Friday, March 30, 2012

Petersfield's open-air pool celebrates 50 years

As a result of our inactivity over the past month or so, we're not surprised that readers have started sending in their own features. Could this piece start a new trend? Marketing by humorous stealth... Our thanks to 'Petersfield Pete'

Petersfield’s open-air swimming pool is putting on an exhibition to celebrate 50 years of happy bathers. 

Careful scrutiny of the pictures from 1962 revealed an unexpected guest at the grand opening. Three years later Scott started flying Thunderbird 1 from under the swimming pool ontropical paradise Tracy Island

Had Petersfield narrowly lost out on being International Rescue’s Worldwide Centre? Rumour has it that Lady Penelope’s Roller FAB 1 had been ticketed in the Festival Hall car park for occupying two bays. Ahhh… the golden days of regulated parking in the town. 

Only last year Scott surprised swimmers by dropping in to see if the place had stood the test of time. He wished that Petersfield had been chosen; the pool water was still warm, clear and inviting. Tracy Island had long ago succumbed to plasticine and cardboard fatigue. 

Many of the bathers were far too young to recall his catch phrase of FAB and no-one at all knew that it stood for ‘Fully Advised and Briefed’. However, they all liked his rugged good looks. An anonymous spectator commented that she would happily pull his string any time. 

Meanwhile BAA consultant Mr Q Longer, who had been called in to manage the expected crush of exhibition visitors to the town’s museum after an article in the Petersfield Proust, was gutted to discover the exhibition was actually being held at the Flora Twort Gallery. 

The pool re-opens on Saturday, April 21.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Petersfield at a standstill - residents panic buy pavement space!

Petersfield is currently at a standstill as three separate queues create a major gridlock.

Motorists are queuing for fuel in Dragon St with the tailback going as far back as Liss. This follows the advice of the Government buffoon Francis Maude who yelled “Panic!” as he was seen carrying Jerry cans and boarding a chartered flight to the West Indies.

Elsewhere, in Chapel Street, lardarses keen to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather which ensures luke-warm pasties are not liable for VAT, have tailed back from Greggs to the square, where an enterprising kebab-van owner has already started offering cut-price cold pies to the back of the queue.

And confusion reigned when the pasty queue collided with the Post Office queue, which, despite normally snaking around the corner now heads off down Sheep Street and The Spain, as people look to stock up on first-class stamps before those bastards from the Royal mail put the prices up again.

An innocent bystander, who was caught up in the panic, said: “I’m a traffic warden. I only came here to give out some tickets but now I’ve got two books of first-class stamps, a steak and stilton pasty (hot – and therefore liable for VAT) and a bucket full of diesel. And I’ve only got a push-bike!”

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Petersfield group under threat as nothing happens

A Petersfield residents’ group is under threat of extinction after effectively killing off any activity whatsoever in the town.

The Petersfield Residents Against ThingS (PRATS) action group has been so successful in ridding the locale of everything that it is losing members rapidly while newspapers and websites seemingly have nothing to report.

Cam Payne, the chairman of the group, explained: “We’ve been in existence now for a number of years and have been ‘outraged’ by everything from tattoo parlours to litter louts. As a group we’ve been responsible for the non-existence of gypsy encampments within the town boundaries; the rise of expensive coffee shops; the lack of entertainment venues; and a high-profile protest against stuff we don’t like or aren’t really sure about.

“But this success has come at a cost. We are haemorrhaging members at an alarming rate; with little left to protest about, they are going off to do other things such as opening coffee shops and jewellers. There is also a very public knock-on effect of our successful protesting – the letters pages of the local newspapers are no longer chock-full of readers’ ill-informed complaint.

“Instead they’re full of people thanking other people for helping them raise funds for some-such thing or for assisting an elderly relative who stumbled while getting out of an illegally parked 4X4. In the Petersfield Proust, they’ve even given over half the letters page to a guy who spends every week moaning about his miserable life.

“At any other time he would have been an ideal member for PRATS, but sadly we’re struggling to recruit as there seems so little to complain about locally. We may even have to turn our attention to national or even international matters. Following today’s news that the Occupy London protest at St Paul’s has been removed perhaps we could Occupy Waitrose … although obviously, we wouldn’t be objecting against capitalism in any form.”

His view on the dearth of local stories was echoed by a spokesman for Petersfield Newswire, Petersfield’s leading news website with the word ‘Newswire’ in its title.

The spokesman said: “I echo his views on the dearth of local stories. Nothing’s happening. We’re even looking forward to the summer, so we at least have the algae and water shortages to write about. It’s a sad time."

