The Nether Regions

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

Archive for the ‘Pigeons’ Category

“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

The chicken curry with no chicken in it

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Heard about the time the Worcester News took on retail giant Asda, and won? If not, then you’re clearly not reading the Worcester News enough.

But first things first. Personally, if I bought an Asda chicken curry ready meal which was missing the ‘chicken’, I’d be mightily relieved rather than get all miserable and Gazette-Facey about it.

Worcester News, 23 February 2013 (story):

The chicken curry – with no chicken in it

A FURIOUS shopper has vowed never to return to a supermarket after he found his chicken curry contained no chicken.

chicken curry

Darren Ford bought the meal from Asda in St Martin’s Quarter, Worcester, on Monday as part of a £6 deal. But when his family sat down to eat the food on Wednesday night, they were shocked to find the curry contained just sauce.

The married father-of-one then had to spend a further £20 on a takeaway to feed his wife Louise, 14-year-old Tara and her friend. However, when the trained chef complained to Asda, they refused to reimburse him for the extra expense.

The 44-year-old, of Guildford Close, Ronkswood, said: “It’s not something we regularly do because I’m a chef, but as it was the Brits and my wife had been working all week we thought we’d have it.

“I put it in the oven and I’m looking at it and thinking, ‘Where’s the chicken?’. We had to spend £20 on a takeaway because I can’t drive and it was late at night. I phoned customer services to be told I was only going to get a refund and a £5 gift voucher. I’ve told them they can keep their gift card and I won’t be going in there again.”

Thankfully, the Worcester News stepped in and saved the day, in a dispute which I’m sure went all the way to Walmart HQ .

After your Worcester News contacted Asda, they upped their offer to Mr Ford to a £35 voucher. He said he would spend the gift card on “anything but food”.

Maybe he can visit the books section and use the voucher for some cookbooks. He is a chef after all.

Thanks to Ben Chisnall.

Written by Paddy

April 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Enormous Massive Egg

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Bolton awoke to the news today that customers are literally flocking to a local shop to get a glimpse of a wonder egg that has sent shock waves across the world. Well, the hen and grocery worlds at least.

The Bolton News, 05 February 2013 (story)

ONE hen has performed “eggs-tradinary” — after laying one of Britain’s biggest eggs.

Note to editor: if you’re happy to publish an article la(i)den with egg-scruciating egg puns, please ensure that the first one is not only hard-hitting but is also correctly spelt and makes sense.

But I digress.

The egg, which came from a chicken at an allotment in Breightmet, is four times the usual size of an egg.

It weighs 6.75oz (191g) is 8.25in in circumference and is 4in tall.

Normally, a large egg in the UK would weight about 73g.

Now I’m interested, tell me more.

Terry Paulcrompton was so “eggs-static” when he discovered the giant egg he took it to show his pal Laszlo Hamar, owner of nearby Wise Buys Discount Store in Bury Road. Mr Hamar said: “It’s the biggest egg I have ever seen. It’s absolutely enormous.

Quiet at the back.

Terry was really shocked when he found it, and when I saw it I couldn’t believe it either. “We have been looking on the internet and we think it’s one the biggest eggs ever laid in England.”

Terry looking shocked

Terry’s pal Lazlo showing off the massive egg

Not just the largest egg laid in England, Terry, but the largest in Britain!

Because apparently:

The largest egg laid in Britain weighed in at 6.6oz and was produced by a Rhode Island chicken last year.

That, if my maths is correct, is a whole 0.15oz lighter than Terry’s find. Like Neil Kinnock, Kris Akabusi must be All Right-ing at the news.

And it’s not just the two pals that are egg-cited by their find.

…visitors have been flocking to view the egg, which is now on display at the shop.

Mr Hamar, aged 55, from Ainsworth, said: “Lots of people have been coming in to take photos of it.”

“Everyone is really shocked when they see it.”

Shell shocked, one can only assume. Much like the poor mother hen.

Written by MK

February 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Rat up loo-ille

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Just imagine the scenes.

Lewisham and Catford News Shopper, 19 March 2008:

Woman on toilet attacked by rat

A DISABLED woman was horrified after being bitten by a rat which came up through her toilet while she was sitting on it.

Maxine Killingback, who lives on her own, jumped up in shock when she felt the rat bite the top of her leg and fell over onto the floor, hurting her back.

After drowning the rat herself using a plunger and barricading the toilet to stop other rats which were trying to get out, she phoned Greenwich Council only to be told she would have to wait three weeks for them to come and sort out the problem.

If this was '999' with chauvinism's Michael Buerk, it would definitely say 'RECONSTRUCTION' at the bottom of the picture.

It’s common to be frustrated when something just won’t flush away, but Mrs Killingback’s experience takes it to an extreme.

She said: “You don’t expect to sit down to spend a penny and be bitten by a rat.

“It just felt like someone had put a needle in me.

“When I jumped up it seemed to still have a hold on me.”

Ms Killingback, who has rheumatism in her legs and back, said the rat was still trying to get out of the toilet after she fell on the floor.

She tried flushing the toilet chain twice but the creature came back each time.

