Tag Archives: Bedford Lib Dems

Keeping danger off the road

17 Aug

We have mentioned our loathing of those sad people that hide behind bus stops pointing speed cameras while wearing yellow vests, quite clearly getting turned on by the power trip! Well the roads are that bit safer, certainly around Riseley as the head camera pointer has just lost his driving licence through to much speeding! This particular group of saddles have packed their camera away! 215828439

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Bedford Labour Party Issue Press Release! Shock News..

22 Jan

Councillor comes with his battered old suit and his head all filled with plans Says it’s not for himself nor the fame or the wealth..But to help his fellow man!

Ten years later where is he now? He’s ditched all the old ideas   Milked all the life from the old cash cow  And now he’s got a fine career!

 I don’t know why but when I see the amount of expenses that Bedford Borough councillors pull in compared to their visibility I just go apoplectic . I want to pace about shouting rude words and waving my hands about..in fact I’m going to do just that! Back soon… !!%$^£$%^&*()%$£.     That’s better. Just! 

I don't know what they've got against that shop behind them!

I don’t know what they’ve got against that shop behind them!

Have a look at the picture! There’s quite a few councillors holding little placards saying how we are all £1000 worse off under the tories. And the rest! But I don’t need these goons to tell me and the funny thing about several of these fine upstanding people namely Labour dinosaurs Cllr Colleen Atkins and Cllr Sue Oliver is they are both over £101,000 better off under the Lib Dem Mayor since they last got elected. That’s because they have opted to support the Lib Dems in Bedford and the rest of the Labour gang seemed to have opted to watch telly!

The latest Labour news is that after the last Mayoral candidate Penny Fletcher threw in the towel last September, with just over fourteen weeks to go before the big day and wasting time and money promoting Penny they now have a new bloke prepared to give current mayor Dave Hodgson a run for his money. Although as I’ve said before with various Labour stalwarts in the Mayor’s cabinet and earning circa £21,000 a year for the privilege I don’t see much challenging going on. In fact I don’t see anything going on. But at least Tim Oliver has met the two local Labour candidates for parliament one of whom, the very dreary Patrick Hall might get back in and another who stands no chance!

So determined are Labour to save us from another five years of coalition ruling and more vicious cuts they have opened up a HQ somewhere in town and are in the free paper to prove it! Although I’ve studied the picture and can’t see the Mayoral candidate amongst the hoards!

Dull Dull Dull Dull Dull: Let there be light!

Dull Dull Dull Dull Dull: Let there be light!

Maybe he hasn’t got his working class flat cap on! I did look to see if Lib Dem Dave H was there as he usually crowbars himself into any gathering! (that’s satire for the benefit of the councils legal people who read Bypass!)

I have this suspicion that a tactical decision has been made to concentrate on the parliamentary seat and go through the motions for the position of mayor which will keep the current mayor sweet and boost the very dull and monotonous Patrick Hall’s chance of becoming an MP again. And then if Labour grasp a smidgeon of power we can look forward to another five years of serious austerity and more coalition malarkey!

New Labour Flat Cap Working Class Bloke seeks to become Mayor!

New Labour Flat Cap Working Class Bloke seeks to become Mayor!

How much excitement can we take?

How much excitement can we take?

Battle Picture Library!

19 Jan

Well well! Who’s that dishevelled looking chap coming up the garden path with greasy hair, stubble and looking very unkempt? Why it’s Skip Hunter our resident hunter of skips! I heard you’d had a bit of a bad turn drinking cider and chrome polish ending up in a coma like in that episode of Father Ted!

Er..yeah..sort off!

Jolly good fun for boys!

Jolly good fun for boys!

So what you got to show us today Skip?

Nothing much, just loads more comics from the 1970 from the blue paper skip round the back of Tesco. They smell musty and old!

Yes Skip! Yes they certainly do whiff a bit! Quite pungent with an air of baby’s nappy!

We won! Ner nerr!

We won! Ner nerr!

I like the way they glorify war, killing, the British stiff upper lip, all the heroes have names like Charlie, Montrose, Jock and even Skip whilst the opposition are just Japs, Nips, Jerry, Hun and so on and they go AAAAAIIIEEEE when they are blown up! Quite a lot of Arabs get killed as well!

