Sunday, 23 July 2017

Protests, farm partnerships and plans for Caroline – feelings run high in Ambridge

Beware of radicals, residents warned

The Borsetshire branch of Prevent, the Government’s anti-extremism programme, has warned Ambridge residents to look out for signs of family members becoming radicalised.
The unprecedented statement came amid growing tensions about the closure of the Happy Friends Community Café in Borchester to make way for a luxury restaurant.
‘We have received credible evidence that anti-capitalism militants are planning direct action against Les Soeurs Heureuses and its owners, Miriam and Lulu Duxford,’ a Prevent officer told a hastily convened press conference.
‘We know there is already a cell of activists (Kirsty Miller) in Ambridge and believe she may be recruiting more,’ the officer said. ‘We ask local people to be vigilant. Symptoms of radicalisation can include banging on about social injustice, preaching to friends and expressing disapproval of others’ lifestyle choices.
‘Look out too for telltale statements, such as: “There’s more to life than fresh coffee and lemon drizzle,” or “I can’t help it if the Brookfield cake tin is empty”.
This is an extremely alarming symptom. If you hear anyone say this in Ambridge, contact our hotline immediately, although it may already be too late.’

Food producers slam ‘unfair’ awards

Borsetshire food and drink producers have made an official complaint about the judging at this year’s Food & Drink Awards, the Ambridge Observer can reveal. 
‘It seems very suspicious to us,’ said Poppy Porrett of Penny Hassett Popcorn. (are you sure? Ed).
‘The awards are supposed to be for the whole of Borsetshire, yet three of the award-winners – Helen Archer, the Bull and Grey Gables – are in Ambridge. What are the odds of such a small village doing so well?’ said Ms Porrett. ‘It’s no coincidence that Justin Elliott, chairman of the sponsors Damara Capital, lives in Ambridge.’
A spokesperson for Mr Elliott denied the claims. ‘The judging is completely independent and fair,’ she said. ‘Any suggestion that Mr Elliott is planning to turn Ambridge into the foodie capital of the West Midlands, to boost demand for his new housing development, will be referred to our lawyers.’

Thanks for Sterling support

Grey Gables owner Oliver Sterling has thanked the local community for their ‘touching friendship and support’ since the sudden death of his wife Caroline.
Mr Sterling returned to Ambridge this week following a private cremation service in Italy, where he and Caroline were living.
‘We are planning a celebration of Caroline's life at Grey Gables, where we were married,’ said Mr Sterling. ‘She was a committed atheist, so Alan Franks has promised not to mention God. Many people have asked to take part, to pay their respects. Shula and I were especially touched by the Button sisters’ offer to stage ‘Circle of Life’ from The Lion King, featuring Lynda’s llamas. Caroline would have loved it, but health and safety is an issue.
‘And Tommy Croker’s grandson says he’ll get the band back together to do ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ from Hairspray. It’s going to be a lovely event. Such a shame Caroline will miss it – although I am keeping her close to me, in this rucksack.’        

Business special: Family Farm Partnerships

Giving every family member an equal voice in the running of your farm is an increasingly popular way of ensuring a smooth succession for the business.

The Aldridge family of Home Farm recently set up their own Family Farm Partnership Agreement, and kindly let the Ambridge Observer report on their first meeting:

Jennifer Aldridge: Now come along everyone, these cheese straws won’t eat themselves!
Kate Madikane: Are they vegan?
Brian Aldridge: This isn’t a cocktail party! We’re here to discuss buying a forage harvester. Ruth – you’re here as young Ruairi’s attorney. What do you think?
Ruth Archer: I’m no pushover Brian! Ruairi doesn’t like cheese straws and you can’t expect me to roll over and say he does!
Adam Macy: Look, have you read my presentation? The case for a new forage harvester is very strong.
Alice Carter: Maybe, but you’re rubbish at Power Point, Adam! No one uses that lame ‘blue wave’ template any more.
Jennifer: Oh, I don’t know, it’s rather sweet. If only you hadn’t covered it up with all those figures, darling.
Brian: This is ridiculous. Let’s put it to a vote. I’m against. It’s much too expensive. I take it that’s unanimous?
Adam: No way! I’m not voting against my own idea! I’m in favour.
Kate: Whatevs… I’ve got Shamanic Cleansing with the W.I. at 3.
Alice: I’m with you, Dad – we should be spending the money on more drones. Have you seen my new brochure?
Brian: Thanks Alice. What about you Ruth?
Ruth: Ruiairi’s voting against too Brian, but I’m warning you – you won’t get it all your own way. Especially if you don’t come up with better snacks.
Jennifer: Oh Ruth, how could you?

Your week in the stars

Local astrologer Janet Planet reveals what fate has in store for Ambridge residents this week…


Single Aquarians are finding that fate has a way of tearing up your dating spreadsheet and whisking you off your feet! Romance with an international dimension is in the air, and soon you won’t be lost for words as true love can break down language barriers (even between Borsetshire and Bulgaria).


It’s all about birds for lucky Cancerians this week, and we don’t just mean the feathered variety! You may have high hopes for a sizzling new relationship with a feisty Leo, but don’t count your chickens (or goslings) when it comes to long-term romance.


Feisty, independent lady Leos are slow to let love into their lives, but it seems someone has got under your skin and will run away with your heart if you let him. Will you be a loyal lion or will he hear you roar? Only time will tell…


Financial matters will weigh heavy on the minds of Sagittarians this week.  Beware of people who appear to have your best interests at heart. They may flatter you that you are a bloodstock expert and promise you the earth, but don’t be tempted to sell your cottage and give them the proceeds to invest.  No, look love, this astrology business is rubbish, but really, please don’t do it.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Madam,

I’m writing to protest in the strongest possible terms about the opening of the Duxford Sisters’ new restaurant, Les Soeurs Heureuses. It makes me angry and ashamed to think they can charge £20 for a bowl of tomato soup when there are people queuing up at food banks all over Ambridge. And the waste! I’ve heard they cook ten meals for every one they serve, and throw away that aren’t absolutely perfect. No wonder they have to charge £20 for a bowl of tomato soup. And those sisters are so arrogant and self-obsessed! Have they no idea that everyone I know in Ambridge has to make £20 feed a family of six for a month? And they have the nerve to charge £20 for a bowl of tomato soup! And don’t get me started on celebrities. I really must…. (continues for 94 pages).

Yours furiously,

Mrs Jill Archer, Ambridge.



  1. I always look forward to the Ambridge Observer, but this was a particularly good edition. Thanks for the time and effort you put in. If you ever need a more northern reporter, (from Wirral), count me in!

    1. That's very kind, thank you Christine. Trying something new for a few weeks – will be interested to see what you think!

  2. Replies
    1. Les Sour Soeurs - perfect. They seem more Gordon Ramsay than Mary Berry...

  3. Re the Ambridge Fete crisis I have offered my services - I could open the Fete for you. I have mentioned this on Twitter @archers_fan2015 but have had no response. #justsaying

    1. Oh dear, I'm sorry – Fallon must have missed it. I'll pass this on to the Committee!