Thursday, September 30, 2010

Petersfield celebrates remembrance of news past

Popular former newspaper the Petersfield Proust has been forced to take unprecedented action and give a free hardback book to each buyer in an attempt to attract readers during a time when there is a dearth of East Hampshire news.

Many townsfolk have refrained from buying their local paper lately, in the knowledge that nothing of interest has happened in the area since the snowfalls of January.

The Hindhead tunnel is coming along nicely; the weather is quite mild for the time of year; and the South Downs National Park headquarters will be based in Midhurst not Petersfield.

There’s nothing for an ace reporter to exaggerate, or for the local populous to protest about there. Even regular correspondents to the letters’ page, who have previously never been slow to spout ill-informed complaint, have stopped writing.

The free Disney book will excite young boys across the town, being on the popular subject of dinosaurs. It is thought this subject was chosen following the interesting discovery earlier in the year at Hindhead, back when there used to be news.

The bad news for parents is that after this exciting freebie, future weekly editions will be available to buy from The Snooze for an overall cost of £68.77. Future titles include Dance Drama and Music, Children of the World and Communications. All highly interesting stuff and ideal bedtime reading for a generation raised on Tomb Raider, Harry Potter, Call of Duty and Jordan’s breasts.

So even if there is no news, there is no excuse not to buy this week’s edition of the Petersfield Proust … unless of course you don’t have any young children or you don’t want to get suckered in to buying the next 23 editions of the encyclopedia.

Disclaimer: Other newspapers are available, but they’re not half as much fun nor do they have names which lend themselves well to continuing the philosophic-author pun genre, such as the Petersfield Harold. Philosophy puns is apparently something of a Nietzsche market…

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flimsy excuses cause closure of Petersfield birthing unit

The popular Petersfield birthing centre, The Grange Maternity Centre, is to close “temporarily” as midwives are moved to hospitals to cope with a “baby boom”.

In much the same way that an increase in criminal activity and anti-social behaviour necessitated the closure of Petersfield police station, NHS officials were left scurrying around in an attempt to come up with a feasible excuse for the move.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has denied any plans to shut the unit but the impending Government comprehensive cutting review seems certain to expedite its shutting down.

A spokesman for the NHS Trust said: “It has come to our notice that the hundreds of people who worked tirelessly a few years ago to mount a campaign to keep the Grange open have been getting bored with nothing to do.

“This is all part of a community project and fits nicely with David Cameron’s Big Society objective. Groups can build up a great community spirit while mounting a concerted campaign opposing the closure and, when they realise their efforts have been futile, we can ask them to take control of the unit themselves.

“The Big Society allows for a couple of people with clean towels, boiling water and a large pair of forceps to run the unit for the benefit of the community. It will be a lasting legacy of the Conservatives’ community initiatives.”

Phil Opiantubes, head of moving midwifery to save money (MMSM), said: “What we need to make sure is that the midwives are where the women are. So by forcing the women to have their babies in Portsmouth we can justify moving all our midwives there.”

The same premise may be applied to other public services in the area. An increase in arson may see the forced closure of Petersfield fire station, while an increase in the number of commuters using Petersfield station may force SouthWest Trains to start its Waterloo service from Liphook.

The expected baby boom, will, almost inevitably lead to a closure of primary schools in five years time when the children are heading off to full-time education and once the economy picks up all shops are expected to close.

It’s not all bad news, however. A Government spokesman confirmed that those who could afford to go private would be unaffected.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Extinct species spotted in Petersfield shocker

Petersfield children were afforded the rare sight of a flypast
by a policeman yesterday for the first time since VE Day

Petersfield Newswire has received an extraordinary photograph from one of our “adoring” readers, who couldn't believe his luck.

Ivor Fyne was both the luckiest and the unluckiest man in Petersfield yesterday and has the photographic evidence to prove it.

