Friday, February 25, 2011

Petersfield's band stand-off

Petersfield councillors have strongly criticised a local man for daring to have an idea.

The man’s idea was to erect a bandstand in the town so families could enjoy live music together in the beautiful open air setting of Petersfield Heath.

Councillors immediately convened a meeting to thrash-out reasons why his idea is bad and recorded the following conclusions:

  1. Only the council is permitted to have ideas.
  2. Anybody who thinks they have an idea does not. It’s merely “a thought” which has to be submitted in triplicate to Pennywhistles Place before it can be converted into an idea and properly credited to the relevant municipal committee.
  3. Sharing ideas in public only leads to enthusiasm.
  4. Councillors have a public duty to dampen enthusiasm within five working days.
Councillor Rachel Prejudice explained to Petersfield Newswire the strict rules which govern these circumstances.

She said: "It is unacceptable for anybody in the area to have an idea let alone discuss it, openly, in public, with people. Coming up with ideas should be left to the professionals. 

"Take, for example, our imaginative decision to create the unmissably entertaining Partners magazine with your money, or our inspired purchase of wooden Christmas chalets which we now store at your cost.”

Maybe one of those will do as a bandstand...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Garden centre reassures shocked motorists

 One of Moundiers' affordable models

Shocked motorists using the B2070 London Road – the Petersfield-Liphook road – this morning were shocked to find there was NOT a Massive Hot Tub Sale in Liss.

The lack of bright yellow signs along the side of the road distracted many motorists who contacted us to express their anger.

A spokeswoman for Moundiers, the outlet responsible for the Massive Hot Tub Sale in Liss signs, was quick to assure Newswire readers that the signs were back out in force again by the afternoon.

Polly Anthas, the manageress for the garden centre, said: “We can only assume this was the work of local youths. We can reassure people that there will ALWAYS be a Massive Hot Tub Sale in Liss all the time we are open.

“It is part of the local culture, like a sale at And So To Bed, or a DFS sale in a working-class area.”

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A rum deal

Land ahoy!

A Bermudan sea captain found himself marooned in the middle of Petersfield on Monday and he has absolutely no idea how he got here.

Captain Skat was clearly still suffering from shock when he told Newswire: "Shiver me timbers. I was heading sow-sow-west towards Haiti from Bermuda when all-a-sudden there was this blinding flash and me ship started to pitch violently, I was about to batten down me hatches.

"Afore the ship's bell could chime twice, we seemed to have run aground and I was here in what I now understand is the car park of the Olde White Hart. I was standing face to face with a figure in black who I thought was Old Davey Jones, I thought my time was up and I'd weighed anchor for the last time.

"The ghastly figure grinned a semi-toothless grin and handed me a small piece of parchment, I was convinced it was the accursed black spot … but the chitty read ‘Parking Violation’."

While Captain Skat was understandably glad to have survived the ordeal, he is bewildered as to how he could have been transported from an infamous stretch of the Atlantic Ocean to the car park of the White Hart.

"It's the Devil's work", he insisted.

The mysteries of this feared stretch of water are well documented, although none of them are understood. And Petersfield Community Support Officers are dumbfounded at the misfortune of the visiting skipper.

"I caaaaan't believe me luck either," said Captain Skat "To have fallen prey to the malevolent power of the Bermuda Triangle…"

"It's not so much that" said the attending PCSO, "it's to have ended up in the White Hart car park of all places, perched on a tow-trolley, incurring a mooring-fee-cum-parking-violation of £2500 – now that’s unlucky."

However, the attention to detail of the enforcement troops of the White Hart has inspired the Royal Navy which is considering utilising their talents off the Somali coast where pirates regularly hijack vessels of all sizes.

Cmdr C Shanty, from the Ministry of Defence’s little-known parking division, said: “These chaps might prove ideal in our fight against Somali pirates. If they can clamp a few of them that would be spiffing; if on the other hand a few of them were shot by the pirates they won’t be missed. Everyone’s a winner as I believe they say in the lower echelons of society.”

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You mop up wine - Fresco rakes in profits

  Fruit professionally stacked. How do you like those apples?
Petersfield supermarket Fresco's is to introduce a new interactive shopping experience where customers will be able to stack the shelves themselves.

Store manager Hugh Canduit explained: “Some time ago we introduced a bank of self-service tills and these have proved to be a huge hit with customers.

“Using a self-service till couldn’t be simpler. You scan your own goods using the bar-codes; it only takes customers eight times longer than an experienced member of staff to do this.

“There will inevitably be one or two items that won’t scan, so you need to factor in two or three additional minutes to attract a member of staff for assistance.

