Archive | January, 2013

Seen it all before!

31 Jan
Emerald City

Emerald City

Here’s the latest artistic impressions of the next “big thing” for the town centre. They will hang around a bit then most likely be filed away with all the others. The soundbites from the council virtually suggest that as they aren’t part of the actual planning application…well they might just change.

I wouldn’t mind if they were honest and showed people shuffling around in the cold trying to remember which floor of the monotonous car park they left their car.

What I like about this is that it takes away yet another car park (presumably to force everyone into the multi storeys), it claims to open up the river and then plonks a load of buildings in the way so you can’t see the floodwater coming down from Northampton.

Marineville!

Marineville!

I put a letter into the Times and Citizen this week and they chose not to publish it so it seems that Dave the Mayor is allowed to spout his usual tripe, they ask for comments and then don’t publish anything!

Bedford Riverside North Development

Bedford Riverside North Development

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Skip of the Dump!

31 Jan

Episode two: Young Barney has discovered an old dump and there’s a caveman living there called Skip. Barney’s not questioned how he got there, at least I can’t remember him doing in Clive Kings book! You would wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t just come across a caveman and make friends with him.
Anyway Barney and Skip are having adventures on the rubbish tip, despite Skip having speaking caveman language they communicate quite well!

Skip and Barney, it was a rough night!

Skip and Barney, it was a rough night!

Barney: Wotcha got there Skip?
Skip: Weird rubber faces, a bag full, ugga ugga!
Barney: Wow they look peculiar, what do you think they are?
Skip: I think they are first aid training appliances, possibly connected with diving and / or water rescue as they are full size unlike the Annie dolls for learning how to deal with cardiac arrest. Ugga Ugga Ugga!
Barney: Wotcha going to do with them Skip?
Skip: Well, they look real scary when you shine a red light through them so some sort of prank next Halloween springs to mind! Ugga Ugga Ugga!

Seriously scary!

Seriously scary!

Barney: Finding a genuine caveman living on the old rubbish tip and having adventure all Summer long I’m the luckiest 8 year old around aren’t I Skip?
Skip: Well if that’s what floats your boat! Anyway, what’s this summer business, its February shouldn’t you be at school instead of hanging round here? Ugga Ugga Ugga!
More scavenging antics with Skip Hunter next week!

A nod of appreciation! Summers of childhood, when you reallyt thought it was possible!

A nod of appreciation! Summers of childhood, when you reallyt thought it was possible!

Gather Round Ye!

29 Jan

We (collectively) have never had much truck with evangelical religion, it expresses itself in two forms, overt street ensembles and open air sermons usually outside M&S by the flower bed and then the secretive lot that you have to play “spot the clue” to suss them out!
The Plymouth Brethren are an intriguing lot. Very basic, shunning the outside world unless you are buying things off them, women are very much cooks, baby machines and the usual subservient form leaving the men to get on with stuff. Very much an extended family of circa 16,000 members in Britain, they mostly work within family business’s, they deal with most finances via their church and there’s a strong tendency towards trades like building, electrical and here in Bedford they can be found supplying supplies for house building, industrial supplies and so on. I only know this because Brethren women tend to wear head scarves (not veils) and in one shop when I’m waiting for heavy duty sanding sheets (as you do) the women can be spotted darting about in the back office. If you attempt to speak to them they will point towards the men although one did say “enter your PIN please” some years back!

A religious "uniform"?

A religious “uniform”?

