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The Archive, February - March, 2000

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February 18th.
Wymsey Bans Austria:
No more alpine fun Following the rise of the far right in Austria and the subsequent panic in the European press Wymsey Parish Council this week took the decision to remove Austria from the map. Council leader, Gordon deStompe told the Chronicle, "We support the right of all people to express their thoughts and ideas and will not tolerate any attempt by anyone to interfere with these basic rights. As far as Wymsey is concerned Austria is no longer in the playground."

Kidworth Hardcourt of the Wymsey Alpine Dancers was distraught when we spoke to him yesterday, "We've been banned, we have. We can't practice in the Village Hall anymore thanks to this decision. They won't be getting my vote come May, I can tell you."

Ever supportive of the Parish Council, local postmistress Edith Chomsky announced this week that she had changed her analyst from a Freudian to a Jungian. As regular readers will know, in recent months Miss Chomsky has banned American hard gums, American walnuts and Belgium chocolate. "I'm think of banning Kiwi fruit as they were stolen from the Chinese and renamed by a couple of sheep farmers," Miss Chomsky told our reporter Charlie Stebbings.


Down Our Lane
with Sam

So, no more Austria then, can't say as how it bothers me - all those fiddly little alpine flowers what you has to get down on your damn knees to see and that music - umpah, umpah or is that Bavaria. Still they all wears those silly little shorts with leather and dance like that chump Kidworth Hardcourt and that yodelling - can't say I'll miss that. Bet you won't either.

Did you get any valentines cards then? I knows I did - three I got, soppy stuff. Give me a night in with me Elderberry wine anytime, you knows where you are with that - well you does until about halfway through the first bottle. 'Tis a powerful little blighter is my Elderberry.

Funny month is February, you get glimpses of spring then the skies open and it all freezes overnight - love it I do. Some silly chumpies like spring - not me my sunshines, oh no! Spring means work hereabouts, digging and seeding, turning the compost, taking a bath and then you have to start weeding - hates that I do. What I does is cover every spare bit of ground with old carpets which gets the Parish Council going I can tell you - puts off tourists they says. Well, I don't plan to have any tourist in me back garden, bet you don't either.

So, did you chuck all those seed catalogues? I know I did, all those bright pictures and everything looking perfect, depressing that is.


March 3rd
More Metric Madness:
Once again the English administration heaps chaos upon chaos. Readers will be aware that as from January 1st the village was told to turn metric, throw out our pounds and embrace kilograms ( see previous issue). This instruction came in the form of a European Parliament directive enacted by the relevant English government departments forcing countless butchers and greengrocers across the land to dump their old price tags and buy new weighing machines or face fines and imprisonment. Here in Wymsey the directive was ignored.

An enterprising English butcher hired a top lawyer and challenged his local council to prosecute him "because no way was he going to waste his time changing all the prices of his produce". The council decided that it could not afford a show trial.

In another development it was revealed that the directive was illegal because it had not been approved by English Parliament who were on their Christmas holidays at the time. Local traders are now expecting to be told they face prosecution if they display their goods in a metric manner.


Loose Cannon in
Moonstone Claim:

Moonstone? International self-styled megalith expert Irene De Mandible, who has been described as 'a truly renaissance woman', this week claimed that she had compelling circumstantial evidence that the Sunstone at Wymhenge is in fact a moonstone (see previous issue). During an inspired morning trek Ms Mandible came across a megalith that appears to be composed of a stone (above left) similar to the one on Wymhenge plus a mirror image.

We showed the picture to Dr Royston Harts of the University of Watchester (UWAT) who said, "I'm not impressed. If this was found in the USA and is as old as is claimed then who the hell put it there? I have not come across this person in any of the respected journals, it would seem to me that what we have here is not a so-called moonstone but a loose cannon."


