Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just add clotted crime

The latest local crime report circulated by Petersfield Neighbourhood Watch suggests a worrying trend ... towards the trivial.

In what might be seen as a coordinated wave of food-related crimes (but probably isn't), the following incidents are reported by Hampshire Police:
  • Fruit thrown at property in Buster Walk.
  • Eggs thrown in Marden Way.
  • Biscuits stolen from Privett village hall.
  • Youths throwing apples at Petersfield house.
  • Twenty curly kale cabbages nicked from Kelsey allotments in Liss.
  • A hooded youth spotted outside Waitrose.
Officers have gathered together all the evidence and made a pie. With a curly kale starter.

Speaking with his mouth full, PC Daventry McAllister said: "What did you expect? Letting this lot go to waste would be, er, criminal."

Petersfield Newswire Interactive Plus

We're looking for the best original recipe which combines these ingredients in the exact proportions reported by local Police. Please send all entries to Petersfield Newswire offices marked with a nutritional value analysis and best before date.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Letter to the editor

Here at Newswire Towers we are always delighted to receive genuine correspondence from our readers. Here is a letter we received recently. Please keep them coming.

Dear Newswire,

My name is Harold Backhouse and I am chair of FEAFA, a local organisation here in Petersfield, of right-thinking people.

Yes, the Flat Earth and Fascist Association is a fine body of like-minded folk who are sick to death of politicaly correct thinking, allowing the country to be over-run by foreigners and being told what to do by this socialist government.

You can see the work of our members all over recent events and communications to the Petersfield Post, our house newsletter. Long, tedious letters about climate change denial, telling Johnny Foreigner where to stick his grimy car mop and leaving copies of our Bible - the Daily Mail - in public places, is all the work of our dedicated members.

And to cap the week off, we now have one of our team proudly and openly selling golliwogs in his charming and tasteful furniture shop at the bottom of the High Street. He soon tells interfering busybodies who go in to complain where to get off, I can tell you!

So take that Mr and Mrs PC and get yourselves a few years of National Service to sort yourselves out.

Yours rigidly,

Harold I-fought-a-war-for-you Backhouse

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gap-year student returns after controversial trip

A Petersfield teenager has returned from a controversial gap-year trip without calling upon the emergency services in any of the countries he visited.

Garstang Ponsonby-Landowner, 19, from Monks Vineyard, had courted controversy from the very first moment he conceived the gap-year trip to the Far East, as his father, Sir Arthur, explained.

"He eschewed all the accepted methods of travel," said an angry Sir Arthur.

"For a start he didn't send in a picture of himself to the local paper with an appeal for other people to fund his trip. This meant we, his parents, had to cough up - and it meant selling one of the Bentleys.

"Most people at his university tap up their wealthy parents for a stamp to send in an appeal to the newspaper and make gullible members of the general public cough up money so the students can enjoy a trip the plebs can only ever dream of.

"But not our son. Oh no! He wanted to be independent, so we had to fund it ourselves. And on top of that he didn't once get lost in a jungle or a desert necessitating a full-scale search by the local emergency services."

Sir Arthur's ire was echoed by Professor Mortimer Greeb-Streebling, Garstang's tutor at Moscow Top Spy College, Oxford.

He said: "I really can't see why anybody would want to go on a gap-year trip if they keep such a low profile. Surely it's all part-and-parcel of student life to take a gap-year trip, get lost, cause panic among friends and relatives, before being discovered after an intensive search.

"It's a British rite of passage. After all it's not our taxes that have to pay for the emergency services' time - that's why these youngsters always go abroad. Garstang really doesn't appear to have entered into the spirit of the thing.

"And to cap it all off, getting through the trip without an emergency meant he didn't get a free trip home in an air ambulance, and he won't be able to turn his story into one of those paperbacks you can get in Book Ends for £2.99.

"We may have to send him down. He's let down the entire education system."

An ashamed Garstang, who is studying to be a teacher, refused to be interviewed by Petersfield Newswire. Instead he issued a short statement which said: "I realise now I've let down my parents, my fellow students and my university - but most of all I've let down myself. After all, it's my time I'm wasting."

Friday, December 25, 2009

The real Christmas message

Petersfield Newswire is delighted to be able to show you part of this year's Queen's peach...



Merry Christmas everybody

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas massage from Petersfield Newswire

Slap, slap, slap, slap, slap,
knead, knead, knead, knead,
slap, slap, slap, slap, slap,
knead, knead, knead, knead,
....ah

Merry Christmas to our ever-increasing number of followers. Thanks for your loyalty and we hope to continue to vaguely amuse you with tales of life in a small east Hampshire market town during 2010.

Have a good one.

Clint, DJ, Frank, Plato and (our latest recruit) Cyrano.

Santa's PO grotto




In something of a coup, Petersfield Post Office has managed to secure the services of out-of-work funny man John Henshaw on Christmas Eve.

The Post Office awarded free use of the comedian’s services to the branch which could boast the worst record across the land, and Petersfield won by a mile; quite literally. On the day the judges measured the queue it was very nearly a mile long.

So to celebrate the festive season, the Post Office has been turned into one big grotto with Henshaw kitted out in a Santa outfit and white beard, talking to those lucky enough to have made it into the building.

Cindy Sack speaking on behalf of the Post Office, said: “This should bring some welcome cheer to our customers at this festive time.

“Once anyone in the queue has reached the building, they know that they will at least be entertained for the final two hours or so of their ordeal.

“Also, on a positive note, I can confirm that none of those queuing during the last week or so has had to contend with slippery conditions. The queue has been there day and night, so the snow has not actually had a chance to lay on the ground beneath their feet.”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

101 uses for a dead pub – No.1: art

A Petersfield landmark is on the verge of winning the Turner Prize.

The Market Inn, which has been boarded up for as long as anyone can remember, has been nominated for the prestigious annual art farce.

"Some people might think that old rundown pub is simply an eyesore in the middle of a quaint market town – but it’s really art," said Andi Warthol, of the Turner organising committee.

