Archive for the ‘Local tedium’ Category
It’s a sad day for democracy when you need a full meeting of the council to agree a motion for the village hall cleaner to fulfil their job description.
Welwyn Hatfield Times, 8 January 2014 (story):
Village hall cooker to be cleaned more often
Woolmer Green councillors agreed a village hall cooker should be cleaned more often.
A gas engineer suggested to the council the gas hob should be cleaned regularly rather than a full annual service undertaken.
Councillors agreed the cleaner should clean the cooker regularly.
The mind boggles. Just how dirty can this oven have been? Never again will The Nether Regions accept any invitations to dine at Woolmer Green village hall, that’s for sure.
Thanks to Jessica Smith.
What do you call a man with a seagull on his head? No, it’s not Cliff anymore, it’s Brian.
North West Evening Mail, 27 July 2013 (story):
Savage seagulls hospitalised a pensioner during the latest in a growing number of incidents across Cumbria.
Retired Brian Griffin was walking home from when he found himself confronted by angry seagulls near his home in Barrow.
The plucky pensioner was undeterred but as he continued on his way the birds struck, leaving him with injuries to his head which needed hospital treatment.
He said: “When I was halfway up Douglas Street this gull came whirling around me very close and was screaming in my face.
“And then there was another and another doing the same thing – it was like something out of Hitchcock’s The Birds. It was frightening.”
Mr Griffin said the birds eventually backed off and he staggered towards the Premier store where staff bandaged up his injuries before taking him to Furness General Hospital.
I wonder if this happened to Brian because he was strolling along with a bit of a chip on his shoulder?
Interestingly, this is the second flappy bird-related story featured on The Nether Regions where the victim has compared the incident to Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ (example one is here). A bit more imagination in future from our bird-savaged local news fodder, please.
Thank you to Lucy Ryan.
The headline of the story below refers to a ‘garden fall horse’. To the uninitiated this might seem like three completely unrelated words thrown together into a nonsensical string of headline, but is in fact an example of a very sophisticated formula often deployed to great effect by local newspaper sub-editors.
Location + verb + identity = a headline which tells the story on its own. ‘Garden fall horse’ clearly means a horse has fallen in a garden. See? Almost no need to bother reading the story. See also:
- CLIFF PLUNGE MAN (man in tragic death plunge from a cliff)
- BAKERY CURSE GRAN (grandmother hurls steak bake vulgarities at Greggs staff)
- GYMNASIUM DECAPITATION PIGEON (pigeon gets neck lodged in crosstrainer)
Anyway, I know it’s unfashionable to criticise horses, but how the hell do you slip off a field?
Whitby Gazette, 18 January 2013 (story):
Fire crew rescues garden fall horse
A HORSE was left bloodied and battered after slipping from its field into the yard of a cottage near St Mary’s Church on Friday morning.
The three-year-old cob named Flash escaped from the Donkey Field over a low fence and slipped into the back yard of a property behind East Abbey Terrace at around 2am.
As it fell the animal banged its head against the building, smashing a double-glazed window and suffering deep cuts to its head.
The cottage owner said she was awoken by a loud bang at around 2.30am. She said: “I kept hearing noises and thought it was the neighbours.”
You have to wonder what kind of noise this lady is used to hearing from the neighbours if it’s similar to the sound of a distressed, head-mashed garden fall horse.
A crew from Whitby were called at around 8am and while a plan was formulated to get the animal out of the yard, firefighter Jay Fildes kept the cob calm, nicknaming the animal ‘Sid’ due to its likeness to a colleague.
Terry Naylor, who keeps horses nearby, arrived on the scene and was able to slowly guide the horse through an outhouse and down icy steps.
Two things: (a) I’m reeling from the criminal lack of elaboration about this ‘Sid’ character back at the fire station, and (b) guiding a horse through an outhouse and down some icy steps really ought to be a game on ‘The Cube’ (pull your finger out, Schofield).
Everybody can relax: there is a happy ending to this tale of near-equinogeddon.
While owner Jason Anderson was sought, Flash was placed in another field and assessed by vet Libby Beck, who said that the animal would make a full recovery.
Hooray. So then, a much-celebrated stay of execution from the Tesco beef burger production line for our brave Sid.
It’s lovely when a community conjures up a bit of Blitz Spirit to unite around a common cause. In this case, the entire population of Basingstoke is pulling together to muster all of the tumble dryer fluff it can possibly find. A whole town picks its belly button in anticipation.
