Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Petersfield in turmoil as 'mild inconvenience' takes hold

Contingency plans to deal with the 'working classes'
have been lost to budget cuts

Petersfield was yesterday thrown into chaos as East Hampshire District Council admitted it had no contingency plans to cover ‘mild inconvenience’.

The town came to a virtual standstill after a lightning strike hit a railway signal box and caused some ‘inconvenience’ involving delayed trains, temporary loss of phone lines for local homes and businesses and the catastrophic momentary increase in signal for the town’s O2 network users.

Residents were “in uproar” according to local scaremongerer, career demonstrator and media cliché user Cam Payne, of Petersfield Residents Against Things (PRATS). He insisted at least two people of his acquaintance were “thrown into turmoil” and had to “come to terms” with being inconvenienced and blamed the local council.

However, a spokesman for the council, Nat Todowithme, rejected Payne’s claims, although he admitted the incident had highlighted a shortfall in contingency planning.

He said: “I have spoken to the telephonist at Pennpushers Place who has confirmed she received no calls from residents complaining they had no telephone connections. What’s more it’s naff all to do with us if they didn’t. Neither is it our fault that the trains were not running on time.

“At an emergency meeting last night, however, council officials did realise that there were no contingency plans in place to cope with a wide outbreak of ‘mild inconvenience’ in the Petersfield area. We have plans for flood, pestilence, famine, war, earthquake, fire and a shortfall of focaccia bread or sun-bleached tomatoes – but we were unable to instigate any plans for ‘mild inconvenience’.

“It would appear this may be owing to funding cutbacks which also did away with contingency plans for ‘invasion by the working classes’ sub-sections two (scaffolders) and four (telephone sanitisers) and ‘dealing with ethnic minorities’.

“Residents should rest assured, however, that they remain perfectly safe … unless of course those bastards from Labour ever get back in.”

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Borderline decision

An artist's impression of how the
affordable housing might have looked.

A developer who wanted to build 80 houses and 102 flats on land at Oaklands House, Redhill Road, Rowlands Castle, is being forced to go back to the drawing board after a government inspector dismissed the company’s appeal to reduce the requirement for social housing on the site.

Whopping Properties had tried to push through planning permission with only 80% of the new houses and flats available to be socially rented or sold cheaply as affordable housing.

The developers were clearly hoping to make their profits on the remaining fifth of the properties.

In an effort to swing the decision, the developers had even offered over half a million pounds, in a brown envelope, for use on existing local social housing in the northern suburb of Leigh Park.

Government inspector, Em Bargo said: “I’m afraid the developers are just too late with this bid, they might have got away with this a few months ago, in the days before the South Downs National Park (SDNP), but not now.”

All of Leigh Park, not just Rowlands Castle, falls outside of the SDNP boundary and one might think this makes planning applications comparatively simple, but the reality of the situation is in fact the complete opposite.

Bargo confirmed: “We will be keeping all kinds of new social housing to an absolute minimum in the SDNP; you will have seen recently that three sites in Petersfield had applications flatly refused.

“Existing social housing will naturally decline within the SDNP, this will be the simple economic affect of rising house prices and the cost of living in a desirable area.

“But the opposite applies to land contiguous to the SDNP; it is here that we will need to cater for those that, shall we say, cannot afford to live in the Park...”

“If Whopping Properties want to develop the land in this northern part of Leigh Park, they need to take very seriously their social responsibility.

“To be honest I’m not sure they have thought it through any way. They were hoping to build what they describe as “desirable” residences, but these would have been surrounded by social housing and house-owners who aspire to move into the SDNP.

“I think it’s a recipe for disaster and would have been something of a white elephant.

“Rental property that can be used by the transient oil refinery workers, that’s where the money will be. You mark my words.”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Star ring roles

Jude Law and Johnny Depp spotted in Petersfield's
Costa Coffee and Millets.

A man has lost not just one, but three rings while shopping in the quaint market town of Petersfield.

The man, Bill Bow, is said to be distraught and insists it is hugely important he is reunited with the rings that he says are “preciousssss”.

Bow said: “I was having quite an ordinary day. I’d completed my shopping and had settled down for second breakfast at Costa Coffee in town. It was then that I was confronted by a wizard and an elf. You don’t expect that in Petersfield.

“Of course these were no ordinary mythical characters ... it was actually Jude Law and Johnny Depp, and before long they started questioning me about my preciousssss rings.”

It turns out the duo knew more about the rings than Bow did and they had already been down to Millets to kit themselves out for what they described as the “Quest” of finding them.

Despite Bow insisting he ‘lost them’ around town, the pair seemed set on starting their quest at the Mines of Hindhead. The staff in Costa tried to explain that this was actually the entrance to the soon-to-be-opened Hindhead Tunnel, but the stars were not to be put off.