Ms Killingback said: “It was a big, black one, seven or eight inches long.

“It was trying to climb up but it kept sliding back down. I put a plunger down the toilet but it kept trying to get out.”

Ms Killingback, who says she has a nervous disposition, then jammed a bleach bottle next to the plunger and kept it there until the rat had drowned.

She said: “Then there were more coming up, I could see their noses poking through the gap.

“I just put two big boxes of washing powder and other things on top of the toilet to block it and shut the bathroom door.

“I’ve never known anything like it.”

Never known anything like it… and probably never will.

Link: Woman on toilet attacked by rat

Written by Paddy

March 25, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Posted in Bravery, Pigeons

Pigeonocide (Part 2 of 2)

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Vigilante action on the part of upstanding locals with admirable intentions to rid Market Rasen of its feathered gits – as documented in Part 1 – led to an outpouring of angry disbelief from pro-pigeon oddballs in the letters page of the Market Rasen Mail the following week.

Thanks to pigeon-fancier Anna Holden for spotting these.

4 November 2009:

Absolutely disgusting

EDITOR – Forgive me for sounding rude, but I think it’s absolutely disgusting that pigeons have been killed.

Animals were on this earth long before humans. We have destroyed their homes by building ours, and now we want to destroy them too.

We blame the rabbits for the A46 problems, yet the rabbits didn’t build the road.

Now we blame the pigeons for mess, yet we allow people to throw rubbish on our streets, urinate down our alleys and cause problems and anti social behaviour after a few drinks.

I really think people need to look closer to home before branding our wildlife as the cause of mess and problems.

Nikki Woodhead
by email

Surely rabbits do build roads? Otherwise, what else could they be for?

4 November 2009:

Kill, kill, kill is not the answer

EDITOR – Is this now the answer to all our problems when confronted by a situation that is spoiling the habitat in which we live and that is to Kill! Kill! and Kill! again and again?

Because, like it or not, the pigeon is one of God’s creatures and, if trained in the proper manner, can and will bring great joy and happiness to the owner and when this novelty has worn off, they taste fantastic in a pie, not too dissimilar to the grey squirrel or the very common brown rat.

Nino Hoblyn

Yeah! Don’t kill God’s creatures – just eat them in pies! God’s logic at its finest.

Textbook pigeon Kill! Kill! Kill! In Manchester rather than Market Rasen, but still.

This woman is, frankly, a total freak (the full letter is well worth a read):

4 November 2009:

Why wasn’t netting used rather than a cull tried for pigeons on bridge

EDITOR – You would think, from all the venom and malice directed at those poor pigeons in Market Rasen, that we humans didn’t produce excrement.

We flush the toilet and it becomes out of sight, out of mind, ignoring the fact that we also pour toxic chemicals down our toilets. We flush away plastic cotton buds, condoms, razor blades, sanitary towels and tampons and other harmful items that pollute our seas and beaches and cause death to wildlife. […]

Personally, I have always found pigeons very attractive birds. They are so affectionate and loving with each other, and mate for life.

They really seem to enjoy their home comforts. In my garden in very hot weather, some will sit in the longer cool grass in the shade, wings outstretched, cooling off, or dunk themselves for up to 10 minutes at a time, in the bird baths, heads drooping, having a relaxing, cooling soak.

I’ve seen them swooping and gliding, seemingly for the pleasure of the flight, rather than just getting from A to B. […]

It can’t be beyond the wit of man to find a non-lethal form of dealing with this problem.

When I walked under the bridge last weekend, and saw two nervous individuals, perching as far back as possible, instead of the relaxed social gatherings of before, I realised that some sort of cull must have taken place, and felt sickened.

Tricia Holford

While the letters page agenda was dominated by these rabid pro-pigeon lobby groups that week, a couple of weeks later they were all irrevocably put in their place at one fell pigeon swoop by an anonymous correspondent:

18 November 2009:

Pigeons and louts both need cleaning up for society’s sake

EDITOR – To all those readers who complained about the pigeon cull, do not be so hypocritical. Have you ever stepped on an ant, snail or spider or killed a mouse in your home or garage.

Would you allow wasps to build a nest near your home and do nothing about them? I think not. The cull went quietly and humanely, and it did not cost a penny to you or the taxpayers.

I cannot believe that you people are so blind.

To say it’s only a few steps under the bridge, they should be left there. The bridge was not touched. But have you no feelings for the gentleman who lives nearest to the bridge? He has mess on his step all the time and his daughter is regularly scrubbing it for him.

Are you not bothered about the aged, who have slipped and fallen on the filth? What about the children and animals who carry this mess into their homes, on their shoes and feet?

And to say put them in a pie, don’t you realise these pigeons are feral and bring as much disease as rats.

I agree with all of you that our streets are plagued with foul mouthed, spitting, lazy louts who flaut the law and vandalise all that is good. Hopefully one day the Government will toughen up and we can eradicate them.

It is because of these vermin that I have not enclosed my name.

Name and address supplied

Clearly, pigeons will always divide opinions. To paraphrase Bill Hicks on pro-life campaigners… even my friends – all very intelligent – are totally divided on pigeons. Some think pigeons are annoying idiots. Some think pigeons are evil fucks. I think of them as evil annoying idiot fucks. How are we going to come to a consensus?

