Flower & Produce Show hailed as ‘best ever’
A sunny day and a record number of entries helped ensure that Ambridge’s annual Flower & Produce Show last Sunday was declared a resounding success.
The inaugural Freda Fry Memorial Trophy for Best in Show was won by Mrs Carol Tregorran of Glebe Cottage for her apple chutney, after an embarrassing mix-up with Mrs Jill Archer of Brookfield (see letter, below).
Jennifer Aldridge of Home Farm won the hotly-contested jam category with her blackcurrant preserve, and Jill Archer carried off first prize for her honey and her famous lemon drizzle cake. Christine Barford said she was ‘disappointed’ that the judges mistook her scones for doorstops and used them to anchor the marquee.
Henry Archer, aged five, was a very proud winner of the prize for ‘Best hat made by a child’. ‘I want my Daddy to see it, but Mummy says I can’t,’ he says. ‘It’s not fair. My baby brother Jack gets to see Daddy and Granddad said Daddy changed Jack’s nappy in the tea room. If I start pooing in my pants will that make Daddy come and change me too?’
Henry’s mother Helen said she was ‘delighted’ to have a day out in the village and to put the ordeal of her court case behind her. ‘Managing the arrangements for my husband’s contact with our son Jack is not ideal, but we are determined to abide by the family court’s ruling,’ she said. ‘And it’s so wonderful to be reunited with Henry, although he does have a few adjustment issues. What’s that terrible smell? Henry? Henry!’
Police defend failure to attend pub fracas
Borsetshire’s Rural Crime Unit (PC Harrison Burns) has hit back at claims that he ignored an ugly brawl that broke out in The Bull in Ambridge last Friday evening.
Witnesses said it started with a row between Rob Titchener of Blossom Hill Cottage and Emma Grundy of Grange Farm outside the ladies’ toilets. ‘You should have heard Emma have a go at Rob,’ said one. ‘She’d obviously had a Malibu and Coke or two, and it certainly loosened her tongue. She said the whole village knew what kind of man he was, and he was a sad, pathetic bully who couldn’t take it when a woman stood up to him. She told him it would be good for Ambridge if he cleared off and never came back.’
Diners and drinkers in the Bull were then shocked to see Jazzer McCreary, Ed Grundy and David Archer step in, restrain Mr Titchener and escort him roughly from the premises. ‘Rob was very drunk; he’d been swilling Scotch and was in a filthy mood,’ said pub regular Barry Simmons. ‘He didn’t even smile when I exploded an empty packet of salt ‘n’ vinegar in his ear, so I guessed he was spoiling for a fight. And the way Jazzer was squaring up to him, it could have got really nasty.’
At a press briefing, PC Burns said he’d been aware of the incident from his home across the village green. ‘I considered calling for back-up from Borchester, but there are times when ‘kid gloves policing’ is the best approach,’ he said. ‘The way people round here feel about Rob Titchener, I would not have been a popular policeman if I’d started arresting people. And anyway I couldn’t get near the bar as there was a crowd queuing up to shake Jazzer’s hand and buy drinks for Emma.
‘So I decided on a tactical withdrawal and went back to Fallon and Game of Thrones.’
Coffee break with: Alice Carter
In our occasional series featuring readers with interesting jobs, we ask Alice Carter, executive vice-president (Borsetshire) of Fly-by-Night Drone Technology, about her high-powered new role:
Q Are there any challenges in your new role?
A Oh yes, absolutely heaps! Like, finding a decent skinny almond latte in Borchester. My boss Miles is a BEAR without one! And another is relating to what we call ‘end-users’ – little men who actually get their hands dirty with soil and all that sort of thing. Do you know, Miles has a double first from Cambridge but he didn’t know a hedge goes round a field as well as being a fund? Hilarious!
Q Have you been able to manage these challenges?
A Oh yeah, course. Brews ‘n’ Beards in Borchester High Street – best coffee EVER! (Hi guys! Freebie next time, OK?) And I had this brilliant idea about putting the team in touch with our customers. I asked them all to my birthday party and got my bestest ever friend Ed Grundy to come along. He’s like, really poor, but he knows how to drive a tractor and fix a sprayer – so cool! Anyway, they were getting on fine until Ed said: ‘Ewes are all a pain in the arse’, and Imogen thought he’d said ‘you’! It took a LOT of tequila to sort that one out, let me tell you! And then Ed made it worse by saying he’d actually meant ‘you’ and was sick of being paraded as the token peasant! SO ungrateful. He won’t be getting any discount on our latest model, that’s for sure. Are we done now? Miles needs another latte…
Letter to the Editor
I would like to take this opportunity to assure all your readers that I did NOT cheat at the Flower & Produce Show in order to win the inaugural Freda Fry Memorial Trophy. The fact that a photograph of myself, grinning like a Cheshire cat and holding the cup aloft, appeared in the Borchester Echo was all a terrible mix-up. As the caption shows, the actual winner was my dear friend Carol Tregorran for her delicious apple chutney. It was such a shame the type was so small.
This is what happens when you ask an irresponsible and unreliable boy like Toby Fairbrother to help you on the day of the show. He mixed up my jars of spiced plum chutney with Carol’s on the judging table. My granddaughter Pip says it was an easy mistake to make as one jar of chunky brown goo looks very much like another. But that Toby has completely turned her head, the silly goose.
As well as writing to you, I have done everything I can to make sure everyone knows the truth, including telling Susan Carter at the village shop.
I’m pleased to say though that my dear friend Carol Tregorran has seen the funny side. She has even given me some of the ‘very special tea’ that was her late husband John’s favourite, to show there are no hard feelings. Isn’t that nice?
Jill Archer, Brookfield.
ITEMS FOR SALE
2016 Ambridge Calendars. Special edition featuring Susan Carter (Miss October) without the all-concealing silver stars. Super-popular with boys in my form at school! Slightly stained. Only a few copies left. £25 each. Supplied in a plain cover. Apply: Ruairi Donovan, Home Farm.
Baby-changing kit and fully trained female person able to cope with all the dirty, smelly aspects of looking after MySon that he must get from his filthy lying cow of a mother because MySon is perfect and fragrant in every way. Apply: Rob Titchener, Blossom Hill Cottage (for now).