns) called a special press conference this week to draw attention to the spate of crime affecting local businesses.
‘We are of course aware of the poachers targeting the Borchester Land estate, and the recent theft of a herd of bullocks owned by Mr Ed Grundy,’ he said. ‘Our enquiries are ongoing. It was a shame the only witness, Kenton Archer, didn't actually see anything. But on Sunday I had a very good burger from the kebab van on the bypass that I’m sure had a piece of eartag in it. So we have a strong lead there.
‘But my focus this week is on crimes against retail design. My partner Fallon had come up with some lovely plans for her new café at Bridge Farm; it features mismatched furniture and china, fabric screens to create a series of cosy spaces, and a vintage kitchen. Delightful. But project manager Rob Titchener says it’s "a junk shop with added Earl Grey" and told her it’s got to be all clean lines and "branding".
She was so upset. One more step out of line from him, and I’ll be arresting him for harassment. Any questions?’

NEW SERIES: Call the Midwife

Inspired by the popular TV series, we ask local midwife Ellie Richards, of Borchester General, to answer readers’ questions:

Q I’m expecting my second baby – my first with my husband, who is a wonderful stepfather to my four-year-old son. Well, father, once he makes me sign the papers. Things are absolutely fine at home. Really, they are. I’m looking forward to the birth. Honestly. And I’m not anxious about anything. Not at all. And as for being abused: good Lord no. I don’t feel threatened or vulnerable in any way. So everything’s going to be fine, isn’t it? (Sorry, I have to end this email now; my husband will be home soon).  Helen T, Ambridge.

A Well Helen, in your situation, there are a couple of issues that might concern me. It’s never easy looking after a small child and a new baby; it’s a lot for a man to take on. But thank you for sending a picture of your husband. I say, he’s a dish, isn’t he? You’ve got nothing to worry about there. I’d have him as my screensaver if I weren’t so professional! So yes, I’d say you were in excellent hands, you lucky girl.
PS Does he have a brother?

Personal announcement

The Archer family of Brookfield would like to thank friends and family for their support and kindness following the loss of Ruth’s mother, Heather Pritchard. Thanks go to people who sent wreaths (even though Heather hated spending money on flowers) and to those who gave to her favourite stroke charity, especially the Grundy family who can’t really afford it. Thanks also to Pip, Heather’s granddaughter, who read beautifully at the service, and to the Craven Heifer, Prudhoe, for laying on a lovely spread. It was a fitting way to celebrate the life of a lady who loved a good laugh, even though her last year was full of pain, misery and loneliness (Ed, please cut this bit. My wife Ruth isn’t herself. Time to move on. David Archer.)

Autumn fiction special: The Trials of Phoebe Aldridge

Award-winning author Lavinia Catwater continues our new romantic saga. In Chapter Two, our teenaged heroine struggles between ambition and true love:

‘Oh, Alex!’ Phoebe sighed as her handsome boyfriend lifted her new T-shirt with its witty ‘Schrödinger's cat is Alive/Dead’ slogan. It was what everyone would be wearing at Oxford University, but Alex only seemed interested in what was under it. ‘I really have to go and finish my personal statement. You know, for applying to Oxford?’
‘But Phoebe, you’re so lovely and normal. What do you want with all those stuck-up overachievers?’ said Alex, nuzzling her neck in the way that always thrilled her. ‘I’d miss you so much – and you wouldn’t want to disappoint me, would you?’
He gave her the sad-puppy look she found irresistible. The thought he might leave her made her go cold with fear. Oh, why was she following this crazy Oxford dream, when Alex was her whole world? ‘Well, maybe a bit longer…’ she smiled, pulling his Top Gear duvet cover over them both…


Back at Home Farm, Phoebe bit moodily into her chicken sandwich. The memory of Alex’s urgent kisses was still warm. She knew she couldn’t live without him – and hadn’t he told her she wasn’t good enough to get into Oxford, anyway? Wouldn’t it be simplest to apply to Felpersham Uni? But then she remembered the words of her father Roy. ‘If Alex doesn’t support you, he’s not the boy for you!’ he had warned, expertly jamming on the handbrake to stop her hitting a tow-truck on her driving  lesson. Oh, why did she have to choose between the people she loved most?
‘Phoebe, Phoebe darling, just the person!’ Her mother Kate burst into the kitchen in a cloud of patchouli scent, shattering her train of thought. ‘How would you like to come and work at my holistic retreat? We could design a job for you – customer service, typing, anything you like! Just put that disgusting sandwich down and talk to me, darling. Sweetheart – where are you going!’
But Phoebe had grabbed her phone and dashed out into the yard. Suddenly, her decision was as clear as one of Kate’s crystals. ‘Hello dad – I’ve put in my application!’ she told a delighted Roy. But even as they laughed together, she couldn’t ignore a nagging fear, deep in her heart. What would Alex say? To be continued….    