"The way it looms on the edge of an otherwise prosperous market square symbolises the potential economic decline that possibly awaits us all.

"The rusting corrugated sheets in the windows and doors represent a blocking out of the light of life; they’re a grim comment on the daunting prospects for a world on the edge of its very extinction.

"The Market Inn has become a poignant reminder of the fragility of the western world’s commerciality - it shows our entire way of life hanging by a rotting thread."

Owner of the Market Inn, Monty Opoly - who owns several other thriving pubs in the immediate vicinity - said: "That’s capitalism folks!"


Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow brings chaos to town


Polish car cleaners take a break outside
Waitrose - "this is summer day..."

Petersfield was in crisis today after experiencing 1/30th of the average snowfall in December in just one day.

Cars were forced to stick to the speed limit, children arrived at school on time after being kicked out early by concerned parents, 4x4 drivers panic-bought boxes of sun-dried tomatoes, and Costa Coffee ran out of those little chocalatey sticks they put in the top of the cream in the festive lattes.

Petersfield Big School's head teacher, Dee Tention, said: "We were gobsmacked this morning. Most of the kids were in on time, apparently because their parents were so concerned about them being late they kicked them out of the house at about 6am.

"It was totally unexpected. Most of the staff weren't in. They were all still in bed because we had our staff party last night in a marquee on the new artificial pitch. It was great - we had lots of caviar and champagne all paid for by the oil we discovered recently.

"And we wouldn't have been able to do that if we still had that bloody great tree."

The town's popular Big Issue seller was still in place at her normal hour, however, and her work ethic was applauded by career councillor Albert Halls-Committee.

"This is the sort of dedication more workers should show," he said. "If she had a bed she would have been out of it early just to take up her normal spot."

Other non-indigenous workers in the town were also in action at the normal time.

Win Screenworscher, originally from Warsaw, was in the town's central car park at 7am saying: "De-ice your car today sir? Spread dirt around on your completely unnecessary 4x4 madam?"

Bizarrely, he was dressed in beach shorts and a T-shirt.

He explained: "One shentimentre of snow and town grinds to standshtill. Is bullshit. In Poland, this is summer day..."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Old bag to become MP

A Tesco carrier bag looks set to become Petersfield’s Member of Parliament at the upcoming general election.

East Hants Tories have opted for the shopping utensil as their prospective parliamentary candidate following current long-time MP Michael Mates’ decision to retire.

"It seemed the obvious choice,’ said Tory spokeswoman Archie Pelago. "Let’s face it, we’re going to win by a landslide and Petersfield has elected a Conservative since shortly before the Roman invasion.

"What’s the point of wasting a decent candidate on a seat like this? Besides a Tesco bag represents all that we stand for – naked commercial greed, elimination of all competition, and cheap vodka for the masses to keep them cowed."

The Tesco carrier was up against a Waitrose ‘bag for life’ at the selection meeting but members decided that being a member of the John Lewis group made it ‘practically a communist’.

However, Tory leader David Cameron has insisted that the Tesco bag should be of a recyclable variety to fit with his green image.

The Liberal Democrats will let shoppers decide on their candidate by getting them to vote with green tokens in the three-way charity box in the Waitrose entranceway.

A Labour spokesman said "Oh what’s the point!?" and no-one from the British National Party was available for comment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Town's flagship store to be undercut

Competition between traders in Petersfield is set to hot up with the opening of a new store – with just six shopping days remaining before Christmas.

One of the many vacant premises in the town centre is to be taken over by discount chain store The 98p Shop, which has moved in in an effort to undercut the popular 99p Store.

A spokesman for the company said: “We firmly believe there is a market for our style of store which undercuts more expensive retailers such as The 99p Store, while retaining the ability to provide shoppers with what they want.

“We’re not in competition with stores like The 99p Store – we are catering for a slightly different market. We firmly believe that, especially at this time of year, there is sufficient demand for products which last only a few hours before falling apart or don’t work at all.

“If people want longevity in their products or object to sawdust in their biscuits and cookies then they should stick to more expensive products available elsewhere, such as The 99p Store.

“But at The 98p Shop we are confident we can fob our customers off with any old rubbish.”

He added: “We can afford to price our products so low because we have very few overheads: no permanent base, very little stock and a distinct lack of quality. We have a niche market and Christmas is our ideal time.”

Branches of The 98p Shop can normally be found at markets across the south at this time of year and a spokesman for Trading Standards warned: “We are aware of The 98p Shop – which should not be confused whatsoever with The 99p Store which offers true bargains, particularly those big boxes of biscuits and Danish cookies which are ideal for sharing around the office.

“Not to mention the big boxes of toffees, the great deals on carbonated drinks and … oh yes, The 98p Shop. Buyer beware is our mantra as far as these people are concerned. As long as you don’t mind food with absolutely zero nutritional value or edible content for that matter, batteries with no power, and small toys covered in highly toxic paint, you should be fine.”

The representative for Petersfield Town’s International Traders (PTiTs), haberdasher and jeweller, Matt Tress, was surprisingly unmoved by news of the new store.

“Personally I couldn’t give a toss,” he said. “They don’t sell jewellery or whatever haberdashery is, so I’m in the clear. And as long as their pikey vans don’t stop people gaining access to my shop I’m happy.

“It’s the bloody doughnut van I hate.”

*The respectable 99p Store would like to reiterate it is not connected in any way with The 98p Shop, which sells worthless crap and is fictitious anyway.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Domino’s effect

A Petersfield man has built a life-size replica of the town’s King Billy statue – entirely out of unwanted flyers from Papa John’s and Domino’s.

"I stacked up two days’ worth as they came through my front door and realised that it closely resembled the plinth of the statue in the Square," said Dave Geek, of Cranford Road.

"It was another two weeks before my recycling bin was due to be emptied and I was off work with a broken toe after a pile of Petersfield Directories fell on my foot.

