Ambridge fete plans in disarray
The summer fete, a highlight of Ambridge life, hangs in the balance this week as it was revealed that no one has spoken to the Revd Alan Franks about ‘Dunk the Vicar’.
‘It ain’t good enough,’ said fete veteran Joe Grundy. ‘The annual ritual humiliation of a clergyman is our birthright. And just let ‘em try to fob us off with a bell ringer. We won’t stand for it.’
But new fete committee chair Fallon Rogers insisted there would be plenty for all the family to enjoy. Attractions already lined up include:
• Egg-sucking contest. Tom Archer takes on Justin Elliott and tries to teach him how to run his business.
• ‘Whack-a-cat’. A fun game featuring Hilda Ogden (Peggy Woolley’s new pussy) and a mallet.
• Coffee tasting challenge. Can YOU tell the difference between filter and instant? For the Jennifer Aldridge Cup.
• Cauliflower cheese* bar. Sponsored by the Happy Friends Café.
• Charity raffle. Help Fallon and Harrison buy their first home! Top prize: an invitation to their house-warming party.
*without cheese, unless more donors come forward.
Burns in fresh cricket controversy
Cricket captain Harrison Burns faced a revolt and vote of no confidence from the team this week as it emerged he had deceived the club over a potential merger with Darrington.
There was uproar during Ambridge’s match against Loxley Barrett on Sunday, when Will Grundy claimed that Mr Burns had ‘made up’ the threat to strengthen his case for admitting women to the Ambridge team.
‘When I asked Darrington’s captain, Chris Mills, he said he didn’t know nothing about no merger and hadn’t sent no message,’ said Mr Grundy. ‘Harrison lied to us at the EGM. And him a police officer too. He has to go!’
Mr Grundy’s claim backs up the Ambridge Observer’s exclusive in March, when our Freedom of Information request failed to produce the email Mr Burns said he had received from Darrington.
Challenged by club grandee Neil Carter, Mr Grundy denied his bid to oust the captain is connected to his opposition to women players.
‘It’s true, if I were captain I’d have men on the pitch and women in the pavilion, making the teas, like what the Good Book says,’ he said. ‘But that’s got nothing to do with it. This is a matter of principle.’
Mr Burns said he had ‘no comment’ about the allegations. ‘All I have done has been for the good of Ambridge Cricket Club,’ he said. ‘I have strong support among the membership and I am confident the majority will back me. Or else I’ll be having a little look at the police computer and having a few quiet words here and there.’
Home searches are ‘routine’, residents assured
Borsetshire Police has told residents not to be alarmed about house-to-house enquiries that officers are carrying out in local villages.
‘To be honest, we are just helping out our colleague PC Burns in Ambridge,’ said a spokeswoman. ‘He told us his girlfriend was giving him a hard time about not looking for a house to buy, so we’re doing some of the legwork for him – knocking on doors of houses with nice curtains, asking the owners if they’re willing to sell. So far we’ve identified a pretty bungalow in Penny Hassett and a promising maisonette in Edgeley, and recovered a haul of stolen mobiles from an address in Darrington. It’s all part of the service.’
‘Farming strike’ puzzles villagers
Ambridge residents said they were ‘mystified’ this week as all farming activity in the village appeared to stop.
‘It was so strange,’ said one. ‘There were no cows being moved, milked or treated for mastitis; no crops sown, sprayed, harvested or even hovered over with a drone, and no sheep were dipped, drenched or dagged. We did hear that Johnny Phillips was down with the pigs, but we think that’s more to do with his social life.’
David Archer of Brookfield admitted that farming had ‘had to take a back seat’ in recent days. ‘Ruth and I are cooking our own meals, because my mother Jill is too busy working miracles with leftovers at the Happy Friends café,’ he said. ‘There’s just no time for the farm. We’re not too happy about it, I can tell you.’
Ed Grundy of Grange Farm said he was ‘very worried’ by the agricultural lull. ‘If I don’t get some tractor work soon there’ll be no trips to the carvery at the Torn Scrotum in the school holidays,’ he said.
New series: Business Insider
In the first of an occasional series, City finance expert Con R. Tyst opens his case file for Ambridge Observer readers.
‘One of the questions I’m asked most often in business is: “What is a Ponzi scheme”? Well, I always say, it’s something you want to steer clear of – unless you’re running it!
'To set one up, you need a chunk of money (say, cash you’ve stolen from a former partner), and a plausible-sounding investment that not many people understand (say, bloodstock breeding.) If it’s situated thousands of miles away – Costa Rica, for instance – so much the better.
‘You use your money to woo greedy investors and promise them a big investment return – (say, 12.5%). You can afford to pay them this because you haven’t invested their money at all – you’re giving them their own cash back! You can even use it to pay back some debts and make yourself look good – cool, huh?
‘Because your investors think they’re getting a great return, they’ll probably invest more, and invite their pals along too. You might want to host a swanky VIP investors’ reception at a hotel, and get a nice-but-dim aristo to host it. And that’s about it! You keep taking the money and paying some of it out – and by the time your investors start asking questions about where their capital is, you’re long gone (maybe not back to Costa Rica as that’s the first place they’ll look).’
‘So, a Ponzi scheme is really bad news for investors, and strictly against the law of course. But there will always be someone desperate enough to try it on. So remember guys – if it looks too good to be true – it probably is!’
• Item of sensitive personal apparel. Last worn on Loxley Barrett cricket field last Sunday. Brown and bristly. May be mistaken for a lavatory brush or a ferret. Reward offered for discreet return. Neville Booth, Ambridge.
• Birth certificate. Hoping to surprise my fiancée for her birthday with a diamond for each year of her age (I think it’s 50-something) but she insists her birth certificate has gone missing! If you can help please contact Justin Elliott, Dower House.
• Sense of entitlement. Picked up in Oxford University. Labelled ‘Phoebe Aldridge, Ambridge.’ Keen to reunite it with its owner as we already have more than we can stand.