Thursday, September 29, 2011

Volume control

Camouflage brackets available for £9.99, if you can find one

Petersfield’s leading newspaper the Petersfield Proust is offering its readers the opportunity to own an extensive 24-volume encyclopaedia charting the history of World War II.

Impress your friends with this enormous collection that will, depending upon the size of your house, take up an entire wall.

Very wide – once you have factored in all 48 covers – and incredibly heavy, this collection will need additional wall brackets to ensure your shelf can support the weight. Special camouflage wall brackets can be purchased at the discounted cost of only £9.99 each.

The first volume is absolutely free, enticing you into starting your collection. The publisher’s hope is that once you’ve started, a bit like Hitler, you just won’t be able to stop yourself.

The collection takes just under half a year to complete – around one twelfth the length of the war itself – and while it doesn’t cost a ‘bomb’ you will need to ‘shell’ out £2.99 for each book. Ideal for anybody with more money than sense and perhaps, ultimately, the plaster removing from an old wall.

The ultimate cost is approaching £70 and, spread over half a year, you’ll probably never notice that hard-earned cash trickling from your account. You could actually buy several proper well-written tomes on the subject of World War II for that kind of money but don’t let that put you off, just think of the visual spectacle in your home.

The publisher accepts no responsibility for the damage to your shelf and wall as your collection grows, neither will it refund the cost of volumes purchased should you decide that you are wasting your money.

How about a decent newspaper spread over the year in 52 weekly instalments? That would be a lot better.

Monday, September 26, 2011

All change to no change

Petersfield parking tokens

East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) has announced that it expects to earn an extra 30 pence per day when the increased car park tolls take effect on October 1.

The minimum price is set to rise from 90p to £1, in Petersfield’s largest two car parks* but the reality is that most paying car park users shove a pound coin in the slot anyway.

Waitrose shopper May Dermunny said: “I really can’t be bothered to scratch around for change and always pop a pound coin in the machine.”

Bell Hill old-timer Arthur Wrytiz chimed in: “The Waitrose car park takes small change right down to a 5p piece, but I find it takes me ages to feed a number of coins into the machine, especially when it spits half of them back out again.”

Ray Kittin, manager of EHDC’s ‘Unwanted Gold’ campaign, explained: “First of all we want to make it quite clear that we are only raising the prices to improve the parking experience for all Petersfield residents.

“We all know what it’s like to stand in the cold when an annoying old duffer is struggling with his or her small change, or some inconsiderate yummy mummy is taking the opportunity to show her precious Hermione how to feed small coins into the machine.

“From October, not only will the price of a two-hour stay rise from 90p to £1 but also only pound coins will be accepted. Actually that’s not strictly true, two pound coins will also be accepted, but no change given. And that’s in the 50 per cent of machines that are actually in working order at any given time.

“While we accept that we will not make much profit from this increase, with most people already paying a pound, the small profits we do make should pay for the new signage and adaptations to the machines by 2043.”

*The calculation of which are Petersfield’s largest car parks does not include the town itself, which is to all intents and purposes one big car park these days.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Petersfield’s gypsy plans unveiled

 A traditional gypsy caravan

Dale Farm’s gypsy population has been invited to set up home in Petersfield by Trevor Laws, chairman of Petersfield Town Council’s planning committee.

Laws has set the caravan wheels in motion to meet the housing requirements forced upon the peaceful market town by government.

Petersfield has been told it needs to grow by 422 homes before the end of 2028 and Laws thinks this gives the town a chance to exploit a loophole.

“There are 420 families living on Dale Farm, if they all move down here, there will only be a need to build a further two homes between now and 2028,” he said.

“Nobody wants development apart from the developers themselves, and this would be a great way to avoid it.

“Even the South Downs National Park representatives are caving in to pressure, so my plan will put an end to all this talk of building plots.”

Laws has been in secret talks with Dale Farm representatives Eve Hilleye and Iona Quadbyke, and they have agreed a certain standard of accommodation could be mandatory.