Monday, February 20, 2012

An appeal to our loyal readers ... from a reader

Dear Newswire,

I was wondering if you would consider using the massive reach of your excellent web site to publicise a very deserving local cause?

As you know, a bus runs back and forth between Penns Place and the town centre. This, I assume, is for the (free, I sincerely hope) use of EHDC employees, to save them - and the environment, bless them - from using their cars to go into Petersfield.  

Until recently, when paying the 90p for the town centre car parks, many other motorists fed a £1 coin into the machine and did not concern their well-heeled selves about the 10p they lost in the transaction. Those 10p overspends were duly collected up and used to provide free snacks, treats and sustaining drinks on the above mentioned bus, to sustain EHDC employees as they journeyed to and fro.

Now, alas, the parking fee has risen to £1 and so all those 10p "donations" are no more.

As a result, the poor wretches from EHDC have to travel un-fed and un-refreshed. So I am asking your fine readers to subscribe to a fund that has been set up, to once more provide Kit Kats, Tizer and other necessities for this beleaguered workforce. 

Please make your donation at 

Bless you all,

Harold Backhouse

Monday, February 06, 2012

David Cameron shows his true colours

A true blue

The Prime Minister last week insisted that HM Revenue and Customs sit down and talk to Portsmouth Football Club in a real attempt to come to an arrangement over unpaid taxes.

At the time he said: "Knowing one or two Pompey fans I can certainly understand the idea that they could go and support Southampton is completely incredible and we must do everything we can to keep this friendly rivalry going."

This was initially thought to be mere rhetoric, but on Saturday the Prime Minister was spotted in Petersfield, having abandoned his trip to Fratton Park following the late postponement of Pompey’s match against Hull City.

When asked why he was in town, he replied: “If you must know, I’ve just been to the rather splendid parlour on the junction of Winton Road and Station Road; I find it’s the very best place to get my tats done.”

The Prime Minister was sporting a new tattoo on his left cheek and after little persuasion, he soon bared his chest revealing several years of work by various tattoo artists.

It was now clear why he had refused to roll up his sleeves last year in a London hospital, incurring the wrath of a resident doctor.

“You may as well also know that I’ve just had my name changed by Deed Poll. My full name and title is now Prime Minister David Portsmouth Football Club Cameron.”

We asked the Prime Minister for his thoughts on the Chris Huhne resignation. He told Newswire: “He didn’t resign, I told him to quit. I’ve been trying to get rid of that bloody scummer for ages.”

Friday, February 03, 2012

The never ending story

Unfinished business

MugsRYou the firm that turned ordinary books into multi-volume encyclopaedias by using large print, an increased number of uninteresting images and a minimal number of pages in each volume, has gone out of business.

Lawrie Driver working for MugsRYou deliveries said: “I’m gutted.”

It is difficult to understand how a company who makes a fortune from the people who decide to collect these overpriced books, could possibly go bust, but these are difficult times.

Both of the gullible fools in Petersfield who had decided to collect the tome have already paid for and collected 16 parts of what was to be a 24-part series. That amounts to exactly two thirds of the expected information, costing a princely £47.84.

We did manage to get hold of Paddy Towt, ex-managing director of MugsRYou, who seemed shell-shocked at the turn of events.

“It is all very unfortunate,” Towt told Newswire. “For those people that were following the story I think I owe it to them to point out that they are not really missing very much; it’s mainly fighting.

“If our customers are wondering how it ends, the Americans eventually join the fray late on in book 23, there’s an explosive finale and the allies go on to win in the end.”

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Council eases grave concerns in Petersfield

Grave matters indeed

East Hampshire County Council has been hailed for its “thinking outside the box” after solving two problems simultaneously.

Faced with a public outcry over the rising charges of cemetery plots and maintenance, the council’s problem-solving guru, ‘Smart’ Alec B’stard, contacted the roads and highways agency to ask about the costs of repairing loose paving stones and potholes.

B’stard explained: “There is only so much money in each pot – civic amenities and road maintenance – but together we could do so much more. So now we plan to bury people underneath loose paving slabs or in potholes.

“There is no need to engage the services of a gravedigger as the holes already exist – some of them large enough to accommodate a couple wishing to be buried together. And once they’re safely underground the dual maintenance subsidy is enough to chuck in a bit of extra asphalt or concrete every time there’s a cold snap and the holes start to reappear.”

The corpse of recently departed Arthur Pewty, formerly of Brian Close, Petersfield, said: “I was worrying about how my family would pay for my cemetery plot but this stroke of genius from the council has put my mind at rest. I can now head to the afterlife without any pecuniary fears.

