Sunday, 28 February 2016

Grumpy cows, flood memories and making plans for Helen: a worrying week in Ambridge

 Cop warns of cattle rustling crime wave

Borsetshire’s Rural Crime Unit (PC Harrison Burns) held a press conference this week to alert local farmers to an outbreak of ‘industrial scale’ cattle rustling.
‘In the most audacious crime of this kind I’ve ever seen, thieves removed no fewer than six lorry-loads of finest black and white Holstein-Friesian cattle from Brookfield in broad daylight,’ he said. ‘They then replaced them with smaller cows, all funny colours – clearly inferior beasts, although they do have slightly longer legs.
‘I watched the whole thing from my covert surveillance post on Lakey Hill, apart from when I nodded off because the whole process took so long.
‘Of course, I made David and Ruth Archer aware of what was happening under their very noses, but they seemed quite happy about it. I can only assume they are in shock, which can happen in these cases. I’ve filed a report and will be mounting a county-wide search. Keep ‘em peeled!’ 

Community to mark a sombre anniversary

A special service to remember the devastating Ambridge flood, which took place a year ago this week, will be held at St Stephen’s on Sunday.
‘We will give thanks for our community spirit, ask for strength to continue the restoration work (especially in the Village Hall, as Brown Owl is getting more desperate by the week) and, of course, remember those we have lost,’ said Rev. Alan Franks.
Bert Fry, whose wife Freda tragically passed away after being trapped in floodwater, will deliver a heartfelt address.
‘I’ve been struggling with what to say all week,’ he said. ‘And I’ve finally decided. I shall tell those Fairbrother boys to stop treating me like an idiot and realise  I’ve made more mobile henhouses than they’ve had hot dinners. It’s what Freda would have wanted. She was never one to hold her tongue when something needed saying.’
In an unusual departure from tradition, the choir will process into church led by Mrs Lynda Snell and her dog Scruff. ‘I have made him a woolly coat and a pair of horns, so he is a symbol of all the animals who suffered in the flood, although of course, thank Heavens, Scruff was eventually restored to us,’ she said.

Ambridge mum-to-be welcomes new personal birth budget

The Government’s new plan to allow pregnant women up to £3,000 to spend on their preferred option for giving birth has been welcomed by Helen Titchener of Blossom Hill Cottage, who is expecting her second child.
‘Health professionals say I should have this baby in hospital, because with Henry I had pre-eclampsia and nearly died,’ she said. ‘But my mother-in-law Ursula tells me that hospitals are dirty places and I’d be much better off at home, where my friends can’t just turn up and visit.
‘My husband Rob is all in favour too. He says we won’t even need to spend the £3,000; he can bank that for me. So thoughtful. My mother-in-law, who’s an expert because she’s had two sons, will deliver the baby. Won’t that be nice?’

From the Message Boards

With half-term over and mock exams well under way, we drop in to the Ambridge Teen Forum to see how students are getting on:

• Sorry not to have posted for so long guys. I’m working 20-hour days to finish Churchill’s History of the English-Speaking Peoples, just in case it comes up in my mocks. I thought I’d lost volume 4 until I found Kate was using it as a doorstop. Honestly!  Feebs
Cool, Feebs! I didn’t know that dog off the telly adverts wrote stuff! I’ve had a great week – just passed my Level 2 apprenticeship in Practical Farmwork. My granddad’s been brilliant; if he hadn’t given me that tip about taking the cap off before you put oil in the tractor, I might have failed. JohnnyLovesFarming
Well done Johnny! Knew you could do it. I had Business Studies this week. The questions were really lame so I wrote about my egg empire instead. That’s OK isn’t it? JustJosh

Good advice on hand for grans

Family relationships expert Dr Patsy Pursglove will be the guest speaker at the next meeting of Ambridge Women’s Institute. ‘I’ll be focusing on the role of grandparents, as they are often left out of the family dynamic,’ she says.
‘For example, we all want to spoil our grandchildren, but feeding them chocolate and encouraging them to be naughty may not be helpful,’ she said. ‘Telling them that mummy won’t love them any more when she has her new baby is certainly not wise either.
‘On the other hand, grandparents may step back, not wanting them to interfere. This may prevent them noticing that something is very wrong with their grandson’s home life.
‘These are easy mistakes to make and I hope I can pass on some helpful tips,’ said Dr Pursglove. ‘If you know of anyone who might benefit, do please let them know.’     

New: The Ambridge Observer No-Prize Non-Jumbo Crossword

Test your little grey cells with this fiendish puzzle devised by our new crossword compiler, who wishes to be known only as the ‘Ambridge Alcibiades’. (Bet it’s Jim Lloyd. Ed) Answers next week!


1. Eddie’s wonky DIY project takes Ruth’s head off (3)
3. What Pat wears to deal with issues? (6)
6. Leaf and insect appear in Lynda’s Easter parade (7)
8. Star inspiring Emma to Clean for the Queen (7)
9. What Helen should answer when Tom asks if something’s wrong (3)


2. Henry wet the bed: scared by a little bear, or his new granny? (7)
4. Lilian is moved by king and jug (3,3,4)
5. Does Clarrie have the best recipe for these – or Jazzer? (6,4)
6. Tom’s birthday tea tastes like what Rob tells (5)
7. What traffic lights do when Kate drives up? (2,5)

Calling all crossword fans!

The Ambridge Observer is looking for freelance crossword compilers to contribute to future issues. No pay; complete amateurs welcome; choose your own nom de plume (within limits). To apply, contact the Editor in the usual way.


  1. Just finished the crossword, very enjoyable. I guessed at a couple. Thanks for making this weekend more hilarious.

    1. You're very welcome Alcea. I have utter respect for proper crossword compilers; it's a nightmare! Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. First time comment. I LOVE your musings. Giggles every time. Husband wants to know what I'm laughing at but he'll never understand.

    1. Delighted to hear it, thank you! Your husband not a fan of Ambridge then? Hope it doesn't cause too much friction at 7pm every evening...

  3. Just finished the crossword (the Lilian clue was inspired!)

    It must be time for a G&T......

    Thanks, as always.

    1. Whenever Lilian is involved it is always time for a G & T Christine. Cheers!

  4. In the name of all that's holy....Helen make a will leaving everything to me before Robbiekins kills you off!

  5. Completed the crossword yesterday evening - great fun. Thanks!

  6. Excellent Liz, thank you - the Ambridge Alcibiades is thrilled to hear it!

  7. I'm completely stuck on 3Across... are you going to give the solution sometime?.....

  8. All to be revealed in Sunday's issue – and another puzzle on its way, from a new contributor! Alcibiades is a bit miffed about it.

  9. "3. What Pat wears to deal with issues? (6)"

    Got me really confused here, BLINKERS is 8 letters!

  10. Ha! Should have thought of that! No, it's SKIRTS. Answers to all of this crossword are on the latest post... thanks for having a go!

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