The Nether Regions

The blog that slips an affectionate hand between the thighs of the regional media

Archive for the ‘Health & safety gone mad’ Category

The grass is always shorter on the other side

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To the suburbs of Nottingham, where the residents refuse to let the grass grow under their feet. But concerned residents Bill and Sylvia Fenton’s lives have been turned upside down since finding themselves victims of the most brutal aspects of the coalition government’s austerity agenda.

They may not have been driven out of work or had their benefits cut to the point of starvation but, worse, they have faced the degradation and humiliation of having longer grass than their neighbours across the street as a result of cuts to local authority budgets.

Nottingham Post, 12 June 2013 (story):

Carlton couple return from holiday to find grass by their street cut to different lengths

A PAIR of bemused Carlton pensioners returned from holiday to find patches of grass on either side of their street cut at completely different lengths.

Bill, 65, and Sylvia Fenton, 67, of Shelford Road, Carlton, were baffled when they were told it was because one side of the road, at the junction with County Road, is managed by Notts County Council while the other is looked after by Gedling Borough Council.


A month later, the 75-square-metre space outside the Fentons’ house has been left to grow up to 12 inches long while the other side has been cut again.

“It feels like it’s not on their list of things to do,” said Bill. “We just don’t feel like we’re getting the service we pay for. I drove through Burton Joyce yesterday and all the patches of grass look like billiard tables.”

If you want to look at a billiard table then get down to your local working mens’ club and put your 50p on the side of the table like the rest of us, you human lawnmoaner.

There are some astonishing local authority grass facts in the rest of the report.

Both councils said grass is cut purely for safety reasons, not to make the surrounding area look nice.

Gedling Borough Council cuts its grass areas 14 times a season, between March and October, compared to Notts County Council, which cuts five times between April and September.

Dave Walker, the county council’s district highways manager for Gedling, said: “The county council is responsible for cutting more than 5,000 kilometres of grass verge right across the county. There was a delay starting this year due to bad weather which, unfortunately, also helps the grass to grow that bit quicker.”

The county council also added that cost plays a part in the number of times grass is trimmed and that grass grows at varying speeds in different areas, depending on the soil.

And that’s your grass facts, for now.

Thanks to Paul Forster for picking out this press cutting.


Written by Paddy

September 10, 2013 at 10:31 am

“It was like a scene from that Hitchcock film ‘The Birds'”

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Back to Wisbech, where everything happens for a reason.

Wisbech Standard, 7 March 2013 (story):

Man describes witnessing pigeon fireball

OVERHEAD cables touched under the weight of perched pigeons causing an explosion which sent them hurtling to their death in a giant fireball and set fire to the field below.

This extraordinary event was witnessed by Ron Laverick, of Benwick Road, who says it was reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘The Birds’


He said: “Sparks went everywhere, some pigeons were incinerated, others dropped into the ditch and the fire raged.

“A few pigeons settled on the top wire and then more and more followed. Soon there were 30 pigeons purched there, then 30 more, then 50 more, unitl there must have been 400 pigeons on there.

“The top wire was sinking lower and lower because of the weight of the pigeons but still more came, until unlucky pigeon 615 landed, the wires touched and there was a massive explosion.

“We could not believe what we were witnessing. It was like a scene from that Hitchcock film ‘The Birds’.”

A Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “When we got there a witness did say they saw pigeons on the line.”

Is that all the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue spokesman has to say on the matter? He is no Barry Norman.


Written by Paddy

April 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

Carpet diem: doormats in Huddersfield

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I’ve heard of newspapers hitting doormats, but have rarely heard of doormats becoming the content of newspapers themselves. Tuesday 25 January 2011 was the day when domestic carpet maintenance concerns finally exploded onto the news agenda in Huddersfield.

Huddersfield Examiner, 25 January 2011:

Please wipe your feet

I AM sure I am not on my own when I say how annoying it is when you have visitors to your house who refuse to wipe their shoes, although you have provided a door mat. I have a daily battle against trainers, shoes, boots etc.

If there is an inventor somewhere who could come up with a device that would ask people to politely wipe their feet on entering your house door, it would be a number one seller.

Until then I remain an annoyed, constant hall carpet cleaner.

READER, Netherton

Hmmm, if only a really clever inventor somewhere could come up with something like, you know, a doormat with words on or something.

Turns out this disconcertingly vaguely named ‘READER’ is not the only one prepared to speak out on this sorry mess:

Huddersfield Examiner, 8 February 2011:

Please wipe your feet

LIKE your Netherton reader (Mailbag, January 25) I also am annoyed when people do not wipe their feet on the door mat provided (back and front) of my house. I always do so at other people’s homes.

It must be second nature to me. I cannot remember being told when I was much younger. Perhaps telling the children will have the desired effect for the next generation.

Mrs E Taylor

Here come the bloody ‘better at wiping my feet than thou’ brigade…

Written by Paddy

February 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Glove bombing

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Honestly, the lengths some people will go to just to avoid being traced by their fingerprints.

