Archive for December 2010
Christmas is a period of warmth and happiness, uniting communities up and down the land with love and festive cheer.
But apart from all that, Redcar’s bitter neighbourly disputes continue every year without interruption; and let’s face it, that’s going to be far more entertaining.
Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 15 November 2007:
Redcar Christmas lights under fire again from “House Doctor”
AN ANONYMOUS self-proclaimed “House Doctor” has re-emerged in Redcar to criticise Christmas lights displays.
The Gazette first reported in 2004 how letters from the “House Doctor” criticised as “tacky, common and cheap” festive lights on several houses on Redcar’s Mickledales estate. Residents hit back at the “cowardly” scribe.
Now it seems the writer may have returned, after a letter from the “House Doctor” arrived by post at a house in the Castle Road area.
It was received by a couple who for the past 10 years have added a colourful festive display to the exterior of their home.
But this year their preparations have been soured by the letter, which shows a November 5 postmark, and criticises the “vulgar” lights as an “annual disgrace” and an “eyesore”. The writer also claims residents are “appalled by the stupidity of it” adding all that is missing is the “loud and raucous” music from a “garishly painted showman’s ride”.
Personal comments are also made in the letter, which has saddened the couple.
The female occupant of the house, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s left us really upset. My husband has not been well.”
The ‘House Doctor’ clearly feels such a burning sense of responsibility towards the community that he or she simply cannot allow abstract festive notions like ‘goodwill to all men’ to prevent them from upholding the fundamentals of housing estate aesthetics.
Hats off, I say. A sustained campaign of anonymous letter-writing is clearly the most efficient means of communicating the truth to a mass audience.
But I bet this anonymous House Doctor didn’t bargain for the residents writing back:
A response has also been penned to the “House Doctor” which defends the couple and describes the critic as a “cowardly Scrooge”. It adds: “This is not a reasoned objection, it is a character assassination. Our lights will go up this year and may bring a smile to some lives, if not yours.”
Both letters have been put on display in a bus stop near the couple’s home and in the window of a nearby newsagent’s shop.
Neighbours support the couple. One said: “People around here are really mad about the letter criticising the lights. We’re all wondering who wrote it.”
The full versions of both letters can be read at the bottom of the article itself.
Merry Christmas Bah humbug to all readers of The Nether Regions.
From time to time, local newspapers attract people who are prepared to engage in Letters Page War with other correspondents.
In this case, narky oddball Nino Hoblyn of North Street, Caistor, drags the new editor of the Market Rasen Mail into the matter and criticises him for regularly printing the local Tory MP’s letters. He even finds time to squeeze in an accusation of a freemason conspiracy. Excellent work.
Market Rasen Mail, 14 July 2010:
Letter: Other matters do need addressing, starting with Caistor’s boxed tree
EDITOR – Am I the only regular reader of the Market Rasen Mail who is beginning to wonder if the “New Kid On The Block, Paul Fisher” hasn’t been doing some of those funny little deeds with Edward Leigh MP where certain very strange handshakes are done in secret?
Because if the answer to this is “Nay Mr Wilks”, then why may I ask is dear Eddy Leigh slotting his tuppence with each and every week in telling us the reader, things that should be kept to the likes of “Jackanory”.
For how many times does one have to shout before one goes blue in the face, that we have more concerning issues in our own lines of much greater importance, the “Offending tree in a box in Caistor Market Square”.
This man’s apparent fondness for using excessive quotation marks is highly intriguing, but still not quite as intriguing as this “offending tree in a box”. Pray tell, what is the story behind this myserious box-bound woody plant?
Thanks to the work of intrepid Lincolnshire native Anna Holden, we have what some may call a photograph:
Who’d have thought an innocuous white stick in a box could lead to this?:
Oh yes sir! This may seem a most trivial topic to those with no understanding of tree’s but let me please inform you that trees should be planted in the ground and not in a box.
Let’s not forget trees also have feelings and as a humans, a box is for those who no longer live, so why condemn the tree in a box while it still breaths and enjoys gods wonderful planet.
So come on let’s release the tree back into the wild where it will smile for each and everyday of its long life and thus growing leaves more greener and a trunk thicker, will then be saying to all of us “Thanks-you”.
North Street, Caistor
Oh dear. Yes, the man is a mentalist.
Mind you, you know you’ve done well when your letter manages to tease out an editorial response.
Editor’s Note: The Market Rasen Mail strives to be entirely independent in its coverage of all matters. As MP for our district I feel our readers are interested in Mr Leigh’s views and actions and so the newspaper regularly carries letters from Mr Leigh.