“If there is a problem with the bar code, the member of staff can normally rectify the situation easily by tapping in a 246-digit number which negates the need to scan the item.

“You can also redeem vouchers at the self-service till; although this is complicated and does hold up the queue. It’s probably best to use these another day.

“If you have purchased an item which has a security tag that needs to be removed such as a pack of razor blades, you will also need to attract the attention of a member of staff. Don’t be put off by the withering look you may get.

“Weighing fruit and vegetables can also really slow up the process, so we always suggest that our customers buy packaged items where possible; it’s much quicker that way, and the manufacturers can only add so much sugar and salt after all.

“Of course you will need to pack your own bags; this will take a little longer, mainly because you need to factor in a minute or two to prise the wafer thin plastic buggers apart and then open.

“Then you need to process your parking ticket and your loyalty card which normally adds a few minutes to the process for the uninitiated. If at this point you realise you wanted cashback, you simply finish your transaction and head outside to join another queue at the 'hole-in-the-wall'. It couldn't be simpler.”

It is no wonder that the self-service tills have been such a hit with anyone who has half-an-hour to spare and Canduit believes the shelf-stacking scheme will be equally as popular.

“We have no doubt the shelf-stacking scheme will be equally as popular”, he added, making the previous paragraph superfluous.

“At one time we had to provide a customer service, now the customers are happy to chip in and do the work themselves as is clearly evident at the self-service tills. Customers will be able to stack shelves from March and this is really only the beginning.

“Later in the year customers will be able to mop the aisles when there has been a spillage and collect trolleys from the bays around the car park and bring them to the entrance.

“This will mean cleaner aisles and improve the likelihood that there will be a trolley available for customers as they arrive."

Canduit was asked whether this wasn’t really about reducing staff overheads and maximising profits, but he was made redundant before he had a chance to answer.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Petersfield tap stars hit by class divide

A Petersfield tap dancing group were kicked off reality TV show Britain’s Got Some Talent (No Really!) On Ice after it emerged the town did not have enough people daft enough to waste money phoning in to vote.

Taptastic were devastated as they were beaten by a street dance outfit from a council estate in Bethnal Green and a dole-scrounging robotics expert from Liverpool.

To be fair, the Scouse robot spider was quite impressive

Fourteen-year-old troupe leader Tina Tapshu sobbed: “We put our heart and sole (sic) into it but we couldn’t compete with the massed grannies, aunties, cousins and bezzie mates of the other acts.

“My mum phoned a few people from her bridge club and they made an announcement in school assembly asking for support – but it wasn’t enough.

“Most people in Petersfield were too busy living their actual lives to bother handing cash over to an international phone company and a low-brow TV channel merely to subsidise cheap programmes…”

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ideas flood in for Petersfield's diamond jubilee celebrations

An appropriate and respectful artwork?

Suggestions on how Petersfield should celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee next year have been rolling into the Newswire offices.

Queen Elizabeth II, whose real name is Lizzie Sax-Coburg, has been sponsored by a Cunard liner for the majority of those 60 years, and Capt Harry Hornblower RN Rtd, from Buriton, suggested this could be recognised by the placement of a tramp steamer in Petersfield Lake.

German immigrant and garage owner Kurt Esycar believes the monarch’s German heritage should be honoured.

He explained: “I vould like to zee recognition of her German anzestry in any zelebrations. I vas going to symbolically occupy the Polish shop in Station Road, but zum bastard got zere before me. I suggest we have ze video of Germany’s trouncing of England’s zo-called fussball team on a permanent loop on a large screen in ze town square.”

Local ‘actor’ Tarquin Stage-Presence had a part in a crowd scene in the recent BAFTA-winning King’s Speech, which was about the Queen’s father. He believes a bust of actress Helen Mirren – who portrayed the Queen in the popular 2006 film Casino Royale – would be a wonderful way to celebrate 60 years on the throne.

He said: “Darling Helen has never been afraid to get her bust out if the scene called for it. And as long as it’s done artistically it could be a money-spinner.”

Avid republican NT Monarchist, of a park bench somewhere in Queen Elizabeth Country Park – another sponsorship deal which is often overlooked – is another who believes a statue would be a fitting memorial.

“How about a group of working class people with a massive leech sucking cash out of them?” he snarled. “That would be accurate. It could be made from all the recycled shotgun cartridges Prince Philip has fired off at innocent wild animals.”

Other less-serious suggestions have included a classic car show and a tug-of-war, but council spokesman Ben Back-Bencher said only respectful and symbolic ideas would be considered.

“While we all enjoy light-hearted ideas such as a classic car show or tug-of-war, we realise that they would not be viable suggestions if we are to ensure the town is not a laughing stock,” he admitted.