Fyne told us: “I got a bloody parking ticket. I was parked outside the Post Office for a couple of hours, in what used to be a 30-minute slot - but as we all know you can pretty much ignore that. When along comes the old bill and bingo, I've got a ticket.”

While such a scenario is extraordinary in itself, Fyne remains upbeat after benefiting from the sight of two rare occurrences happening simultaneously – rather like an eclipse.

“It was as I was taking a snap of the copper writing my ticket, I noticed that despite it being the middle of the day, and not a bank holiday or a Sunday ... there was no queue outside the Post Office,” said a dumbfounded Fyne.

Fyne now has a picture of this doubly unlikely event, which could be worth thousands to a collector of such unusual historical events. He could consequently make a substantial profit from the day - and the parking ticket will be a mere trifle in comparison.

Commenting on the presence of a police officer in the town, a spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary explained: “We had to have an officer in Petersfield at some time. The ConDem government is looking to cut 25 per cent of all police on the beat. And even a primary school child knows that a quarter of nothing is still nothing.

“This allows us to tick a few boxes after the comprehensive cutting review.”

Nick Clegg is 43.

Monday, September 20, 2010

No news is bad news

Even the BBC News 24 ticker acknowledged nothing much was happening

A lack of news in Petersfield has forced a local newsrag to use a woman having a haircut as the top story on its revamped website.

Petersfield Proust reporters did their best to build up the 'story' by saying the woman deserved her new hairdo because she had three kids to look after - but this was far from convincing (especially to other mums).

Hopefully more news will be forthcoming in the next few days, or we may have to resort to a mutliple choice news story involving the queue at the post office, more housebuilding plans, and pedestrianisation in the High Street...

"Please God somebody do something interesting," moaned a passing reader.

Happy birthday to us

Petersfield Newswire was one year old on Saturday.

Nobody put out bunting in the Square, nor did East Hampshire District Council fund a big-stage event in the town.

On the plus side, Mona the Big Issue seller did offer us a smile of congratulations as she said: “Beeeeeeeeeeeg Eeeeeeeeeeessssssssssshhhhheeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaassssse…”

We don’t know why we bother – but we will continue for not other reason than we enjoy it.

Please do not hesitate to send your suggestions and birthday greetings through to us at

Friday, September 17, 2010

Badger helps unemployment hot-spot

Ruth Badger, left, leads a sing-along while a cut-price Richard Branson lookalike surprises Languish Hall's Humphrey Poison-Tombliboo during filming

A new BBC TV series, Inside Out, was this week filming in one of the country’s unemployment hot-spots: Languish.

Unemployment in the East Hampshire industrial heartland, which is famed for its clay and weird garden dioramas, is often as high as 0.5 per cent – and in an attempt to call a halt to this worrying trend BBC licence payers funded a stay in a posh hotel for somebody who failed to win a reality TV show.

Wolverhampton-born former barmaid Ruth Badger was runner-up in the 2006 series of The Apprentice – which in these days of celebrity hype and David Cameron’s Big Society practically makes her a business magnate – so who better to advise the long-term unemployed about coming to terms with being the first loser.

Badger visited Languish Hall and advised the unemployed of Languish on interview techniques, how to create a CV and how to change their own nappies.

Ribena Poison-Tombliboo, owner of Languish Hall, said: “We were delighted to be able to welcome this working-class woman to our establishment and we hope young Tamsin Poison-Tombliboo, five, learned enough to help her in the future.

“It’s essential she leans about unemployment as she will one day have to engage some working-class people.

“The publicity has been great – we haven’t had this much attention since the ‘blitz’ incident. Though I’m not sure the viewers demographics for this show are ideal for our market. Is it being broadcast on Radio Three?”

Meanwhile Miss Badger was last seen being chased through the streets of East Meon by an outraged farmer carrying a shotgun, after she denied being a carrier of tuberculosis.