I have two good friends that are ex Brethren by some decades, both will softly defend their background eloquently to a degree, I enjoy their honesty, I enjoy their willingness to accept my perspective and they keep inviting me round so I’m doing something right.
One of my colleagues at one University was likewise ex Brethren, or an “out” as they are called. She discovered a love for natural selection, symbiotic relationships in vegetative structure and gave her church up, this was my first introduction to them. Now the Brethren are one of those relatively new off shoots from mainstream Protestantism in that they are coming up for 200 years old, our very own UK Mormons, very much a “do as your told or burn in the fires” type approach! If you break away from or are dismissed from the Brethren that’s it, as it’s all linked you can lose your job, your house, maybe your family, your friends, this was the case with my University . Divorce rates are low, but those that do leave provide interesting background to life where religion rules over every aspect of your life and the internet is full of allegation and counter claim!
If you’ve ever seen the wonderful film “Son of Rambow” Brethren children in many areas go to mainstream schools, the film shows a young boy excluding himself from certain classes where video is being used as an aid, he meets a likeable juvenile ruffian, watches Rambo and then ends up making his own sequel instead of going to church! External influence has always been where the damage is done, their minds are maintained in pure form by not mingling too much with those that are quite content to do the god thing once a week, maybe not at all or corrupt non believers that read evil books on natural selection. Telly is a real no no as is cinema, computers are corrupters, dodgy sites will be barred and the usual stuff but no mention of who decides, so as the UK education system is stripped down into a free for all, along with other “faith” schools the Brethren have endorsed the concept of their own schools to ensure that their juniors don’t watch Top Gear, read Nuts magazine and spend their days learning how to live their entire lives in a self contained bubble of nice until they start asking questions.
They already have their own school in Dunstable and are after another near Biggleswade. Given their comments last week about the evils of the internet and so on, as they go under the name “Exclusive Brethren” there is growing concern as to just how exclusive this will be and should say, a catholic family want to send their children there, just how welcome would they be? With open arms I imagine!
One person who is on the case is Cllr Richard Stay, cuddly union jack flying Richard Stay. Now for once I’m in a cleft stick here in that it’s an issue that deserves attention so well done Cllr Stay for going for the jugular although he does complain that the Brethren’s legal advisors do the same. That said he really has almost deserted his usual stance on a wide range of issues he holds dearly to the point where he’s dedicated much of his blog to Brethren Bashing rather than Trade Unions! To slightly misquote Hamlet’s mum, maybe he doth protest too much methinks!
Maybe Cllr Stay was a member at one point in his past! Maybe he was cast out, maybe he walked into the desert, the wilderness! There’s something stirring Cllr Stay on here and I’ve never seen him this way, maybe I’ve misjudged him and he’s found his vocation, he’s seems quite determined to take on the Brethren’s lawyers!
Some years ago we created our own religion called The Sinatra Gathering, dedicated to finding hidden meaning in old Rat Pack songs and the prophet Frank, old Blue Eyes Spoketh..”Isn’t it rich, are we are pair”. It was a slightly funny “in house” one trick pony joke and a parody of the those puritan religions like the Amish and Mennonites, passionate readings of My Way and New York New York outside M&S! Maybe it’s time for a revival!

In the meantime I don’t value Cllr Stay enough to provide a link but am happy to direct any interested folk to the rather excellent Caddington Village News where you can find a much better view of the good Cllr and his views on the Brethren. I wish other village blogs were this scorching!

http://www.caddingtonvillagenews.com/

Iran Sends Monkey into Space!

28 Jan

Iran ‘successfully sends monkey into space’

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Iran says it has successfully sent a monkey into space.
The primate travelled in a Pishgam rocket, which reached an altitude of some 120km (75 miles) for a sub-orbital flight before “returning its shipment intact”, the defence ministry said.
In 2010, Iran successfully sent a rat, turtle and worms into space. But an attempt to send a monkey up in a rocket failed in 2011.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in 2010 that the country planned to send a man into space by 2019.

I forgot to say…

25 Jan

Here’s a link to a fairly beefy article by my good self that was published on the Now or Never magazines website pending them having enough dosh to do Issue 23!  This is serious investigative journalism, secret parchments, premature deaths, travels in search of power decades before Carlos Castenada!

http://www.nowornever.org.uk/return-of-the-cyphermen.html

It reveals the true secret of ancient magical orders, it might unnerve you, I hope not! Enjoy but whatever you do, under no circumstances should you listen to the theme tune from 1960s TV show “Mr Ed” (he was a talking horse!) played backwards as it says Satan is the Lord!

Mr Ed! He ended up at Tesco!

Mr Ed! He ended up at Tesco!

History Corner!

25 Jan
When we were popular!

When we were popular!

