Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Select your own news angle…

Petersfield’s August festivities have been hailed as a huge success by organisers and spectators who enjoyed the two-day feast of entertainment in the Square which was closed off to traffic for the weekend.

See this week’s Petersfield Proust for an update on this angle…

Petersfield’s August festivities were a “waste of time” and a “commercial disaster” according to a town-centre jeweller who has made it his life’s work to ensure the Square is snarled up with traffic.

See this week’s Petersfield Proust for an update on this angle… possibly in the same story as the other one.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Petersfield school forced to use spotty child to open exam results

Oil be damned, a casino at Petersfield Big School

Petersfield Big School is celebrating after achieving a record-breaking set of GCSE exam results – with even pupils who didn’t take exams recording A* grades.

A total of 114 per cent of students gained five or more passes at grade A* to C delighting head teacher and statistics specialist Dee Tention.

She said: “These figures are outstanding. It’s not often a school can lay claim to getting more than 100 per cent of its students with A* to C grades.

“And it shows what a fallacy it is that exams are getting easier. We had 135 pupils entered into GCSE exams this year and 142 gained at least one A* to C grade.

“ Petersfield Big School has enjoyed an exceptional year with returns on our land-grab and oil drilling now enabling us to build a casino and nightclub adjacent to the staff hangar.

“Our only disappointment was that we failed to find an attractive blonde girl with pert breasts and a short skirt to jump up in delight when the exam results were opened. We had been advised that if we could guarantee such a picture, both the BBC and national newspapers would be in attendance.

“Maybe we can line something up for next year. It will probably be easier year on year.”

Also celebrating was nearby fee-paying school Bojangles which has reported a record cannabis harvest.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

War of the Words

The bugler sounds a call to arms

War is looming after Petersfield's marketing slogan ,"the heart of the South Downs", was stolen by neighbouring Midhurst, word for word.

Marketing designers more used to drawing bezier curves than battle lines have led the two towns into direct military confrontation over the vapid strapline.

Petersfield adopted the slogan as a way of making people think the town is absolutely central to the South Downs National Park , an area which extends 65 miles one way and 17 the other. Days later, Midhurst councillors had the exact same lack of imagination.

This matter will now be resolved in the traditional manner, with a pitched battle on fields near Rogate.

Petersfield start as favourites as their troops will be march into battle while protected by layers of foam bought from that man in the market. The town is also building affordable homes as fast as it can to house additional warriors.

Any prisoners of war taken from Midhurst will be marched into Petersfield and made to stand in line in a humiliating and degrading parade called The Post Office queue.

Meanwhile, the department of straplines at Pennywhistle Place is considering alternative slogans including:

Petersfield: building on our heritage.

Petersfield: only 11 miles from Havant.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pull the other one

Rugger buggers out on the pull

Two of Petersfield’s major sports clubs will battle it out on the streets of Petersfield next weekend.

Petersfield RFC and Petersfield Town FC face a battle of strength along the High Street when they take part in a charity vehicle pull competition on Sunday, August 29.

The town’s biggest club, the golf club, declined to join in, with a representative saying that many of their members were unable to carry their own golf bag, so an event like this was completely out of the question.

The rugby club put on a tremendously successful field gun display at last year's festivities, and this seemed the next logical step.

Petersfield FC will pull any illegally parked cars to Chapel Street and Petersfield RFC will pull vehicles to College Street. The winning team will be the one that has moved the greatest number of vehicles at the end of the day.

Mark Etstall speaking on behalf of Petersfield Festivities told us: “We always have a huge problem with vehicles being parked where they shouldn’t be and in the knowledge that we have no traffic warden, everyone will be out to take the piss.

“The police are supposed to be concentrating some of their efforts on parking controls, but I understand they dedicated a few hours to traffic control back at the beginning of August, so we won’t see them again until September.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pulp friction

Energy-saving report production causes pulp friction

Free energy-saving reports are being offered to Petersfield residents – in an effort to save enough power to justify saving more energy.

“We’re printing and delivering application forms for 20,000 households across East Hampshire,” beamed district council eco spokesman Theresa Green.

“Obviously that involves cutting down a small wood to make the paper and then thousands of miles in delivery vans – BUT if enough of them apply for the free report, we’ll send out surveyors to their homes to tell them to shut their windows when it’s cold and switch off their TV when they’re not watching it.

