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.
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.
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.
In English law, the whole concept of law itself is redundant where defence of one’s property is concerned. Since Tony Martin, British public opinion – the only meaningful barometer of what is right and just – is on the side of giving total freedom for homeowners to murder fellow human beings if they’re not welcome in their house. Some choose to customise the wiring of the reclining armchairs in their living rooms so they can double up as domestic electric chairs for the purposes of meting out the ultimate home-made justice on any unwanted intruders. The justice system will simply turn a blind eye.
In Romford, one homeowner is extending this legal principle to tackling the squirrel menace.
Romford Recorder, 19 March 2013 (story):
House fire started by a squirrel disrupts funeral procession through Romford
A funeral car broke rank mid-procession and sped off toward its passenger’s house – where a squirrel had started a fire.
Friend of the deceased and former Havering councillor Alby Tebbutt, 73, was in the final car of a procession in Brentwood Road in the afternoon of Friday, March 8, when he received an unwelcome phone call.
“I had a fellow in my house putting a new bathroom in,” he told the Recorder. “He had the window open and saw smoke coming out the garage roof.
“So he rang the fire brigade and then rang me.”
Mr Tebbutt initially believed the caller was pulling his leg – but as it dawned on him the fire was no wind-up he realised he had to get home, funeral or no funeral.
“I said to the driver: ‘I’m telling you, my house is on fire. Go left here.’
“The driver said: ‘I can’t go left – I’m in a funeral.’
“I said: ‘Never mind that. Turn left.’”
A fire brigade spokesman said the mischievous rodent had chewed through the cable of a fluorescent light, sparking an electrical fire that quickly spread through the garage.
“It’s nuts to think that squirrels can start fires, but that’s exactly what happened here,” he admitted. “We think it was nesting in the garage and caused the blaze by chewing through some cables.”
Self-proclaimed “animal lover” Mr Tebbutt said he was nearing the end of his tether with the rodents.
“I put nuts out for the birds but the squirrels keep eating them,” he revealed. “Whatever contraption I put up, they seem to beat me. It’s a battle between me and the squirrels.
“I put up with that but now they’ve set my house on fire I’ve decided I’m going to shoot them all.”
Thank heavens we were less trigger happy in the Cold War.
It is every testosterone-splattered man’s dream to feature in the news as a have-a-go-hero who uses just one hand to floor attacker after attacker in a vicious street attack and escape unscathed. The dream came true for one pub landlord from Wisbech, in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, only to then come crashing down when it turned out the whole thing was a massive humongous fib.
Wisbech Standard, 20 February 2013 (story):
LIAR: The pub landlord who conned the world into believing he single-handedly fought off four muggers
A PUB landlord has admitted to police he lied about fighting off four attackers outside a Wisbech fish and chip shop.
The alleged attack – which made international news after John Wood, 37, first told his story to the Wisbech Standard – never happened.
The ‘heroic’ derring-do pub landlord from the Marshland Arms has even been forced to cough up an £80 fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.
How Wood received his wounds – seen by our reporter and photographer – is not known but police are assured he did NOT get them from fielding off attackers.
Wood had alleged that four men cornered him in an alleyway off Lynn Road, Wisbech, as he emerged from Frank’s Fish & Chip Shop. But, despite suffering a stab wound which he claimed required 18 stitches, the 37-year-old alleged he floored all four of his attackers – and left with his dinner intact.
Wood claimed he had trained in martial arts as a teenager and said the men “stopped me and demanded my phone and wallet. I told them if they wanted it, come and get it.
“They all came at me at once. I kicked two of them in the leg. I used to do a little bit of aikido and I remembered to go for the knees. They fell to the floor and couldn’t get up.
“As I did that another clipped me in the face. I turned around and hit him and he fell.”
He then went into detail about the attacked and claimed “I didn’t even drop the chips. “It was all done one-handed. They weren’t even squashed when I got home!”
So impressive. Such a shame then that when the chips were down, the landlord’s story didn’t add up and he had to face this humiliation in the local paper, throwing the holy sacrament of ‘news’ into total disarray.
You’d think that would be the end of the matter, but no: the landlord came back for more and the Wisbech Standard published a follow-up story with yet more comments from him in which he desperately maintains his innocence.
Shamed pub landlord insists attacks did happen (story):
SHAMED pub landlord John Wood insisted today he did fight off four attackers and only accepted an £80 fine for wasting police time “to get them off my back”.
Faced with being branded by police as a liar, the 37 year-old landlord of the Marshland Arms remains adamant he was attacked outside Franks’ fish and chip shop.
“The reason I accepted a fine for wasting police time was because I wanted the whole thing finished,” he told me.
Two detectives quizzed him, he said, and explained they had examined CCTV in the area and would find no footage of the alleged attack.
“They asked if I had caused the injuries to myself- asked if my fiancée had done it or had the kids done it by accident,” he said.
Mr Wood said: “It was the most bizarre moment of my life being interviewed by people who didn’t believe me. Where did they think the injuries came from for goodness sake?