“I think it’s most likely we will have a farmers’ market with some tacky inflatable kids’ things and some local musicians who won’t charge us anything and we’ll give it a special name. It’s worked perfectly well on other occasions.”

Send your ideas for Petersfield’s diamond jubilee celebrations to

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blings and Roundabouts

Ella Verr-Pounding waits patiently for her little Anastastia

Petersfield Town Council may resort to installing a roundabout at the entrance to Petersfield's Posh School to alleviate congestion at 11am when the children arrive for breakfast and 3pm when they leave to go home.

The traffic can be so bad that tailbacks have been known to reach the A3 in one direction, and interfere with the Post Office queue in the other, meaning it is the second thing in Petersfield visible from the Moon (see Newswire passim).

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that just about every child is transported to school alone and in a large vehicle.

Parents, for the most part stay-at-home yummy-mummies, see the delivery and collection of their child as an opportunity to show off their, invariably-less-than-six-month-old car. Critics claim that once they are on to the school site they can be very slow to drop off and depart as they make the most of the perceived limelight.

Posh School did introduce a policy where parents can only park and swagger around the car in their new Jimmy Choos for a maximum of five minutes, which has helped a little, but not resolved the problem entirely.

The petrol station opposite the school, Gasso, has been forced to take action as times of increased traffic unfortunately coincide with the four hours it is normally open each day. The part-time petrol station subsequently experiences a massive drop in profits during term-time.

Digging has already commenced on the forecourt and a slip road is being installed which should at least help motorists who want to call in for fuel.

School spokeswoman Gemima Lacrosse-Racquet said: "We have tried to adopt alternative methods of arrival and departure. Recently one of the classes starting arriving by helicopter but we are geared up only to accept small Squirrels and not Chinooks, so Mr Heseltine's Westland business studies' class will have to revert to arriving in Bentleys and Mercs - some of the poor dears don't even have their own chauffeur. The situation is heartbreaking."

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Time to make a stand

A proper bandstand, not a crap brick version.

Petersfield Cricket Club have given their full backing for plans to erect a bandstand in the middle of Petersfield Heath to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

A mixture of crazy and worthwhile ventures have been put forward to celebrate the milestone including a large inflatable crown that could be enjoyed by children as a kind of bouncy royal castle and a half-scale model of the ex-royal yacht Britannia to be used as a permanent floating venue on the lake.

The bandstand seems to be the people's favourite and the cricket club are right behind the project, but some believe the backing is merely the verbal equivalent of ball-tampering.

Alf Volley, spokesman for the club, said: "We think the new bandstand is a fantastic idea."

Yet many remain suspicious of the cricket club's enthusiasm. The club has suffered at the hands of vandals recently and the bandstand might prove a welcome distraction to young thugs.

First-team skipper and chinese international batsman Lee Ding-Edge conceded: "Only this week we have has some nutter carving up the wicket, speeding around on some sort of quad-bike. This would give the local pondlife something else upon which to vent their frustration."

Sally Bray-Shun, talking on behalf of the Jubilee Committee for Petersfield, said: "I'm afraid Volley and Ding-Edge are wide of the crease with that one. The bandstand would be fully vandal-proof.

"We have only £30,000 to spend and, constructed from brick, the bandstand will probably look crap. In my experience that makes it vandal-proof. Hooligans won't try to destroy something that already looks as though someone else has already had a go at it."

Bray-Shun denied the Jubilee Committee had contacted the fairground operators, to enquire how much it would cost to buy the kiosk that houses the "Fishing for Yellow Plastic Ducks" game.

"There is no truth behind this rumour and in fact this is probably larger than the structure we would be able to afford."

Friday, February 04, 2011

Petersfield couple's Egyptian nightmare

A young Petersfield couple have returned home after they feared delays in their flight back from Egypt would rob of them of their 15 minutes of fame.

Keith and Denise Whyte-Taylortrash, of Working Class Way, Petersfield, were scheduled to return home from their Egyptian holiday on Wednesday afternoon, but the widespread riots in the country delayed their flight by 45 minutes, leaving them fearful of a lack of media coverage.

Keith said: “Our all-inclusive three-star hotel was only five hours from Cairo and we could clearly see the rioting on the TV behind the poolside bar. At one stage smoke was clearly seen coming out of the back of the glass-washing machine.

“We quickly realised this was our chance to be featured in the local newspaper and on local TV so pausing only to pack, check-out and purchase some sandstone souvenir pyramids and a 100 per cent Egyptian cotton sheet with ‘Mubarek Out’ written on it, we dashed to the airport in a fully air-conditioned coach and prepared to fly home.

