Sunday, 2 April 2017

Burns on the back foot, Lynda on the warpath and a bitter blow for David: a week of crisis in Ambridge

Stop press: Brexit debate cancelled


A round-table discussion on farming in Borsetshire post-Brexit has been cancelled because the panel members cannot bear to be in the same room together.
The event, due to be held at The Bull next month, was to have featured David Archer of Brookfield, Brian Aldridge of Home Farm and Tom Archer of Bridge Farm.
‘It would have been great,’ said a spokesperson for sponsors Borsetshire NFU.
‘David was going to express his worries about the impact of tariffs on sheep and dairy farmers who send a lot of their products to Europe. Brian was going to talk about the exciting prospects for arable farmers in a global market, and Tom was going to outline his plans for a niche fermented foods project.
‘But unfortunately, after all three speakers nearly came to blows during a terrible row at Brookfield over who was responsible for the outbreak of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis on their farms, they have all withdrawn from the event.’
The spokesperson said it was too soon to say whether the debate would be rescheduled. ‘Building bridges may be difficult,’ she said. ‘Tom and Brian told David Archer he’s not half the farmer his father was. It’s a long way back from there.’

Police accused of go-slow on speeding  


Borsetshire’s Rural Crime Unit (PC Harrison Burns) was on the defensive this week, as Ambridge resident Lynda Snell accused him of sabotaging her Community Speedwatch initiative.
At the last Parish Council meeting, Mrs Snell produced a letter from Borsetshire Traffic Department, warning her for speeding through Darrington. But a defiant Mrs Snell said this was evidence that the Darrington Speedwatch group was abusing its powers, and said she would refuse to pay any penalty.
‘I have asked PC Burns on several occasions to supply Ambridge with a speed gun, signage, hi-vis jackets and clipboards with pens attached, so we can organise our training,’ said Mrs Snell. ‘Each time I have been fobbed off with the excuse that Darrington are using the equipment. Yet I have never seen anyone wielding a speed gun there. So this ridiculous letter proves they have been lurking in the bushes to trap unwary drivers, which is completely against the spirit of Speedwatch, as championed by BBC’s Countryfile.’
Mrs Snell said she didn’t want to speculate on why PC Burns was reluctant to intervene in the issue. ‘Far be it from me to suggest that he is using Darrington’s dodgy driver-bashers as a way of boosting his conviction rate,’ she said. ‘But let’s just say there are still plenty of us who remember the missing bunting.’
PC Burns failed to appear before the Council to answer Mrs Snell’s allegations, but sent a written statement. It read: ‘I am sorry I cannot attend this evening, but I have been grounded by Fallon until I apologise to Usha Franks and the ladies of the Ambridge Cricket Club for being a sexist, ageist, oppressive instrument of the patriarchy.’

My Week, by Toby Fairbrother


We catch up with the gin king of Ambridge, (are you sure? Ed) who’s confident he’s found the magic ingredient to send his spirit sales soaring.

Monday

Today I went on a cool trip to an artisan gin distillery with my boss Kenton. Well, he’s not really my boss – more like a mate. I wore my trench coat and slouch hat, so no one would guess I was on an industrial espionage trip. I’d be a fantastic spy actually; I’m great at keeping secrets. That’s what I’m always telling my GF Pip. ‘Keep it buttoned, toots,’ I tell her, when she’s about to blab some dreadful confession from those pretty lips of hers. ‘Nothing to be gained from owning up.’
Anyway, the visit was a bit of a downer. Turns out it took them five years of hard work to make the distillery a success. And that’s not how Toby rolls, you know what I mean?

Wednesday

I had a word with myself today. ‘You know, Tobester, you’re not a quitter!’ I said. ‘Your gin might taste like toilet cleaner, but you can still give it one last shot!’ So I took the advice of my good friend Carol Tregorran. She’s a bit scary, actually. In a witchy way. So when she tells you to harvest fresh marsh mallow plants by the light of the waxing moon, you do it, right? So I’m going to stay up really late tonight and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Thursday

So my midnight marsh mallow harvest went great. The moon goddess is a lady, right? So she's bound to fall for the old Toby charm. Not the GF though. She said Carol was having a laugh. And she’s still fretting about sick cows. ‘Chill, Pipster!’ I told her. ‘So, you let a few cows out. Then everybody’s cows got ill. They’ll get better. Where’s the harm? And if you tell your mum and dad it was your fault they’ll just be cross. And they might throw me out again. So don’t rock the boat, babes.’ Still, that’s girls for you, eh? Too much conscience, not enough common sense. Would you like to buy some gin?  


From the message boards…


What’s got the Ambridge online community talking this week? We drop in on the AmMums forum.

• Hey mums, how was your Mother’s Day? I’m so fed up because I spent the whole day looking after our horrible pernickity B & B guests. It feels like our house isn’t our home any more, and next week it’s the kids’ birthdays. Money’s so tight, and I’m sick of not being able to give them what they want. MummyEmma.
• Stress not hun; you know Will and I will make sure George gets plenty of lovely presents. And I dare say we can find something for Keira too. Are they coming to Children’s Church this week? Hugs and xxx Nic
• No they’re not you stuck-up…. (comment deleted by MumMods).
• Never you mind Emma, at least you’re a respectable family – well, these days anyway. Some people have got pots of money but no morals at all. Just look at Lilian Bellamy and that Justin Elliott. Carrying on in the back of Rex Fairbrother’s taxi like teenagers, apparently. Poor boy didn’t know where to look! You wouldn’t catch me and Neil behaving like that, even on chilli nights. MrsSusanCarter.   
• Really ladies, my sister’s love life is private and not to be discussed on the public forums. Haven’t you got anything better to talk about? For instance, we’re hoping Phoebe will be home for Easter. Did I tell you she’s doing awfully well at Oxford? JustJenny.
• Hello everyone – just checking in to say sorry for being so horrible to everyone since… well, you know. But I went to the obstetrician this week and she said there’s nothing wrong with me. It was just bad luck I lost the baby. Tom came with me to the hospital. He’s been a great support. So thanks everyone. KirstyM.
• Ooh, that’s good news Kirsty! Glad to hear you’re feeling better. And fancy Tom coming along. Does that mean romance is on the cards again? MrsSusanCarter.
Shut up Susan!! Everyone. 

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