That little one looks good Skip!

The full reality of war, great summer holiday reading!

The full reality of war, great summer holiday reading!

Yep! Battle Picture Library, there’s some more called Commando..all good stuff, derring do! Very realistic, the true horrors of the front!

Great Skip, you must be quite pleased with your haul

Not really I’ve not sold that lot from last year and I was trying to fish some porn out, a much better resale value but it was too far in! Can I come in and have a cup of tea!

No! Sorry Skip….you and your bin liner of old comics really do stink!

 

More skip related tomfoolery with Skip Hunter in next week’s edition of Bedford Bypass readers! Although I think a bit of professional help might be needed!

Creating your own landscape!

15 Jan

We are anarchists, we do not embrace day to day political structures but we know people who do. We have a soft but maybe radical edge, you can decide on this, the pen, the jape, the occasional shout and a cup of tea are our preferred options, they may or may not be yours. We are sometimes dreamers, doodlers and psychogeographers, sometimes not. We all share a passion for the edgelands and urban green routes that are a place for reflection and dreaming. Places where for a short time we can breathe and become more than just economic entities, where structures of the nearby town fade for a moment and you discern the past!

Where you are not allowed to exist!

Where you are not allowed to exist!

We are merely a small band of urbane enthusiasts, renegades from northern climes, born in Bedford types, amateurs and latter day wanderers, passionate observers of urban living, surviving alleys, forgotten walls from deceased building to the green fields beyond, the social cultural and built environment punctuated by sirens and screams and forgotten children playing with forgotten toys. We believe that none of these singularities exist in seclusion but rely on each other to flourish and foster and create the living pulsing backdrop that is our home. The effects may be positive or negative and we believe that ridding society of its malaise requires simple cooperation not votes. We strongly recommend you think for yourself!

Although seek and ye shall find a way in!

Although seek and ye shall find a way in!

We believe that the recent past and its rich variety of the grand and the ordinary, cherished and neglected buildings, bridges, underpasses, lost nooks and crannies continue to play a part in our shared consciousness and sense of identity, continue to influence who we are and remind us of how we worked, rested and played. All towns and cities have an unwritten history, ghosts yet to be born, rhythms, secret places with secret heartbeats.

We will continue to create a real space for discussing, engaging and enjoying, perhaps occasionally even campaigning for, the multilayered complexities of life, comfortable and egalitarian for some harsh ruthless and destructive for others.

We will continue to meet, gather, speculate, mooch, amble, flaneur (look it up) drift / derive (and this as well) collaborate, connect, gently protest and point at naked kings when we see fit. We will speculate, agitate, ruminate, publicize, dream and dream again over afternoon tea on walks, talks and various outings.

Where wonders wait to be rediscovered! Squalor as art...

Where wonders wait to be rediscovered! Squalor as art…

All we need is for you to keep looking at what we have to say, get in touch but only if you want to, make us believe you exist, keep us informed of your events and activities across and around Bedford and its majestic Bypass that countenance reveries of better places and we promise to create some of our own for your appreciation. Did I tell you we are anarchists?

Gill, Debs, Steve, Mon Pierre, and Skip!

The Bedford Diary..In Which Debs Traverses the Length of Tavistock St!

20 Oct

Tavistock Street doesn’t enjoy the best of reputations. During Tudor times, the butchers did their slaughtering in Butcher Row or the Shambles (roughly where St Pauls Square is now). They were told to clear away the “inwards and entrails” daily, but it was only taken as far as Offal Lane – the old name for Tavistock Street. Cynics would say that it’s been downhill ever since.   You sometimes hear people say that it is “letting the side down” – like a child caught picking its nose at a wedding – but Bedford isn’t exactly top drawer in the first place. Still our local leaders crave respectability – a sign of insecurity?

Robbery in action! Even the robbers are scared to come out when its dark!

Robbery in action! Even the robbers are scared to come out when its dark!

Leading north from the town centre, Tavistock Street is on the A6, therefore the first part of Bedford that a lot of visitors get to see. Maybe that’s why the local dignitaries are worried about the impression it gives – never mind that locals like me are happy with it just as it is, thank you very much. A conservation area, Tavistock Street has many interesting early Victorian buildings, mixed with infill of varying degrees of sympathy with the older stock.