Gill says we have been described as “irreverent”. That’ll do for me! Now like buses, you wait ages and then…
Debs has been busy with the second Bedford Diary entry this week (click above and be transported) and a nostalgic wander through the lost cinemas of Bedford particularly the Granada which apart from being a cinema also welcomed some serious big names, the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Cat Stevens and er…Jimmy Saville. Also please note that tribute acts are nothing new to Bedford as even in the 60s we had people pretending to be someone else (Elvis). So they may knock the old buildings down, call it regeneration but some things remain the same!
I’ve been working on a history of live music venues in town (thanks go to Tony and Kevin) and if anyone reading this has anything to share please drop us an email!

Rough with the smooth!

Rough with the smooth!

Hodgson’s a Canute!

25 Jan

He is! He’s a real Canute! A Canute of the Highest Order! An Olympic Canute! Yep! He’s trying to turn the tide back. Actually King Canute never tried anything of the sort, he tried to prove that he didn’t have god given powers and said “Let all the world know that the power of kings is empty and worthless”. I’ve edited this as he then goes on about the almighty!

Not happening is it!

Not happening is it!

Back to the Mayor. With the loss of Jessup’s, the bookshop, the Hobgoblin pub and no end of others that stand as testament to broken dreams on the High St, he’s in the free paper saying how Bedford is bucking the trend and (to quote) “Rumours of the High St death are not true here! He then goes onto tell us all about the scheme that’s going to see Bedford revitalised and eventually a statue of him on his moped next to Trevor Huddleston’s bronze head unless they weigh it in!
The new resurgent Bedford town centre is going to attract over 350,000 people a year alone just going to the new cinema complex and whilst I admire his faith to a degree he really is talking absolute bollocks! Wine bars, coffee shops, people discussing the works of Aristotle and William Blake, barriers to keep the jealous riff raff from Dunstable out. It’s the trickle down theory reborn!

Some people believe it!

Some people believe it!

This influx of people are going to spend shedloads of money and here’s where the story falls flat! Dave The Mayor, the Lib Dem Mayor, yes you…your leader Nick who you idolise, has helped to completely screw up the lives of many many thousands of people. He’s doing the same as you are..being a total Canute and spouting dribble and the very occasional nugget of sack cloth and ashes truth for political expediency only when it suits him!

The vanishing Venetian!

The vanishing Venetian!

The interweb is littered with the left overs of half thought out plans for Bedford, artists impressions, hopes and aspirations that ended up being washed down the drains.

 Where’s the bloody revamped bus station Dave? What about the Greyfriar’s development Dave, where’ those wonderful shopping arcades, that bridge over the river, that bloody awful Venetian thing that got everyone jumping up and down, Explain it to us Da…oh sorry they were someone else’s dream!

Never mind! It gives them something to do!

Never mind! It gives them something to do!

Kicking of the Week! January Special.

25 Jan

Happy New Year! Here’s our first serious assault on the streets of Bedford, there have been other’s but we couldn’t be bothered to be frank!
This one’s a nice one and on Monday a 20 year old was given a real going over by five chappies who barged into his house on College Rd (Barging and Entering?). Now the police seem to be describing this as a multi-racially motivated attack as the assailants were a mix of black, white and Asian! There! Don’t belittle Bedford!

Yep! Very funny! Bit of an "in joke" mind you.

Yep! Very funny! Bit of an “in joke” mind you.

Anyway the victim was carted off to the nearby Accident and Emergency Department, which is within limping / crawling distance and is now back home recovering! As ever plod is looking for witnesses who don’t mind risking a similar interactive visit to A&E and they’ve also asked for anyone who was in the area between 9pm and 2am to get in touch which I would imagine must amount to hundreds given that it’s just off the main road in and out of town!
As far as we can gather there’s no broken bones or brain damage so we are going to start the new year off with an arbitrary scoring system and will give this one five out of ten. At the end of the year we will do a “best of” and invite the four highest scorers to cook each other dinner. Or something on them lines!
Remember incidents like this are regular despite the notion that crime figures are going down. Don’t buy a tazar from Ebay like Daniel did as a) its classed as a firearm and b) it might land you in the poggy and c) it might not arrive or work for that matter! Stupid twat!

We applaud our local Councillors!

24 Jan

 

Bedford Bypass Annual Meeting!(I'm on the front row, 4th along!)