“I was told due to them actually spending time on the case I would have to a pay a fine. I said anything just to get this bloody matter finished. So they wrote up a statement, I signed it and left thinking that was over.
“Now these lies are being bandied about.”
A police spokesman said: “Officers began to investigate the allegations but soon realised his version of events did not add up.
“The 37 year old admitted he lied when he was interviewed yesterday.”
A real Wisbech whodunnit. I just don’t know what or who to believe any more.
Thanks to Peter Cragg.
Question: What do you do in that moment of blind panic when your 12-year-old son stumbles upon the secret world of vice and illegality you thought was well hidden on the family computer?
Options: (a) confess all, (b) slip your son a fiver to keep quiet, or (c) report it to the police, write to the Home Secretary, and parade you and your son in the pages of the local paper with Gazette Faces in order to prove it’s got nothing to do with your own online browsing habits.
Grimsby Telegraph, 19 January 2013 (story):
‘Dark web’ warning to parents as Cleethorpes boy stumbles on grim internet world
A 12-YEAR-old boy from Cleethorpes stumbled across an internet underworld selling guns and sex with underage girls while looking for games online.
His appalled father now wants to spread the word to other parents and has even written to the Home Secretary about it.
Robert Palmer, 53, of Arundel Place, Cleethorpes, was horrified when his son Morgan, who suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), told him what he had unearthed.
The computer whiz had found an ominous tutorial, explaining how to download a different web server, which he did, that unveiled the whole section of the internet not available to normal users.
Services advertised on the dark web include guns, contract killers, drugs, credit card skimmers, sex, child and animal pornography and identities for sale, which can be bought using an online currency called Bitcoins.
Sounds like a whole Narnia of sin. Not one to be selfish, the concerned moral crusader was keen to share news of this ‘whole section of the internet not available to normal users’ with other parents.
Mr Palmer said: “There is nothing you can’t get on there and some of it is pretty grim, so I think that other parents should know about it.
“Young people could get hold of drugs without even meeting a drug dealer, which is worrying. Morgan is sensible and luckily he told me.
Mr Palmer, who writes computer programmes himself, contacted Humberside Police but was told nothing could be done – although they have offered advice to parents and assured them that calls will be taken seriously.
Frustrated, he has written to Home Secretary Theresa May about the dark web, urging her to take action to protect the public from such blatant illegality.
Morgan, a gifted pupil at Cleethorpes Academy, said: “This is the mother-load of criminal websites – some of the things on there are appalling. I knew what it was straight away so I went to get my dad.”
It’s a bit out of order for little Morgan to drag his mother into this sordid episode.
As a child I used to get harassed by teen ruffians in my provincial coastal hometown too, but it was only ever over my extraordinary bike stabilisers or extraordinary home haircuts. Never over anything as extraordinary as an owl.
Morecambe Visitor, 25 October 2012 (story):
Silly string attack on boy carrying owl
An 11-year-old boy was punched and sprayed with ‘silly string’ by a gang of teenagers – who were trying to steal an owl.
The bird had been taken by the boy and his friend to be displayed at an event just off Morecambe Promenade last Saturday.
The pair were walking along Euston Road between 3pm and 4pm when they were approached by the gang of around 10 teenagers outside Pound Fever.
One of the gang said “Give me your owl,” and adopted a boxing pose.
With an outstretched arm he then sprayed both boys with the silly string while shouting abuse.
The shocked 11-year-old boy, who is from Morecambe, threw his drink at the teen before taking the owl from his friend. He was then twice punched to the side of the head as he and his friend fled in separate directions.
PC Ben Hanley said: “This is a really odd incident.”
Tit for tat + twit twoo = a twit for twat twoo incident, more like.
Once again to Whitby, where there’s nothing quite like the visit of two smug Geordies off the telly to get the locals excited.
Whitby Gazette, 10 January 2013 (story):
Whitby goes celebrity spotting
WHITBY went celeb-spotting this week as the nation’s favourite TV presenters turned up in town to film a new advert.
As word spread that Ant and Dec were in Whitby on Wednesday, crowds gathered outside the fish market to catch a glimpse of the duo who were shooting an advert for Morrison’s after teaming up with the supermarket last week.
The trip down the coast from their native Newcastle brought back memories for Dec who had been to Whitby before.
He added: “It was years ago when I came.”
That’s clearly a lie, you randy thing.
The visit of this so-called ‘Ant’ and his so-called friend, the so-called ‘Dec’ (real names PJ and Duncan), will be solely responsible for plummeting levels of educational attainment in the Whitby area.
Just before they headed off home they spent time posing for photographs and signing autographs for the waiting crowds.
They included Whitby Community College students Adam Clarkson, Ben Lawson-Green and Marc Butler who had ‘bunked off’ to go to see Ant and Dec.
Adam said: “We just caught him going to the toilet as we went to get a bacon sandwich.
“He told us to wait and then he shook our hands and I said I enjoyed the mullet joke but he said it got boring after the 50th time.”
Never meet your heroes: they’ll only disappoint you by shaking your hand immediately after urinating. Typical Geordies.