Letter to the Editor

Dear Madam,

I am writing to protest about the aggressive marketing tactics of local celebration poultry salesmen, the Fairbrothers and the Grundys. Even though it isn’t yet Hallowe’en I have been bombarded with leaflets and emails selling geese and turkeys. I am not interested in arguments about whose birds are looked after better, or in pictures of the producers’ cute grandchildren. I have no loyalty towards an old-established family supplier, or sympathy towards two young up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
This Christmas I will be going to Aldi in Felpersham for a four-bird roast and some of their delicious Wensleydale and cranberry cheese.

Yours faithfully
Gemma Hawkins (Mrs).

Sunday, 11 October 2015

In the news this week: poachers on the prowl, goose on the menu and Rob riding high

Brave Grundys gang up on poachers

The Ambridge country sports community was shocked to the core this week when gamekeeper Will Grundy and his brother Ed got on well enough to track a gang of deer poachers on the Borchester Land estate.
‘We never thought the truce between Will and Ed would last after Ed’s wedding,’ said a source. ‘And when Will said Ed and Emma couldn’t move back into their cottage because of a smell in the kitchen, we guessed he was up to his old tricks, hiding prawns in the pipes.
'But when Ed spotted the poachers in woodland one night, Will was at his side in a shot – and we don’t mean a shot aimed at his brother.’
‘I couldn’t be prouder of my boys,’ said Eddie Grundy. ‘Even if chasing them poachers meant Will never turned up to help me clean the cider press, like he promised. Still, what’s a few cases of botulism when you’ve got family like mine?’
It’s believed that a gang of three or four poachers, with dogs, guns and lamps, are targeting local shoots for venison and game birds.
Borsetshire’s Rural Crime Unit (PC Harrison Burns) confirmed he was on the case. ‘I will be making a few phone calls as soon as I’ve moved into Woodbine Cottage with Fallon and decided where to keep my weights,’ he said.
‘However, my priority is to track down the thieves who looted Christine Barford’s things after the flood. I need to find out why they didn’t take a picture of a kitten with a ball of wool. Fallon and I are stuck with it now and it’s hideous.’

Ambridge says goodbye to Heather

The congregation of St Stephen’s gathered this week to remember Ruth Archer’s mother Heather Pritchard, who sadly passed away on the M1 southbound recently. With the family’s permission, we reprint Rev Alan Franks’s tribute in full:
‘It’s not often that someone comes along who touches so many lives in Ambridge, but Heidi Richards (oops, sorry, Heather Pritchard) was one of those people. Many of us will remember her cheery ‘Helloo pet’ from the car window as Ruth whisked her back to Prudhoe after an all-too-short visit. And we know Bridge Farm had to stock up on extra Borsetshire Blue whenever Hilary – sorry, Heather – was around! (gentle laughter).
‘Even at the last, the lady known as ‘Granny Whatever’ (sorry, I should say ‘Granny Heather’) was thinking of her family, with a little graduation gift for granddaughter Pip. I’m sure Pip will treasure the samba drum even though she had changed her mind about going to Brazil.
‘And of course, just before she left us, Heather was about to have a major impact on the life of our very own Jill Archer, by moving into Brookfield and forcing Jill to leave the home she loved and hoped to die in (sorry, Jill told me to leave that bit out).
‘But every cloud has a silver lining, and we are very grateful to the Archer family for the donation of a brand-new orthopaedic bed. This will be sold to boost the Refugee Appeal, now that I’ve told Justin Elliott that I would rather see victims  starve than be offended by a flashy, over-the-top contribution from him.’