Down Our Lane
with Sam

So, did your girlfriend propose to you on the 29th? I know mine did, sent me an email she did, "Marry me in 2000" she put. So I mails her back and says 'is that days or years?' It must have gone to the wrong address 'cos I haven't heard back from her. Damn leap years they're a curse, right dangerous they are for us single men.

Are you following all this sunstone moonstone stuff then? I bet you're not, I knows I'm not. Blooming old lumps of stone, sacred to the god of menace if you asks me. Some people just have to dig holes. Which we reminds me of me sister, Sienna, her that lives in north London.

What with spring on the way, I decided to give me gate a lick of paint - bright yellow it is now - and there was half the tin left so I painted the door of the chicken house too which Vera Snodging says will cheer me hens up. She don't improve - the poor sot.

Watch out for any temptation to get out in the garden, I do I can tell you, it's that glimpse of the sun what does it . Upsets the hormones that does.


March 17th
Spooky Hamfistedness
Hits Wymsey Shock:

Miraim Twain, lifelong spy Way back in September the Chronicle revealed the identity of a County Council mole, Mrs Miram Twain, who had been Secretary to the Parish Council for many decades. During that time she had passed transcripts of meetings to the County Council. This was common knowledge in the public bar of the Crown & Thorns.

In November we revealed that Miss Twain had changed her name to Mary Twunk and was living in a safe house at the Forked Bend Sheltered Housing Project in Yorkshire. Anyone with access to the UK online telephone directory could have found this out.
Since then we have expected to be raided by Special Branch, M15, M16 or at least a double glazing salesman. But nothing has happened - we can only surmise that no one cares what anyone says these days despite what ex-secret agent David Shayler has to say on the matter. Of course it could be deliberate policy at the English Home Office to pretend that Wymsey does not exist.


Ancient Tortoise
Kills Gerbils:

Timtims, old tortoise Timtims the 140 year old Russian tortoise was this week blamed for the death of five gerbils at Wymsey Manor Hall, home of the Ernest Stuffe Institute. The fire brigade were called to the Hall on Wednesday night after the kitchen became engulfed in smoke. Fireman using breathing apparatus were able to rescue Timtims before he was overcome but the five gerbils belonging Institute administrator Shirley Binnings were found to have expired.

A spokesman for Watchester Fire Brigade told the Chronicle that it would appear that Timtims had decided to take a walk and on leaving his straw box turned over the reading lamp that was used to keep it warm. The frustrated fireman said, "How many times do we have to tell the public that straw, tortoises and reading lamps are a bad mix."


Writers Debunk Irish
Drinking Excuse:

For once it was not Wymsey but a group of international writers who this week precipitated global rancor in a series of articles revealing the truth behind the Irish St. Patrick and his not so shadowy followers.

International humour served on a bed of fresh columns.

Wymsey Vegetarians Secretary, Ethel M. Nails was aghast to hear that on March 17th rivers all over the world are turned green by nostalgic Irishmen. "I'm in shock I can tell you," said Mrs Nails, "I am particularly angry at hearing that in Australia it is common for burly Irishmen to get drunk and then drive up the Bruce Highway spraying run over wallabies with green paint. This has to be stopped."

Readers who wish to discover the Chronicle's position on St. Patrick's day should turn to the Wymsey Weekend.


Down Our Lane
with Sam

Me sister, Sienna, her what lives in north London sent me an email this week saying as how she was not going to send me any more emails on account of Wymsey cheering for that Ken Livingstone - so that's one less person on me hard disk. I reckons he's the man for the job, I likes a cheeky lad and they don't come much cheekier - just what them bozos up there needs for Mayor of London. Not that I'll be going up there, Ken or no Ken.

One good thing about the impending spring is that me hens are laying more eggs as the days get longer which means more beer for me and happiness for me hens. A bad thing about it is that those boogers at the Chronicle wants me to do more gardening tips. That gets my goat that does, you learns the hard way, years of trial and error then along comes the Editor, him what forgets to water his window box, along he comes and tells me to write down me little gems so as every little jonny with an electric hedge trimmer can call 'imself a gardener. Bet you can tell that me goat is got, I knows I can. There again, what's the point of it all if you don't pass it on and the weekly fee is more beer money. I see I shall have to ponder this.