Read the true story here...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stag do

The White Hart yesterday

Petersfield’s White Hart pub enjoyed its busiest evening for two years last night, when two vagrants broke into the premises and polished off 12 cans of Special Brew, and an out-of-date bag of honey roasted peanuts from behind the bar.

Any hope that this reversal in fortunes might lead to the inn reopening were swiftly dashed by landlord Max Prophet, who said: "Our small establishment is a financial casualty of the recession, the effects of which have been exaggerated by the arrival of a Netherregions pub over the road.

"We were already struggling in the current financial climate and the success of The Red Lion has merely been the nail in our already-prepared coffin.”

Prophet denied the White Hart was simply a rubbish pub, and that it was very rare for customers to wander in and stay for anything more than a polite half long before Netherregions took over the Red Lion.

And he refuted the suggestion that other pubs in the town are not losing trade to the Red Lion and that perhaps, a simple renovation might bring new life to the pub.

He added: "This is irrelevant now. The pub has failed, the building will rapidly become an eyesore, and the best thing for everybody would be for planning to be rushed through for a large block of flats.

"My wife and I find all this very stressful and we just want to be able to take time out in a little chalet that I have my eye on in the Seychelles ."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Plans to go up in flames

A fire similar to one which will burn in the Square tomorrow (pic courtesy of Arthur Brown)

Anti-housing protesters are all set for a book-burning protest in Petersfield Square.

Following the lead of crazed nutcase Terry Jones, who is organising pyres for the Koran in America, some of those rich enough to be Petersfield homeowners have organised a pointless protest of their own.

"We’re aiming to build a bonfire using as many copies of East Hampshire District Council’s Core Strategy Document as we can find," said Mrs Barby Kew of Petersfield Residents Against Things (PRATs).

The conflagration stunt is aimed at stopping plans by the council and evil developers to build five tower blocks and seven sink estates in any available fields, plus gardens and lay-bys all around the town.

"If burning some of their prized documents won’t stop them, I don’t know what will," added Mrs Kew. "It’s got to be more effective than one group of fairy-tale believers setting fire to the sacred text of another group of fairy-tale believers."

But developers look set to hit back. Sir Bradley Screwem, chairman of Nazi Housebuilders PLC, said: "If these nimbys go ahead with this preposterous idea to try to stop the democratic process, we’ll just set fire to a few trees on Causeway Farm and torch the playing fields at Penns Place.

"That way there will be less to clear once we get on with the building."

Petersfield’s Tory MP, Damian Hindsight, took a few minutes away from slashing public services to comment: "What are these bloody people whinging about now?

‘We’ve put these plans out to the usual consultation process which, as everyone knows, means a few meetings and some public hand-wringing before we go ahead anyway…"

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Petersfield awards recognise community stuff...

The Alternative Best in Petersfield awards were announced today at an event cancelled by East Hampshire District Council.

Spoilsport of the Year – sponsored by voters: East Hampshire District Council, for its pettiness over the popular festivities’ series

Moaner of the Year – sponsored by the Big Issue seller: Jeweller Trevor Towner, for his incessant whinging about the potential pedestrianisation of the Square – and anything else which gets up his nose

Grower of the Year – who needs a sponsor man?: Bojangles School for its excellent cannabis crop

Uncontrollable leviathan of the Year – sponsored by a rival building company: Kebbell Homes for trying to squeeze another half-dozen homes on to a manhole cover

Services to roadside vomit – sponsored by longer opening hours: Netherregions’ Red Lion, for its cheap drink and 25/8 opening hours

Newspaper of the Year – sponsored by Leaf in Petersfield: The Petersfield Proust, for its remembrance of things past

Eyesore of the year – sponsored by Lithe in Petersfield: No not the bloke from the railways in the shiny suit, but the Market Inn and its boarded-up windows. Somebody do something with it for Gawd’s sake…

Most Impressive Still Life – sponsored by the Hubble Telescope: The Post Office queue – it can be seen from space you know!

