Archive for the ‘Upstanding locals’ Category
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.
Who knew that a general fondness for chicken could result in mass pandemonium, defecation in front gardens and, worse, rogue parking? Not the concerned residents of Lewisham.
You would think a museum which calls itself ‘Horniman’ should know the perils of a ‘jerk’.
Lewisham News Shopper, 23 April 2012 (story):
Museum plans threatened by jerk chicken ‘pandemonium’
A MUSEUM which wants an extension to its booze licence has a fight on its hands from people who remember “pandemonium” when 20,000 jerk chicken fans descended on the premises in 2009.
Hungry masses flocked to the Horniman Museum event, craving a taste of the spicy Caribbean food and tempted by the appearance of Reggae Reggae Sauce founder Levi Roots and kids’ TV favourite Floella Benjamin.
But the Forest Hill museum has pledged people will not see scenes like those again, after it was claimed that roads were gridlocked, cars were parked in residents’ drives, and people brawled in the streets over spaces.
Scores of residents have written objection letters to Lewisham Council over new licence plans, one even claiming: “During the festival there were numerous, quite appalling instances of visitors urinating and defecating in residents’ front gardens.”
Terrible scenes, but at least they weren’t jerking in the front garden? Every cloud, etc.
If you don’t think you’ve experienced pandemonium in your life so far, just imagine what it’s like to see people tearing up parking tickets and then having to cancel a family meal, because that’s apparently what pandemonium is.
David Lister, 67 of Sydenham Rise, told News Shopper chaos was caused by the museum’s lack of parking facilities.
He said: “The jerk festival was pandemonium. People were just tearing parking tickets up and throwing them in the air.
“I had to cancel my family coming to dinner because people had parked in my drive. There were even cars on the lawn.”
ARRRGGHHH! CARS on the LAWN!!!
Thank you to Gez Daring.
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.
The stench of mystery is plaguing the market town of Spalding, Lincolnshire. This could be the whodunnit to end all whodunnits.
Spalding Guardian, 13 January 2011 (story):
Police bid to catch Spalding stink bomber
POLICE are hunting a hooded man in his 50s who is targeting charity shops with stink bombs.
The man – in his 50s – repeatedly preys on the Cancer Research shop in Hall Place and the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance shop in Sheepmarket.
The stink bombs smell like rotten eggs and the stench is so powerful that customers arriving at the shops are opening the door and going away again.
Lisa Winkley, manager of the Cancer Research shop, said the stink bombs are usually let off amongst the books on the ground floor.
Staff have to throw books away and the foul smell fills the retail area and both upper floors.
Mrs Winkley said: “It’s absolutely disgusting. It’s foul. It has a smell of its own.
“Last time we caught it in time – he didn’t manage to break it properly and I was able to get the stink bomb out. I chucked it in our bin outside.”
Whoever smelt it dealt it.
It’s hard to know what the Spalding Stink Bomber’s motive could possibly be. Perhaps he regards his campaign of olfactory vandalism as a legitimate form of direct political action in protest at the government’s overburdening of the charity sector as part of its ‘Big Society’ cuts agenda. That would be fair enough.
More cynically, I can’t help suspecting this whole thing has merely been cooked up by the charity shop staff in order to conceal their own unconscionable levels of flatulence.
Whoever denied it supplied it.
The attacks began last summer and, after a brief lull, they began again with a vengeance – often on Wednesdays.
Celia Laverton, manager of the air ambulance shop, said: “It’s happening at least once a week now.”
The stench lingers for around 45 minutes – and that’s after she’s opened the door, switched on fans, sprayed air fresheners and lit incense cones.
Mrs Winkley said her regular customers are now so used to the stink bomb attacks that they continue to shop – but others simply walk away after opening the front door.
PC Paul Smith, Spalding town centre beat manager, said he’s seen isolated incidents of youngsters letting off stink bombs in shops as a prank but in 22 years of policing has never come across a concerted campaign like this against charity shops.
He said: “If the gentleman has got a problem with the shops then I would say please bring it forward properly and stop picking on charity shops who are trying to collect money for charitable causes.”
If the police ever catch this stink-bombing scoundrel, then the most appropriate course of action would surely be to let him off. Boom boom, thank you, and goodnight.
Thanks to Paul Widdowfield for kicking up a stink and submitting this story.
‘Got the hump’! Ahahahahaha…!! Haaarggghh!
Clearly, all that journalism training really served this Bridgwater Mercury reporter very well indeed.