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February 18th.
Experts Fight Over
Sunstone / Moonstone:

Sunstone, WymhengeWymhenge is certain to become embroiled in academic controversy as claims were made this week that what has been dubbed the 'Sunstone' is infact a Moonstone.

In a letter to the Chronicle Irene De Mandible - a truly renaissance woman - declares that such stones were dedicated to Diana (we think that she means the goddess rather than the Princess) and that Dr. Harts is misinforming the public. See previous issue of the Chronicle) in which UWAT astrophysicist, Dr Royson Harts claimed that on the summer solstice the rising sun would shine through the aperture on side of the stone.


Prime Minister
Avoids Wymsey:

A British Prime MinisterHead of the British Parliament, Tony Blair, last week was within spitting distance of Wymsey on his 'Kissing Cows for Rural Votes' Tour. Dressed in green wellies and with a straw sticking out of the side of his mouth Blair told astounded farmers that they should put their farms online and begin dealing in eCows. This from the man who has just stuttered his way online.

Asked by our intrepid reporter, Charlie Stebbings, what he thought of Wymsey's desire to be independent of England Mr Blair pretended not hear and replied, "Rural villages have a bright future under New Labour's New Farming Deal, blaah, blaah, blaah, diversify, baah, revolution, blaah, devolution, blaah, cider, blaah, bed and breakfast, blaah, diversify, blaah and we have to repair the damage done to the countryside by the previous blaah."

Drinkers in the Crown & Thorns were unimpressed. "We have enough blaah around here without those besuited smoothies coming down here and telling us what to do, what does he know about anything, damn evangelist,", "Wouldn't give him the time of day if he stood under the church clock." and "God give me strength." were typical of the comments to be heard in the public bar.


Millennium Henge?:
All attempts to make a lasting Millennium Statement have been met with unsurmountable problems and next week the Parish Council will consider ways of solving this Problem. Readers will remember the chaos and near carnage caused by the previous council, led by Julius Blaah, when a 350 foot Millennium Gnome was proposed. This led to the fall of the Council and the election of the present one who quickly responded to popular demands that a Millennium WaterTower be constructed on Wymsey Hill. It was the digging of the foundations for this structure that led to the unearthing of the prehistoric remains popularly known as Wymhenge which is believed to have been erected around 1700 BC.

"It would seem that however hard we try we are unable to make a Millennium Statement unlike those bozos up in London with their giant umbrella." Council Member, John Applegate, told our reporter, "It seems obvious to me that we should make the henge our Millennium Statement, indeed it has been suggested that we call it Henge2000. Although, to be precise, it should be Henge2001."


March 3rd
Wymsey Vegetarians Slam
Green Sheep Dip:

The Nails Local vegetarians, Ethel M. & Bertram B. Nails, this week hit out at the practice of using green sheep dip on St. Patrick's Day (March 17th). "This is a barbaric practice and demeans these harmless creatures," Mrs Nails told our reporter when he met her at the Wymsey Sheep Orphanage at Wymsey Bottom Farm. Green ram "How would you like to be dyed green and paraded around the village?" added her husband.

Local Irish woman, Sister Sara O'Hara commented, "It's the first I've heard of this practice and I've been Irish all my life. Sure but it would make counting the wooly beasts a nightmare."

See the Wymsey Weekend for more on St. Patrick's Day.


Local Failure
To Stand Again:

Julius BlaahEx-Parish Councilor, failed European Parliamentary candidate and local businessman, Julius Blaah, this week shocked the village when he announced his intention to stand in this May's parish election in spite of being overwhelming defeated last year. "We have had a year of unmitigated bungles and lunacy, the village has made enemies nationally and internationally. I intend to bring down this regime of village idiots and get back some sanity"

Since losing his seat on the Council Julius Blaah has expanded his business interests and is now involved with Montantrum Bionics, British Nuclear Renderers and Lemon Communications. It is rumoured that he has bought a major interest in Wymsey Cable and UWAT FM.

