Sunday, 21 February 2016

Cows ship out, Ursula moves in and Lynda’s muse strikes again: an eventful week in Ambridge

Family celebrates ‘emotional’ sale of historic herd

David and Ruth Archer of Brookfield said they were pleased to have received top prices, but sad to see their dairy herd, which the family had built up over three generations, go for sale at Borchester Auction Mart this week.
‘I even welled up on Valentine’s Day,’ said David Archer. ‘I thought the film at The Bull was ‘Beef Encounter’ and it reminded me of the cows we were losing. But Ruth soon put me right. I’m so glad she came back from New Zealand.’  
‘We’ve all got such a lot to look forward to,’ said Mrs Archer. ‘There’s something about poring over cattle catalogues in bed that does wonders for a marriage. And our daughter Pip’s finding that out for herself; she and Matthew spend hours Skyping about herringbone versus rotary parlours.  I told her, that’s how you know it’s love.’

‘Ambridge saved our bacon’ says card industry

Greetings card manufacturers enjoyed record Valentine’s Day sales, thanks to an unprecedented surge in demand centred on Ambridge.
‘It’s so encouraging,’ said an industry spokesman. ‘Everywhere else, the market’s in freefall as people send e-cards, texts and cheeky tweets. But in Ambridge, good old-fashioned Valentine’s Day cards have been selling like black pudding Scotch eggs.
‘It seems to be the rule in Ambridge that everyone, married or single, receives at least one Valentine, and some get dozens. Postal workers often refuse to deliver there because of the sheer weight of cards. We’re hoping we can learn from this micromarket and scale up for a national campaign.’

Pageant strikes a controversial note

The grand re-opening of Ambridge Village Hall at Easter will be marked by a production of England’s Pleasant Land, a little-known pageant written in 1940 by novelist E.M. Forster.
‘The play charts the history of rural England, from the Domesday Book through the Enclosures to the Second World War,’ said local impresario Lynda Snell. ‘What could be more appropriate to celebrate the rebirth of the hall, which represents the spirit of rural life and culture? Not as much as my new shepherd’s hut does, of course, but we couldn’t stage it there.’
However, some residents claim they have been ‘banned’ from the production even before rehearsals have started. ‘When I heard it was a pageant I rang to offer my services,’ said Mrs Sabrina Thwaite. ‘My Labradoodle and I perform a stunning routine dressed as Wonderwoman and Wonderdog, but Lynda was having none of it. I told her: if it’s good enough for ‘Miss Torbay Talent 1994’, who are you to turn your nose up!’
‘The playgroup mums are livid,’ said Mrs Emma Grundy. ‘My Keira would have walked a ‘Toddlers in Tiaras’ pageant. But Lynda told me it’s all peasants and levellers and that. What a swizz.’

Foodies vote Wayne’s World a big hit

Diners are raving about the Spring menu at The Bull, designed by new chef Wayne Tucson. ‘My husband Kenton was a bit worried about having my ex in the kitchen, but it’s working out brilliantly,’ says landlady Jolene Archer.
‘Yeah, man, it’s, like… totally cool,’ said Mr Archer. ‘The punters are loving the new dishes – and a few hours after eating, they suddenly get peckish and order second helpings! It’s doing wonders for business.’
Mr Tucson, who is also an accomplished Country & Western musician, credits the  ‘touch of magic’ he adds to meals that makes them irresistible. ‘No need to mention it to my daughter’s partner PC Burns though, eh?’ he said.
Signature dishes include:
• Ganja nachos
• ‘Get you baked’ potatoes
• Corned beef hash
• Veg-out stir-fry with crispy sea-weed
• Pot-roast chicken
• Smokin’ pulled pork burger
• Space cake
• Stoned-fruit crumble
• Special brownies

Hooray for Henry!

Congratulations to Henry Titchener, aged five, who has won first prize in the St Stephen’s children’s art competition. The judges praised Henry’s use of colour and detail in his drawing called ‘My family’. ‘It’s a picture of me, mummy, daddy, mummy’s new baby and my new grandma Ursula,’ Henry said. ‘She’s nice and gave me toy moo-cows. I like my granny Pat too, but daddy says Ursula is my real granny and I must be good for her. And I have to be a good boy for mummy because I’m going to be a big brother soon.
‘Grandma Ursula came for half-term but I hope she stays longer. We make cakes and she helps mummy. She answers her phone and makes sure she doesn’t have nasty friends, like aunty Kirsty.’
Well done Henry! His prize is a trip on the Blackberry Line.

Wheel rustlers on the prowl, police warn

Borsetshire’s Rural Crime Unit (PC Harrison Burns) has advised owners of trailers and caravans to keep them secured as ‘gang war’ has broken out over spare parts.
‘Ruthless rustlers will stop at nothing to get their hands on wheels and axles to build small vehicles such as mobile hen houses and shepherd’s huts, which they can sell for high prices to gullible incomers and hobby farmers,’ he said. ‘Even prams and buggies may not be safe as these gangsters, who appear to be harmless old gents doing a spot of DIY, try to secure supplies for their dubious projects. Keep ‘em peeled, folks!’

Properties to let

Holiday cottage, set on a delightful family farm. Facilities include wind chimes, scented candles, yoga mats and dream catchers in every room. Rent: as much as you possibly can because I’ve really got to make some money out of this, OK? Apply: Kate, Home Farm. 

Elegant residence, in need of a little TLC. Available unfurnished (tenant to pay to store my stuff, darling). Suit gentleman looking for a discreet rural bolthole. Personal services (social secretary, interior designer, dinner escort) negotiable by arrangement, if you understand me. Apply: Mrs Lilian Bellamy, The Dower House. STOP PRESS: This property has been let to Mr Justin Elliott. 


  1. I think that's the longest speech Henry's ever made. To be honest, I had no idea his vocabulary was so large.

  2. Yes, our reporter did think he had a rather deep voice for a five-year-old. Perhaps his dad phoned in for him... :-)

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  4. Did the young lad call your reporter "darling" and, maybe, offer his advice on how to write a proper news story?

  5. Yes Paul, he did. Old Sid the sub didn't take kindly to that, as you can imagine...

  6. Well, tell Sid to be careful. We won't want to find his body parts jamming up your Heidelburg litho press!

  7. Quite right Jane. The team have been warned to stick together when they go to The Bull (frankly, they don't need much encouragement)