Archive | October, 2013

Mary Mary Please Come Back!

26 Oct
Yawn!

Yawn!

This picture of Holy Mary Fairest Queen of Shops comes from the latest issue of the Bedford Business Improvement District magazine which seems to spend most of its time justifying its own existence.

It looks as if Mary Portas has been caught “mid yawn” although as an alternative she could be saying “I didn’t think I’d find anything worse than Stockport”

The more I look at the photo the more I realise what a positive force for good having Mary Portas grace our streets, actually it was only one but its a shame she can’t come every day!

Perhaps they are related?

Perhaps they are related?

The Horror!

25 Oct

Keeping fit by trotting round town giving leaflets out about the Halloween Film Screaming’s at The Place thanks goes to Bub and co at the Close Encounters Comic Shop down Midland Road!

There’s all sorts of characters lurking in the vast array of comics and graphic novels in the shop but none to match the sheer terror of having this six foot abomination looking straight at the shop for the next two and a half month!

Seriously scary!

Seriously scary!

Another One Bites the Dust

25 Oct
Happier Days!

Happier Days!

A friendly shopkeeper thrusts a copy of the new Bedford Improvement District Newsletter into my paws. Apparently without this well produced newsletter they wouldn’t know what Christina Rowe the BID Director looks like as despite charging traders for the privelage of having her as Director many of them have never actually met her. But she’s there on page 3 in a piccy taken outside The Rickshaw Restaurant on the High St!

Compare this to a a second piccy taken earlier today by moi! and you’ll see that The Rickshaw has been repossessed. I don’t know why but even in its previous guise as The Ruby Murry it was never that busy, its a pig of a job parking round there and Tavistock Street is the local er…mecca for anyone wanting a Balti or in my case a Korma!

We went to The Rickshaw a month or so back (thanks to a money off voucher) and apart from a table filled with what sounded like hit men from Bedford’s underworld it was empty and having seen it near deserted on the busy nights I didn’t hold much hope!

The Rickshaw: Maybe they got carried away?

The Rickshaw: Maybe they got carried away?

Something Scary Comes Your Way!

23 Oct

Crap Towns: The Return came out last week. Bedford is sort of in there as one of the original crap towns that seems to have improved. I gave Sam (Jordisan) the compiler of the books a few words about Bedford mentioning that much of its vitality was coming from the grass roots i.e. the MIMS, The Place, Esquires, Close Encounters, Lady Ks and so on so despite the council sitting on its hands there’s a lot going on!

Based on Dr Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh!

Based on Dr Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh!

Next week is no exception and Alex up at The Place no doubt inspired by musings on Bedford Bypass is showing one of my favourite vintage “horror” films called Captain Clegg or alternatively “Night Creatures”.

But it gets far better than that, The Place is having a week filled with Halloween Film Screenings including double bills so on Monday 28th you get golden oldie “The Devil Rides Out” with Christopher Lee playing good guy amongst a bunch of devil worshippers, and the devil himself puts in an appearance, this teams up with Captain Clegg!

Not the devil, this is the Horseman of Death come to gather souls! Spooky eh!

Not the devil, this is the Horseman of Death come to gather souls! Spooky eh!

Then on Tuesday we get not only the “Wicker Man: The Final Cut” but The Wicker Tree!

Wednseday gives us The Act of Killing (Directors Cut), Thursday another double with Cronebergs Videodrome with James Woods and Debbie Harry (yes) followed by zombie fun with Night of the Living Dead and before I forget its a midnight matinee! DOn’t walk home alone!

The Wicker Tree. Supported by the original Wicker Man!

The Wicker Tree. Supported by the original Wicker Man!

Friday gives us “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (and then a jump to the right…).

So all in all what a week to look forward to! And thanks to Alex and The Place for putting the event on!

There’s also kids films on during the day as well!

Tickets for the Halloween series are £5 each or £8.00 for the double bill and here’s the link:

http://www.theplacebedford.org.uk/

 

MidlandRoad Festival of Culture

18 Oct

We all got wet! Even that bloke from the Bedford Free School!

We all got wet! Even that bloke from the Bedford Free School!

“Keep it to 500 words and get it to me by Tuesday please” I said! Anyway it arrives on Friday at 1000 words and…well it shows how good stuff can be if you refine it rather than just blurting it out like I do!

It was last Sunday, me and Debs wandered down to the Midland Road Festival of Culture. Best summed up by the term “rain stopped play” as it was a bit grim! Given that I woke up on Saturday with the stirrings of a cold I can’t blame the weather on the day and fair play to the organisers, you can’t bank on the weather to play ball!

So if you want to get a flavour of the day and the Midland Road part of Bedford if you go up to the top of the page, hovver around that bit that says “out and About With Debs” you can have a good old mooch about and it’ll be like you were there. But you won’t get wet!