"I had nothing else to do and the flyers just kept on coming, so I decided to put them to good use – and on top of the plinth I fashioned a statue of King William and his horse out of papier mache made from the leaflets.

"It was great. Every time I almost ran out another load would appear on the doormat, as if they knew I was in need of extra supply.

"I was almost sick when I saw the one advertising strawberry pizza but I was in full flow by then and determined to finish."

Geek is going to take his statue on a tour of the town in a bid to find a new resting place for the real thing – so it can be moved to make way for more farmers’ markets in the square.

The tour will start at the McDonald’s roundabout where it is thought the statue could act as a welcoming vision for the town. Other possible sites include Tesco’s car park (they could probably afford it); the car park behind the Festival Hall (well if you can squeeze a funfair in there anything’s possible); and the civic dump in Bedford Road (the inevitable destination for Geek’s model if not the real monolith).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lost: Library noticeboard for lost and found


Action from one of the library's many exercise classes

Yoga teachers, odd-job gardeners and coffee-morning organisers are up in arms over the temporary closure of Petersfield Library.

"Where else are we going to pin up our badly designed, ill though-out and appallingly spelt notices for classes and events that haven’t been running for around 18 months?” squealed Maud Simpkins, yoga mistress and part-time landscaper.

“There’s also the issue of where all the old codgers are going to go to keep warm – we’re talking about January you know!”

Members of the official Post Office queue have suggested the library notice board could be moved out into the square to give them something to snigger about during the long, dark hours of waiting for a stamp.

The refurbished library is due to re-open in summer 2010 complete with coffee shop, hairdresser’s section and estate agency.

Spokesman Roger Reader said: “We had to do something to bump up numbers and a working group identified the lack of these facilities in the town.

“Books? Well, we might still have a few left in the corner – but try Amazon. Theirs aren’t all dog-eared with pages stuck together with unidentifiable substances – plus they’ll bring them straight to your door and you won’t have to bring them back when you’ve finished reading them. I don’t know why we didn’t think of that…”

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Yule be sorry


Even the pastry-based, meat-filled
snacks made the effort

Reports that Petersfield Christmas Festivities were nothing but a Hampshire Farmers’ Market in disguise have been strongly denied by organisers.

“There was definitely some tinsel on a couple of stores,” insisted spokesman Giles Farmer of, er, Hampshire Farmers’ Market.

“It was extremely seasonal - we blew several flakes of snow around, it p***ed with rain most of the weekend and The George even offered mulled wine,” he added.

“How bloody Christmassy do you want it?”

Meanwhile, lovers of extortionately-priced sausages, hand-crafted (in Taiwan by child slaves admittedly) wooden toys, and carrots covered with dirt hailed the event as a huge success.

Mr Farmer, who also organises the traditional French market, Italian market and Easter market in Petersfield, is currently working on plans for a Valentine’s Day market, St George’s Day market, Tuesday market, Post Office queue market and another event intriguingly titled a “market market”.

A spokesman for Lincoln Christmas Market said “We’re worried…no, honestly.”

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Blonde denies non-existent Tiger link

A 30-year-old mother of two from Petersfield has denied being the 10th lover of world number one golfer Tiger Woods.

Medya Hoare, a member of a local golf club, has moved to quash speculation that didn’t exist, which didn’t claim she was a former lover of the philandering birdie-merchant.

Buxom Hoare, not a natural blonde, insisted there was sexual chemistry between her and the USA’s finest, but that she resisted his advances.

“We met at Royal Birkdale in 2008,” she admitted.

“He was putting out on the 18th and I was selling bottles of mineral water nearby at £5 for 50ml. The crowd was at least six deep but our eyes met and I knew he wanted me to visit his hotel room.

“That night I knocked on his hotel room door and he yelled ‘Go away’ – but he was merely playing hard to get. So the next day I went out of my way to pass him a bottle of water on the practice ground.

“He said ‘Thanks’ and I knew then we would become lovers. Sadly I’m still waiting though it can be only a matter of time before he reaches me.”

Speculation about the relationship between Woods and Hoare was growing ever since the 10-handicapper went round her golf club telling people she was Tiger’s lover and that she would release a statement to the media as soon as she’d had her hair done.

A fellow club member, who did not wish to be named, said: “It wouldn’t come as a surprise to be honest. She’s a right slapper and is known around the club as the ‘hole-in-one’.”

Ms Hoare declined to comment further unless a national newspaper paid her dental bills.

Post Office queue visible from space.

Russian cosmonauts working aboard the International Space Station say the queue for Petersfield's Post Office is now visible to the naked eye from their orbital position.

Their discovery means the town's queue joins an elite club of man-made structures visible from space which includes the Great Wall of China, Dubai's Palm Island, the Pyramids at Giza and the great Ego of Cowper.

Royal Mail spokesman Sam Daydelivery said: "We're delighted that the popularity of our Post Office in the town is being recognised from afar. This achievement alone completely justifies our policy of slowing everybody down by selling countless insurance products and phone contracts at the counter."

Petersfield Newswire asked the cosmonauts to send photographic evidence to back-up their claim but unfortunately it was raining.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Woman turned to crime to sate houmous habit

Police have revealed the 4x4 vehicle which smashed into the premises of the former Natural Café in Petersfield High Street was being used in a so-called ‘houmous-ram raid’.

The woman responsible, Jocasta Bull-Bars, 43, from Godalming, has admitted she felt obligated to do something drastic after her family was ‘devastated by the credit crunch’.

In an exclusive interview with Petersfield Newswire, following her release, she said: “My husband is an independent financial advisor and owns a string of businesses across the south-east – and naturally he’s been very heavily impacted by the economic downturn.

“His bonuses for the last two years have only just made six figures and that has had a detrimental effect on all the family. For example, during the summer holidays we had to make the decision to take our least-intelligent child out of the private school system and put him in a state school.

“By making huge sacrifices we are able to continue to provide private education for the other five, but at some cost. We’ve had to sell one of our holiday homes, lay off some of the domestic staff, stop Matilda’s daily horse-riding lessons, my husband Giles has had to amend his golf-club membership to five-day, and, in January, we all have to fly economy to the chalet in Klosters.