Enjoy a hearty breakfast! A very popular place at the far end!

Enjoy a hearty breakfast! A very popular place at the far end!

Starting at the town end, on the left we see the high wall of the northern boundary of Bedford Prison. Outsiders are often shocked to hear that Bedford has a fully-functioning category B prison in its centre, but the locals hardly give it a thought. When the site was chosen for the first prison building over 200 years ago, this was on the edge of the town – and like everywhere else, the population grew, the town expanded and the prison was swallowed up.  Famous inmates include James Hanratty, and for all you fans of Big Brother (I know you’re out there) Jade Goody’s father. On the other side, tucked behind much older buildings, a 1970’s multi-storey car park widely derided as a white elephant since it was built. Situated just that little bit too far from the shops, in the days when all on-road parking was free; it has never been well used so is regarded as a money loser. The area immediately to the north was demolished in the early 1970’s. Comprising streets of two up two downs thrown up in the mid-19th century without foundations, these houses were not missed. Older readers might remember the scene in Some Mothers do ‘ave em, when Frank moves house, shuts the door for the last time and the house collapses in on itself. That was reportedly filmed there.  

Further up, a YMCA built a few years ago to replace a defunct petrol station. Another reason to view Tavistock Street with suspicion – it’s full of young people, and as we all know young people are always up to no good. Does any other country fear and dislike its young people as much as the British? Just a thought.

The Private Shop for good hard core porn. Nice building as well!

The Private Shop for good hard core porn. Nice building as well!

The main reason for the less than salubrious reputation is because it houses the towns one sex, I mean “Private” shop. On the ground floor of a fine three story terrace, on the corner of a square whose houses would fetch millions in London; it strikes an incongruous note. Time was, you could always rely on seeing a man scurrying out, head down and with a parcel under his arm. The internet has put paid to all that – I can’t remember the last time I saw someone entering or leaving the building, but still it limps on. For a short time there was another sex shop across the road, much larger and with a bold fascia that left the onlooker with no doubt as to what lay inside. A sign boasted that the premises had a discrete rear entrance for the faint-hearted, but it wasn’t enough to save it. Finally, the sauna and massage parlour above a fried chicken take away. From the decrepit state of the window frames, it looks like it’s not exactly making money hand over fist either.

KFC and something spicy upstairs! Rear entry...

KFC and something spicy upstairs! Rear entry…

This ex-sex shop is now an Indian restaurant, the other industry Tavistock Street is well known for.   Rusholme in Manchester is well known for its curry mile, and Tavistock Street in Bedford could be said to have its very own curry quarter mile. Doesn’t quite trip off the tongue, but a marketing opportunity has been missed there.

One of the local councillors is quite sniffy about the area, recently stating that the signs above the convenience stores and Indian restaurants are “garish”, implying that they needed toning down. Of course they are, they’re supposed to be – they’re trying to attract customers. What did she want, a tasteful makeover with National Trust colours? Another example of the tendency these days to want everything gentrified, tidied up, dare I say looking middle class.

Near the top is a forgotten about side street I sometimes wander along when I feel like trying to recreate the past – Tavistock place. Now mainly used to access a health centre car park and old peoples’ flats, it has a handful of modest recent low-rise housing, Victorian lock-ups and an interesting old terrace of five houses, which have back doors but no front doors. I once tried to have a good look through the window of the one without net curtains as discretely as possible and got yelled at, which serves me right I suppose. Tavistock Place was also the site of Bedford’s last doss house, closed in the mid 1950’s.

We've become so lazy we are re-using old photo's from two years back!

We’ve become so lazy we are re-using old photo’s from two years back!

Tavistock Street has many thriving businesses, some of which have been there for decades, not bad going for an area supposed to be poor and dangerous, full of the young and ethnic minorities and crime and people who keep irregular hours. I’ve walked down it at least twice a day for the last eighteen years, and see a completely different place to the one referred to by the scaremongers in trembling tones. Where else would you see the last workman’s café in Bedford (first picture) next door to a large Georgian house containing a solicitor, then two elderly cottages? Hands off, I say!