Bridgwater Mercury, 7 January 2011 (story):
Woman gets stuck after taking ‘short cut’
THE driver of this car got the hump – after trying to take a short cut out of a car park near Bridgwater.
The 27-year-old woman, who asked not to be named, told the Mercury she felt “pretty stupid” after getting stuck on this grass hump after trying to take a more direct exit from a car park in Dunball. Passing farmers Tom Woodhouse and Andrew Bateman came to the rescue and towed the Renault Clio out.
Mr Bateman said: “Us farmers aren’t all that bad. We’ve helped a few people out of ditches, but I’ve never come across anyone silly enough to try to go over a mound.”
Oh dear. This, of course, opens the floodgates for allsorts of openly sexist automobile ridicule. But still, how typical of a woman driver to make a mountain out of a mound-hill.
…it simply doesn’t happen enough.
Dunfermline Press, 29 October 2010 (story):
Harry’s war on the worms!
A ROSYTH gardener fears he may never win his war against an invasive garden pest – despite killing more than 3000 of them at his allotment in eight years.
Harry Boyle (78), Mitchell Walk, is attempting to rid his plot of the New Zealand flatworm. The creatures feed on the common earthworm resulting in reduced soil quality.
Harry has had his plot at Rosyth allotments, King’s Road, for 40 years but only noticed the ugly little worms in 1998.
In 2002 he decided to keep a tally of all those he killed.
This tallying of victims is a classic trait of a cold-blooded serial killer. It starts with worms, but who next? One look into these piercing, deadened eyes, and there can be little doubt it will soon be the other allotment holders:
Scientific fact alert: if you can breed canaries, you can count flatworms no bother!
He said, “I used to breed canaries for 30 years so counting flatworms is no bother.
“I fill a diary in each day and I’ve killed 10 today!
So far he has killed 3100 of the flatworms but remains puzzled as to why they continue to blight his plot despite his single-minded efforts to destroy them.
This is exactly how Nazi Germany started.
Wiggly thanks to Ian McColville for turning the soil of this story in his local paper.
One from the archives: this is an all-time classic court report from Middlesbrough’s Evening Gazette.
Some wonderful detail, great quotes, and Simon Bland really is ‘one of life’s characters’. Probably best just to let the story do the talking…
Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 14 August 2008 (story):
One-legged addict jailed for dangerous driving
A ONE-LEGGED motorist who mowed down a binman and just missed a woman with a pushchair has been jailed.
Disabled driver Simon Bland repeatedly interrupted his sentencing hearing at Teesside Crown Court by speaking over the judge and barristers – beginning as prosecutor Ian Mullarkey attempted to explain the case.
Mr Mullarkey said on July 7 last year an off-duty PCSO spotted Bland get out of his Ford Focus at a petrol station on Marton Road in Middlesbrough – naked from the waist down.
Bland, 36, was arrested later in the day after being spotted again with the car careering onto pavements and into the paths of other vehicles causing motorists to take evasive action.
He was reported to police again on July 31 after being seen driving at less than 5mph on the A171. He then got to Ormesby Bank where he picked up speed, clipped a kerb and almost hit a young girl on a cycle before going into the path of a van which managed to steer clear. He later mounted a pavement again and struck binman Buster Carter, who was left unable to work for six weeks. And on November 22 he just missed a woman pushing a pram as he tried to reverse.
As promised, Bland – who lost his leg in 2002 – was given the opportunity to speak. He told the judge, who he repeatedly called Les: “I have the utmost respect for you people in authority.”
Bland then spoke of his youth at Stokesley Comprehensive, the Gulf War and how he dreamed of being a Marine. “I joined the French Foreign Legion,” he added. “I was with them for four years, no, three years. I had to do a runner from them. It was too hard. I can’t go back to France – I will be arrested.”
Bland apologised to the binman who he referred to as “Buster Douglas”. He then spoke of a hairdresser who was at school with his brother before being interrupted by Judge Spittle.
He was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for three years. As he was led down to the cells he asked to be banned from driving for five years instead, before shouting: “Thanks everyone, thanks judge, I appreciate it.”
Local papers can never resist the lure of a story about an old dear.
Mind you, you can’t really blame them when the old dear in question was so ruthlessly dedicated to smoking that she only gave up once she could no longer see the other end of cigarettes in order to light them. This is surely the equivalent of weaning oneself off smack because you can no longer muster the strength to press the syringe.