“I have insisted that each home has to be a traditional “pretty” gypsy caravan; the site will look beautiful and if anything, attract visitors to our part of the National Park.

“The caravans could be sited next to our existing caravan population, at the rough end of town, down on The Causeway, so that shouldn’t upset anyone.

Iona Quadbyke tries out the tree with a ladder on the Causeway site

“A loan scheme has been put in place with the Swiss Bank UBS, who are desperate for some good press, and the gypsies will be able to pay for their new caravans over the next 15 years.

“The bonus will be the ‘mates rates’ system that I will insist upon for tarmac resurfacing work. When our roads fall apart this winter, following another ‘unexpected’ cold snap, our new neighbours will be out to fix the cracks before you can say no to a sprig of lucky heather.”

Monday, September 19, 2011

Petersfield's town-centre survey reveals stuff

An artist's impression of how the town centre will
look in 2012 with, left, and without investment

A survey among Petersfield residents to discover which businesses should fill vacant lots in the town has thrown up few surprises.

Top of the list was a ‘second Waitrose with parking only for 4x4s’ closely followed by Barbour. ‘A Porsche dealership’ was third, while Primark had support from only one per cent of those surveyed coming out of Waitrose. Fortnum & Mason was another popular choice among the middle-aged.

Major Hold-Ups, a retired army veteran who now works for the Highways Agency, threw his weight behind an ‘Army Recruiting Office’.

“That’d sort ‘em out,” he blustered. “Oh, and an S&M club. Not much by way of that around here currently.”

A surprising number of people surveyed coming out of the 99p Store said they would welcome a 98p Shop as “times were hard”.

Teenagers admitted they preferred to shop “anywhere rather than Petersfield” and their most popular shops were those used either by their peers or by some twat on TV.

A DIY store and garden centre is sadly lacking according to Charlie Dimmock and Tommy Walsh, who live at Titchmarsh, near Alton.

Dimmock said: “We believe the town would benefit from a water feature and some decking; but since Focus closed there’s simply nowhere to buy the essential pieces.” 

Other popular choices included coffee shops, ‘upmarket’ charity shops, a store when you can buy extended guarantees and a delicatessen specialising in sun-dried tomatoes.

East Hampshire Council, which conducted the survey, admitted that most of the answers had been predictable and that the survey was, to all intents and purposes, a waste of money.

A spokesman said: “Most of the answers were predictable and the survey was, to all intents and purposes, a waste of money. It didn’t matter what stores people want they’re not going to move into Petersfield town centre until the rents drop substantially. And that’s not going to happen all the time the landlords want to turn the properties into flats.

“Without some investment the town centre could become a ghost town – or a car park, and it’s well on its way to that as anybody visiting on a Sunday will tell you.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wacky boy racers

Surrey and Hampshire Constabularies have combined forces in the hunt for a number of speeding drivers who have been filmed racing through the Hindhead tunnel.

 Richard Dastardly?

D.I. M Lylit told Newswire: "These wacky criminals, because that's what they are, are terrorising the inhabitants of Hindhead and other commuters using the roads.

"They seem to regard the new tunnel as something of a challenge, flouting the law and then posting video evidence of their escapade on You Tube.

"We have been provided with good pictures of the vehicles and are sure that with a little bit of help from your readers we will be able to apprehend these miscreants.

“The public have already helped by suggesting a few names. We would like to talk to a Mr Dastardly, a gang called the Ant Hill Mob, a Miss Pitstop and a Mr Perfect.

 Peter Perfect?

"The drivers are fools unto themselves, with images this clear being made available to us, we are certain that we will be making arrests before too long.”

If you have any information that you think might be of use to Hampshire's and Surrey's finest, especially if you know the whereabouts of any of these drivers, please contact Newswire.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Your Sheet, and you know you are

 A Sheet resident gets twitchy

A ‘net curtain’ dividing line has been proposed – if the village of Sheet gets the go-ahead to split from its big brother neighbour Petersfield.

Leader of the SS (Separate Sheet), Baron Ludwig von Queenshead, said: “It’s quite simple – it will be like the old iron curtain across Europe…just more in keeping with the area.

