Sunday, 12 March 2017

Cricket bombshell, traffic trouble and Justin makes a choice: an historic week in Ambridge

Charities ‘delighted’ by Elliott’s change of heart

Business organisations and charities throughout the county say they are ‘surprised but thrilled’ after a U-turn by Justin Elliott on his commitment to local affairs.
‘Last week, we heard that Mr Elliott was withdrawing completely,’ said a spokesperson for the Borsetshire Organisation for Networking Knowhow (BONK). ‘But now his social secretary says he’s back in the saddle and this time it’s for keeps.’
Damara Capital’s press officer confirmed its chairman would be based in Borsetshire for the foreseeable future. ‘Mr Elliott has put himself completely in the hands of his social secretary, Mrs Lilian Bellamy,’ she said. ‘Both parties are very satisfied with this arrangement and will be taking time to allow it to bed in properly.’
Charities said they had been told that in future Mr Elliott will be accompanied to events by Mrs Bellamy and not by his wife Miranda. ‘We’re quite relieved, to be honest,’ said one. ‘Mrs Elliott was a bit chilly. Completely ignored the winners of the Year 5 road safety quiz when she came to Loxley Barrett.’  

Burns ‘deceived cricket club’ over women players

In an historic move, Ambridge Cricket Club voted this week to admit women to the team in a bid to save cricket in the village.
But following an investigation, The Ambridge Observer can exclusively reveal that captain Harrison Burns deceived members into backing the controversial measure.   
PC Burns produced a bombshell email from Chris Mills, captain of Darrington Cricket Club, at a stormy EGM on Thursday. It said Darrington would agree to a merger with Ambridge, but made it clear Ambridge would be a junior partner in the deal. Faced with this option, members reversed their decision at the AGM and voted in favour of admitting women.
But our Freedom of Information Act request to see the email failed to turn up any record of it, and Mr Mills said he’d had no ‘formal contact’ with the Ambridge captain.
‘I did say to Harrison once in the pub that we might let Ambridge clean our kit, but that’s about it. It was just bantz,’ he said. ‘Did you say they’re going to let women in? Ha ha ha ha ha ha.’
Contacted by The Ambridge Observer, PC Burns said that under the club constitution, the vote would stand, but he would refer himself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. ‘I suppose I did overstep the mark,’ he admitted. ‘But it was worth it to secure the future of cricket in Ambridge. The members will come round in time. And as I said to Lynda Snell just the other day, sometimes the ends justify the means.’    

All change in the pavilion: here come the girls! (women. We’ve been through this. Ed)

Ambridge cricket captain Harrison Burns unveiled his secret weapon this week – the four women who’ll be joining the team for the 2017 season. The Ambridge Observer profiles the new recruits:   

Molly Button

Young Molly may be inexperienced but she’s got fire in her belly (that arson charge was dropped though) and her reputation goes before her: she’s banned from the Brownies rounders team for sledging. Brown Owl said she’d never heard the like and she was in the Navy. When Molly’s batting, watch out for sister Tilly causing an eye-popping diversion at deep square leg.

Lily Pargetter

Super-bright Lily brings a cerebral touch to the team. Once she focuses her intellect more on batting strategy, and less on organising canapés for the post-match drinks, she’ll be a valuable asset. And the lads will love the colourful throws and scented candles she’s borrowed from Lower Loxley for the pavilion.

Anisha Jayakody

Beware Ambridge’s new vet! ‘Miss Muralitharan’ will have your eye out with her lethal off-spin. Just ask Shula Hebden Lloyd’s mare Damson, who experienced Anisha’s fearless approach and surgical precision this week. Like Damson, Darrington’s top order batsmen  will be wandering round in circles after Anisha’s taken care of them!

Pip Archer

Pip knocked Rex Fairbrother for six at last year’s single wicket and shortly afterwards did the same to his brother Toby. Pip knows all about organising a field, especially if it’s got escaped cows in, and she’s a past master of the pull shot, as anyone who’s seen her deliver a calf with ropes will know. With both brothers fighting to impress her, Pip, Rex and Toby are a ‘triple threat’ to be reckoned with this season.

Ambridge Parish Council Meeting, 16 March 2017 – Agenda

1.     Presentation by Mrs L. Snell: Traffic calming measures in surrounding villages and their impact on speeding traffic through Ambridge.
Proposal: to equip the Button sisters with air guns and position them at ‘hot spot’ junctions in the village. (Surely: to equip volunteers with speed guns? Please check. Ed).
2.     Presentation by A. Macy: Impact of Brexit on recruiting seasonal workers for fruit cultivation and picking.
Proposal: to allow Mr Macy to advertise job vacancies at Home Farm on the council website. No experience of polytunnels needed as Mr Macy will provide thorough 1-to-1 inductions.
3.     Presentation by H. Burns: Changing facilities for Ambridge Cricket Club.
Proposal: to allow a Portakabin to be installed beside the pavilion for women players. (Over my dead body. Cllr D Fletcher).

Borsetshire Rural Cinema: showing this week

Don’t miss our exciting triple bill:

Lord Of The Sties. Feelgood movie. A young pig entrepreneur takes time off to go a conference in Brazil. While he is away his Scottish employee, who pretends to be a tough guy but is a softie really, buys a load of snacks and cheers up an unhappy friend with an afternoon of DVDs.

Miranda and Cash. A wife whose marriage is threatened confronts her husband’s mistress on horseback, but fails to stop their relationship and vows to fight him for every penny in a bitter divorce. (Contains scenes of extreme awkwardness).

Now, Dowager. Romantic drama. A lonely widow seizes her chance of happiness with a married man, despite the disapproval of her wealthy but monstrous mother. Tables are turned when her lover leaves his wife and proposes to her. Her mother smashes her second-best tea set in a fit of impotent rage.      


  1. Your reportage is as usual spot on. Fortunately I was not drinking coffee at the time, or I would have choked.

    1. Very relieved to hear that. Our insurance policy wouldn't have covered it. Thank you!!

  2. And well done for getting into pseuds corner!

  3. Thank you - and indeed, a further appearance in the latest issue where a kind reader pointed out to Private Eye that there is a certain amount of Fake News involved!

  4. I did have a tea choking event there, Christine, but fortunately no obvious damage to me or laptop! Excellent, as always!

    1. Pleased to hear it! Those laptop claims are ruinously expensive. Thank you!

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  6. A big thank you to Private Eye and Chris Bell. Without their coverage I wouldn't have found your wonderful blog. Fantastic writing.

    1. Thank you so much and welcome! Yes indeed. Chris is doing a wonderful job as our marketing manager. So wonderful I didn't even know we'd taken him on. Unlike most marketing managers who stride about with smartphones, always trying to show you their PowerPoint.

  7. Yes, indeed - a rummage in the archives reveals that Lilian was widowed twice: Lester Nicholson (known as Nick) was killed in an accident in 1970, and her second husband Ralph Bellamy had a heart attack in 1980. Thanks for reading!

  8. As an ex pat living in San Francisco listening to the Archers and reading your blog 'keeps it real'. No fake news for me thank you!

    1. Fake news!? Perish the thought. Ambridge could not be more real. Anyone who suggests otherwise will be made to listen to Bert Fry's poetry until they recant. Thanks so much for reading, Mark!