Sunday, 1 May 2016

Henry goes home, Jazzer moves in and Helen gets mail – a frustrating week in Ambridge

Archer family in tug-of-love battle blow

At an emergency Family Court hearing this week, a judge ruled that Henry Titchener, five, must stay with his father Rob Titchener, pending further reports.
Stephen Knowhart, Mr Titchener’s solicitor, argued successfully that his client had full parental rights over Henry and that these took precedence over his relationship with his maternal grandparents, Tony and Pat Archer.
Mr Titchener, who is still recovering from knife wounds, was too ill to attend court but was said to be ‘pleased’ with the decision. His mother Ursula said: ‘Henry is happy with his daddy. He thinks his mummy is on holiday. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.’   
Pat Archer said she was ‘appalled’ by the decision and that the family would appeal as soon as possible. ‘Rob practically kidnapped Henry, and then said such terrible things about Helen,’ she said. ‘She is devastated that Rob has Henry. Unfortunately, she still won’t say what happened between her and Rob. Her barrister says she is too distressed to talk. But I’m beginning to think I may have been wrong to think the sun shone out of Rob's anaerobic digester.’ 

‘Write to help save Helen’, mother appeals

Ambridge residents are being urged to write to Helen Titchener to support her during her time on remand. ‘She is refusing visitors, but Helen’s barrister, Anna Tregorran, says letters from home are an important way to keep her in touch,’ said Pat Archer. ‘If people send letters to me at Bridge Farm, I’ll make sure Helen gets them. Although she probably won’t reply, as they’re keeping her away from sharp objects like pencils.’
As an example, Mrs Archer has kindly shared some of the letters Helen is set to receive this week:

Dear Helen,

Mum was doing the AI this morning and suddenly I thought of you - oh, sorry. I'm so, so sorry you’re in that awful prison. If I couldn’t stride up Lakey Hill with the wind in my hair and look down on Brookfield every day, I think I’d kill myself! Oh, sorry. Anyway, did I tell you I’ve bought some lovely cows? From my friend Ashley’s father in Penny Hassett. I drove such a hard bargain, he said I was trying to stitch him up – oops, sorry. But back to you Helen; we’re all thinking about you and hope you’ll be home soon. I know what it’s like to be so far from loved ones; I miss my Matthew sooooooo much!! Oh, sorry. Anyway, must go now! Take care, Love Pip xx.

Dear Helen,

We don’t know each other very well, but Pip Archer (isn’t she terrific!) said you wouldn’t mind me writing. The thing is, my brother Toby and I are launching a new brand of ‘pastured eggs’, which are high-welfare and a premium price, and I’m not sure what to call them. So far I’ve got ‘Upper Class Eggs Laid by Landed Poultry’. Pip – she is SO clever –  says you’ve got a real flair for retail and some time on your hands, so I’m reaching out to you. What do you think? I’d be really grateful for your feedback! Hope all’s well with you, best wishes, Rex Fairbrother. 

Dear Helen,

Everyone at The Stables sends their love (well, Jim’s moved back home now and I never see Alistair or Dan, but you know what I mean) and I’m praying for you daily, whenever I have a spare minute from organising the May Day jumble sale. People are saying they can’t understand why you …. well, you know …. but I’ve seen another side to Rob. I was there when he hit that hunt saboteur and made me lie to the police about it. Of course, I can’t say anything now; what would the Army think if Dan’s mum had perjured herself? But I’m sure the truth will come out somehow and you’ll soon be home. Much love, Shula.

Dear Helen,

We were all so sorry to hear that Henry has to stay with Rob and Ursula, but rest assured, when he’s at Bridge Farm on Sundays, we’ll go over and make a big fuss of him! In fact, I’m sure you’d love to hear about something wonderful I saw in the Millennium Wood. An elfin grotto! It has a little door into a room with a tiny table and chairs. Someone must have put so much work into it. Brian said I must have used some of Kate’s special mushrooms in the risotto but I know what I saw – and I’ll take Henry to see it just as soon as I can. Take care and stay strong.
Your very fond aunt, Jennifer.

PS Kate sends her love and says would you like a dreamcatcher for your… well, for your cell, darling. Just say the word!


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Showing this week at Ambridge Rural Cinema : The Odd Couple

What happens when a crusty, classically educated curmudgeon meets a whiffy, witty pigman? Yes, it’s the return of the popular franchise ‘Jazzer and Jim’! In this latest instalment, Jim Lloyd reluctantly allows Jazzer McCreery to move back into newly refurbished Greenacres, and Jazzer swears he’s changed from hellraiser to ‘house elf’. To start with, it’s all shared pints at The Bull and cosy afternoons watching Countdown. But how long before Jim sees red over a tide of empty pizza boxes and dirty overalls? One thing is certain – it’ll be bantz all the way with Borsetshire’s funniest bromance!  


  1. Christine, inspired genius as ever, you should form your own party as... err... I dunno, how about "Alternative für Ambridgeland"?
    I'd vote for you like a shot (or like an equally swift and brutal melon-stab, if you prefer)!

  2. Dear Helen, Your predicament has made me an' Dayveed reconsider our lives in a not at all smug manner. The result is that we realise anew that we are soooo looooky. It's going to be the Best Christmerse Evvah at Brookfield. Got to go now as Peep (isn't she wonderful!) is comin' over to help us finish Jill's latest lemon drizzle. I believe she tried to bake you one with a file in it but the file fell out when David stuffed the whole thing in his mouth at once and gave a speech about what a great man he is. 'I'm David Archer, you know,' were, I believe, his exact words. Well, hoping this finds you as it leaves me, sooo looooky. Yrs Ruth.

    1. Thank you Rose! I'm sure Helen will love Ruth's letter, especially the bit about David eating the lemon drizzle, as we know poor Helen has been off her food...

  3. Very kind, Mistress Trellis! However, as you know, party politics doesn't exist in Ambridge. This gives our political editor little to do, but as she is usually to be found in The Bull, it isn't too much of a problem...

    1. ... much the same as I learned from an early age at my (metaphorically) blue-rinsed mother's knee, sternly delivered "We're not political in this family: we always vote T....... "