If you have any information about the missing rings or have seen any more of Depp or Law dressed peculiarly, please contact Newswire at

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Longest Day

The ramblers thought they had map-reading nailed

A group of six women completing a walk for popular charity Save Our Squaddies have spent all of the funds they have raised on a piss-up.

The ladies were walking the South Downs Way when they were astonished to come face to face with, what they thought was inexplicably popular TV loudmouth Jeremy Clarkson.

In fact, the walkers were miles off course and had actually wandered into Paul Stuart, landlord of the Pub With No Name at Priors Dean.

The pub’s annual beer festival, The Longest Day Festival, is taking place this weekend and Stuart was out surveying the adjacent campsite which resembles a reservoir following recent rainfall.

Stuart said: “Understandably they thought I was Clarkson. Have I ever told you how I am always being told I resemble the obnoxious bigoted twat?

“Anyway the ladies, or as I saw them, potential customers, bumbled up and before you knew it they were fawning all over me and taking it in turns to have their photo taken with me.

“I asked if they’d like to pop in for a drink and they were practically hysterical, they all started Twatting, Myspacing and Farcebooking how Jeremy Clarkson had just asked them for a drink.

“To cut a long story short they got completely slaughtered in the PIMMS & Champagne tent. By the end of the day, four of them couldn’t stand up and they had spent all of the money they had with them in a bucket labelled S.O.S.”

Once one of the ladies had sobered up a little, asking to remain anonymous, she spoke to one of our reporters and said: “We were absolutely miles off course and thought, bollocks let’s get pissed. It just goes to show you, women and maps don’t mix.

"I think I'll stick to walking round the shops”

Friday, June 17, 2011

Food festival leaves bad feelings in the air tonight

A Petersfield trader who missed again even though there was
no jacket required at the festival insists an appearance next year is against all odds

Petersfield traders who showed no inclination to get involved with the Petersfield Food & Drink Festival have slammed organisers for not begging them to take part.

The Petersfield Food & Drink Festival, which took place in the square and High Street on June 4 and 5, was hailed as a huge success by most people – but one local shopkeeper was incensed after taking the decision not to be involved only to find her takings for the weekend well below normal.

Sue Sudio, who sells 80s’ LPs and seven-inch singles in the Floppy Market, was incensed.

She said: “I’m incensed. If there’s one thing a food and drink event really needs it’s a stall selling 80s’ music on vinyl. I can’t understand why I was not consulted in the run-up to the event.

“Naturally I sat back and waited for the organisers to come to me and, when they didn’t, I decided the only route to take was to complain to the local newspaper.

“Nobody told me capitalism was about competing with other traders. I expect signs to be erected pointing to my shop every time there is an event in Petersfield.”

Ms Sudio, who reached number 12 in the charts in 1985 with the song Phil Collins, insisted she and her fellow traders were unaware of the festival until it was actually taking place.

“It wasn’t publicised very well,” she claimed. “Apart from all the signs around the town, 17 consecutive weekly supplements in the Petersfield Proust, mentions on local radio, campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, and the road being blocked off there was no indication anything whatsoever was taking place. Did I mention I was incensed?”

A spokesman for the festival organisers confirmed that Ms Sudio had been in touch with them following the event.

He said: “Ms Sudio was understandably disappointed that stallholders who had paid for the privilege of being part of a high-profile local event were visited by customers in preference to her.

“We are prepared to compensate her for this unnecessary oversight on our part by providing her with a free stall for next year’s event. It will be located between stalls selling bitter and sour grapes, and opposite a hard cheese specialist.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shock at police station closure

Petersfield Police Station seen here being used for the last time
back in 1958

There was widespread shock across Petersfield today when it was announced that the town’s police station was to close because of cutbacks – mainly because not one single resident realised it was still open.

“I thought it closed in the ‘90s,” said passing burglar Ivor Swagbag. “I certainly haven’t seen a copper on foot in the town since…ooh I can’t remember.”

Another dodgy-looking character, Pete O’File, who was hanging around the nearby churchyard, commented: “What? There are coppers in that building. Bloody hell! I must be going.”

Drinkers in the newly reopened Fogfusions bar opposite the station were equally mystified. “A police station you say,” mused one. “Thankfully, they never seem to notice any of our lock-ins, fights, or noise.”

Petersfield’s MP Damian Hindsight waded into the debate, saying: “I’m definitely backing town residents in calling for a full review into this closure, although voters must understand we all have to tighten our belts and pull together, or something.

“There simply is no alternative to cutting costs to pay for bankers’ bonuses, er, I mean fund the black hole of debt left by the last government.