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.
Responsible for the finest 80% of local newspaper content, you have to give it to the flashers.
So let’s go to our correspondents in the regions where you live for a flasher roundup…
#1: FAT FLASHER in Bromley. Will you ever be able to ascend the stairwell of an NCP car park in the same way again?
Bromley News Shopper, 16 November 2010:
Fat flasher hunted by police
A FAT flasher who exposed himself to a teenage girl in a car park is being hunted by police.
Bromley police are appealing for information after the man appeared completely naked to an 18-year-old in a stairwell of the NCP car park in Simpsons Road, Bromley, on October 28.
A police spokesman said: “At approximately 10.35pm an 18-year-old female was returning to her car when she encountered a male in the stairwell who was totally naked and carrying a red t-shirt.”
He is described as aged around 45, white, around 5′ 9″ tall with a fat build, has very short dark hair and is clean shaven.
What? Completely clean shaven? And what role was the red t-shirt playing in this? The mind boggles. Perhaps he was just caught out while innocently getting changed.
#2: ‘STRANGELY GLITTER-FLECKED’ FLASHER in Middlesbrough:
Evening Gazette, 2 November 2010:
A YOUNG boy has denied fabricating a tale of a bizarre sex act by an alleged “black magician”. The youngster accused Mohammed Anjum of exposing his strangely glitter-flecked private parts to himself and a young girl.
He then claimed the 53-year-old carried out two solo acts on himself in front of the shocked pair.
He is accused of lifting up his traditional robe to reveal a pair of ‘pink knickers’ and glitter-flecked private parts before carrying out the two acts.
‘I thought what a dirty thing he did,’ the boy said. ‘And I’m looking and he has put glitter on his private parts. It looks like it’s gold and pink glitter.’
#3: FAIRY FLASHER in Redditch: dog walkers are fair game, IMHO.
Birmingham Mail, 2 December 2010:
Fairy flasher strikes in Redditch
POLICE are hunting a man who indecently exposed himself to two female dog walkers dressed as a fairy yesterday morning.
The man who was wearing a fairy-type skirt, fishnet tights, a stripy hat and stripy scarf struck twice in Redditch between 7.20am and 8.05am.
PC Kirsty Dury, of West Mercia Police, said: “The victims were both shaken by the incident. The first victim described the man’s manner as intimidating. The other woman said he was aggressive.”
#4: SILLY LITTLE FLASHER in Kent. The best thing about this story is the reaction of the brave mum (aren’t they always?) who initally views being flashed as a mere inconvenience worthy only of an “oh, for Pete’s sake…” response.
Kent and Sussex Courier, 12 November 2010:
Victim labels serial flasher ‘silly little boy’
A 51-YEAR-OLD mum who was flashed at by a Hildenborough chef has vowed not to allow him to destroy her trust in strangers.
The woman, who attended college in Tonbridge, labelled 20-year-old serial flasher Sam Simmons a “silly little boy” after he admitted exposing his genitals on two occasions.
He pulled up next to her and she believed he was asking for directions – but as she was talking to him, he exposed his genitalia.
The woman said: “My first thought was, ‘oh, for Pete’s sake’.
“I wasn’t frightened – he’s just a silly little boy. I’m a very open person and I love chatting to strangers on the bus and meeting people. But unfortunately, what happened has affected me.
“Now when strangers approach me, I have that moment of doubt and fear, I think ‘oh, what now?’
What now? A stranger’s genitals in your face every single time, that’s what.
Only a chance courtroom meeting with the flasher’s mother was capable of healing the mental scars of this incident…
“But I don’t want to be like that and I’m fighting against that fear. He’s not going to stop me talking to strangers.
“He wants people to be traumatised by it, and I don’t want to give him the satisfaction.”
The woman was present in court on October 12 when Simmons admitted his guilt. By coincidence, she was sat next to his mother.
“She was incredibly upset and bewildered. I introduced myself to her afterwards and we had a nice conversation,” she said.
“The poor woman – she was the real victim in this. Simmons doesn’t realise how many people his behaviour affects.”
Having revealed in her victim impact statement read in court that Simmons wore a “smirk of triumph” as he exposed himself, she added that he wore a similar expression throughout the court case.
She said: “However, when he saw me talking to his mum, that smirk rapidly disappeared.
“Finally, I wiped that smirk off his face.”
Thank you to Gez Daring and Neil Trodden for their ‘smirks of triumph’ while exposing these stories.
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.