Christmas show will be double delight

Two of Ambridge’s iconic businesses, Grey Gables and Lower Loxley, will be joining forces this year to present the best Christmas show ever, says local impresario Lynda Snell.
‘There is so much we can share!’ said Mrs Snell. ‘Roy Tucker and I have already raided Lost Property at Grey Gables for props and found a treasure trove of comedy dentures, toupees and a bicycle bell. With his unique knowledge of the local entertainment scene, Roy is tracking down cameo performances from the likes of Blackgrass Death, the farming ‘thresh metal’ band.
‘And I’ve been perusing BAMDRAM’s list of recommended productions for ideas. I’m sure Albee, Beckett and Wesker can help us reach even greater heights with ‘Brothers Goose’. I’m thinking of asking Roy’s daughter Phoebe for some creative input: she’s applying for Oxford University, did you know? Never let it be said that Lynda Snell is trumped by FLOPS!’

Personal announcement

Rob Titchener of Blossom Hill Cottage is delighted to announce the arrival of his baby son at Borchester Hospital, on 20 May 2016. The healthy boy, who will weigh 8lbs exactly, will be named Robert Robertson FitzRob Titchener and will be known as ‘Rob Junior’. Rob Junior will be the image of his father and will grow up to be an outstanding horseman, all-round cricketer and useful rugby forward. Rob Titchener senior and his wife Helen wish to make it clear that Rob Junior will be a proper normal son, unlike his half-brother Henry, whose father is a label on a test tube somewhere, so it was very generous of Rob senior to offer to take complete parental control over him, really.


Make sure your Christmas is a real turkey!

This year’s Grundy Turkeys are fattening up nicely - especially since Joe hung a cabbage up in the barn to stop them pecking each other’s eyes out!
So order a famous Grundy Turkey for your festive table now, and take advantage of these special offers for Christmas 2015:
• Every turkey properly dressed (in a Santa onesie run up by our Emma)
• A free rabbit with every bird! (well rested, so the fleas have jumped off)
• Free Christmas card – unique design made by Florence the Painting Ferret
• Clarrie Grundy’s original chestnut stuffing recipe and food hygiene tips!
• Every bird delivered with proper rural cap-doffing, not like them posh Fairbrother boys with their airs and graces and skinny geese, robbing us of our Grundy birthright by sweeping on the local celebration poultry market like locusts and… (That’ll do Eddie; it’s extra for more words. Ed).

All change at The Bull

Work on the foundations of The Bull is due to start in the next week or so, and then it’s full steam ahead for the refurbishment, landlord Kenton Archer has announced.
Regulars said they were delighted at the prospect. ‘It will be nice to have somewhere warm to do the crossword and chew the fat with my friend Jazzer,’ said ‘Prof’ Jim Lloyd. ‘Non erit semper aestas, after all.’
‘Aye, it’s about time they got rid of that graffiti in the urinals,’ said Jazzer McCreary. ‘Mind you, they can’t fix the toilets quick enough for me. After months of Pat’s chickpea starters and vegetable stews, I shift enough ballast to sink a battleship, if you get my drift. And wind! I have to keep blaming Barry’s exploding crisp packets. It’s not natural.’


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Ruth loses her mum, Rob wins again and Lynda’s show goes on: a life-changing week in Ambridge

Leading local family in motorway tragedy

Police say they are treating as ‘not suspicious’ the death of an Ambridge farmer’s elderly mother at a motorway service station this week.
The body of Mrs Heather Pritchard, a widow, was found in Ruth Archer’s estate car when they stopped at Nottingham Services en route from Prudhoe, Northumberland, to Ambridge.
‘It wouldn’t be the first time that an old lady singing ‘Don’t dilly dally on the way’ for the entire length of the M1 has driven a family member over the edge, so we opened an investigation,’ said DC Jeff Wimbush of Nottinghamshire CID.
‘And the case was complicated by Mrs Ruth Archer, who insisted she had killed  her mother and implicated her whole family in the crime, although they were not present in the car at the time.
‘Mrs Archer said in her statement: “It was David pulled the rug from under me mam by not moving to Hexham, so she didn’t know if she was coming or going, and then the care home finished her off – it was only going to end one way. And now me mother-in-law can’t wait to get into the orthopaedic bed we ordered specially for me mam! We’ll all have to live with the guilt for the rest of our lives!”’
‘However, it was clear from medical reports that Mrs Pritchard had been seriously ill for some months, and died of a stroke at the scene. This was a tragic incident and our thoughts are with her family,’ said DC Wimbush.
The funeral will take place in Prudhoe and the Archer family has asked for privacy, especially from Jill Archer, who keeps turning up with roast chickens and unwanted platitudes.