“It seems the only way we could afford police in the past was because Labour was frittering away money on public services. God, these people will be asking for a decent pension next!”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Petersfield in search for token town 'celebrity'

Jhon Cosgrove: his lack of a top hat is hampering his 'celebrity' status

Petersfield is searching for a new town celebrity to take some of the burden off the current pairing of John ‘PFC’ Westwood and ‘The man in the shiny suit©’.

A new ‘character’ could also help to spare the embarrassment felt by the town’s ordinary residents every time one of these two turns up in the local media.

“It’s difficult for just two people to take on the entire responsibility for representing the town whenever there’s a need for a local nutter,” explained Petersfield PR guru Max Cloffears.

“Besides, the rest of us are fed up with our town being portrayed by a bloke in a top hat who has failed to learn a single note on the cornet despite playing it for about 20 years – or by a bloke in a top hat whose entire vocabulary seems to consist of ‘Roll up, roll up’.

“Surely there must be someone with a modicum of talent out there who could step into the breach whenever there’s a gathering of stalls in the Square or Meridian TV turn up to do a vox pop on the South Downs National Park?”

Earlier this year there were hopes that Petersfield might be able to claim some real celebrities as their own – but they have been cruelly dashed.

It turns out top ‘Petersfield’s own’ TV comic Miranda Hart is actually a posho who spent her entire childhood miles away at boarding school and – despite her parents living in the vicinity – she has yet to be spotted downing a pint in Foggies or even working out which armed services charity to support with her Waitrose green token thingy.

Jude Law has been spotted more than once wearing sunglasses in the rain while strolling in Rams Walk – and once ate an American Hot One in ASK (apparently) – but it seems that having kids at Bedales doesn’t actually qualify him as a bona fide town celeb.

That bloke off Outnumbered has also been spied catching a train from Petersfield station but no-one can remember his name and he’s actually drabber than ‘The man in the shiny suit©’ so he’s a no-no too.

Current frontrunner for the post of the town’s ‘third nutter’ has to be Jhon Cosgrove, who not only fronts a proper band – Mike TV – but spells his name in a daft way and has wacky hair. The only problem is that, so far, he has shown a distinct lack of top hats in his wardrobe, so the field is still wide open…

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Taking The Liss

 Contract negotiations reached a satisfactory conclusion
News that former Pompey chief Jack Anory is set to become chairman of Hampshire League Liss Athletic has sent football fans in the area scurrying for cover.

Anory is renowned for ‘working tirelessly’ in his efforts to dig the former Premiership club (replace with ‘former Football League Club’ for season 2014/15) into a huge financial hole.

And residents living near Liss’ home ground at Newman Collard sports field fear a similar size hole at the club could cause subsidence in their homes and irreparable damage to their wallets.

A spokesman for the Hill Brow Road residents association was too busy hammering in a hastily constructed ‘For Sale’ sign to speak to the media, but his wife, who was flinging suitcases and furniture into the back of the family car, was more forthcoming.

She said: “It’s not that we’re ungrateful or anything, but if one looks at the parlous financial state of Mr Anory’s previous clubs down the years, it’s not encouraging for those who are within the official Government fall-out zone. Pompey, Notts County , Southend and West Ham are hardly paragons of financial stability are they?”

A spokesman for the Hampshire League side, which has its annual general meeting on Monday, June 27, said: “Like all clubs at this level it is our ambition to become more professional.

“Mr Anory brings with him the experience of recruiting hundreds of players on ridiculous contracts which will threaten the very stability of the South Downs . And how much more professional can you get?”

Monday, June 06, 2011

Out of Focus

The shelves haven't even been cleared and the
Coffee Warehouse people are in
Petersfield is set to have the UK ’s largest coffee shop following the demise of the DIY chain Focus.

The Focus store, in Station Road , is set to be bought by a consortium of coffee growers and transformed into Coffee Warehouse – a venue for buying coffee beans and enjoying a fresh brew.

Ken Cogold, the chairman of Coffee Warehouse, said: “The sad demise of Focus has proved an unmissable opportunity for us. It’s clear there is a huge demand for coffee shops in Petersfield – and that demand is not being met.

“We anticipate giving over half the available floor space to coffee bean storage and the other half to a coffee shop. It’s sort of a wholesale Whittard’s … and we’ll piss all over them.

“There is a small outside area where our customers can drink al fresco and we will be the only coffee shop in town with dedicated parking facilities. What’s more, our close proximity to the town’s railway station means we will expect a lot of commuter traffic early on, so we will open at 6am and remain open until 10pm during the summer months.

“The future of Petersfield is in coffee – that much is clear. And if it doesn’t work out, we’ll turn over the storage area into a charity shop.”

He added: “If anybody wants to buy a screwdriver they can head down to B&Q at Havant where they will find other working-class people.”

