Archive for March 2011
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any article or letter which dares to question the merits of a town or its people will quickly provoke a fierce rebuke from affronted natives in the local paper’s letters page.
In this case, timewarped and tiny north-eastern fishing village and depressing Sunday afternoon family outing hotspot of my youth, Staithes, bites back. And excitingly, it bites back in the form of a letter from Winifred Craig, who writes under a name designed for a 243 year-old while inexplicably claiming to be just 76.
An extra interesting fact about Staithes before you move on: the demented locals pronounce it as ‘Steers’. So there.
Whitby Gazette, 16 March 2011 (letter):
The people of Staithes DO care
I read with horror and consternation the article of 15 March headed ‘I drive by when I see village sign Staithes’.
It was then when I came to the paragraph – ‘you should resign yourself to the fact that Staithes does not care whether you visit or not’ – I became outraged.
How dare he. As an original of Staithes of some 76 years and having lived and travelled worldwide I have seen some horrendous sights and smells, he makes Staithes seem like the aftermath of Tsunami.
The people of Staithes do care. We have a very dedicated council employee who does a magnificent job of cleaning the village and if anything above his job is brought to his attention he will do his utmost to resolve it. But the writer puts the cap fairly and squarely on the right head when he mentions Scarborough Borough Council. They do not seem to care about these little villages and concentrate money, time and effort on Scarborough, as he duly notes.
And as for the polluted beach and water, this is because of the groin being in the wrong place and the cutting off of the tidal flow from the north and south sides of the piers, which has never been rectified. Please don’t blame the locals, blame bureaucracy and the indifference of the council who should care, but don’t.
This isn’t the first time a wrongly-placed groin will have cut off something’s flow. Right lads?
Oh, and by the way, my husband has a blue badge and as we live at the top of the bank and as he cannot walk more than a few feet after suffering a stroke, finds it impossible to visit our old home on the seafront, and know why, it’s because since the council laid the new cobblestones it shakes him up so much it makes him ill.
So writer, if you have any clout at all, get in touch with Scarborough Borough Council and justify your remarks. You never know, you may succeed where others have failed.
Winifred Craig, Cliff Road, Staithes
Surely these cobblestones are in contravention of disability legislation? If Staithes shakes up people in wheelchairs to the point of illness, then the original article probably made a fair recommendation about driving by drive by the village sign.
It’s excellent to see the sophisticated OAPs of the north-east beginning to take direct action where it matters.
The Northern Echo, 21 February 2011 (story):
Water supply feud leads to pensioner’s threat to Percy family
POLICE have been alerted after a pensioner who changed his name to Bastard threatened to ruin the wedding of a North-East aristocrat.
Michael McNamara, 71, has vowed to disrupt the wedding service of Lady Katie Percy, the eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland.
The pensioner wrote to Lady Katie – a friend of Prince William and Kate Middleton – to say he and a gang of relatives would turn up at the event.
Mr McNamara, who in recent years changed his name by Deed Poll to Michael ”Bastard” McNamara, said he was warned he faced arrest if he caused trouble.
What on earth could have led to this Bastard developing such a grudge against his rich and privileged bastard neighbours? A water supply, of course.
It is believed Mr McNamara developed a grudge against the Percy family following a dispute over the water supply at his home.
He has bombarded the Duke and Duchess, and Northumbria Police, with foul-mouthed and insulting postcards for many years.
He told The Journal in Newcastle: ”I’ve sent postcards to the police all my life. The Duchess used to get one every year but I sent one to her and her daughter last Friday.
”The police just said ‘How would you like it if they sent it to me?’
”I told them I was going to the wedding and they said that if I went I was going to get arrested. I said, ‘I will see you at the wedding’.”
No messin’. Hats off. Go on you Bastard!
Thanks to Nick Henegan.
As dozens of vehicles career off Canvey Island’s roads as a result of loose tyres, all the locals can do is moan about the ruddy mess.
Southend Echo, 24 February 2011 (story):
Just who is the phantom tyre dumper?
A COUNCIL has been urged to use spy powers to help find the now notorious Canvey tyre dumper.
Another 25 tyres have been dumped on the island, this time in Haven Road and near the entrance to a caravan park.
More than 1,000 tyres have been dumped over a series of nights since mid-December, but so far the police and council have failed to catch the culprit.
Jane King, Canvey Island Independent Party councillor for Canvey West, believes Castle Point Council should use any available law to find the person responsible.
“Something must be done, because Canvey shouldn’t be a dumping ground. These tyres are costing the tax payer a fortune to get rid of.”
Oh look, here comes the obligatory single-issue local politican, no doubt hoping to make a name for themselves where others fear to tread.
Oh, and look, here’s the obligatory concerned local resident who only gets worked up about the odd bit of litter despite all of the more pressing evils in society:
Elizabeth Swann spotted the latest pile of tyres when she left her home in Haven Road on Monday morning.
She said: “I saw all these tyres on the side of the road, and thought, ‘Oh no, not again’.
“We had the same thing here about a fortnight ago, although that time they left them all scattered down the road. This time they’d been left in a neater pile.”
Ah, finally, these cold hearted and conniving tyre-dumping bastards have found it in their hearts to leave their rubbery deposits in a neat pile. Just goes to show that even fly-tippers have a conscience.
Thanks to Roddy Campbell for leaving this mess of a story in a neat pile in my Inbox.
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.
Hmmm, “barred from approaching tethered animals”… the implication seems to be that this prolific horse botherer is free to have his wicked way with untethered ones, provided he can catch them first. Encouraging equine foreplay rituals seems like an odd form of justice if you ask me.
The Northern Echo, 17 February 2011 (story):
Horse pervert is spared jail again
A CONVICTED sex offender narrowly avoided being sent to prison yesterday after he admitted stroking ponies – despite a court ban.
Retired farmworker David Chamberlin was barred from approaching tethered animals as part of an order after he admitted outraging public decency by committing a lewd act with a horse in 2009.
In 2009, he was caught when the owner of the horse spotted Chamberlin acting suspiciously in a field in Billingham, near Stockton. The farmer saw the animal’s head being pulled down towards Chamberlin’s groin.
Shocked and disgusted, he hit Chamberlin with a stick, which caused the horse to run off, dragging Chamberlin across the field.
Long serving readers may recall this character’s previous appearance on The nether regions in relation to the previous lewd act in 2009. His inimitable shabby-red-jacket-and-fag-in-mouth combo is unforgettable:
The best thing about this story is this extraordinary set of comments from the District Judge.
District Judge Kristina Harrison said: “I find it very strange behaviour that any man would want to stick his penis in a horse’s mouth, quite frankly.”
“By being on bail for a long time, he seems to have moved on from horses to prostitutes which is not a particularly good development.
“He has got to refrain from behaving in the manner that he does. I would like to stop him behaving in a bizarre sexual fashion.”
I bet they’ll have had a laugh about this back in the press gallery.
Thanks to Nick Henegan for this story.