Croydon Advertiser, 13 August 2010 (story):
Woman who smoked for more than 90 years dies aged 102
CROYDON’S most famous smoker has died at the age of 102, after a life in which she puffed her way through 170,000 cigarettes.
Beatrice Langley, known to everyone as Winnie, started sparking up when she was just eight years old.
Winnie – who despite her habit outlived her husband Robert, son Don and 10 stepchildren – only stopped smoking last Christmas.
And this was not due to health worries, but because she could not see the end of the cigarettes to light them any more.
Anne Gibbs, Winnie’s niece, described her aunt as young-at-heart and an avid reader.
“I think it was doing all her crossword puzzles that kept her mind so young,” she added.
“She never lost her marbles right to the very end – she was feisty and stubborn and had a marvellous sense of humour.
Is there such a thing as an old person who isn’t ‘young at heart’? I’m yet to hear of one.
Thanks to Nick Henegan.
You try and do your flatmate a favour, and what thanks do you get?
Public humiliation in the local paper, that’s what.
Bristol Evening Post, 7 October 2010 (story):
Bristol couple left feeling empty after ‘hapless’ flatmate loads up wrong car
WHEN Faye Pounder’s flatmate offered to help her move house she gladly accepted, but his kind gesture went sour when he packed the wrong car, which then drove off.
Miss Pounder, 26, and her fiancé Ali Walker, 32, were moving out of their flat in Dove Street, Bristol, on Monday afternoon.
She had put all her important documents into one bag which included the car tax, her camera, her clothes and her laptop.
She and her former flatmate Paul Robins then made shuttle runs loading up her car, or so she thought.
When Mr Robins ran in to the house to tell her the car had been stolen she panicked until she came out and saw her Citroen Xsara Picasso in the same spot she had left it.
The awful truth then dawned on Mr Robins, who realised he had been filling the boot of another Citroen Xsara Picasso which had since driven away.
This article comes replete with what looks like a photo of a very serious and depressing car boot sale. Some excellent foldy-arms and Gazette Face action, mind you:
Miss Pounder said: “My flat mate is quite hapless and I think the other car was open and because it was the same make as mine and a similar colour he just assumed it was mine. He said there was an older person’s shopping trolley already in the boot so I don’t know why he didn’t click.
“We were supposed to be going to Alton Towers for my birthday but the tickets were in the bag. It’s all been a bit of a nightmare and not a very nice way to spend your birthday.
“I spoke to Paul and he just said he wants to jump off a cliff because he feels so bad.”
Well, maybe you should consider offering some reassurance to him instead of bleating on about it, you poisonous little witch.
Thanks to Alasdair Rawsthorne for packing this story into the correct vehicle.
This is certainly a case of a salesman using too much ‘Force’.
I love this reference to the ‘Winsford woman’s answerphone’. I think it’s the new ‘middle England’.
Winsford Guardian, 22 September 2010 (story):
‘Darth Vader’ man found guilty
A 29-YEAR-OLD who left a message in the style of ‘Darth Vader’ on a Winsford woman’s answerphone has been found guilty of aggressive commercial practice.
On the opening day of the trial, the court heard how the defendant, who worked for Luton-based Forever Active, had called Valerie Rawlins, aged 57, on June 17 with the intention to sell her a mobility scooter.
Peter Moss, prosecuting, said: “The claimant was not a person who needed a mobility scooter.
“She remembered receiving a letter through her letter box and the defendant phoned at 12.03pm with a view to engaging her with the prospect of purchasing a scooter.
“She immediately said no because of the leaflet.
“She said ‘I do not want to buy one thank you, good bye’, and put the phone down.
Some wonderful lawspeak there: ‘…with a view to engaging her with the prospect of purchasing a scooter’. They make it sound so sordid. And rightfully so.
BUT IT DIDN’T STOP THERE. Oh no…
“Undeterred by that this defendant between 12.03pm and 12.15pm then embarked on a mission.
“He made his first set of calls in a 12 minute period and the calls became increasingly menacing.”
Mr Moss added that the defendant had threatened he may stop her benefits or pension if she did not buy a scooter.
He said that on a voicemail message Honegan had put on a false voice, and said: “It was a Darth Vader voice, a menacing voice, in which he said ‘we know where you are’.”
Honegan is to be sentenced on October 8, at Chester Crown Court.
Which of us hasn’t adopted a joke Darth Vader voice at some point in time…? It’s surely an everyday occurrence, and not really worthy of a sentencing. PC gone mad, etc.
Thank you to Peter Ball, no relation to Johnny.