York Press, 11 February 2011 (story):

‘Gloves’ caused bomb scare

THE bomb scare which delayed thousands of York commuters and forced the evacuation of hundreds of workers was caused by a pair of gloves, it has emerged.

A large part of York city centre was brought to a standstill for more than two hours on Wednesday morning after a suspect package was found in the mail room of Aviva’s Yorkshire House office on Rougier Street, at about 7.20am.

The Press has now learned from sources in the emergency services that the package, addressed to a senior executive, contained a pair of gloves with a heating element.

Staff were concerned about the package, and called the emergency services, which led to the deployment of a bomb disposal team.

It’s not that often a package gets more suspicious  once the authorities have established what’s in it. In the absence of any further details, the mind boggles. What type of gloves were these? They might have been a lovely pair of mittens, given that those spacious hand compartments would be very appropriate for storing copious explosives. Or perhaps they were fingerless gloves, no doubt the prehensile sheath of choice for the sophisticated glove bomber.

It appears some of the locals were very unhappy with this whole episode:

GOD-UHHH. How typical of boring bloody York to not even have a real bomb and get destroyed or something, just to liven the place up. Zzzzz zzzz zzz.

Thanks for this story go to exiled York resident Daniel Gray (, no doubt the sender of this suspicious package in the first bloody place.

Written by Paddy

February 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Trapped in the bog

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This could have ended in horrible tragedy, but it didn’t, and that means we’re allowed to laugh at it.

Reading Post, 6 November 2010 (story):

Mum and daughter rescued from bog

A mother and teenage daughter were rescued when they became trapped in a bog in South Reading this afternoon.

A police helicopter located the pair who were walking a Jack Russell dog in the flood plain of the River Kennet near Big Yellow Self Storage in Rose Kiln Lane.

The daughter had sunk to her chest in the muddy bog and her mother was lying next to her with one leg submerged.

Because the girl was in such danger, a firefighter and police officer entered the bog to rescue her at once.

I bet that’s the last time this pair will be reaching for their copy of Flood Plain Strolls of Britain when they fancy a stretch of the legs.

The story on the Reading Post website features a gripping video of the rescue bid, replete with commentary by concerned emergency services staff. It’s a must-watch if you’re amused by the idea of seeing four Power Rangers needing their maximum strength to drag this big old unit from a bog:

Crew manager Crook said there was a real danger she would sink blelow the surface.

He said: “It is particulary dangerous if you keep moving about. It is the worst thing you can do.”

He added: “The dog was rescued first. He hadn’t sunk in at all.”

In that case, you’d think the dog would have helped. But no. So much for being man’s best friend.

Written by Paddy

February 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Cows make amok-ery

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If you’re in the Sunderland area, watch out…

Thanks to Laura Hammal.

As usual, the local newspaper industry’s most cherished demographic – the ‘drunk yobs’ – get the blame for this act of bovine liberation. No doubt it was an unruly herd of students making their way home from a violent tuition fees demonstration.

Personally, I consider setting free cattle to be a legitimate form of public protest. Direct action is the only option in these desperate times.

6 November 2010:

A FARMER today told of the nightmare he faced after yobs set 135 of his bullocks free and sparked a huge round-up across South Tyneside. One bullock was still missing today and seven have died of shock.

It was initially feared fireworks had spooked the animals, but farm owner Robin Shield today said he believes it was a drunk who opened the cattle shed and set them free.

He said: “The bullocks have just come off their mother’s milk on Wednesday, so they tend to cry a little as they’re being weaned. My guess is some drunk has heard the noise, jumped over the wall and opened the shed.”

Acting Sergeant Reg Atkinson said there were initially 30 officers trying to track down the animals.

He said: “We do get the odd escaped horse or cow in the wrong place, but never anything like this.”

Never anything like this!

Well now you’ve got the fight of your life on your hands, Acting Sergeant Reg Atkinson.

Written by Paddy

December 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Shop ’til the snow drops

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Just to prove this blog can be topical once in a while, let’s have a news story about THE SNOW. There aren’t enough of them around at the moment.

Norwich Evening News, 29 November 2010 (story):

Snow on Dereham shop roof could fall on shoppers

A menacing looking lump of snow hanging from a shop roof in Dereham is giving shoppers cause for concern.

As they negotiate the sludge-covered High Street, townsfolk are being warned of a large accumulation of snow above their heads.

Staff at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill have put a notice on the pavement warning people to “beware – over-hanging snow on roof”.

Keep checking this website to find out if and when it drops.

Typical: just as some semblance of ‘consumer confidence’ is beginning to return to ‘the High Street’, all of those in Norwich who’ve actually got enough disposable income to be able to go shopping are about to be lost in an avalanche at Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Never in all my life.

Thanks to Dawn Rand.

Written by Paddy

December 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm

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