Archive | June, 2013

Have They Got Noise For Us!

27 Jun

So there we all were, just about to partake of some “group therapy” by watching Have I got News for You when this infernal racket kicks off over the rooftops of that conclave of Bedford known as “Prime Ministers” as all the streets are named after..yes! It sounded vaguely like music, but not the kind of music you’d choose to listen to. A bit like a brass band, a bit like an oompah band, loud but not getting any louder; it wasn’t a procession so whatever it was it wasn’t moving. We gave Ian Hislop and Paul our apologies ventured outside wandered up to the top of the road and there in the distance several streets down where Palmerston Street meets Stanley Street outside the Burnaby Arms was a group of blasted Morris Dancers, maybe that same bunch that pranced about when the museum opened.

It wasn't this lot! These look quite good. No our's were quite plain!

It wasn’t this lot! These look quite good. No our’s were quite plain!

They were surrounded by curious locals, not much happens rounds this part of Bedford! “Let’s go the Venus Chippy and partake of some fried potato based sustenance” came one suggestion, they close sharp at 10pm so we got a move on. The racket from the Moorish Dancers still transmitting through the airwaves. As we obtained our chips, we noticed that the noise was getting louder and our inquisitive nature got the better of us so we trooped up the road noting that we weren’t alone as plenty of front doors were opening. Round the corner and there they were, the whole troop was making their way to Park Road West, bells jangling, plenty of “oy” and stick waving, deafening accordion still playing. One of their fans passed me on the pavement and explained helpfully that they were Morris dancers. With as much civility as I could muster, I stated that I was aware of that.

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Kicking of The Week! Bumper edition with free cut out picture!

25 Jun

Some serious on street violence in Bedford of late and I’m going to make the most of the opportunity to show you this ace piccy of the contents of a Northamptonshire Happy Snappy Chappy van and said Happy Snappy Chappy  having a snooze whilst supposedly catching people speeding or parking! Cut it out and put it on your wall! I hope they had a laugh but didn’t sack him!
OK and its on with our kickings of the week! Four chaps are phoneless after an attack at 3.00am last Saturday morning. One got a Scouse kiss (a headbutt). This was on Mill St which is the middle of town and there’s no mention of CCTV. Proof positive that despite spending a fortune and having a little gang of watchers up Wellington St it doesn’t really have much effect as a deterrent. I did hear that when there was a break in to a car at the Country Park when the checked the camera it turned out to have been watching the herons over the lake! I’d love to prove if this is true and funny rather than just funny!
Next and this is a historic one, on May 25th there was a altercation on Fosterhill Rd and its being treated a racially motivated as the victim was black. I don’t recall seeing this nugget in the paper and I guess one way to show how intolerant we are ton race crime is not to make a big issue when it happens. If it was in one of our three free papers none of which are particularly interesting please let me know and I’ll place a correction! And now over to this glorious picture of a man bringing peace and harmony to the streets!

Instructions: Cut out and pin on wall. If under sixteen ask your mum. Or your dad. Or your social worker if they haven't been made redundant. Look...just fold the edges!

Instructions: Cut out and pin on wall. If under sixteen ask your mum. Or your dad. Or your social worker if they haven’t been made redundant. Look…just fold the edges!

And now over to Davina at the Big Borough House!

25 Jun

Maybe they should film it. Put them all in a big house and do stunts. Or maybe get them out on the streets of Bedford selling Borough burgers and then at the end Mayor Dave and Chief Exec Phil can deliver the crushing verdict…. “You’re redundant”.
As featured in the papers, hopefully as a result of info supplied by Bedford Bypass residents heard in the last week that the bill for keeping our councillors fed and watered amounts to some £600,000 a year. I spotted one of the more “portly” members taking a stroll with someone from legal services last week chatting away no doubt off for a spot of lunch. Maybe not!

It's good getting out!

It’s good getting out!

Meanwhile wee little bits of paper have been dished out to groups of staff, as mentioned already they are called “at risk” notices. It’s a bleak real life equivalent of being told that you are up for eviction from the Big Borough House. Now we have a network of moles throughout the council, enough to pick up on trivia and in some cases serious gossip that sadly we can’t run with as there’d be a witch hunt. So we just listen.
There’s one grouping of employees (over 20) been given notice and the whole group (rather than a department) is going to be competing against each other for just six posts . There will be ship jumpers i.e. those that don’t wait for the push and go off on their terms sooner rather than later, there will be volunteers for redundancy either through age or because they have something lined but will happily accept the cheque and then there are the final round of losers and a few winners. Now this is just one grouping of staff and there’s probably another 180 dotted throughout the Big Borough House and extended empire! The Mayor meanwhile is grinning for the camera’s as museum hits the headlines. That term “back office functions” gets dragged out from its own premature retirement and no one can fully explain what it means and who it applies to!