“It’s all the fault of this Government – they don’t seem to realise the effect it has on normal people like us.”

Mrs Bull-Bars, a full-time tennis pupil, continued: “We were devastated by the credit crunch and I began to wonder how I was going to put houmous, sun-blanched tomatoes and Bollinger on the table for the kids to eat when they came home from boarding school at the end of every term.

“I decided to take the desperate step of ram-raiding a health-food restaurant after the idea had been given to me by a bridge partner at the tennis club who had used her Humvee to ram-raid Body Shop, in Farnham, in a desperate effort to provide her family with fruit-scented soaps.

“Sadly for me, the Government’s lack of economic forethought and mismanagement forced the closure of the Natural Café around a year ago, and none of the staff here bothered to tell me.

“Naturally I feel awful. It was a moment of madness; after all I can’t claim on the insurance for a ram-raid. I gave it no thought whatsoever.”

Police in Petersfield have confirmed Mrs Bull-Bars received only a caution owing to diminished reality and the fact her father, a High Court judge, instructed them so to do.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas cracker car-park shocker

A money-grabbing trader has called for the demolition of an old building in the town centre - to make way for a Christmas car park.

"At this time of recession we need to boost shopper numbers any way we can," said jeweller Matt Tress.

"If we can set up a new car park right next to the Square, it will give the whole town a lift."

His proposal to knock down the town's Norman church, St Peter's, has not met with universal approval - especially during the festive season - but Tress remains unrepentant.

"It's old and crumbly anyway and it's been there for ages," he moaned.

"It's nothing but an eyesore in my book - I'd much rather see lots of lovely shoppers pulling up there in their cars. I reckon you'd get more than 200 on that site, which would be a much-needed boost for the jewellery trade, and maybe some other shops too.

"We might have to lose the Square's Christmas tree to gain access, and those strings of garish lights could go too. Let's keep Christmas traditional for once - it is all about shopping after all. And if anyone's interested in a carol service or something, there are plenty of other churches available that don't clutter up the centre of the town.'

God issued a statement via Facebook, saying 'FFS!'

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Heath Rd residents learn the hole story


This CCTV shot shows the damage inflicted
- and the party responsible

East Hants District Council has made a breakthrough discovery which is certain to delight the townsfolk who live in the posh big houses opposite the Heath.

For years now, the road surface in Heath Road, has been dug up and repaired on what sometimes seems like a daily basis.

Council workmen are regularly rushed to the scene after the rich people in the street ring up to complain that there is “another hole”. Often held to ransom by the influential people who make the call, the council feel duty bound to swiftly make good the damage before it inconveniences or embarrasses local residents.

Nobody had any idea who or what was causing the damage, but this week a surveillance team, set up to watch the road, caught the culprit red-handed, or perhaps that should be red-clawed.

The perpetrator was a mole.

EHDC employee, Doug Rhodes, who spotted and captured the mole, said: “This is no ordinary mole; its claws are unbelievably sharp. It cut me to ribbons trying to grab hold of the little bugger. I’m sure it’s some sort of mutation. Good job I was on double time.”

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A sight to behold

A Petersfield optician has landed a deal to supply a classy new brand of designer spectacles that can literally perform miracles with your eyesight.

Tom Otrist, based in Levent Street (at least we think that’s what the sign says) has agreed a multi-hundred pound deal to supply glasses from French stylists Wenger and co.

“They’re fantastic,” says Tom. “When you put them on you can’t see any rain or even clouds, there’s no sign of a recession, Petersfield Square and High Street appears to be free of cars, and you can’t even see the queue outside Petersfield Post Office.

“Oh yeah, and Didier Drogba appears to DO NOTHING except score storming – but extremely lucky goals...”

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas queue date unveiled

Petersfield Post Office has announced its 'last queueing date for Christmas' - and it's Tuesday, December 8.

"December 8 is the last date anyone can join the queue and genuinely expect to be served before Christmas," said Royal Mail spokesman Bob Jobsworth.

"Whether you need a stamp, want to check your letter against that odd cutout cardboard thingy we use these days to determine which exhorbitant price you'll pay, or you just want to dither about asking pointless questions of our staff, now's the time to start your wait."

At the time of going to press, the end of the queue was edging past the war memorial towards Heath Road, so by now it's probably somewhere near the Taro Leisure Centre (this is an estimate - actually a pointlessly wild guess - and Petersfield Newswire accepts no responsibility if the queue has headed in the opposite direction and is now lingering outside Macdonalds).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Local press excited

A local newspaper is claiming that “revelers will be rocking around the Christmas tree” between December 5 and 7, at this year's Petersfield Christmas Festival, thanks to what it describes as “an exciting line-up of bands and performers”.

As usual, a number of acts that nobody will have heard of have been booked for the event and organisers are hoping that at least one or two of them can string a few notes together to entertain the crowd.

Groups secured for the event include Little Willy and his Piccolo, The Flatulent Pheasants, Revenge of the Angry Housewives, REO Speed Camera and topping the bill, Irish boy band Gang Green.

The Town Council has given permission for a perimeter fence to be set up around the square at this year's event, to control crowds. This isn't so much in an effort to maintain order, as numbers.

The plan is to have an entrance but no exit, so crowds should swell into the dozens or even hundreds if misleading signage can be erected in time.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Petersfield 'ready' for traditional Christmas

Local council officials, traders and the usual busybodies are confident of a traditional Christmas in the town this year, according to reports circulating the Petersfield Newswire office.

Some of the traditions the local authorities are expected to maintain include moaning about the cost of decorating the town, arguing over whose responsibility it is to put up the lights and warning that this is probably the last year we'll have any lights anyway.

Meanwhile, officials from Pennsions Place continue to look for a Christmas tree for the Market Square. In keeping with time-honoured tradition, they won't give up their search until they've identified the scruffiest clump of branches this side of Norway and then dragged it back on a rope until it has exactly half the charm of a tramp's jumper.