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Last-minute drama at Petersfield Festival of Food & Drink

The heat proved too much for one
member of the Petersfield SWAT team 

Visitors to Petersfield's world-renowned Food & Drink Festival were forced to dive for cover this morning when an East Hampshire SWAT team swooped on a stall-holder selling organic Spanish cucumbers.

Six armed officers dropped into the town square from a hovering chinnook after Spanish farmer Juan Forderoad began selling the produce from a stall next to a bouncy castle.

Five of the officers surrounded Snr Forderoad's stall, while the sixth yo-yoed between the square and the helicopter after landing on the bouncy castle.

A stand-off ensued for half-an-hour with the SWAT team ordering the stall-holder to 'hit the deck', while he in turn threatened to force-feed a passing tourist with an organic cucumber.

A truce was called when the officers became too hot in their Kevlar tunics and began to strip off, causing more visitors to dive for cover and an 84-year-old town councillor to faint. She had only just recovered after seeing the size of Snr Forderoad's cucumber.

The confrontation was broken up when everybody was distracted by the appearance of a traffic warden. The armed officers then arrested the stall-holder and took him off to Costa Coffee where one of them was heard to yell: "HOW MUCH? Are you taking the p***!"

Tourist John Selwyn-Gummer witnessed the shocking events and said: "Culinary terrorism is a very real threat in the 21st century. We should be very proud of our boys in blue ... and black ... and metal protective clothing ... and night goggles.

"I heard people say this was an over-reaction but it was a necessary show of force. Disaffected minorities are increasingly turning to organic cucumbers and we must be vigilant at all times. This stuff is dangerous. Now excuse me, I'm off to buy some British beef..."

The Petersfield Festival of Food & Drink continues until late Sunday afternoon.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Cake Walk

 An example of a “Cake Walk” taking in three broken
ticket machines and a walk back to the car. 

Petersfield supermarket Tesco is today launching “Cake Walk”, an initiative that could see many of its car-driving customers lose some weight.

“Cake Walk” will see many customers complete some valuable exercise in the open air before heading into the store.

Jean Eyus, a Tesco spokesman, said: “The plan is simple: by only ever having one car-park ticket machine working at any given time, customers will be forced to walk around the car park trying to purchase their ticket before they can come into the store.

“Once they have bought their ticket they need to walk back to their car and all this adds up to healthy exercise.

“The walking doesn’t end there; we are also hiding our trolleys, you know those handy sized ones that all our customers like to use. We have started to leave these jammed in the broken plastic shelters around the car park and customers will have to walk back out into the car park to get a trolley.

“We estimate that an average customer will have to walk about half a mile before actually making it into the store, whereas some customers might actually walk nearer to a mile before starting their shopping experience.

“The weight problem for all lardies out there has been exacerbated by the fact that nobody feels safe eating cucumber any more thanks to the Germans.

“This is traditionally the season when everybody manages to lose a little bit of weight, but those who might otherwise have eaten healthily will now see this as an excuse to revert to their winter staple of pork pies and chocolate.

“Many of our customers have asked why we don’t put a clearly visible sign up over each ticket machine that isn’t working, so customers know to head to another machine. Hopefully this explains our reasoning.”

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Police resources "stretched" without an editor...

Hampshire police's CCTV unit is up for a
BAFTA for 'best lighting on a speeding ticket'

Hampshire police has been criticised for having the entire Petersfield allocation of officers seconded to a CCTV speed camera team on the B2070 (Petersfield to Liss road) today.

A spokesman for Petersfield Residents Against Things (PRATS) was incandescent with rage.

He said: “I’m incandescent with rage … at least that’s what I think I am. I’m sure I remember reading it somewhere. I’m not happy anyway. There were two vehicles at the Liss turning from London Road today … TWO! They were filming drivers of all things.

“Yet just a couple of miles away in Petersfield young people were dropping litter, wearing their trousers halfway down their backsides and laughing. What’s more Costa was charging in excess of £3 for a coffee. These are despicable acts. Why aren’t the police here targeting such wanton acts of criminality?”

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary confirmed all six officers scheduled to appear in Petersfield at any given time over the next decade were indeed working with the CCTV unit. But she denied it was a waste of valuable police resources.

“These are necessary staffing levels for the job these officers were required to do,” she said sheepishly. “It’s not just a case of having a driver and a cameraman in the CCTV van; you also need a director, a lighting engineer, a runner and a grip – whatever one of those is.

“That’s all six east Hampshire officers. We couldn’t stretch to an editor or costumier, so have been forced to make do. Residents should be grateful that the officers they have within their community are so multi-skilled. They might not catch many criminals but when they are captured on film, the lighting and production techniques are second to none.”