“Then if enough people do what they’re told, we’ll have saved enough energy to cover the whole project…by about 2036.”

Future ideas include a “knit your own sandals” workshop, capturing hot air from council meetings to power the tea urn, and converting the recycling dustcart to run on squirrels’ tears.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No Mourning Clampers

Sundance Security gunning for ya.

A ban on wheel-clamping has been welcomed by the Petersfield protest group Petersfield Residents Against Things (PRATS).

Legislation to be introduced in November will result in anyone clamping a vehicle or towing it away on private land facing tougher penalties, the government has said.

And the move has delighted campaigners in Petersfield.

Cam Payne, the founder member of PRATS, said: “This is not something we have been campaigning against and it is great that it has been brought to our attention in time for us to contact a local newspaper in order to be pictured celebrating.

“It’s particularly encouraging in a town like Petersfield where an increasingly aging population often pause to capture their breath only to find their leg has been clamped by an unscrupulous security guard.

“For example, there is a jeweller in town where if people spend too long browsing the window, they will be clamped and towed away to the 99p Store.”

However, critics of the plans fear drivers could exploit the move by parking without thought on other people’s property.

Jeweller and haberdasher Matt Tress said: “This legislation will allow for more window shopping which does not pay the bills. Clamping old people and charging them £80 to be released does pay the bills, however. This is just a fact of life and such legislation does is not worthy of the Tory government most of us in Petersfield wanted.”

Regional and local transport minister Norman Baker said “cowboy clampers” had had “ample opportunity to mend their ways but the cases of bullying and extortion persisted”, arguing that rules governing parking on private land needed to be “proportionate”.

But Butch Cassidy of Sundance Security denied that wheel clampers were cowboys.

“Yeehaa!,” he said. “Ya’ll just tryin’ ‘a make a livin’…

“People should just get off their high horse and drink their milk…”

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crack me up

Minor subsidence on Heath Road

Residents in Petersfield are overjoyed at the terrible state of some of the pavements in the town with a spokesman for Petersfield Residents Against Things (PRATS) saying: “Great! Something we can genuinely moan about…”

For months now various PRATS in the city have complained about irrelevant and un-emotive issues but the decrepit condition of pavements in areas such as Heath Road, Love Lane, Hylton Road, Upper Heyshott, Charles Street and Noreuil Road is giving the society’s members something to get their false teeth into.

Loose paving slabs, broken concrete and sunken holes have left disabled and elderly pedestrians pointing and muttering under their breath.

PRAT Alf Waydown, of Upper Horseshoe, said he tripped up over a loose paving slab in Heath Road three years ago and has only just hit the ground.

“It was one hell of a height,” he said, pointing and muttering under his breath.

Skateboarder Will E Fast, 15, of Upper Lower Up Down, said: “I blame disabled and elderly people. If they didn’t stand around pointing and muttering under their breath the land would not subside underneath them.”

A spokesman for Hampshire County Council – the authority responsible for paving – agreed that disabled and elderly people standing around pointing and muttering under their breath does cause problems with pavements and roadways.

He explained: “Generally they will stand in the same place for some minutes, pointing and muttering under their breath, which allows moisture to get into the cracks which appear momentarily. Then in winter the moisture freezes and causes the paving slabs and Tarmac to crack and lift.

“It is a problem common to areas riddled with disabled and elderly people standing around pointing and muttering under their breath.”

One solution put forward by greedy traders is to ban disabled and elderly people – who may have a tendency to stand around pointing and muttering under their breath – from the town’s High Street and Square at weekends and bank holidays.

“Disabled and elderly people who may have a tendency to stand around pointing and muttering under their breath, tend not to have the same disposable income as middle-aged solicitors with huge 4x4s,” said haberdasher, jeweller and self-appointed traders’ mouthpiece Matt Tress, “so I’m all in favour of getting rid of them.”

However a spokesman for PRATS said: “Great! Something we can genuinely moan about…”

For more on this story and the latest on general subsidence in the East Hampshire area see this week’s Petersfield Proust.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The car’s the star

Motorisation Day could really be a hit

Traders have announced plans to stage a Motorisation Day in the centre of Petersfield.