 

Editors chance to add something so I feel as if I’ve contributed something!

 

And another piece of Bedford’s past revealed thanks to Debs who is very often Out and About! By the way Jade Goody’s dad walked out of Bedford Prison unlike James Hanratty who was carried out having been dead close on four years. After being hanged (April 1962) he was interred near the wall, dug up a few years later as they wanted to start an allotment then taken to his Aunt’s grave near Watford.  Despite sufficient evidence that a Peter Alphon was the real dastardly A6 villain shoddily stored DNA evidence that wouldn’t be admissible today has to date prevented Hanratty from being pardoned. For further light entertaining reading, nice with a cuppa and Hob Nobs* try “Who Killed Hanratty” by Paul Foot!

 

*other biscuits may available.

 

If Symptoms Persist……

15 Oct

Take with food! Look I haven’t been well. Really bad cold. Sniffling and wheezing, where does it all come from I ask. Been to the chemist. Usual third degree as they know I take insulin so they won’t sell me Lep Sips though you can get them from the paper shop down the road no questions asked. Actually I don’t “take “ insulin, I inject it with a very natty pen thing into my thigh so when the opportunity arises in polite company I can say with zeal that I can see the positive side of injecting drugs. Contains Paracetemol. I’ve been looking at the Borough Council website and …ta da! There’s a meeting of the Rural Affairs Committee coming up and I guarantee it will be a hoot! Seriously, you wouldn’t want to miss it. The last one in April went on for ten minutes.

AH yes Mr Bypass you are looking much better!

AH yes Mr Bypass you are looking much better!

A full ten minutes. Do not take with any other Paracetemol based product. Ten staggering minutes of hot topics to entertain the throng that consisted of just three people, Dave the Mayor, Cllr Muttley Royden and CllrDoug McMurdo (and some council bod taking notes who must have had a real sore arm by the end of the night. Do not repeat the dose within four hours. This next meeting may be even thinner on the ground as Cllr Doug has had to vacate his position of note while he defends himself on charges of whacking some youth up in rural Sharnbrook but being honest that could have really enlivened the Rural Affiars meeting. May cause drowsiness. I once thought it would be funny if the Rural Affaiirs Committee was exactly that…a detailed list of who was rumoured to be humping who in the country park at night and whether dubious Borough Council staff members were using council purchased surveillance equipment to film proceeding, you may know who I mean. But no…this coming meeting will be looking grant requests..in fact it seems to a shorter agenda than the April one which in case I didn’t tell you lasted all of ten minutes. If symptoms persist please consult your doctor. The January meeting lasted for ten minutes as well. Pass that bottle of Night Nurse Debs! ….Please!

Family Entertainment in Bedford

26 Aug

 

Hiya! …..Been sorta quiet hasn’t it! This is Bedford Bypass back after three weeks sitting watching the sea coming in, going out, sun coming up and going down. Back in Bedford now and its like Groundhog Year…sod all has changed…mobius strip..looped life, its all the same….we are stuck in Bloody Chicken Town…

 

Psychic Sally and the spirits of the DEAD! Good Family entertainment!

Psychic Sally and the spirits of the DEAD! Good Family entertainment!

Lets go for a night out…top quality family entertainment….oh look! ….It’s Psychic Sally coming to visit the lonely and bereft of Bedford for the umpteenth year on the trot…put you in touch with the dead… live on on stage at the Corn Exchange…for the umpteenth year running…but I’ve said that already… in front of our very eyes…is there a John in the audience?…the dead live on…and we in Bedford are so lucky that Sally…sorry Psychic Sally deigns to bring her skills in this interphase between two worlds right into the heart of town…a message for Margaret …maybe Marjorie..Mary…Maria…maybe..maybe…he says he’s happy in heaven…oooh….Janet, she she wants you to know that she wasn’t your real mother and she always despised you…

The blurb from the Corn Exchange says its for entertainment only…fun fun fun but don’t mention her recent night in Middlesborough when the picture of a supposedly dead woman turned out to be a very much alive woman sat in the audience.  Spinning heads and projectile puking…demons from the other side…that’s your problem matey…Claims Direct might not be able to help if you go home with something horrid sat on you shoulder cackling and feeding off your very soul…but…Sally doesn’t do this sort of demon stuff….just random messages from nice dead people wanting to speak to nice live people…Martin you bastard…why did you leave it all to her…Martin…is that you…Martin!.