Another chance to meet Mary Portas!

18 Oct

I just don’t buy into this Mary Portas business. Some sections of the town community have had orgasms because she called by. Its a bloody PR stunt you silly sods and nothing more..If you Google “Mary Portas visits…” you’ll get a list of all the dying towns that she’s called in on. If you missed her in Bedford flouncing round with her fan club she’s in Dorking on October 31st.

In fact whilst you are Googling Mary rather than drooling over her it’s worth looking into that skirmish she had with Margate who whilst glad to have been awarded money from the Portas Pilot Pot didn’t fancy her coming with a camera to make a show for Channel Four with whom she or more her company Yellowstone has a two year contract worth £500,000 to dish up shows about failing High Streets and similar.

Here’s what Mary had to say to Margate “You either let the camera’s with me or I go back and some other town gets it”. Basically Mary usually chastises people, tells them their sins and heals them with her sage knowledge. Then the adverts come on followed by the news about a baby dying in a box somewhere and social services saying it won’t happen again! I went a bit dark there didn’t I!

Going home time! But don't worry they'll all be back tomorrow in our very own "Groundhog Day"

Going home time! But don’t worry they’ll all be back tomorrow in our very own “Groundhog Day”

Bit dubious as the money isn’t hers its from the government and so basically its from all us twats that put up with roll the dice nonsence!

What followed after this was accusations that all Mary or should I say Yellowstone’s was becoming involved in was a state sponsored budget for a reality TV show.

One good thing I’ve discovered is Mary’s concern about global warming in that when she visited Nelson (the town not the column, its near Blackburn) she also visited Stockport the same day!

Incidentally STockport earned itself a place in the media some years back by coming up with the slogan “Stockport..So Good they named it once”.

There are now as far as I can see 27 Portas Pilots (and I’ve been trying to insert a witty pun about Pontius Pilot and failed) so that’s two a month for Mary to visit with the missing three being squeezed in along the way when passing maybe!

And plenty of opportunities for TV shows as well. I remember when she called into Dunstable some years back. Parts of Dunstable had the air of an open prison such was the resignation of the inmates. I’ve not been there for some years and I don’t think Mary has either!

Bad Cop Bad Cop

17 Oct
Old faithful, it says it all!

Old faithful, it says it all!

The (Noam) Chomsky model of media manipulation is a must for anyone who wants to know how the press work!

Down in London the Tories and the rest are aghast over three police officers who have been exposed at having fabricated evidence to smear a member of the inner sanctum. They are all almost incredulous and quite clearly don’t know what to do!

Now anyone who has ever taken part in any form of protest particularly those that earn a tut tut from our lords and masters will know that the police as a matter of course fit people up. There’s no “ifs and buts” about it. End of matter.

Where the Chomsky model comes in is that in the same news bulletin revealing the shock and horror of the three exposed officers although separated by a few nonsense stories there’s a report about the inquest into the on street murder of Mark Duggan two years back. There’s a corpse, he died within 10 heartbeats of being pumped with bullets. There’s a hit squad policeman claiming he saw a gun and feared for his life and then the biggest mystery since Stonehenge, this being how the gun / a gun in a sock turned up behind a fence 12 feet away.

Now the answer is pretty unsavory if you have a particular mindset. If you fully accept that serving police officers regularly fabricate evidence and always have done its becomes easy to explain. Get into anarchist literature and you then become conversant with why these issues feature in the media but with punches pulled!

The TV Critic …Again!

16 Oct

Nothing to do with the blog, just the moon over Bedford! Well why not?

Nothing to do with the blog, just the moon over Bedford! Well why not?

Long faces all round tonight. I’ve got everyone beefed up to watch a brand new Poirot . Dinner’s cooked and consumed, we take our seats and….I’ve been reading next weeks Radio Times…luckily there’s a repeat of an earlier one on ITV 3. I thought I’d seen them all but even though this is an old one (Eric Sykes guest starred) its new to me. Apparently David Suchet has made over 70 of them and the next four to be shown are the end of the run. Then we can wait for someone to start making new ones with a new actor playing the Belgian sleuth and they can use the theme from the magic roundabout as that what it will resemble!
I’ve been chewing over a TV show called DIY SOS in which some chap called Nick Knowles picks someone or a family that for a justified reason are struggling in their existing house but can’t afford to move. Cue Nick and every local tradesmen within 50mile radius who come along and set to ripping walls out and rebuilding to accommodate wheel chairs, stair lifts and whatever’s needed. MS, cystic fibrosis, army invalids. Its all about physical courage and you do need a lot of it to not get emotional especially last week when the team came to the aid of a family with three children two of which had cerebral palsy.
Tear inducing stuff. I recalled Bob Monkhouse who years ago fronted a show called the Golden Shot during which Bob would announce that the next arrow to hit the mark would be for charity. Money for little Chloe’s wheelchair. Bob would face the camera with tears in his eyes, almost gushing with emotion.