Over the weekend of September 11 and 12, ONLY people driving cars, vans, lorries and possibly motorcycles will be allowed to use the Square and the High Street. Pedestrians will be banned.

“We want to use the weekend to show people how great it would be if those pesky pedestrians weren’t wandering about all over the roads and pavements,” said jeweller and haberdasher Matt Tress.

“It will be fantastic! Without people cluttering up the streets motorists will be able to drive up the High Street much faster. We’re thinking of applying for a relaxation of the speed limit up to 80 miles per hour – after all it’s a very straight wide road, especially if you include the pavements.

“We believe this move will attract motorists from all over the area as it will make our town centre uniquely attractive to drivers. Who will want to drive to Chichester with their dull old walking-speed precinct if they can drive round our roads completely unrestricted?

“And we won’t need any car parks because you won’t have to get out of your car – it’s genius!”

Many traders are already planning to widen their doorways to allow access to motor vehicles, while others are planning to simply have drive-by service windows for the weekend.

Mr Tress commented “I’m going to be the first drive-through jeweller in Hampshire – that’s got to be good. It’s another first for Petersfield.”

Monday, August 09, 2010

Designer town idea has no legs

Dee Ziner presents her vision

Positive public reaction to plans for a traffic-free town means the idea could be taken one step further, Petersfield Newswire understands.

Designers behind the Petersfield Design Statement, a statement about design by designers, now plan to remove all people from the town too.

Speaking with a draftsman’s pencil behind her ear, Dee Ziner of the group said: “People only clutter up the place and pollute the air with their inconsiderate breathing.

“Removing cars, buses and lorries makes a big improvement, but only by stopping the random perambulations of pedestrian traffic too will we really reveal the true beauty of our picturesque and historic market town.

“Look at this sketchpad, let me draw our vision … a Petersfield totally unspoiled by human presence. Just a beautiful arrangement of Georgian facades, delightful boutiqueries and betting shops seen as they should be seen.

“We designers really care about these things from a design perspective. And nobody knows perspective better than designers. Look, many of us have goatee beards too, so you can see we’re experts in this.”

Officials at Pencils Place appeared to welcome the suggestion, saying it would encourage people to do their shopping in Havant instead.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

'Loads' of weather revealed by Wikileaks

More weather than ever

Secret documents unveiled on the internet have shown that Petersfield gardeners have had to face 'loads' of weather over the past year.

More than 90,000 previously secret weather reports have been posted on the Wikileaks site, showing that entrants to Petersfield In Bloom were reeling from some rain, sunshine, a sprinkling of snow, lots of cloudy days and even a fair bit of wind.

'Who'd have thought it?' said one passer-by. 'All that weather in one year - wow!'

The leak was slammed by Blooming President Miss Rose Petal who fumed: 'This is just irresponsible! How many gardeners have had their flower beds put at risk by this nonsense?'

Hindhead hold-up

Dactil laughs off the idea of danger in the tunnel

Work on the Hindhead tunnel, scheduled to open in August 2011 is to be held up indefinitely following the discovery of incredible fossil remains under the Surrey hills.

The new tunnel was expected to bring long-awaited relief to commuters on the congested A3 and now all this has been put on hold following the discovery of a dinosaur.

Most of the 600 or so construction staff who work at the site have been told not to return to work this week, only those working on the approach roads are able to continue working on the project.

The finished tunnel is expected to cost £371 million, incredibly the work will be halted by a monster that roamed the area 66 million years ago.

The tunnel is 1.2 miles in length; and at its deepest point it descends 65 metres beneath the surface of the land beside the Devil's Punch Bowl. It is at this depth that the find has been made.

Normally during such a huge and expensive engineering project, work would not be halted for any sort of archaeological find, but this specimen is of huge significance.

What sets this creature apart from its contemporaries is its size. Terry Dactil from the British Museum told us: “If you imagine how a chihuahua would look alongside an alsatian, that is how a Tyrannosaurus Rex would look alongside our new friend. It is immense.”

Polish excavator worker Ivor Gotta was said to be absolutely delighted that he unearthed the creature. He told the world's press: "I know this is bound to hold up the work, but I am delighted to be linked with this discovery.

"I would like to think my name will go down in history, with the beast being named after me."

Dactil was sure Gotta would get his wishes and that the naming of the Ivorgottasaurus will be merely a formality.