Do they have to have died in Bedford for Sally to bring them forth?…do the dead of Bedford eagerly wait for Sally to make her annual visit on the off chance that there earthbound kin are able to get tickets, or believe in fairies….What happens if you died in Coventry but your corpse is below ground in Bedford…or went up the chimney…No pushing in now you spirit people…oy! you…you with the medals…piss off …Sally’s in Watford next month. Sally is a busy person, she seems to be everywhere!

Sally herself looks radiant as you can see…in some recent photo’s she’s sort of lardy and aged but for Bedford she’s slim and radiant…looking years younger…you sceptics might think its reliance on old publicity pics but I believe…I believe….I believe that following death from heart based trauma..lung cancer…road traffic accident…maybe simple decay or just hypothermia from being unable to afford decent heating…I believe that Sally can summon you forth…to say “Hiya” before quickly moving onto Arthur, Alice, Janet who all wait patiently in spectral line for their fleeting moment of fame….

No Demons allowed at Bedford Corn Exchange! It says so...

No Demons allowed at Bedford Corn Exchange! It says so…

Some people think that it’s a masterful con trick…Psychic Sally touring the UK constantly, no end of people wanting proof that that final challenged breath..vague pulse..juddering heartbeat…is just a temporary blip…keen to pass on their £££££ to Sally…Some websites would have us believe that  Sally is raking it in…X amounts of venues per annum… X amounts of arses on seats X whatever it costs, £20 plus to get in..very negative….but there’s much more to it than that…I believe….I want to believe….

 

A delightful Bedford village!

20 Jun

Ah yes! nestling some three miles away from Bedford, the delightful village of Slags. We assume its near Stagsden!

And after some months no-one from the council has noticed this wonderful artistic adaption of the roadsign!

Bedford Slags

Bedford Slags

Crowds flock to Bedford Town Centre

16 Jun

Sorry, the above should have said “Crows flock to Bedford Town Centre. I get really brassed off sometimes. I want to be nice. I want to report back about events in Bedford town centre in a positive style but when I’m there, incognito amongst the townsfolk I realise that once again I, or more likely we have been sold a dud. A total ringer. In case you don’t know what a ringer is it’s a car that’s been written off, fudged and botched by lots of dodgy welding and then put back on the road again usually without the new owner being aware.

A bit sparse if you don't mind me saying!

A bit sparse if you don’t mind me saying!

Here we go again!

Here we go again!

So the second Big High Street Showcase came along and then went. Basically a rerun of the one from last year with much less interest and lots of empty road being showcased to the point where the only thing that I personally found enjoyable was to be able to walk down the middle of the High Street without being mown down as all the traffic had been re-routed elsewhere causing total mayhem. Talking of mayhem the Kung Fu Kendo people were out and about giving us a demonstration of hitting each other with sticks and we could do with these black clad Ninja people out in the latter hours of Saturday now that would be worth coming back for! Although quite what it had to do with showcasing the High Street shops I don’t really know!

One new item to make the day go by was a sort of bouncy basement looking like the place where Terry Waite was locked up, see pic! In exchange for some money you could run around cushioned corridors with a non lethal gun shooting beams at things. Given what’s happening over in Iraq I thought this to be in perfect taste. Further down the road the army were about signing people up for the real thing!

Shooting on the streets of Bedford!

Shooting on the streets of Bedford!

Another new event that showed the High St off in its best light was a mobile police incident unit which I assume was part of the day although it might have been left over from Friday evening and got blocked in. One thing to please the kiddies was the opportunity to sit in the back of the paddy waggon and have your picture taken at which point the surrealism of the whole thing stopped me thinking straight. So we went for a sandwich. There were two rather spindly police cadets wandering around looking, if you don’t mind me saying totally pre shaving age, stupid and lost!