Maybe Nick could come to Bedford and sort one of our many closed pubs out?

Maybe Nick could come to Bedford and sort one of our many closed pubs out?


A few years back I was told that Bob who lived close by had agreed to open a fete for the local Riding Centre for the Disabled when he announced that he’d actually like something circa £3000 to come, his reasoning was that if he did one for nowt he’d end up doing loads. His kind offer was turned down as it would have put the whole event at a loss. Since then plenty of other names have happily turned up free of charge and the locals always turn out to do their bit. In fact when Bernard Cribbens came at the height of his Dr Who fame it was a bit too busy and the strawberries almost ran out.
Back to DIY SOS, you can’t help but be moved especially at the end when the family receiving the housing make over return a la Groundforce to see what’s happened. Before the credits roll Nick always has a quite word with us the audience and encourages us to all get together and help someone in need. All very admirable but I have the sneaky suspicion that like Bob Monkhouse, it’s the camera or in the latter case the whole TV crew that is the prompt and it would be hard to achieve anything like the DIY success without Nick and friends sharing the limelight with the builders and sparks.
I started wondering about the legal side of matters like what happens if the recipient family opt to sell, is their a pay back clause? What happens if the hastily placed ceiling falls in or the electrics fail is it just an accepted part of the TV experience, Nick and pals go off to do series with maybe a cheaper series later on where they go round to see how the kids are coping. Maybe I’m being too critical but I’ve watched all of the latest series and a few of the last one and it’s the same formulae each time and you know there’s some poor bastards in Leeds living in a dilapidated shit house wondering what you have to do to get Nick to call by.
I’ve pitched a new programme at ITV called Celebrity Blind Date in which a number of single hotties from Hollyoaks or Eastenders get to eat insects for half an hour and the winner, the one that chucks up the last gets to go on a blind date with a fellow soap star, when the screen moves back the blind date is revealed to be Kevin Webster from Corrie.What do you think?

And Earlier in the Day…

16 Oct

Before the Twat in the Hat showed us all that people can still walk about having had a total lobotomy I called into the Tourist Information Centre to tell them about our forthcoming event whereby a load of people who grow and make things get together to sell them.

I have mentioned before that the first thing to greet any visitor to the Tourist Info Centre is a metal sign offering you cheap train tickets to go somewhere else and that’s the theme here but having reminded you..best read on. In the TIC there was a small queue but I could tell the people waiting to be served were getting a bit tetchy but resigned to my fate I joined the line of people desperate to know what nice things Bedford had to offer them. There were two servers dealing with people so I opted to look at the leaflets but no so much as to lose my space!

Now after five minutes I started earwigging as one does although I will admit it was hearing the word “Adelphi” that did it. The Adelphi is a hotel in Liverpool and it turned out that the couple being served rather than seeking the highlights of Bedford were planning a trip to Liverpool where I was born. I felt like telling them to avoid the Adelphi. Then it turns out the other person being attended to was getting a guided tour of a map of the London Underground. By

Bedford Bypass...it takes you some place else!

Bedford Bypass…it takes you some place else!

now I’ve spent 10 minutes and not moved anywhere.

The Tourist Information Centre is moving to the Bus Station (providing the big redevelopment happens) and so if and when it does anyone visting the TIC won’t have as far to travel before the depart Bedford for pastures new!

Bedford’s very own Twat in the Hat!

16 Oct
All that is wrong with Bedford in one little image!

All that is wrong with Bedford in one little image!

Here we show all that is wrong with Bedford under the current Mayor Dave Hodgson. It shows a large vehicle being booked for the act of delivering leaflets to the er…council. Now I went into the Tourist Info office and when I came out the wagon had just pulled up, the driver got out went to the back and using a pump truck started to get the pallet of boxes off. Cue the Twat with the Hat! The driver literally pleads two minutes grace but no…said Twat with the Hat does his duty and slaps a ticket, quotes something about the unloading regulations 1857 and then saunters off to presumably seek out other evil people! In total the wagon was parked, delivered and gone in I’d say 7 minutes, if not for the Twat he’d have been about 5 mins and as our man on the street suggested he was only trying to do his job! So am I said the Twat. None of the traffic wardens sem to last that long, always new faces, I guess the guilt builds up and they realise that all they are doing for their pittance is helping add to the wages of council whallers like Stewart Briggs (£130,000 per annum approx) whin is the boss of the whole parking outfit!

Now this guys a one off, most of the other wardens have an ounce of common sense but not this guy. I hope the Mayor and maybe Phil Simpkins will call him in and pat his little head!