Asked to comment on the proposals, one woman in Ram's Walk said: "Beeg eee-shoe. Beeg eee-shoe."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

As if by magic, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary appeared


The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, Hilary Benn, left, greets an enthusiastic supporter during a
recent visit to Petersfield

Hilary Benn, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, has signed off the final documentation required for the South Downs to become a National Park.

While many agree wholeheartedly that the unique landscape should be protected from overdevelopment, there are a number who are left dumbfounded by the argument for National Park status put forward by Mr Benn.

Walter Proofs, from the South Down’s Society, has long advocated that the priceless downland landscape with its native heathers, beetles and moths, desperately needs protection - but this is very different from the controversial argument put forward by Mr Benn.

Mr Benn maintains that on one visit to Harting Down, he saw a tiger, a leopard and was nearly killed by a charging white rhinoceros.

Challenged regarding these extraordinary sightings Mr Benn retorted: "I recommend that any doubters visit my tailor in Chapel Street, Petersfield. Any of you can be kitted out in khaki walking attire and matching pith helmet.

"You will then be given access to the more exciting parts of the park through the tailor’s special changing rooms.

"I know it sounds incredible, but you really must give it a go. I even saw some amazing coloured submarines having a battle in Petersfield Lake."

As if by magic, one of Mr Benn's advisors appeared, wearing a bow tie and matching waistcoat and fez, and ushered the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary through a door from where he suddenly reappeared in the House of Commons.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wet November caused by tears

The unrelenting wetness which has plagued the Petersfield area in recent days is understood to be the result of mass crying, Petersfield Newswire can exclusively reveal.

An Isuzu truck full of milk skidaddled off the Southbound carriageway of the A3 near the Midhurst turn last week, prompting acute outbursts of crying across the GU32 postal district.

Residents in Steep Marsh, Stroud and the roads off Pulens Lane where they like to pretend they’re in Sheet, all reported weeping incidents.

Amateur tearologist Dr Daventry McAllister said: “It only takes a couple of hundred people locked into synchronised blubbing and you’ve got the makings of a proper flood. Just look at the swollen Rother. That’s all tears, that is.”

Officers at the A3 crash scene initially struggled to work out what had happened. It was only later when they gave up hope of trying altogether. By 5pm they were back at the station sobbing into their tea, made with milk they nicked from the crashed van.

It’s officially the wettest November in living memory, especially for small children and those with poor memories.

POSTSCRIPT: Following this discovery, the Environment Agency has issued flood warnings for Liverpool and other areas of Merseyside, where collective outpourings of grief are commonplace and, largely, unnecessary.

*Our thanks to Cyrano, one of Newswire's latest fans, for this contribution.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Council demands enquiry and extra sun-tan lotion


A view of the cars parked in and
around Petersfield town square yesterday

An East Hampshire District Council spokesman has demanded an enquiry into a leak at the council following premature use of Petersfield town centre as a giant car park.

Secret discussions have apparently been taking place behind closed doors at the council after it was suggested using the High Street and town square as a ‘giant car park’ for Christmas following the recent loss of Petersfield’s only traffic warden.

The spokesman confirmed: “It would appear that the general public has already been made aware of our plans judging by the number of cars parked in the High St and town square yesterday (Sunday). You couldn’t get a pushbike down the High St.

“Somebody must have leaked our plan and we must discover who spawned Squaregate.

“The council discussions centred around saving money on a traffic warden and paying lip service to those members of the public who wanted the square to become pedestrianised.

“The idea was that we would allow parking everywhere which would clog up the High Street making it impassable. Consequently, pedestrians would be able to walk around without fear of being run over and those who had availed themselves of the facility would no longer be able to moan about our exorbitant car park charges.

“Plus the savings on not recruiting a new traffic warden before Christmas meant we could put the money to better use – on a big office party for everybody at EHDC.”

Confirmation of the council’s plans merely exacerbated the feelings of anger expressed by the town’s serially-moaning shopkeeper, jeweller and haberdasher Matt Tress.

“The situation is ridiculous,” he grumbled. “How can we mere public servants earn a meagre crust if our delivery vans can’t reach us with our stock? It’s not about lost profits it’s about failing in our duty to give the public what they need.

“To make even a modest living and to maintain three mortgages and six cars I need to have a steady footfall past my shop. But the council never concerns itself with the little people.

“Won’t they please, occasionally, think of the shopkeepers?”

His sentiments were echoed by local vicar’s wife Helen Lovejoy, who added: “Won’t somebody please think of the children?”

The council spokesman confirmed that the money saved on not employing a traffic warden would now be spent on a combined Squaregate enquiry and traffic management familiarisation trip on the Caribbean island of St Lucia, over the Christmas period.

Packing his sunglasses and Speedos, the spokesman added: “We currently have no plans to change the traffic management in the square at weekends. Ask me again in the new year when I’ll feel a bit more chilled out.”

Friday, November 20, 2009

Price freeze receives cool response


A Petersfield station similar to
the one not referred to in the story

South West Trains have come under fire from Petersfield commuters' group Pompous Commuters Gone Mad (PC GM) after announcing a price freeze this year.

A handful of commuters have reacted angrily to the recent announcement by South West Trains that season ticket prices are not to be increased this January.

“How does this reflect on us?” demanded Ophelia Thighs, from PC Gone Mad.

“I’m always telling my colleagues at work about how we live in such a beautiful, affluent, rural spot; and now the world is going to see that our season-ticket prices have been put on hold. It’s scandalous.

“I know they will all be smirking at me behind my back. Arriva’s fares will be increasing by five per cent and the fares of my workmates who use First Great Western will be increased by up to four per cent. Why are we being left with no increase, zilch, zippo, niet?

“There should be a law against this sort of thing. It doesn’t need to be much, just a token increase; enough to show that SWT feel they can impose a charge without it mattering to us.