It’s a great example of thinking outside the box – which is something I can longer do…”

Friday, January 13, 2012

What have the Romans ever done for us?

Petersfield is set to become the centre of world attention, after the statue of King William the Third was discovered to have something up his sleeve.

 The statue before time had its way
For some time now the statue of William the Third, or Bill the Turd as he is known affectionately by locals, has been decaying. The situation reached tipping point on December 21 2011, when Bill’s right arm, the hand of which was holding an unidentified scroll, dropped off.

Wynne Tersolstice, working for R Maggedon Erections who were employed by Petersfield Town Council (PTC) to assess the damage to the statue, has announced that there is a prophecy inscribed in the arm and scroll.

“This is earth-shattering news”, he said. “The discovery of the millennium. You may be aware that life on earth is expected to end at midnight on December 21 2012; this is a widely accepted view, a date that all children are taught at school. Well, it would appear that date is wrong. The actual date is in fact January 21, 2013”

Tersolstice shows us some inscriptions on the inside of the arm and ultimately a series of roman numerals that are inscribed on the inside of the scroll, they read – XXI  I  MMXIII.

One more Christmas after all

“The sculptor’s name also points to the fact that the original Mayan projection was wrong, perhaps working under a nom de plume, as the piece is signed Huan Moore-Month.

“The original calculations were made using the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, notably used by the pre-Columbian Mayan civilization and is based upon a cycle of thirteen b’ak’tuns (periods of 144,000 days each) since the mythical creation date of the calendar's current era.

“It would appear that since we went decimal back in the 1970s, that’s thrown things a bit and we stand to gain an extra month.”

Speaking on behalf of PTC, Mark Kett-Pitches commented: “You wait ‘til I speak to Al Paca, that Peruvian stallholder who used to sell jumpers, shawls, hats and scarves.

“He refused to renew his licence as we wouldn’t reduce his fee to reflect the fact that 2012 will be a short year. Who’s laughing now Paca?”

Friday, January 06, 2012

Blow me

Proper fairy lights, arranged by real fairies.

A treemendous reversal of fortunes has seen Petersfield win a second award for its Christmas tree lights, this time because they look so beautiful. 

Our story of 20 December 2011, told you how the straight lines of lights that were simply hanging vertically from the town tree had met with bad reviews from all and sundry, and had in fact won us a wooden spoon type award from the appropriately named Government Body - CRAP (Christmas Redecoration And Parties). That same organisation has now awarded us a gold star! 

Newswire questioned Petersfield Town Council (PTC) in an effort to establish who should be congratulated for the alterations, but nobody seems to know who was responsible.

Speaking on behalf of PTC Wynne Dee-Knight told us: "Nobody was given instructions to make the changes, but the Council will happily take the credit for the improvements; doesn't it look lovely".

Harry Caneforce, a member of the PTC team who is responsible for removing the decorations told us: "We don't know who did it, the way the lights were draped it would have taken me only a few minutes to remove them, now it's going to take me quite a while to untangle the ruddy things from the tree. Irresponsible, that's what it is".

Apart from Mr Caneforce, everyone we spoke to regards the display is far more Christmassy and imaginative, far better than the dreadful straight lines that hung there before.

Speaking on behalf of CRAP, Gus T Weather told us: "This really is an incredible story, what a stunning transformation. Adding to the mystery of course, the work seems to have been carried out overnight by fairies. Real fairy lights, how wonderful".

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ho ho ho.

Official stocking filler

Petersfield Town Council (PTC) received some awful news last night when the “Santa” booked to entertain the crowds in town on Christmas Eve, had to cancel.

Santa Baby contacted the Council to tell them that she was not going to be able to come to Petersfield this year, as she had read that Heath Pond, which she (or one of her colleagues) has in recent years used as a landing strip, far from freezing over, has in fact disappeared.

Appearing rather scantily clad for a traditional Santa, she cited global warming as being to blame for most things, that or French plastic surgeons.

Santa Baby, despite her looks, is not easily swayed either; she sounded grateful for the excuse saying that this would give her the window of opportunity she needed to pop back to France to complain about some “enhancements” that she was worried about. She said she was going to struggle to pay for possible restoration work; murmuring something about rising French inflation rates.

Speaking on behalf of PTC, Dirk T Oldman said: “This is nothing short of a disaster; I’ve been looking forward to this all year. The replacement Santa we’ve been offered is a big chap with yellow teeth and his own beard, I shall cancel the booking immediately”.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Petersfield: Sleepy market town

Spellbinding stuff

Petersfield hypnotherapist The Great Mesmo has won a national award for his work with vulnerable people suffering from stress, weight issues, and those trying to cut down on drinking or give up smoking.