Basingstoke Gazette, 21 February 2011 (story):
Fluff needed for patchwork quilt
IT’S certainly an unusual request – but a Basingstoke art teacher is appealing for people to donate the fluff from their tumble dryer filters.
Julie Parker, a teacher at Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College, is making a patchwork quilt using the recycled material – but so far, she only has enough to make one square metre.
It is one of several unusual pieces of art that Ms Parker has challenged herself to make, having previously created a shirt using hair and a mattress from tumble dryer lint.
She said of her new project: “It’s based on the nostalgia and history of patchworks – you knew who the pieces of fabric had come from. My work is about human traces and the absent body.
“I started working with dust and made a video using dust. I also made a mattress out of tumble dryer lint, and it’s got birth, death and life all in the mattress with traces of people.”
Traces of people? Will somebody please call the police and tell them we’ve got a lead which could finally empty out that ‘Unsolved Murders in Basingstoke 1972-1998’ book.
They’ll call anything ‘art’ these days of course.
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 (stramashthebook.com), no doubt the sender of this suspicious package in the first bloody place.
To Kent, where the men clearly know how to show a bird a good time.
Sevenoaks Chronicle, 4 February 2011 (story):
Chicken on the run has trio in a flutter
WE ALL know the question asking ‘why did the chicken cross the road?’
But shoppers and staff in Sevenoaks were flummoxed when one turned up in a retail complex accompanied by three men. The trio called in at Pets Corner in Blighs Meadow last Thursday to buy chicken feed.
Stephanie Harper and her colleague quizzed them on their feathered friend and the men revealed they were taking it out for “some fresh air”.
The 20-year-old sales adviser said: “The man holding the bird kept kissing it and they asked if we sold small harnesses they could use to take it for a walk.
“It was fairly odd but the chicken didn’t look fazed. They clearly loved the bird, although at first we were concerned it was some sort of prank. But I know what a distressed animal looks like and it definitely wasn’t scared or upset.”
Without wishing to generalise, Kent really is full of freaks. Even this chicken soon realised, and made a run for it.
Shopper Evy Barry witnessed a similar scene in the Blighs car park as she got out of her car to buy a birthday present for a family member.
She said: “I was just buying my ticket when suddenly these three lads ran by in hot pursuit of this chicken. It was like a comedy sketch. They just couldn’t catch it.
“The bird didn’t look scared, just indignant. It had a look on its face like it was thinking ‘I’m just trying to walk across the car park, what’s your problem? Why are you chasing me?'”
“Eventually I had to go to buy the present and when I came back ten minutes later I saw the men getting into a blue car, no sign of the chicken, so I missed the end of the show. It was the most bizarre thing.”
Imagine if the only thing lending a smidgeon of sanity to your provincial existence was the local branch of Burton, and then it suddenly closed down. Such is the plight of this poor mite from Tonbridge, Kent. A truly heartbreaking tale of teenage alienation, boredom and despair.
Kent and Sussex Courier, 28 January 2011 (story):
There’s nothing for us teenagers in Tonbridge
TEENAGERS from Tonbridge are forced to travel to Tunbridge Wells or Maidstone for shopping or “any kind of life”, according to a 17-year-old.
K College student Reece Heron has this week spoken out to raise the issues in the hope it will be a first step to change.
He has lifted the lid on what it is like growing up as a teen in the town after seeing Burton, the only shop he ever visited, announce its closure.
“All we’ve got to attract shoppers and tourists is New Look and the castle – there’s not a lot else,” he said.
“It annoys me when all I see is charity shops. Burton is going, so there’s pretty much nothing for me to go into now. I never say to my friends, ‘oh, let’s go to the British Heart Foundation for a browse’. It’s never my first thought.”
If it wasn’t for the Kent and Sussex Courier, Reece’s message might have been lost forever. But now, drunk on the attention that inevitably comes with starring in a quarter-page article in the local paper, he strides forward with a messianic sense of purpose and the confident belief that he can deliver true and meaningful change, i.e. a few extra chain shops in Tonbridge.
“We’d like to see Top Man, River Island, and other shops which Tunbridge Wells provides, but they’re getting rid of them in Tonbridge.
Reece is the first teenager, directly affected by the problem, to speak out in depth about the issue.
He added: “It’s a problem across the whole of Tonbridge, in particular for teenage boys and young men. For women you have New Look, Monsoon and shoes places, but the downfall is there’s nothing for guys.
“I don’t think many people of my age would open up about these sort of things because they think they don’t have a voice.
“But I see there’s a huge problem in the town and it needs sorting. Speaking out is my first step in trying to change things.”
This is exactly how Bono started.