"Surely some of those chaps who work out on the line in the cold could do with a little more money; any sort of increase would be welcome."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Petersfield man in Petersfield Hospital after reading Petersfield story in Petersfield newspaper

A pensioner had to be treated for shock earlier today after finding a story about Petersfield in the Petersfield and District Messenger.

Albert Albert RN retd, 108, was treated at Petersfield Hospital after the shock discovery of a press release about a local community group hidden inside the free paper, next to a full-page advert for a nail salon in Farnham.

He said: "I used to live in both Haslemere and Farnham so getting the Petersfield and District Messenger was a real bonus as it was packed with press releases from those areas.

"It came as a real shock to read about Petersfield brownies raising £250. If I wanted to read about Petersfield brownies I would move to Lindford and get the Haslemere Messenger. It's an outrage."

Other media outlets in the area confirmed they were expecting a deluge of letters of ill-informed complaint following the shock discovery.

But some are unlikely to change their policy. The Meon Valley News and the News and Mail, which are both also distributed in Petersfield, are not expected to start including many Petersfield stories in their editions.

A spokesman not connected with either paper, but prepared to hazard a guess at their reaction, said: "It's all about advertising, innit. If they buy ads then they'll carry a press release.

"The only other way to get coverage is to issue your press release along with a picture of a small girl, ideally holding a furry animal. That is one of the first rules of local PR.

"Personally, when I wanted to get coverage for my business I started up my own magazine and bought out the opposition - that always seems to work quite well."

Petersfield poll shocker - residents "don't give a toss!"

Almost two thirds of Petersfield residents do not care about the opinions of their neighbours, an exclusive Petersfield Newswire survey has revealed.

In a shocking admission, 62 per cent of people polled admitted they did "not give a toss" about what other people thought.

Mori Rosencrantz, a specialist in interpreting data to suit the corporate entities that commission opinion polls, said: "This clearly illustrates that Petersfield residents are among the most insulated and opinionated people in the country.

"It would not be beyond the realms of possibility to say that the poll indicates a huge degree of intolerance of other people's beliefs and that Petersfield is not the ideal place to choose to live if you are a member of a minority group, such as Al Qaeda or the Labour Party.

"I am also prepared to go on record as saying that it indicates a high degree of smoking if we are being paid by the tobacco lobby."

*This week's poll will appear tomorrow and will be about something else we can mis-interpret. 

SMALL PRINT: The Amble poll surveyed the views of several people, some of them (possibly) more than once and not all of them from Petersfield.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scooter looter clue is just the ticket for police

Thieves made off with a scooter from Market Town Shopmobility and used it to ram-raid a charity shop.

Staff in the shop were so taken by surprise they failed to emerge from their nap in the back room before the cheeky raider had fled.

The four-wheeled thief made off with five packs of extra-long socks, a lavender pillow, a selection of second-hand romantic novels, a 1984 cassette tape of 101 Strings and an ornamental shire horse with one ear missing. Police put the value of the theft at around £4.50.

A police spokesman said: “The mobility scooter has a top speed of eight miles per hour so by the time our men arrived on the scene the perpetrator may have already been as far away as Liphook.

“We are, however, confident of apprehending the individual because, during the raid, he filled in his name and address on a book of raffle tickets available for purchase on the counter.”

Mo Bility, the eponymous manager of Market Town Shopmobilty, explained: “This is the first time in 16 years one of our customers has borrowed a scooter, not returned it and used it to ram-raid a charity shop.

“There has previously only been one similar occurrence when a scooter was used in a hit-and-run with a pet tortoise, but nothing on this scale.

“We may need to review our hiring policy. It is a sad reflection on society if you can no longer trust somebody merely because they wear suits with arrows on and carry sacks marked ‘swag’.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bridge collapse linked to Petersfield 'terror' cell


The worst thing for South West Trains
 since leaves on the line

Police are investigating claims that members of a Petersfield-based commuter ‘terrorist’ cell were today responsible for the collapse of a railway bridge in the London area (see here).

It is alleged that members of Petersfield Affirmative Action (PAA) deliberately targeted the bridge in an effort to deflect media attention away from the power shortage at Petersfield railway station which also led to delays on South West Train routes into London today.

A police spokesman confirmed: “We are certainly investigating these claims as we have been aware of the existence of the PAA for some time.

"It would be true that Petersfield would have been more in the public glare today had it not been for the collapsed bridge at Feltham. And following previous investigations we know that the PAA will go to any lengths to ensure there is nothing in the media which could possibly harm house prices in the east Hampshire town or the artificially high cost of a South West Trains season ticket.”

The power shortage at Petersfield is believed to have been caused by thousands of the town’s residents putting on the kettle at the end of today’s GMtv show on ITV.

A spokesman for South West Trains said: “The problem with Petersfield is that many of the residents are either past retirement age or simply don’t need to work. So they spend much of the day watching television and making cups of tea.

“It’s not unusual for the level crossing gates to stay down if their position coincides with the end of Loose Women. And we hardly ever see a train at all during the ad breaks for Location, Location, Location and Grand Designs, or any cookery programme featuring a recipe involving sun-dried tomatoes.”

Monday, November 16, 2009

Letter to the editor


If you'd like to write a letter of ill-informed complaint to Petersfield Newswire, email us at stuff@petersfieldnewswire.co.uk

Sir,

I am writing to protest in the strongest possible terms about something which I feel must stop before it proves a blight on our town.

I’ve no idea what it is but I’m sure there is something out there which will anger us immensely over the next 12 months and which will act as a catalyst for a stream of letters of ill-informed complaint to your website.

Year after year we find things to outrage us and it appears 2010 will be no different.

I blame the current Government, immigrants, teenagers and those responsible for determining the current drop in house prices.

Unless something is done soon I fear nothing will be done. Surely the status quo is worth maintaining.

Yours,

Mandy Hiller
Toomuchtimeonmyhands Avenue, Steep

This charming MP


Michael Mates      Morrissey

News has emerged of how retiring East Hampshire MP Michael Mates will be spending his time following the upcoming general election: he’s going to stand in for ailing miserabilist singer Morrissey.

