Cricket club reveals ‘secret weapons’
The Ambridge cricket team will be strengthened on and off the pitch this season, as captain Harrison Burns announced two key signings this week.
‘It took some persuasion, but the lads in the team have really embraced women,’ he said. (Surely not? We’ll get letters. Ed). ‘At our open nets try-outs, Susan Carter emerged as a useful top order batswoman with a fearless, swashbuckling style.
And I’m pleased to say Usha Franks will be taking on a non-playing role as Inspirational Coach, which I believe is a first in the Borsetshire Cricket League.’
The appointments follow a turbulent few weeks for the club, which faced a recruitment crisis and then a boycott by female players who accused the captain of ageism and sexism.
‘I’m really pleased to put that myth to rest,’ said Harrison Burns. ‘Anyone who saw Susan Carter with her kit off in the Ambridge calendar knows she’s no spring chicken. And we won’t need sledging to distract the opposition with young Lily Pargetter and her friend Amber around, know what I mean?’ (Oh please. This gets worse. Ed)
Mrs Carter said she was looking forward to joining her son Chris in the Ambridge team. ‘Fancy, maybe he gets his sporting talent from me, not his dad!’ she said. ‘And I’ve got so many ideas to help Usha boost team morale. I’m thinking the bowlers could wear name badges saying “Hello, I’m Roy (or whoever); how may I get you out today?” ‘
Exclusive: that Bridge Farm blog in full
The Borsetshire farming community was rocked this week as the bitter row about the outbreak of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) in Ambridge reached new heights.
The National Farmers’ Union was dragged into the controversy when committee member Nick Spring was forced to defend Borsetshire former chair David Archer of Brookfield against accusations of being a ‘lousy farmer’, which spread on social media.
‘Feelings are running high, which is not surprising as several farms have lost beasts to IBR,’ said Mr Spring. ‘But I’ve shared enough pork pies with David Archer to know that he’s a fine, conscientious farmer. Maybe not quite as good as his father, but then, who is?’
Angry local farmers claim that IBR was spread to their herds via non-certified dairy cattle at Brookfield. In a blog post published on the Bridge Farm website this week, Tom Archer wrote: (Sorry, legal is having kittens over this. And change the headline. Ed).
‘I've never been so angry,’ David Archer told the Ambridge Observer. ‘So much for solidarity among farmers. We are all in this IBR together, and our vet tells us we may never find out what caused it. The fact that I didn’t check the paperwork doesn’t mean those cattle we bought in a hurry actually had IBR. And I know for certain our cattle never, ever strayed off Brookfield land. Not once.
‘Hang on a minute – my daughter Pip is trying to tell me something. I’ll call you back.’
The Ambridge Observer has since tried to contact Mr Archer, but he is not returning our calls.
The engagement is announced between Justin, son of the late Mr and Mrs Peregrine Elliott, formerly of Rhodesia, and Lilian Bellamy, daughter of Mrs Peggy Woolley and the late Mr Jack Archer, of Ambridge, Borsetshire.
New series: How we met
Justin Elliott and Lilian Bellamy reveal the romantic story behind their announcement in this week’s Ambridge Observer.
Q Congratulations to you both! Tell us about the proposal. Did you go down on one knee, Justin?
J I did – in The Bull, of all places! And Lilian turned me down! We laugh about it now, don’t we darling, but it was pretty tough for a chap to take at the time. Luckily, I wasn’t kept waiting too long.
L I’d made such a mess of things. So when I realised Justin was The One, it was my turn to go down on one knee, at the Dower House. Fortunately the slacks I was wearing that day had a touch of Lycra.
Q What about an engagement ring?
L Justin had already bought me some gorgeous earrings, and now we’re going to buy the matching ring. But we’ll have to wait for my swollen knuckle to go down first.
J Yes, that’s my girl! Gave her ex, Matt Crawford, a proper shiner. I didn’t know she had such a good left hook. I’ll have to be careful! (Make it clear the Ambridge Observer doesn’t condone assault. We’ll get more letters. Ed).
Q Justin, had you asked Lilian’s mother for her daughter’s hand in marriage?
J Well, not exactly, although we had a heart-to-heart at the chiropodist’s. My future mother-in-law is a formidable character, let me tell you! And very good feet for her age.
L Mum wants me to be happy, as long as it doesn’t upset the neighbours. She is already ordering a new hat for the wedding!
Q And what plans do you have for the big day?
J I’m entirely in Lilian’s hands – just the way I like it! I’ve told her to name the day – once my divorce comes through, of course.
L At our time of life, we don’t want to make a fuss. But I’m afraid I can’t reveal any details, darling – we’ve already sold the rights to Borsetshire Life.
Beekeepers prepare for Spring
Borsetshire Apiarists Group (BAG) discussed the dangers of colony collapse disorder, and how to recover in time for summer, its April meeting. Mrs Jill Archer of Brookfield explained how it causes nearly all the worker bees to disappear, leaving only an old queen. ‘I thought I’d fed them enough flapjacks over the winter but it seems it wasn’t enough, ‘said Mrs Archer. ‘But to be honest, I don’t blame the bees for giving up. The atmosphere at Brookfield has been dreadful recently, with everyone falling out and blaming each other. The bees know, you know.’
On a brighter note, BAG welcomed Kirsty Miller to the meeting as a new associate member.
‘I like bees,’ said Ms Miller. ‘At least you know they might sting you, so you can wear a protective suit. You can’t do that with people. And if I get some hives, maybe it will make people think twice before getting too close.’
Notice: St Stephen’s Easter Prayer Chain
Please send in your prayer requests for those in need in our community. This Holy Week, we are praying for all those who live in:
• Grange Farm: may those who are working nights to buy treats for their children not step on Lego as they tiptoe upstairs, and may their spouses support them instead of feeling sorry for themselves.
• Home Farm: may those who are easily wound up not throw insults around at the golf club, and accept graciously any gifts of wine, even though they are cheap and come from a small time crook who thinks he is the Napoleon of Borsetshire.
• Brookfield: may those who are sorely burdened with guilt experience the relief of confessing their sins, and may their partners support them loyally and not sulk about their gin business or disappear off to Brighton.
• Bridge Farm: may those who long for revenge instead find it in their hearts to forgive,and may they lend David Archer their tractor as otherwise it will cost him £18,000 to hire one.
• Whereabouts unknown: may the lost soul who left Ambridge recently come to understand that no one is beyond the love and forgiveness of God. The Vicar is very competitive and hates it when a sinner gets away.
And a very happy Easter to all our readers!