The “we-all-used-to-hate-you-but-now-we-really-want-you-back-again” Award – sponsored by pedestrians: The town’s traffic warden

Irritant of the Year – sponsored by natural yoghurt: Mona and her “beeeeeeeeg eeessssssssssuuuuuuuu perleaaaaaaaaaaaaaase”. Ask nicely woman…

Inexplicably Popular Shop of the Year – sponsored by Woolworth: The 98p Shop… why, when you can get such better quality for a penny more at the 99p Store?

Restaurant of the Year – sponsored by Andrews Liver Salts: The first one to respond to with a voucher for a meal for six

Website of the year – sponsored by Trite in Petersfield: Petersfield Newswire, for pricking the pomposity of Petersfield’s pretentious p…something

All nominations for extra awards should be sent to

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Where the art is ... or was in this case

JMW Turner's preliminary sketch of the Grand Canal
was also painted over by council workmen in 1837

Bumbling council officials have unwittingly removed a piece of graffiti art sketched in Petersfield by a world-famous artist.

The artwork – a symbolic meditation on the tension between the younger and older generations in Petersfield – had been left untouched on a roadsign at the top of College Street for eight hours before East Hampshire District Council intervened last week.

Officials removed the sketch by notoriously secretive artist Banksy – whose works have sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds – after a local pensioner complained of vandalism.

The sketch, comprising the words “F**k off” in foot-high lettering and some abstract paint sploshes, covered the sign giving directions to the station.

A local resident, Brian Sewell, told the Petersfield Proust that he was devastated when he saw the sign being cleaned.

“I looked out the window and saw what they were doing, so I ran downstairs and I told them to stop,” he said. “But they insisted it did not suit the character of Petersfield."

Patrick Porridge, the leader of East Hampshire District Council, said the council removed all graffiti regardless of artistic value.

"In 1837 we removed a version of JMW Turner's Grand Canal from a hotel room in the coaching inn that is now Netherregions' Red Lion," he explained. "We have a zero-tolerance policy - there are no exceptions."

Speaking from a secret location, Banksy expressed his disappointment at the council’s decision.

“This was a deeply meaningful piece, with its faux-inept stylings expressing the trauma of being young, drunk, stupid and sexually frustrated in a small market town,” said Banksy. “The council’s staff are philistines, pure and simple."

However, art lovers can take comfort from the fact that Banksy’s other work in the town, a homage to the modernist writer Ritegay, remains visible on the wall of a house at the other end of College Street.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Petersfield man is angry - shocker!

Ally Copter, bottom, demonstrates his latest technique
 for helping fugitives escape British justice

A Petersfield pilot who was jailed for flying fugitive tycoon Nasal Hair out of the country has spoken of his anger towards him after his career in flying fugitives out of the country stalled while in prison.

Ally Copter spent almost a year in prison before his conviction for helping the former Polly Parrot boss evade justice was quashed.

Until his sentence was passed he ran a highly lucrative business, CMe 4 Smoke, which specialised in flying fugitives out of the country.

Now the 80-year-old limits his flying to one-way pleasure trips to various tax havens with no extradition treaty.

More than 20 years on from the night flight which changed his life, Copter said: “I was moved to help him out of a sense of injustice I felt was being meted out to him – and also after finding a large amount of money had been deposited in my bank account.

“I believed he was being abused by the British justice system and he should be allowed to organise his defence in peace and quiet, ideally out of the reach of the legal authorities.”

He believes he would not do the same again, however.

He added: “I can see now there are much safer and more legitimate ways to make money than helping those looking to flee the country. Running a Premiership football club for instance; or taking your country into an illegal war while Prime Minister.

“Both seem to be regarded as perfectly legitimate sources of income whereas such actions are frowned upon in many other industries. In the meantime, until I can run for power or take over a football club, I’ve come across a much safer way of making money: £5,000 on a no-ball in the fifth over please…”