The two met at a recent ‘Meat Is Murder’ convention and immediately recognised each other’s inability to match their dark eyebrows to their greying hair.

Following his recent collapse on stage at Swindon, former Smiths frontman Mozza was on the lookout for someone to take on the burden of some of his public appearances.

"I couldn’t believe it when Michael said he was going to be out of a job soon," said Morrissey (real name Morrissey). "I think he’ll do a great job and it will give me more time to sit around moaning."

Mates commented: "I know I’ll have to work on the quiff a bit but I’m really looking forward to it – I’ve loved him since the early days. I especially liked Margaret On The Guillotine…"

Friday, November 13, 2009

You're Sheet - and you know you are

The Sheet Village Association is looking to set up a new twinning arrangement with the Bermuda Triangle after the mysterious overnight disappearance of a large quantity of heavy plant and machinery from the Rams Hill area.

On Tuesday evening drivers on the A272 roundabout noted the presence of a considerable number of vehicles, heavy plant and diversion signs.

But the next morning there was no sign of anything actually having been done – no fresh tarmac, no holes in the road, nothing. Zilch.

Now, the leader of the Sheet Village Association, Noel “Sheet” Sherlock, is to use the apparent presence of supernatural forces to engage in a twinning partnership with the infamous Bermuda Triangle, an area of the North Atlantic Ocean in which a number of aircraft and ships have mysteriously disappeared.

He said: “I’m always looking for ways to get cheap publicity and this seems as good as any. I have been accused of trying to jump on the ‘bandwagon’ and while that was my initial intention, by the time I got there the bandwagon had simply vanished!”

But not everybody is in favour of using the mysterious event as a means of obtaining free foreign travel to exotic climes.

One resident who contacted Petersfield Newswire, David Podger, said: “Either it was all a dream or roadwork activity is being used to disguise attempts to enter into contact with alien life forms.”

Another nearby resident, the renowned madman Professor Pat Pending, added: “There was a huge amount of activity Tuesday evening but absolutely no trace of anything the following morning. I even went out with my metal detector and my giga counter because I was so concerned about what was happening.

“The giga counter found serious traces of a material I like to call ‘giga’ while the metal detector found 75 pence, an earring and a ninth century belt buckle belonging to a Viking called Bo – he even had his postcode inscribed on the back, although it only became apparent under ultra-violet light.

“There was nobody around except a pretty Welsh woman and a camp American in an RAF greatcoat called Captain Jack, who was driving a large black Range Rover with tinted windows. I’m sure I’d seen them somewhere before.”

Albert Albert RN retd, who lives in Alternate Reality Way, off Rams Hill, said: “It was just like D-Day. All these vehicles queuing up on Rams Hill; people in uniform running around; American servicemen handing out chewing gum to children; blokes in white vans fitting satellite dishes; Mussolini hanging from the lamppost; kids being picked up by adults and passed down to the front so they could see; and nobody locked their doors in those days – they didn’t need to; we had nuffink to nick.

“The next morning they were all gawn. Just like the day after D-Day. I remember that was called E-Day. It was very much the same as D-Day only we invaded over the internet…”

Albert Albert RN retd is 108.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Newswire's new interactive service

Petersfield Newswire has today launched a brand new, innovative, state-of-the-art interactive section to bring us closer to you, our readers.

This will enable us to pose a weekly question of no relevance to man nor beast and for you to wastefully spend time answering an opinion poll.

This will enable us to cut down on genuine journalism and post one story a week highlighting how sad individuals with nothing better to do all day feel on a topic about which most of us couldn't give a toss.

See our very first opinion poll (left). Answers not collated by Gallup, more likely by Amble.

Petersfield Newswire - Your Petersfield, Your Newswire, You're wasting your time...

School's discovery continues to fuel further development


The new logo in all its glory

A local school is set to make history as it applies for planning permission to build a petrol station on its land.

Market Town Big School's head teacher, Ms Dee Tention, is determined to maximise any profit that the school is set to make since workmen struck oil on the school premises.

Tention explained: “We are looking to capitalise on the situation and this seems the logical next step. It was unfortunate that the original land had to be sold off, but I desperately needed a sauna and steam room, and our finance team could see no other reasonable way of funding the build.

“Now it looks as though we will have more money than we know what to do with and I want to ensure that none of this goes to waste.

“I have spoken to Al Kaloid in our chemistry department and he is going to establish whether he can arrange the refinement of the oil, and do whatever it is that needs to be done to sell it on to the public.

“Kaloid looked a little uncertain, but I was very clear with him: if he’s not up to the simple challenge, we will be looking for a new chemistry teacher.

“We haven’t yet set on a name for the fuel outlet but quite like the idea of The Petrol Station (TPS)."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pensioners demand a slice of the action



Mr Mussolini, not in picture, often has to send out for
pizza to be delivered to his flat

Petersfield pensioners are furious at the distance they have to travel to get an Italian meal in the town.

"The opening of Domino Pizza in Lavant Street has helped a bit - but it's still farcical how far some of my friends have to travel just for a simple pepperoni slice," moaned Ben Mussolini, chairman of the town branch of PUF (Pensioners' Union of Fascists).

"OK, residents of Chapel Street are fine with Pizza Express and Papa John's right on their doorstep - but what about those living nearer the Square? They probably can't afford the prices of La Piazetta and will have to make their way right into the High Street to ASK. It's a disgrace - the battery on my mobility scooter often runs out before I get home with my margherita."

Mr Mussolini, aged 126, added: " I have lived here since I escaped, er, emigrated from Rome in 1944 and I can't believe that in all that time the people of Petersfield haven't taken to the delights of Italian food."

A spokesman for East Hampshire District Council confirmed they had been in receipt of a number of complaints and said: "We are setting up a working party to see why there are so few Italian food outlets in Petersfield.