“We alerted both the Petersfield Proust and Meridian TV, who were both desperately keen to find a local hook to the big news story of the day. But we were obviously concerned that the delay might mean another couple would get home first and be plastered all over the TV, self-consciously looking at their holiday photos on their cheap sofa while claiming how lucky they are to be alive.”

Speaking while she was sat self-consciously looking at their holiday photos on their cheap sofa while claiming how lucky they are to be alive, Keith’s plug-ugly wife, 35-year-old former arc welder Denise, added: “Naturally it was a very worrying time. When you’re in this situation your thoughts immediately turn to selling your story to the highest bidder if you can get national interest.

“You only ever imagine these things happening to other people. When you’re as plebeian as we are the only chance to get your 15 minutes of fame is either escaping from a war zone or appearing on Jeremy Kyle – and we keep failing the auditions. I suppose we just got lucky in that it kicked off just before our holiday ended.

“If we’d booked a week later those bastards the Kellys would have got home to Bordon before us and it would be them what’s on the telly.”

Images of the Whyte-Tailortrashes’ – or any number of couples like them – self-consciously looking at their holiday photos on their cheap sofa while claiming how lucky they are to be alive, can be reasonably expected to appear on local TV stations across the nation in the next few days.

■ A compilation programme entitled When People In No Danger But Desperate For Fame Turn Bad is expected to be shown on Channel 5 in the autumn.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

What have the Romans ever done for us?

Rare Roman parking tablets, left, and Upforanorgy, still looking for that perfect bone.

Excavations at the Ill Intent have resulted in extraordinary and groundbreaking finds that have excited Petersfield's incredibly popular archaeologist Claudia Upforanorgy.

She said: "If you recall, last week I predicted that there was a good chance that the Roman settlement that was here nearly two thousand years ago, reflected the current usage of the site. What we have found is astonishing.

"We didn't find teeth bleaching products that vain Romans might have used in an expensive dentist, nor did we find urns that would have contained ale and wine. If that sounds disappointing, what we found far surpassed those hopes and our wildest imagination. We found Roman parking tablets!"

These incredible artefacts have not been found anywhere in the world let alone at a British outpost.

The five parking tablets are in fantastic condition and clearly show an extortionate parking fine of one million Dinar.

"This really is like the Holy Grail," declared Upforanorgy. "Equally remarkable is the slightly less decipherable but still fairly clear small print on the back.

 You wouldn't want to fight this fine.
"So not only did the Romans give us straight roads and metalled surfaces, they also introduced the notion of unfeasibly high parking fines, with enforcement. This is a defining moment in Roman excavation.

"This has been such a fantastic weekend, surpassing my wildest dreams. The Time Team boys have been fantastic with some of the real men helping me out with a dig of my own. My legs are going weak again at the thought of it."

The landlord of the Ill Intent, Phil Harup was quick to offer his opinion.

"Lovely carpets," he said. "But boy can those Time Team buggers drink. Also that Claudia whatserface managed to break one of our beds. Idiot.”

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Council sheds everything

A council employee illustrates how much extra cash
has been allocated to public services for 2011

Under unprecedented financial pressure, Petersfield’s local council has published a list of cuts it plans to make to public services. This isn't it:

1. Hundreds of unwanted wooden sheds, bought at great expense for the Christmas Festival a few years ago and now rotting in a lock-up off Bedford Road, will be converted into green burial caskets and leased to the dead on a timeshare basis. Hurry while stocks last.

2. Petersfield Library is to move into a converted wooden shed from East Hampshire District Council’s (EHDC) Christmas stockpile. The library will also be merged with the hearing-aid shop so half the customers will spend all day going "shussh" while the others reply "pardon?". Saves £6,000.

3. £22,000 cut from Residents Home Improvement grants. Future applicants will be given a wooden shed and told "stop moaning or we'll rehouse you in Havant".

4. Corners will be cut in Petersfield town centre as the Market Square is reduced by 25 per cent and renamed the Market Triangle. Planners recognise the kebab van will be unable to navigate the new 60 degree corners so EHDC has kindly offered the use of a replacement wooden shed.

5. £9,000 of cash put behind the bars of councillors' chosen pubs every year is to be withdrawn. The money was handed over to "ensure members of the public could use the pub toilets" like they can in, say, a pub. Instead it will be used for councillors’ tipples…

6. A fleet of limousines used to take every member of council staff to and from Overspennds Place, out to Monoloco for lunch and off to the pub to "use the lavatory" is to be replaced by sheds on wheels, driven by pixies.

A spokesman for the council said: "Don't blame me - you voted the buggers in!"