Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Bird Race, Culvertgate and the Wedding of the Year: a thrilling week in Ambridge

 Is the Drains Detective’s dragnet closing in on Rob?

A clandestine meeting in a Borchester greasy spoon blew the Case of the Blocked Culvert wide open this week. Stefan, a gravel-voiced worker at Berrow Farm, revealed to David and Jennifer that he’d seen someone – his boss Mr Titchener – dragging corrugated sheets and black plastic into the culvert just before the flood, to divert water away from the cattle sheds and into the village.
‘It was only after I thought about it; someone might have died,’ he said, before melting into the crowds, leaving Jennifer and David to find a nicer café to ponder what he’d said.
 Unfortunately, Stefan wasn’t able to shed any light on the missing bunting, but this canary had sung enough for David to go and confront Charlie Thomas with the evidence.
Appalled that the culvert in question was the one he nearly drowned in, Charlie took David’s word for it and quickly narrowed the suspects down to Raf, Becky, and Rob – who was first to be interviewed.
‘David not still banging on about the flood, is he?’ blustered Rob. ‘Give some people a bit of authority… There are conspiracy theories all over the place about the flood.’
‘Are there? Passed me by…’ said Charlie, frostily. ‘I don’t regard this as a waste of time… I nearly died in that culvert Rob.’
Rob at once downed tools and went crying to Helen about malicious rumours and staff with grudges. ‘They seemed to think one drain out of action would jeopardise the whole village,’ he said (not exactly a denial).
‘But that’s ridiculous! What kind of person would put the whole village at risk?” wondered Helen. She may be about to find about, all too soon…

‘Just a quick one for old times’ sake, Em?’

Will and Ed Grundy finally seemed to bury the hatchet at the wedding, after a week of intense diplomatic activity to persuade Will to be best man.
He agreed, but the small talk outside the church was a little awkward. ‘You can’t be as nervous as I was when I married Emma – but then, I had good cause to be,’ said Will, helpfully. ‘But I’m not saying I regret marrying Emma, not with George, and everything.’ ‘Erm, that's true, I couldn’t either,’ said Ed, bemused.
And a last-minute frisson ran through the bridal party when Will asked Emma to go for a walk in the churchyard before the ceremony. ‘I don’t think that’s a very good idea,’ said Neil, looking round wildly for a shotgun.
But as it turned out, Will only wanted to make his peace with his ex. ‘I’m sorry I’ve been so pigheaded. I want us to be friends,’ he said. ‘But can you and Ed be friends?’ Emma asked. ‘We’re getting there, Em,’ said Will. So it was all smiles on the day, but will the kid gloves come off once the honeymoon is over?

Jim, Robert and Kenton get the bird

It was a busy week for Will, as on Monday he took part in the Great Bird Race as driver of Robert Snell’s team, the Ambridge Aviators. It was a long day as they chased round the countryside in pursuit of wheatears and woodcocks. ‘A sewage works is not exactly where I expected to spend my evening,’ Will sighed, as Robert insisted on hanging on for an owl.
But their efforts were in vain, as they didn’t even manage to beat Jim Lloyd’s team, which imploded when Jim’s ‘secret weapon’ (Molly Button) reported seeing a red kite and sent Jim and driver Kenton off on a long detour, during which they ran out of petrol (is there much more of this? Ed).
Being abandoned by Jim, who continued his ruthless pursuit of birdlife in his Riley, did nothing to improve Kenton’s despairing mood, and Jolene had clearly been on the receiving end when she bumped into Ruth at the village shop.
‘You might have forgiven David for not moving, Ruth, but I don’t think Kenton can,’ she said, refusing to ask Kenton to reconsider David’s offer of a loan. ‘It’s gone too far now. Money won’t solve this. You’re going to have to stand by and watch us struggle; maybe that’s David’s punishment.’
‘Oah noah, you mek it sound soah hoahpless!’ wailed Ruth. So it was up to Pip to put a bit of cash in The Bull’s coffers, by asking them to run the bar at the next Young Farmers’ social. Whether she can persuade Uncle Kenton to spike the Fairbrothers’ drinks, so she can have her wicked way with one (or both) of them remains to be seen…    

An ode to Mr and Mrs Edward Grundy on their wedding day

 By Bert Fry

After all the dark days we have had,
On Friday the whole of Ambridge was glad,
As St Stephen’s bells rang loud and clear
For the finest wedding of the year.

Emma looked radiant, all in flowers,
Her dress had taken many hours
To make by Susan and by Clarrie,
But never did a more beautiful bride marry.

Now Ed and Emma have had their ups and downs,
With sadness, heartaches, tears and frowns,
But when her father walked her down the aisle,
The handsome groom was wreathed in smiles.

So Ed Grundy wed his lovely Emma
And in his voice there was a tremor
As he promised to love her all his life,
And she vowed to be a loyal wife (this time).

The sun shone on the happy couple
And on the day there was no trouble
For William did his best man’s task
Better than even his mother could have asked.

And then to Bridge Farm for a feast,
Not cooked by my Freda, for she is deceased.
But the guests pitched in, and everyone said
It was a most delicious spread.

And now Ed and Emma have gone to Devon,
Thanks to Peggy Woolley, a honeymoon heaven.
As they begin their married life
Was there ever a happier husband and wife?

Surprise Devon getaway for Ambridge couple

The marriage took place on Friday 22 May, at St Stephen’s Church, Ambridge, between Ms Emma Grundy (née Carter) and Mr Edward Grundy. The Rev Alan Franks officiated.
The bride, who was given away by her father Mr Neil Carter, arrived at church in a flower-decorated trap driven by the groom’s grandfather, Mr Joe Grundy, and pulled by his pony Bartleby. She (who? Bride or pony? Ed) wore a vintage-style dress made by her mother, Mrs Susan Carter, and the groom’s mother, Mrs Clarrie Grundy. The bride was attended by her daughter Keira and son George. The groom’s brother William, who is also George’s father, was the best man.
After a tearful exchange of vows, a cheering crowd greeted the newlyweds as  they left for the reception, which was held at Bridge Farm, courtesy of Mr and Mrs Tony Archer, and arranged by Ms Fallon Rogers of the Ambridge Tea Service.  The wedding buffet, which was donated by guests, included a hog roast from Mr Tom Archer and a dressed salmon from Mrs Jennifer Aldridge. Mrs Jill Archer made the wedding cake, and Mrs Christine Barford’s scones were a favourite with the children, who played cricket with them after tea.
The new Mr and Mrs Grundy will honeymoon in Devon – a surprise gift from Mrs  Peggy Woolley, her son Mr Tony Archer and family – and will make their home in Ambridge View, Ambridge, where they are staying with the bride’s parents. Congratulations to the happy couple from all at the Ambridge Observer!

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