“After all, there is no point in our quaint little village managing to extricate itself from the shadow of the urban sprawl of Petersfield if we don’t mark the dividing line in some way.”

The big debate will now take place as to where the ‘net curtain’ should fall.

“Obviously we don’t want the concrete jungle of the Herne Farm estate in Sheet – that goes without saying,” stressed von Queenshead.

“I don’t much care for Pulens Lane either – or any of the houses on the old A3, they’re quite obviously urban in nature.

“There are also rather too many terraced houses that don’t really lend themselves to the image we’d like to create for Sheet, so I think essentially we’re talking about the village green, the old oak tree, St Mary’s Church and, er, the Queens Head. We might also adopt a corridor along to the Harrow, even though technically it’s kind of on the Steep border, because it’s such a landmark.

“Admittedly, it’s going to have to be a fairly long ‘net curtain’ but I, for one, think it will be worth it to keep the Petersfield riff-raff at bay.”

A passing spokesman for the Herne Farm Residents’ Association said: “What?!? We’re not in Sheet any more?? In that case we must be in Harting – we’re a farm for heaven’s sake! We have to be in a village of some description.

“Right, I’m not giving this up without a fight. I’m off to form a new group called Farmers For Sheet. You wait until I get going – FFS will be the letters on everyone’s lips...”

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Bus Pass Farce

Commuter belt alms houses

A pensioner in Steep has complained that her free bus pass has been rendered absolutely valueless because the bus service she used to use has been cancelled. 

"It's not worth the plastic it's printed on," said Anne Cestraloam. 

Cancellation of the 95 Countryliner service has meant that Cestraloam no longer has a bus picking her up from outside her 15th century almshouse. This puts her in the same position as about 98 per cent of elderly people who live in rural locations, except she lives in a historic listed building. 

"I think you're missing the point dear,” the increasingly angry old lady told our reporter. "You see I used to have it really easy with the bus picking me up and dropping me off only a few feet from the bottom of my beautiful garden. 

"It was a lovely big bus and there was always lots of room. In fact, if you time your journey right, I was often the only person on it."

We put it to Cestraloam that if it really was just her catching the bus, perhaps Hampshire County Council were actually justified in ceasing the service.

"Oh, it's not just me dear," Cestraloam insisted. “Mr Jenkins, Mr Trubshaw and Mrs Merryweather will also be at a complete loss without the service.”

We asked  Cestraloam whether these were here neighbours, and were they also completely dependent upon the bus, adding weight to her argument that there is indeed a need for the 95 service? 

"Neighbours, no dear, they all have cars. Jenkins is my butler, Trubshaw is the gardener and Mrs Merryweather is my cook, although to be honest I'm thinking of letting her go, her quiches are simply awful. Can you recommend any good cooks dear?” 

A spokesman for Hampshire County Council claimed the bus route had been cancelled as part of the village’s ongoing drive for independence.

He said: “We keep hearing that Sheet wants independence from Petersfield and this was all planned as part of a move towards that goal. Steep? Is that not the same place? Oh bugger it!”

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Your horoscope - a problem page for the desperate and gullible

When “Dangerous” Dave Molestrangler put 'psycho' as a trade on a job application form, the human resources department thought he put ‘psychic’. So he’s on a week’s internship at Petersfield Newswire as our astrologer supreme.

Next week’s guest astrologer is that cheerful chap Colonel Gaddafi – we’re sure he’ll have plenty to say. 


This week is a great one for romance – providing you meet another moose! How can you be so ugly with only one head? Avoid long walks in the country side as you may scare the animals.


With bile rising, you repulse me. You are a fat bastard who could clearly do with shedding a few pounds. Don’t trust the advice of a friend – you don’t have any. Everybody hates you and they only speak to you because you know that bloke off X Factor.


A career change is in the offing, largely because you’re a shit cook. Have you considered bricklaying? You could use your gravy as mortar. And I’m not sure your ‘daughter’ is really yours…


With inflation in the ascendency you should really give up on the job as a financial advisor. The bank will foreclose on your mortgage in the next year and something will go hideously wrong with a wardrobe.