Bedford Bypass Annual Meeting!
(I’m on the front row, 4th along!)

No seriously! Where would we be without them? Crikey Charlie there’s some serious winners amongst our Borough Councillors! Here’s the top whack brigade:
Topping the hit parade is Cllr Charles Royden who since Bedford Borough became unitary has been paid £63,989 in allowances for his much appreciated work as a councillor managing to squeeze this in with his full time job as a Vicar up Brickhill, wonderful coffee up at the Vicarage by the way! Snapping at his Land Rover tyres is Cllr Michael Headley who’s dedication to us all brought £63,002 to his table!

Are you sure this is Cllr Headley?

Are you sure this is Cllr Headley?

Oh dear me, we slip below the £60K line here with Cllr David Sawyer having to make do on a meagre £59,695 and oddly enough all three of these chaps are Liberal Democrats. What’s the chances of our Liberal Democrat Mayor finding such pure talent amongst his most loyal supporters! Amazing Grace!
Our old pal Cllr Colleen Atkins spreads silken petals over us with her talents and receives £58,935. Nice kitchen Colleen from what I remember of it! Next is another Labour shaped person, Cllr Sue Oliver who in return for £57,510 does us all proud as she wholeheartedly endorses giving a Children’s Protection related contract to a company based in Hong Kong, should have asked for a buy one get one free offer!
Narrowly missing out and ending up at the bottom of this list is Cllr Will Hunt on £57,470 but Will can take consolation from the fact that his good wife Shan has received £27,287 in the same period. Hey that makes £84,757 between the two of them! Wow!

Cllr Hunt. He looked a lot older last time I saw him!

Cllr Hunt. He looked a lot older last time I saw him!

Now this doesn’t include this year’s allowances so we can easily update this when the figures are published. At this stage it’s neck and dog collar between Cllr David Sawyer and Cllr Royden but who knows! Place your bets!
In the meantime readers, get back to work and stop reading this type of inflammatory shit stirring rubbish! Go on…do as you’re told! No you can’t ask questions…Right where’s my Councillor Application form gone?

Bedford Bypass Agreed Statement!

24 Jan

Lest there be any confusion Bedford Bypass do not support littering, leaving your dog’s poo behind, parking like a twat in a disabled space when you are capable of running like Billy Whizz or speeding to the point where a five year old on your bonnet would have no chance. Our view is that the council’s approach to litter etc. is counter productive and aimed at turning a problem into a revenue raiser. A friend of ours was snapped and fined in a bus lane whilst heading to the shops. Her response, she now goes to Milton Keynes. My cousin got woke up after his night shift by some Council bod trying to tell him off because he’d put the wrong recycling bin out. His response? It now goes in the waste bin as his particular council don’t mind you doing this but put your plastic bottles out on the wrong day and you are up there with Somali pirates! What I do know is that it’s being used to promote a tough man image from Mr Mayor and if you look round town it’s had bugger all effect!

Bang on a drum!

Bang on a drum!

I like fun, it’s the order of the day and so we’d like to propose that instead of the heavy mob approach if they have people dressed up as clowns with a big drum, when they spot someone dropping the fag, chip wrappers or whatever you latch onto them banging the drum and waving a placard of your choice. You can make it as rude or funny as you want! Now I’ve seen this done at a canal festival a few years back where some bloke dropped his beer can, Mr Gumphy the clown got him and refused to leave him till he went back, picked it up and binned it! And I nearly wet myself! OK I realise that people looking at canal boats and Morris dancers might differ in temperament to some hard case wobbling between High St pubs but hey you should be able to run faster!
A similar compromise applies to those odd characters that enjoy the power of pointing camera’s at cars. First of all these things aren’t calibrated so they might as well be pointing a hair dryer or water pistol providing confused policemen don’t tazar you and secondly they only do it during the daytime and all the serious knobs doing 70 in a 30 zone in a nicked car come out when its dark! So why not have a big sign that says “Slow Down you Twat” and use those pointy rumble strips at night whilst dressed like the SAS. Now we fully realise that this might result in punches being thrown but having a few people dressed as nuns should help, bless them sinners. Look..this idea is still evolving!

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