Village hails its have-a-go Gran
Ambridge residents declared 91-year-old Peggy Woolley a heroine this week after she singlehandedly saved the village shop from closure by her own stepdaughter, Hazel Woolley.
‘We would have carried her shoulder-high if it weren’t for her dodgy hips,’ said one grateful villager. ‘You should have seen the way she marched into the shop, armed only with a legal document and a lethal dose of emotional blackmail.
‘Hazel didn’t stand a chance, despite her armed security guards and bullet-proof limo with knives on the wheels.’ (Are you sure? Ed)
‘It was nothing,’ said a modest Mrs Woolley afterwards. ‘I just reminded Hazel that her father Jack was a generous-hearted man who wouldn’t have been proud to see his daughter damage the very heart of the village.
‘And then of course I had the ultimate deterrent – Christine Barford’s ginger biscuits. Not even Hazel’s titanium crowns could withstand them, and once her mouth was clamped shut she was putty in my hands. Would you like one?’
Say cheese! Rob serves up a stinker
Bridge Farm, Ambridge’s popular organic dairy brand, is delighted to announce the launch of a new cheese. ‘Stinking Scoundrel’ is the brainchild of Rob Titchener, who explains how his wife Helen taught him the art:
‘Cheese-making is a very personal thing and I see a lot of myself in this one,’ he said. ‘It’s a fascinating process; you insinuate a special fungus into the milk, stir things up as much as you can, and cut up the curds into tiny pieces. Then you leave it to set so the rot runs right through.
‘It’s a powerful cheese; bullies everything else on the plate if you’re not careful. I wanted to call it ‘Henry Titchener’, as I’m about to adopt my stepson, but we felt ‘Stinking Scoundrel’ summed up the cheeky humour of the brand. Didn’t we darling?’
Women’s Institute is 100 years young
Several generations of Ambridge womanhood celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Institute with a splendid feast in St Stephen’s Church this week.
The committee dressed in vintage costumes to mark the occasion, while members wore purple, green and white sashes made by stalwarts Clarrie Grundy and Susan Carter.
After an Edwardian-style supper prepared by the members, Mrs Jill Archer reminded the audience that the Ambridge WI was set up by her mother-in-law Doris in 1927, and that her granddaughter Pip was involved in the WI today. She went on to recall the WI’s campaigns for women’s votes, fair trade, the dairy industry and bees.
When the audience woke up, they all stood for a rousing chorus of ‘Sister Suffragette’ from Mary Poppins (no, they didn’t. It was Jerusalem. Behave. Ed)
‘It was all right, if you don’t mind leg-of-mutton sleeves in your soup, and you’ve got the teeth to cope with Nic Grundy’s barley bread,’ said guest Mrs Lilian Bellamy. ‘But there was no gin, and no trouser, if you know what I mean darling! Don’t suppose you’ve got a ciggie?’
This week on the message boards:
Justin Elliott’s offer to fund the new village hall is the talk of the Ambridge online community this week. The Observer listens in:
• ‘Who does this megalomaniac Justin Timberlake guy think he is? Coming over here, splashing the cash. The old folk hate his so-called music anyway. Who’s thinking about them? I vote for the Jeremy Corbyn Hall! ’ Anon
• ‘My wife Moira and I have happy memories of the village hall; it’s where I proposed to her after a dance, more than 50 years ago. In fact, if anyone finds a pair of Utility knickers under the stage during the rebuilding, we’d quite like them back for old times’ sake!’ Eric White
• ‘The village should take the money. You don’t have to like the guy. I mean, if it was your brother, who you hate and despise, who offered you cash to bail you out, you’d take it, wouldn’t you? I mean, I would. And Justin isn’t even family.’ CrazyKenton
• ‘Is it really appropriate to be considering our own needs when there is a refugee crisis in Europe? I for one will be asking Mr Elliott to convert the village hall into a reception centre. The village’s generosity has already been overwhelming (thank you, Neil and Susan Carter, for the tin of spaghetti). But we could do so much more!’ AlanTheVicar
• ‘Hey guys, I’ve got a great idea! Why not celebrate the new village hall with a fantastic feast of roast goose? Rex and I can let Justin have a goose for every single villager – very reasonable prices. Whaddya say?’ Tobes.
Caroline and I would like to thank all our friends for your kind wishes as we set off on our Tuscan adventure. It was lovely to see so many of you at our combined farewell party and celebration of dear old Joe Grundy’s 94th birthday.
Before we go, we would just like to say that we will forget all about you the moment we get on the plane. We will miss absolutely nothing about Ambridge; we’re sick of the Grundys cluttering up Grey Gables, tired of Roy’s unctuous bumbling about, and frankly if we could afford it we’d retire to Italy for good.
So please don’t bother us with any of your petty problems while we’re enjoying la dolce vita. Arrivederci, losers! Oliver Sterling, Grange Farm.