Stop parking your BMW outside your neighbour’s house – it will only bring bad luck and the possibility of an ‘accidental’ keying. The woman at work whom you think fancies you actually finds you repulsive.


Women: do everything you can to win the affection of your man tonight. Shower him with snacks, beer and a curry. You will find it most beneficial. Men: Live football, Sky Sports 1, 7pm tonight.


Now is the time for a career change. You’ve grown fat and ugly and men want more from a hooker in the 21st century. Why not move into presenting on That’s not a mole on the inside of your thigh, it’s a scampi fry.


You’re in luck. A Nigerian widow will contact you about a lot of money; you can make cash out of a recent accident; and you have been included in the prizewinners in this year’s Reader’s Digest draw. You’re also a prize chump!


You owe a man some money and if you don’t pay up soon he’ll break all your fingers. However, with Saturn rising there could also be a love interest involved.


A close friend is likely to betray you. It’s got nothing to do with astrology, that’s just life. Live with it.


If you’re thinking of taking an expensive holiday, do it and do it now before it’s too late – don’t think about the expense. You won’t see 2012. 


Somebody special will enter your life this weekend: Piers Morgan. And you think he’s ‘special’ – that’s how sad and lonely your life is. Stop watching reality TV and get yourself a partner that doesn’t need inflating.

*If you have been unduly affected by anything you may have read here there's probably some state-funded phone-line to help you. Though really you should just man up. For a start this is a spoof website, and secondly, astrology is bollocks.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Folding paper could be much worse than it sounds

Some fish and chips, sold by a fish and chip shop yesterday 

D-Day is looming for our two local papers: the Petersfield Proust and Petersfield Harold.

The newspaper industry is in rapid decline and local media expert Meg Azine believes one of the papers may be forced to fold before Christmas owing to a dearth of suitable stories.

She explained: “Recently the papers have been able to exist on a diet of exam result pictures, prom pictures and pages of pictures taken at events like the summer festivities. It’s got like a middle-class Hello! 

“But with summer almost behind us these options are no longer open to the newspapers. They have to start finding proper stories and there just aren’t enough to go around.

“The economy has hit them hard: with university fees going up next year, fewer private-school kids are able to take a year off to try to go round the world and ask for financial support in the paper while being photographed on their bike, in their canoe or simply looking posh.

“Every available piece of land appears to have been built on so there are no residents’ campaigns to feature; there are fewer and fewer ‘vicious attacks’ or murders for neighbours to ‘come to terms with’; banks can no longer afford to print giant cheques to hand over to allotment holders; and if we get a traffic warden even the letters page might have to go.

“Already we have seen stories such as ‘fish and chip shop sells fish and chips’ and ‘ex-railway worker has shiny top hat’. And a local non-entity has even been given his own column to pad out the Proust. The signs are not good.”

However, local entrepreneur Osama Ben Hurry, a specialist in “stepping in at the last minute to save the day” plans to step in at the last minute to save the day. He claims to have an idea which would enable both papers to survive at least until the new year.

“It’s called the Christmas Festivities,” he said. “I thought we could shut the High St for three days, have some live music, some Christmas-themed stalls and a special big arrow pointing from the War Memorial to CafĂ© Fusso, so nobody misses out on business.

“It will provide lots of stories in the run-up to Christmas if we come up with some awards and some disgruntled shopkeepers – and there’s never any shortage of those in Petersfield. And afterwards there will be enough pictures of small children wrapped up warm and old men in shiny suits to last well into January.

“Then if we launch an Easter Festivities we should have enough material to last until the next murder happens. It would be a tragedy if this small town lost its overpriced and news-light local papers.”

A spokesman for the Petersfield Harold denied the newspaper was facing an uncertain future.

“There is no truth in the rumour of our potential demise,” he insisted. “Only this week in our editorial meeting we discussed the possibility of a ‘biggest sunflower’ competition and the use of more ‘news’ from Haslemere. It’s business as usual here.”