Pharmacies warn of baby test shortage

Borchester pharmacies have had to order extra supplies of pregnancy tests after a mystery woman customer bought up their entire stocks in the last few days. ‘She kept coming in and buying more tests, asking if they were absolutely reliable,’ said one. ‘It was almost as though she didn’t want to believe the result  she was getting. “Accidents don’t happen to me,” she kept muttering.’
‘It was quite sad, really,’ commented another. ‘She was desperate to know if the test could tell her if she was having a boy or a girl. Of course, it can’t. But that hasn’t helped our stock situation. Borchester ladies who think they might be expecting will have to wait a day or two longer to find out!’

Ambridge cricket hero rues ‘Pyrrhic victory’  

Ambridge carried off the Borsetshire League Village Cricket Trophy last weekend – but not without a controversial incident that ripped the team apart, writes our special correspondent Charlie Thomas.
Tension between Adam Macy, Ambridge’s handsome, Corinthian captain, and cultured slogger Titchener R was already high over young Johnny Phillips’ crude sledging of Darrington’s opening batsmen. ‘Spare us the sermon,’ Titchener was heard to snarl as Adam gently remonstrated with Titchener’s protégé.  
The insult rolling off his broad, muscled shoulders, Adam played a masterly innings and did jolly well until he was run out, which could happen to anyone.
But anger erupted at a key point in the match as Titchener was declared not out by his father-in-law Tony Archer. Adam’s piercing blue eyes told him that Titchener had edged the ball to the keeper, and his keen sense of fair play prompted him to stop the game.
‘Come on Rob, let’s win the honourable way; do the decent thing and walk,’ he said, in a manly and inspiring manner.
But Titchener stood his ground, sneering: ‘Why not stick to growing wild flowers and leave the cricket to the real men?’ To boos and jeers from the crowd (are you sure? They loved it! Ed) he went on to play an ugly but effective innings, winning the match with a fluked six. ‘I’d rather have lost than win by cheating,’ said Adam in an exclusive post-match interview, as we sat in his tractor cab sharing a can of lager and… (that’s enough cricket. Ed). 

Kirsty’s return to Grey Gables: that job interview in full

Kathy Perks: What previous experience have you had that would apply to this job?
Kirsty Miller: When I was at Ambridge Organics, I had lots of experience stacking shelves, serving customers and managing the till. I love working in retail!
Roy Tucker: But, um, Kirsty, this role is about managing a spa. You know, the health spa?
Kirsty: Oh no – I thought you meant Spar, the supermarket. I wondered why you were setting up a branch in Grey Gables. I’m not qualified to manage a spa at all.
Kathy: Well never mind; we know you, and we need you back in Ambridge to save Helen from Rob. The job’s yours!
All: Hooray!

Rob, Toby and Rex to star in ’best ever’ Ambridge panto

Ambridge impresario Lynda Snell is delighted to announce that this year’s Christmas show will go ahead as usual. Elizabeth Pargetter of Lower Loxley has generously offered to host the event as the village hall will not be ready until 2019, now that Eddie Grundy is in charge of refurbishment.
‘Our Christmas show this year will be ‘Brothers Goose’ – an hilarious reworking of the traditional pantomime,’ said Mrs Snell. ‘It will star Toby and Rex Fairbrother in knockabout comedy routines as they desperately try to flog their geese in time for Christmas, upsetting Ian the Angry Chef and Jill the Disapproving Granny as they go.
'Carol Tregorran will be playing Yootha Nasia, the White Witch of the West (understudied by Jennifer Aldridge).
‘We will have not one but two pantomime villains: Hazel Woolley will reprise her role as the Wicked Fairy Landlady, who evicts the hapless Grundy family into the snow on Christmas Eve.
‘And of course Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Rob Titchener’s ‘Count Evil’. When his pregnant wife Helen puts sugar in his tea by mistake, he ties her to the railway tracks at Hollerton Junction. Will principal boy, Clever Kirsty, save her in time? It will be thrills, spills and something for all the family to enjoy!’