On being informed of Blaah's intention current Chairperson of the Parish Council, Gordon de Stompe laughed and nearly choked on his Winter Brew.


eCows For Wymsey?
Every increasing pressure on the farming community to diversify has now reached the nether regions with the launch eCowUK by the English government. This latest piece of wired-up buffoonery comes strait from the horse's mouth (see previous issue). Twenty million pounds has been set aside to develop the on-line cattle trader. Farmers will be able to track prices, place cows on the market as well as buy. Shame no one wants to purchase English cows for fear of BBC disease.

Local farmer and Chronicle reporter, Charlie Stebbings was scathing when we walked around his fields at Wymsey Bottom Farm. "It's the same old stuff, set up a task force, throw some money and grab a headline. It's all glossy wrapping around an empty recycled box. That's what you get if you let a bunch of commercial travelers and marketing suits run the country. The bottom line is that they don't have the foggiest and they don't care as all their voters live in towns and eat imported food. If there is any way out of farming problems it's us farmers that will find it not a bunch of suited jonnies from north London."


March 17th
Wymsey Endorses
Ken Livingstone:

Ken for London Mayor, no jonnies in suits! This week Wymsey Parish Council overwhelmingly endorsed a call from the floor that the Village should do all within it's power to support ex-Labour party member
Ken Livingstone MP* in his campaign to become the first elected Mayor of London. As one villager put it, "We like newts, Ken likes newts, ergo we like Ken." The Council decided to send fraternal greetings to Ken.

Not a few villagers were put out that they would not be able to vote in the election, "We likes a good vote, we does." said local smallholder and pig breeder Leslie Smith. But local businessman, ex-parish councilor and failed European Parliamentary candidate, Julius Blaah was aghast, "Look at the man, he isn't even wearing a tie, I bet he wears sandals."

The Chronicle says:"Go get 'em Ken!"

* A little known fact: Ken Livingstone is not an anagram of 'Canary Wharf.'


Guinness Not Irish Shock:
Irishmen the world over are reeling this week. This has nothing to do with celebrating the patron saint of snake charmers but is due to the discovery that the famous black stuff comes not from Ireland but Wales. The recipe was 'acquired' by Mr Guinness from an Holyhead hostelry on the occasion of him departing for Ireland to escape his creditors. According to reports in one British newspaper, the Welsh Assembly are to lobby the brewers in order to get the name changed to Gwynyth.

Here in Wymsey very little of the bitter black brew is drunken, regulars at the Crown & Thorns much preferring the products of Sam's micro brewery.



One Hundred Years Ago:
The Wymsey Chronicle, March 17th, 1900

High Flyer Dies: Wymsey aviator, Jasper Scrollings was killed on Sunday when he leaped from the tower of St Duvet & All Angels. Villagers arriving for Matins heard him shout, "Hell's bells, I'm heaven bound," as he launched himself and fell like a stone onto the grave of Eliza Margaret Crumple, born 1841 - died 1897, beloved wife of John Henry Crumple and adoring children Matthew (12), Martha(9), Ezra(6) and Albert(3), squashing the daffodils which had just come into flower.

Watchester Assizes: Magistrates ordered Michael Strokes, of Church Lane Wymsey, to clean the village pond after Stokes allowed his cow, Daisy, to despoil the pond whilst taking in water. Stokes was also ordered to pay five shillings costs and to keep Daisy under control.

Telephonic Rejection: Wymsey Parish Council this week decided that the village had no need of the new fangled 'telephone' much to the chagrin of the Watchester Telephone Company. Sir Jerry Strideworthy, KGB, leader of the Parish Council told the Chronicle, "We have the telegraph at the Post Office, we don't need this talking apparatus, there's enough time wasted talking as it is."


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