A bit later we chanced upon plod (one proper one and one of the community types) taking an interest in the chap that is a regular feature next to the bin outside Tesco. He’s been about for some months inc. most Saturdays but the scruffy sod decided on this day of days to do as he always does and just sit there reminding us of how lazy and unkempt he looks so plod came over to engage him in convivial exchange. I took a picture just to show how compassionate they were and got a glare (perfectly captured) in return, oddly enough him in the black is really dinky! He’d give Warwick Davies a run for his money. 

If looks could kill!

If looks could kill!

Now I wanted to offer my support by getting said floor based chap a drink of tea but for some reason Debs thought this might not be appreciated and given the proximity of the nearby mobile lock up van I was dragged the opposite way to the Bear up the top of the road.

On street entertainment so we are told!

On street entertainment so we are told!

On the way the music arena bounced to some top notch Bhangra dance and then in The Bear I had a pint. Two bits of bad news! Firstly landlord Paul was on his holidays and I wasn’t able to further develop our plan to officially “twin” The Bear with le Vieux Chene , 69 Rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris, secondly the towns (not) oft (lately) seen wizard nicknamed Merlin is being looked after away from Bedford which puts to bed the mystery of what happened to him. In the Bear’s beer yard several biker types were playing Backgammon! Walking back down the High St a number of ladies in matching pink shirts were performing what appeared to be an abstract free style line dance with no regards to co-ordination whatsoever. Brilliant!

A highlight of the day!

A highlight of the day!

Time to go and see if the Bedford Bypass car parked smack bang under the noses of the traffic wardens free of charge on a piece of abandoned land no bigger than an average vehicle had been ticketed. No it hadn’t!

P.S. Earlier in the day Debs per-chanced across Mayor Dave Hodgson who when he walks seems very reluctant to make eye contact with anyone!

He's making a run for it..tazer tazer tazer..oh sorry!

He’s making a run for it..tazer tazer tazer..oh sorry!

Putrid Feculent Detritus..

21 May

I imagine having to tell people that you are a Liberal Democrat is like owing up to drowning kittens in a sack!

They’ve formed the most unholiest alliance and are suckling the breast of the Devil’s darkest  concubine! All those promises you made on the doorstep, in leaflets and on those short broadcasts before the news, rescinded binned and replaced by Nick Clegg, the political equivalent of Prozac wringing his hands, squirming, looking for all the world like a seven year old that’s lost all his toys and his favorite Grandad in a hit and run incident that may or may not feature in a free paper in a suburb of Birmingham.

Rorscach

Rorschach

 

The one thing they wanted to gain from playing Russian roulette with the Conservatives was the AV Referendum. A move in itself which would have given the Liberal Democrats an eternal say in our future. They lost the vote on this, maybe by a chastened public who saw Clegg and his jolly band of sell outs for the double dealers they are. I’ve not voted for years as by doing so you are endorsing the system and can’t complain if someone you didn’t want gets in but on the AV issue I popped my paper in the box, fuck you Clegg you wanker!

Their penance, they’ve been forced (?) by the price of power to implement slash and burn across the face of the country and the funniest thing is that the tories have achieved exactly what they wanted whilst being able to watch the Lib Dems take the kicking in the bollocks almost each week if not more! If Nick Clegg’s name is associated with something it turns to dust and blows across the landscape of a decaying city.

The only idea they have come up with in four years that ranks as having any merit was their frankly potty idea to stop The Sun being sold in newsagents before 9.00pm on the basis that as you are reading in depth journalistic comment on the situation in the Ukraine you won’t be diverted by looking at someone called Melody showing us her tits whilst expressing solidarity with orphans in Syria. The Sun should really be the official paper of the Lib Dems and the only reason I sort of liked this idea is back to my old hobby of Hillsborough and the deep affection that good people of my home city feel towards that rag of a newspaper. article-2224739-15BDE83D000005DC-648_306x510So many years on and new footage is being shown.

Noting that grand display of soon to be recycled leaflets in the blog below (I SAID BLOG!!!) the reason none of UKIPs missives were included was that they went straight into the recycling bin after a failed attempt to teach Wiz to shred them. The only one that could be said to included any commitment to any form of social justice is from the Green Party however as an anarchist if I opt to play a part in the carnival of the absurd all I will have achieved is to legitimize the the next round of expenses scandals and freeloaders caught screwing around! Tough decision?

Gill at the helm!