Pushed, filed, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!

Pushed, filed, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!

This time round its grim as senior management are being pushed, filed, stamped indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. Names are being mentioned around the House and one or two of the names given their age would appear on the face of it to be looking forward to an early finish.
Other than a “day” of the long knives when Andrea Hill took over at the then County Hall and various senior managers simply vanished, in knocking on for 25 years in local Government and related employment I’ve never known a manager go without one of those “secret deals”, maybe a little party, them little quarter pork pies, a gift, a tearful “I’ll miss you” speech perhaps, then a trip down the Kings Arms. Other pubs are available. But we like the Kings Arms. Especially after council meetings as our well reimbursed councillors are prone to being loud.
So when the chiefs start queuing up to find out their future it suggests that at the same time as things are bleak for the rank and file some people always pull out a plum!

And you meet yourself on the way out!

And you meet yourself on the way out!

No Room at the Higgins for Doug!

24 Jun
No sign of Doug in the papers!

No sign of Doug in the papers!

I won a fiver in a bet with Debs. I suggested that when push came to shove Mayor Dave would want to see his mush beaming out when the Higgins Museum reopened and that Cllr Doug McMurdo wouldn’t be that visible. Doug got to take journalists round the day before but as far as being seen as the person who we bow down to for getting our museum back, well it’s Dave Dave Dave!

Nick Griffin twats Tommy Robinson

23 Jun

So a few week back we get candid pics of Nigella Lawson being gripped by hubby Charles in a restaurant and now we have superb footage of the BNPs Nick Griffin slapping Tommy Robinson in a curry house!

Top work whoever managed to get this on tape! And thanks to Jon who sent this over as a comment to a post we did a few weeks back, it was to good not to share it with you!

Coming up…The Box..You opened it..we came..

21 Jun

Sort of but we are not talking about Hellraiser or the excellent trouser filling Pinhead (pictured with “THE BOX”) but something more local this being our very own Panacea Society. We drew straws and Debs was dispatched to visit the Panacea Museum which for decades was the HQ of said Panaceans who willingly gave their money up so that baby Jesus when he comes back would have somewhere safer to live than the Middle East. Even the most ambitious pacifist would prefer Mexico City! Anyway instead of meeting Jesus in Bedford (Albany Road to be precise) the last member decided to go and meet him up in heaven which leaves several £million worth of property with no particular purpose and no particular owner for that matter so that’s why it’s been turned into a museum!

We have so many pleasures to show you!

We have so many pleasures to show you!

And it’s a tale of the mysterious sealed box containing terrible secrets left behind by Joanna Southcott who was 80odd, got pregnant and then delivered an invisible non dimensional baby just before she died of a strangulated stomach gut that cynics have suggested might have given her the appearance of being pregnant but ha! That doesn’t explain the invisible non dimensional (i.e. not solid) baby does it. Only the Bishops can be trusted with secrets of the box. And there’s even more than one box just to confuse you all! And that’s before the Bishops get involved!
And I’m not making any of this up, this is real Bedford! Read it soon on this reasonable quality blog with pretensions of grandeur!

Another first for Bedford!

21 Jun

21/06/13 The Higgins opening day - The Higgins, Castle Lane, BedfordIn another brilliant first for Bedford the re-opening of the Higgins Museum saw a special unique guest appearance by Bedford Morris Men at 8.15am today.

This dance that hasn’t been performed in public for several days was once a traditional sight outside many local pubs and booze themed events like last years beer festival.

The Mayor of Bedford Doug Hodgson told Bedford Bypass exclusively “Well we thought long and hard about how we could commemorate the opening of the Higgins…so long in fact that by the time we got round to it all we could get at short notice was the bloody Morris Men who always turn up at the drop of a hat!

This event was marked by the Morris Men levitating for at least 17 minutes using powers from the ancient holy well beneath the Museum (see picture).

And coming soon to Bedford Corn Exchange!

21 Jun

And it’s a big welcome back to Debs who is once again out and about! Actually it’s more of a dinnertime sift through the Corn Exchange brochure….

Don't worry, he'll be back round next year unless he dies!

Don’t worry, he’ll be back round next year unless he dies!