The Great Mesmo now lives out of town in a large mansion on his own estate, but it would appear all of his money has been well earned as Newswire is unable to find a single dissatisfied customer.

Those we interviewed who had used The Great Mesmo couldn’t actually remember how much they had paid him but all were adamant that his work is second to none.

We spoke to Luke Innamyize, chairman of the Regulatory Authority for Necromancing and Charming  Entrepreneurs (TRANCE), the body that made the award, and he seemed a little confused. He said: “To be honest I can’t actually remember making the award, but it is definitely my signature on the certificate. So well done to him. By the way, have you seen a pigskin wallet lying around anywhere?”

One of The Great Mesmo’s most effusive customers, Hugh Jarce, from Bell Hill, said: “I used to be overweight and my friend suggested that I try a session with Doctor Mesmo. To be honest I’ve never looked back.

Hugh Jarce sold clothes and furniture to pay The Great Mesmo's fees

“I lost weight pretty much overnight and look at me now; I look in the mirror every morning and am delighted with the results. Well worth every penny and the keys to my Range Rover, which I was more than happy to hand over.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Petersfield decorated

A house in Waterlooville that has also won an award

Christmas has come early for Petersfield as the town has scooped up a national award for the worst festive decoration.

The award was made by Christmas Redecoration And Parties (CRAP) a government body that oversees the suitability of Christmas decorations across the land. CRAP’s real purpose is to check health and safety issues but as part of their role they also make various national awards.

The Christmas decoration that has attracted all the attention is the town tree. Speaking on behalf of CRAP, Mark Zowterten told Newswire: “We have never given this award for a tree before but we thought this year we would make an exception.

“To be honest, when our inspector visited he thought the fairy lights had all been attached to the top of the tree and that the person fitting them has decided to defer arranging them artistically due to poor weather. But they have simply been left that way. It really is extraordinary.

“In our Christmas decorations guidance manual it clearly states that the fundamental principal of Christmas lights is to give the affect of snowdrops twinkling in the moonlight. All I can say is you must have very odd and extremely organised snow here in Petersfield.

“We are not saying you need to spend more on lights, just show a little imagination when hanging them on the tree.”

Petersfield Town Council’s stammering spokesman, Cecil Verlining told Newswire: “This isn’t all bad; the award was announced weeks ago although we kept it fairly quiet and the news has attracted numerous visitors from Europe who love this sort of thing. You know the type of person who goes to Eurovision.

“I have learnt that rifiuti, desperdícios, déchets and abfall mean rubbish in Italian, Portuguese, French and German.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Survival not nailed-on certainty

 Richard Bingham, behind closed doors since 1974

In a dramatic turn of events, a shop about which few people have heard and even fewer use, is in danger of closing unless more people know about it and use it.

The Unitary bookshop is located in a series of underground tunnels originally built in the 60s to house right-wing Conservative councillors in case of a left-wing revolution. As the Cold War due to a close, Glasnost prevailed and Tony Blair headed the Labour Party, all fears of the left-wing ever having a voice again faded completely and one of the dark tunnels was turned over to the entrepreneurial Archbishop of Herne Farm who inaugurated a secular, yet highly religious bookshop within.

Now, after more than 30 years of waiting for somebody to come through the door, the bookshop is in danger of closing. It is news which has saddened several of the volunteers who work there.

Richard Bingham, the seventh Earl of Lucan, has volunteered in the shop since 1974 and was distraught to learn of its possible closure.

With his words spoken by an actor, he said: “I’ve been hidden here for more than 30 years and the thought of having to move somewhere else if the shop should close is heartbreaking. It’s come as something of a shock – almost as much of a shock as that day in 1987 when somebody came in. But he was looking for the Physic garden and we were able to send him on his way.

“By the way, what IS a Physic Garden ?”

A spokesman for rival capitalist bookshop Hellstones, Lucifer Dark-Lord, said: “It’s such a shame that in a largely secular society there is no room for a shop such as this: one selling cards, books and wooden toys designed to brainwash people into denying science.

“Mind you the authors of those books have been around for years trying to flog their wares. It’s time for the new bright young authors like Richard Dawkins to have a chance at hitting the bestseller lists.”

The Unitary Bookshop is a family run business still managed by three generations: father, son and holy nephew. A spokesman recalled: “We’ve always had a variety of books. The first book was Genesis – we sold a lot of those until people started bringing them back having thought they were a biography of a 70s rock band.