Written by Paddy

February 13, 2010 at 10:44 am

Pigeonocide (Part 1 of 2)

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It’s not often that Market Rasen, the 24-hour party capital of Lincolnshire comprising 3,200 townsfolk, is brought to a standstill. In the latter half of 2009, however, an infestation of problem pigeons under the railway bridge wrought havoc on the town’s pavements, sending locals into a collective seizure and some of them theatrically slipping to find themselves face down in appalling piles of evil pigeon mess.

Morale dipped, tempers frayed and local economies collapsed, but good old-fashioned community spirit eventually kicked in and the authorities rallied around the one cause that will always unite humankind: cold, gruesome murder of innocents. Just pigeons, though, so that’s fine.

Thanks to the tireless graft of dedicated staff at the Market Rasen Mail over a period of several months, history will never be allowed to forget the pigeons’ fate and eventual (literal) downfall.

Market Rasen Mail, 12 May 2009 (story):

Pigeons to be denied reading material

THE ADVERTISING hoardings are to be removed from under Market Rasen’s railway bridge in a bid to stop the pesky pigeons roosting there.

Following a site meeting between bridge owner Network Rail’s consultant and town councillors, the company which owns the advertising boards is being asked to vacate the site ‘as a means to resolving responsibility issues.’ […]

The town council has welcomed the move but still believes that netting is needed in order to stop the birds shifting up into the rafters and continuing their aerial assault of the pavements.

Town mayor Coun Ken Bridger said it was clear that the lights over the billboards is a ‘warm perch’.

This plan may have sounded foolproof enough, but subsequent delays arising from tricky commercial relationships between the key parties in the episode meant it would be quite some time before the town could sleep easily again.

Market Rasen Mail, 9 June 2009 (story):

Pigeons in fight back mode

PIGEONS are fighting back in the territorial battle of wills and perching places between themselves, Network Rail and Market Rasen Town Council.

After one launched an aerial assault on Councillor Laurie Povey from above the banks in the Market Place he declared there was ‘now an infestation throughout the town’.

The town council is still pressing for Network Rail, owners of the Queen Street bridge beneath which pigeon guano piles up and causes danger, to install netting and get rid of the billboard hoardings which act as perches.

With still nothing done by 13 October 2009 (story), the paper reported that “both the district and county councils are galvanising their legal teams for action” against Network Rail. Yes, actual legal action about pigeons. About ruddy time, really, because diplomacy clearly doesn’t work with these brutes.

Burt Keimach, a councillor on both authorities, told the town council last week, “We have decided to mount a double pronged legal attack against Network Rail which is primarily responsible for this mess.

“It’s like a dirty shagpile carpet under these bridges; really quite disgusting,” he said.

The threat of court action quickly did the trick and, to the Council’s delight, the advertising hoardings were removed the following week. This would surely bring an end to the matter and bring peace to all those serving in local government.

Market Rasen Mail, 20 October 2009 (story):

Relocated roosters wreak revenge on Council

PIGEONS displaced from under the railway bridge at Queen Street by the removal last week of the advertising hoardings are wreaking their revenge on the town council – by roosting at the council offices.

The relocated birds have found a new perch on the roof and mast at the Old Police Station where they can terrorise the councillors who for more than a year have been battling to have them moved on.

Oh dear; what goes around comes around, I suppose. But before any pigeon fanciers in the town could even contemplate getting too smug about such a heartwarming tale of avian success, the humans wheeled out the nuclear option:

Market Rasen Mail, 27 October 2009 (story):

Cull calls extended over Rasen’s ‘roosting rats’

REGULAR culls on Market Rasen’s pesky pigeons are in the sights of fed up councillors after householders again took vigilante action to rid their road of the problem.

There are calls for the culls to become part of the town’s monthly routine until a lasting solution to the plague of birds – seen as ‘roosting rats’ – is authorised by councils and owners of the rail bridges where they perch.

Last Wednesday night Union Street was closed by police for half an hour after residents made private arrangements for a marksman to launch a second assault on the pigeons there.

The cumulative effect of the two culls was to kill 60 birds, with an obvious benefit as the birds had steered clear this week, said one resident.

“It was all well and good taking the hoardings down but the pigeons have only moved on to find nesting and roosting sites elsewhere, like Union Street,” he said.

“What we’ve done in Union Street is only a drop in the ocean and things are better. The street’s much cleaner without their filth but unless we keep up regular culls they’re only going to come back again and keep coming back.”

So there we have it. Open vigilante warfare on the streets of Market Rasen. It was always inevitable, one way or another.

Check back soon for part 2 of this gripping saga, as played out in the typically tempestuous manner of the Market Rasen Mail‘s letters page.

Network Rail concluded

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that ‘as the bill boards and lighting are without doubt the main factor, it is apparent that the bulk of the problem could be resolved by this action’.

The town council has welcomed the move but still believes that netting is needed in order to stop the birds shifting up into the rafters and continuing their aerial assault of the pavements.

Written by Paddy

February 11, 2010 at 10:53 am

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