Oh dear, we’ve missed the bus again, if you enjoy crude “humour” and offensive material from some little man that’s done very well thank you courtesy of people that will never discover the delights of proper spontaneous precision comedy then tough. You missed Roy “Chubby” Brown at the Corn Exchange last week.
But don’t worry there’s plenty of other dross coming! One of which is quite soon and its some chap called Jethro. Now I’ve seen Jethro in Northampton. The Derngate. He was outside the back door and I was sat in the car. I have half an idea that it might have been Kings Lynn. He looked to be talking to himself , maybe schizophrenia or on a mobile. That’s the good thing about mobiles, they’ve made mental illness much better to conceal providing you don’t wave your arms about too much. What I noticed is that he’s one of those acts who insist on using a publicity photo that predates the Millenium. Same as Chubby Brown, he’s not changed for the best part of two decades. Oddly enough I saw an Osmond in the same car park providing it was actually Derngate. Not at the same time as Jethro parking aside the Kings Lynn possibility. In fact it was some months after. Or maybe before!

A much older looking Chubby and Jim Bowen from 3,2,1 having a laugh when Bernard Manning expired.

A much older looking Chubby and Jim Bowen from 3,2,1 having a laugh when Bernard Manning expired.

On 18th July you get to see a small group of people pretending to be the people from Fawlty Towers and even after 35 years the word “Fawlty” still comes up on spellchecker! There’s an add on here in that you get fed a three course meal while madcap mayhem is going on around you! Different!
Er…you missed The Levellers..to be honest you’re best seeing them over at The Junction but if you want some good 80s stuff then tonight at Esquires you can catch The Primitives. Bit close to the wire…way to fast…gonna crash. Good one that!
There’s an awful lot of orchestral stuff either coming or gone like the Bedfordshire Youth Third Orchestra on 29th July followed by the Second Orchestra the night after, the Hertfordshire Schools Symphony Orchestra visit in August, no wonder town is dead after 7.00pm and it just seems to add to the image Bedford has of being a place where old people come to die, preferably of natural causes than through being stabbed.
But if one of your loved ones does end up in the mortuary and the main item on the local news for a little bit then don’t forget Psychic Sally visits on September 4th. Maybe she can give a better description of who killed them that the blurred images from the CCTV camera.
All in all a bit tedious but the Higgins Museum opened today after being closed and boarded up for some year ! They had Morris Dancers there earlier, longest day and all that! I’m going on Wednesday it’ll give the local papers something to write about and no doubt the Mayor will use it as an excuse to squeeze himself into the picture either with or without Doug McMurdo.

I'll let you make your own minds up as to how much this lot are worth paying for but its £34.50 at the Corn Exchange

I’ll let you make your own minds up as to how much this lot are worth paying for but its £34.50 at the Corn Exchange

Hobby Bobby Nicked!

20 Jun

Just love a man in uniform!

Just love a man in uniform!

There’s a junior Hobby Bobby been arrested for what seems like an attempt to set up his own police station using knocked off stuff!

A Hobby Bobby is usually a special and some of them seem to have dillusions of grandeur. This Bedfordshire chap was a cadet and he helped himself to body armour and CS gas, a warrant card and money from a charity box!

Consumed by the idea of becoming a full time Bobster it seems like that’s his career done for!

I’d love to know how he got his mitts on CS gas!

The picture is Tackleberry (guns, guns, when do we get guns) from the Police Academy films.

For those of you who are about to…..

20 Jun

Hanging around waiting for the chop!

Hanging around waiting for the chop!


So the same week that the full figures of just how much our councillors have taken home (£22,000 for the top table bunnies) the news starts to leak that somewhere around 200 staff members are going to become increasingly concerned about how to pay the rent, mortgage or whatever as they find they are surplus to requirements. Ta ta!
Dave the Mayor was on telly last night blathering about cutting back office functions and the usual bullshit that goes round the houses and doesn’t actually mention that he as main man will be putting 200 people out of work. Charles Rodent who got £22,000.08pence to add to his salary as a vicar also spooned himself in and waffled on about how good they have done by cutting out bottled then he gave us a brief sermon with a hint of fire about Whitehall not following his lead. Maybe a word with Nick Clegg! Alas he didn’t mention the biblical style exodus as 200 of his brethren get their marching orders. The rules of spin!
It seems that this is more advanced than the news is prepared to say as bumping into a Borough employee last night, she’s just been handed her “at risk” notice which is part of the statutory process before your world falls apart!
Top tier managers aren’t immune but you can guarantee that they won’t go empty handed in fact personal experience shows that they get to a certain age, can’t wait for it and are clamouring for the bung. The amounts paid are shrouded in secrecy and some back office function before they get show the door is given the lucky job of massaging the figures and it all comes out in the wash as a saving!