Teeth or Stalectites?- A snap taken by a
Romanian worker on his iPhone

We also asked Dactil what he thought about the rumours that workmen claimed they had seen movement down in the tunnel. That several of the workers had rushed from the tunnel, scared out of their wits, vowing not to return.

Dactil laughed at the suggestion: "I have heard these stories and of course this is completely impossible. No creature could possibly have lain in hibernation for so long.

"It is true the specimen is incredibly well-preserved, for reasons we don't yet understand, and the sight of the lifelike remains have possibly scared some of the crew.

"Of course, the workers could just be trying to pull a fast one and get themselves some paid leave.

"I'm sure we will be able to excavate the remains quickly and be back on track with the project before you know it."

Newswire tried to contact Dactil yesterday for an update of the situation, he was unavailable to comment.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Leigh Park province

Brigadier Chester Medals comes
under not-so-friendly fire

The British Army, eager to find realistic and appropriate training facilities, relevant to today's theatre of war, is set to convert northern Leigh Park to a training camp.

The training needs of the modern soldier have evolved and their primary skills need to revolve around security and the policing of local communities.

An average British soldier can expect deployment overseas, not necessarily dug into a trench, but more likely patrolling the dangerous streets of Helmand or Baghdad.

Troops are frequently inserted into regions where any sense of community has broken down; dropped into war-torn societies, where crime and violence are accepted as the norm.

It is difficult to replicate the unique problems and dangers at large in such volatile surroundings and Leigh Park has been suggested to offer the best possible fit for troops to hone their skills before being despatched overseas.

The Army has tried similar ventures before with training camps at Imber on Salisbury Plain, and more recently at the Stanford Training Area near Thetford but so far it has not been possible to accurately replicate the real dangers that will be encountered in the field.

Brigadier Chester Medals was enthusiastic about the development, saying: "This appears to be the perfect solution for our troops and one that will, I am sure, provide challenging training opportunities.

"We are looking forward to getting our men in there and seeing how they react with the existing community. Get them alongside the locals and started in a valuable policing role."

As part of the transformation, Hampshire Constabulary has agreed to vacate the area south of the South Downs National Park boundary, relinquishing all policing responsibility to the Army.

We asked Chief Inspector Nick Mekwohta what he thought of the development.

"To be honest I can't believe my luck.

"The pongos will clearly have more chance than we ever did, because they will be heavily armed and wearing state-of-the-art protective clothing. But all this aside, when it comes to Leigh Park, they are welcome to it.

"I'll tell you another thing, if they are successful and don’t take too many casualties, wherever they are posted next, be it the Gaza Strip or Baghdad, it will seem like a walk in the park."

Monday, August 02, 2010

Early success for 'Big Society'

Mr Dooright keen to fill the
Prime Minister’s shoes

Big savings are set to be made in Petersfield - thanks to David Cameron's wacky 'Big Society' idea.

The first cash saving to be identified is the £65,738 salary of our new MP Damian Hindsight. That's the amount that will be saved following an offer by unemployed Dudley Dooright to do the MP's job for nothing, as a volunteer.

Mr Dooright, who lost his job as a librarian after volunteers moved in to do it for him, said: "I've always wanted to serve the local community and now that I've got more time on my hands this seemed like an ideal opportunity.

"It will give me another chance to wear a suit that I bought for a friend's wedding a few years ago, it's just hanging in a wardrobe at home attracting moths.

'Maybe Mr Hindsight could also enter into the spirit of it and do a spot of brain surgery to ease the load on local doctors - after all, if I'm doing his job, he'll be available.'

And the money-saving idea looks set to grow and grow. Mr Dooright, 59, said: 'Once I've got the hang of being an MP, you know, after a couple of weeks or so, I'll probably volunteer to take on the Prime Minister's job - and that would save £142,500 for the public purse.

'And I've got loads of friends who are all up for this Big Society idea. My girlfriend Filma Muffins will do all Kate Moss's catwalk work, my best mate Shrek McScouse has offered to play up front for Manchester United, and his daughter Chasney says she can oversee the rest of the Chilcott Inquiry once she's finished her homework (besides we all know how it's going to end anyway).

'They'll all do this for nothing, it's fantastic! The more I think about Dave Cameron's Big Society idea the more I like it...besides, he started it.'