"Obviously it remains a concern for us as does the lack of suitable venues to enjoy a coffee or place a bet. These things are important to the residents of the town and our councillors are desperate for their votes."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stallholder left foaming



 


Plans for a huge ice rink covering the town square during the Christmas festivities have been shelved following fears it would pose too great a danger to the public.

One Petersfield market stall holder thought he had the answer to the problem, however, while at the same time making him a small fortune.

Mr Squarepants, who runs the market stall that stocks foam, but never seems to sell any, proposed that the iconic statue be wrapped in foam for the event, thus protecting the skaters from its hard angled edges.

But haberdasher Matt Tress, complained that the large rink would reduce the number of shoppers that could fit into the centre of town, having an adverse effect on his takings.

Members of the Festivities Committee could not come to an agreement over the issue and the ambitious plan was shelved.

The good news for the Petersfield public is that anybody needing foam will inevitably see Mr Squarepants, surrounded by his never changing stock, at the weekend.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Juggling finances


 


A local private school has hosted a traveling circus which erected its tent in the school grounds and put on a private show for the students and their parents.

Entertaining the crowds were jugglers, acrobats, a lion tamer and of course the mandatory clowns.

The show had been arranged by Parents Desperate To Be Seen To Be Doing Something, a group that occasionally stage pointless events, helping the parents to feel as if they’ve helped the school cause in some way.

The event raised money for the teachers’ holiday fund, but the benefits are further reaching: the children get a welcome break from their studies and of course the teachers get the day off.

PDTBSTBDS organiser Gloria Swether said: “We secured the troupe for a discounted rate, luckily Mrs Crustcake, our domestic science teacher was happy to stand in as the bearded lady, thus reducing the overheads."

Even though the prices were exorbitant, ticket sales to children and their wealthy parents exceeded all expectations and the school made the healthy profit they had hoped for.

Swether added: “The only blight on the day was that one of our new girls, young Wilhemina Horsebox, was mauled by one of the tigers. That said, we understand she will probably pull through; which is good because we really don't want this to mar people’s memory of an otherwise wonderful day.”

Friday, November 06, 2009

Council's bin creative


The bins are ideally placed for duck waste too...

Petersfield Town Council (PYC) believes it has “killed two birds with one stone” with an innovative scheme that should reduce litter on Petersfield Lake.

With the full backing of the Environment Agency, litter bins have been carefully placed to encourage visitors to stop leaving discarded lager cans and cigarette packets when visiting the town’s iconic lake.

But, these are no ordinary bins: designed by scientist Walter Clearup these bins float and have been strategically placed and anchored across the pond.

Ms Flo Tynbyns, speaking on behalf of PTC, enthused: “We are proud to be setting an example here. These ground-breaking waste receptacles will provide members of the public boating on the lake with somewhere to throw their rubbish.

“We’ve all seen them, thinking they are out of sight, chucking their rubbish overboard; well now there’s no excuse.”

But the usefulness of the bins doesn’t end there. Global warming saw the lake freeze over last year and in the winter the bins can again be used - this time as you would a normal bin … but on the ice.

Ms Tynbyns added: “Where you have a pond, you invariably get pond life, in this case hoodies and other benefit-claimant types.

“Last year the ice sheet was littered by these oiks who stroll out onto the ice, drink their lager and then leave the cans and bottles behind them. Now at least the sight of the bins might encourage them to dispose of their litter sensibly.”

Duane, 17, who was sat in the playground beside the lake drinking Diamond White when approached by a Petersfield Newswire reporter, said: “I don’t get it, when the ice melts, yeah, the rubbish sinks, yeah, so what’s the problem? Anyway what’s a litter bin?”

Thursday, November 05, 2009

More than one way to run a one-way system say critics

Motorists in Petersfield are being driven round the bend by the town’s Tor Way one-way system.

Local activists are petitioning the council to change the direction of the current system, with claims that an anti-clockwise route would reduce wear and tear to cars, make the town easier to navigate and increase commerce.

The new chairman of Petersfield Residents Against Thousands of Things (PRATTs) and shop owner Matt Tress said: “For as long as I can remember people have been driving round the one-way system the same way and its time that changed.

“The constant right turns have an untold impact on cars and the cost to motorists could be astronomical. It’s creating an awful lot of wear on one side of people’s cars.

“And it can’t be a coincidence that a company specialising in tyres is right next to the one-way system; they know that’s where their market is.

“Also I’m fed up with driving from Ramshill and having to go all the way up to the Folly Market only to come back. It’s ridiculous and quite frankly shouldn’t happen in this day and age. If we changed it around we could drive straight to the station from Ramshill.

“Changing the one-way system could be just what we need to revitalise the town. It could be just the start of getting people moving in different directions, and anything that might get more traffic past my shop can only be a good thing.”

But not everybody is in favour.

Tom Foolery, who lives in Station Road, opined: "It's a ridiculous idea. I drive to work in Sheet every morning from Station Road, so I would have to go right the way around the new lay-out.

"It would be a much better idea if they changed it in the mornings and reverted to the existing system in the evening; that way I wouldn't need to go around it at all ... except when visiting my mother."

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It’s a Twister



 


The people of Petersfield were terrorised by high winds yesterday as a tornado swept through the area.

Trees were uprooted, fences blown over, countless buildings damaged and a hot air balloon torn from its moorings and blown out of sight.

The owner of the balloon, Professor Marvel, was asked by the police in which direction it had disappeared, and, appearing somewhat dazed, he said: “Away above the chimney tops." Asked if he could be a little more helpful he added: “Somewhere over the rainbow."

The professor was taken to the local hospital for tests.

Although no-one was badly injured one woman, Dorothy Gale, rang the police to report that she had lost her little dog. Ms Gale scoured the local area after the storm has subsided calling: “Come out, come out, wherever you are” but to no avail.

The appropriately named Ms Gale described the dog as: "A scruffy little rat-sized pooch, with an annoying yap, that answers to the name of Toto."

Anyone finding the dog should contact Dorothy, or in her absence, her Aunty Em on 01730 020202.