After five years of planning I am pleased to say that Santa’sWonderfulWonderLand (Incorporating SnowWhiteLand) is now open to the public on the site of the disused Beckworth Quarry. To pull in the crowds no expense has been spared and amongst the dozen or so rides we boast the UK’s first stairlift based helter-skelter and the world’s only mining-based rollercoaster. Pay a bit extra and there’s a Santas Grotto to queue for, a reindeer patting area (appointment only) and Snow White’s cafe staffed by midgets. Some Friday nights the whole place will be sprayed with fake snow (providing we can get enough of that polystyrene stuff you get in big parcels) so weekends will be extra magical and more expensive. Please note that everyday the first customer through the gates will get 10% discount in the gift shop so it’s worth queuing overnight. Co-manager Robin Thicke has declared this Christmas/Seven Dwarf themed attraction is the best he’s ever worked at, and he’s worked at quite a few between singing gigs on cruise ships. So come and celebrate Christmas and stunted growth early this year. Dick Van Preston. Manager. Santa’sWonderfulWonderLand.
Must-see attractions include Santa’s Grotto (Above Top)
and the white-knuckle Gravel Shute rollercoaster ride (Above Bottom)
Hello all. It is with a heavy heart that I have to relay the sad news that Antony Gormley (OBE)’s new sculpture “Mother (On Benefits) Of The Repossessed has been accidentally disposed of just hours after it’s unveiling in Beckworth. The head of the council’s waste disposal and street cleansing dept was quoted as saying “It looked so much like rubbish that one of our enthusiastic street operatives just swept it up and deposited it into his cart which was then emptied at the local tip” The council has promised to try and “rebuild” the sculpture as they are believed to have found a few bits of the art work. So good luck with that. Christine Batley. Chief Art And Recycling Correspondent. Beckworth Guardian
(Above) Antony Gormley’s sculpture stood here earlier today
Hello all. Today saw the triumphant unveiling of Beckworth’s latest piece of public art, a sculpture named “Mother (On Benefits) Of The Repossessed” by local artist, and owner of an OBE, Antony Gormley OBE. Made of Mr Antony’s favoured medium, metal, the sculpture looks like discarded rubbish and in Mr OBE’s own words “aims to capture the mental angst of someone living on state handouts, the feeling of being societies’ discarded rubbish.” Mr Gormless, best known for his Angel Of The North sculpture sited somewhere up North swent on to say “it is also a comment on this Governments’ so called “bedroom tax.” The sculpture was unveiled by art lover, and local celeb, Rihanna, herself a champion of Gormley’s work and can be seen sited behind the gala Bingo near the bins.
Thanks. G. Grimsby. Mayor
(Above) Antony Gormley (OBE)’s latest sculpture unveiled near the bingo hall bins today
Hello to you all. May I take this opportunity to introduce myself to you and to our wonderful re-sited Further Education college. My name is Barbara Windsor (Not the one who’s bra fell off in Carry On Camping nor the one in Eastenders, though we do share certain noticeable physical attributes) and I am the head of the faculty. Over the summer we moved into our lovely new site on Madonna Lane, where we share a building with KwikFit, and yesterday the college was officially opened by ex-alumni, and local author, Katie “Jordan” Price. Due to an increase of space and improved facilities we can now offer more courses, for both the young, old and infirm. Induction week starts next Monday and we have a lot of evening classes on offer, including some new ones such as Welding For Beginners, Tantric Sex (Taught by Gordon Sumner), Living With Jihad, Arm Wrestling, Noel Edmunds‘s Kite Flying Lessons, Forgeries and print-making, and Deep Sea Diving theory… So join us next week but you better be quick as demand is bound to be high. Yours Barbara Windsor (Mrs). Head of the Faculty. Beckworth Further Education College
(Above) Ex-student Katie Price opens the new FE College
Hello all. You may have noticed that today the town has been swamped by a three-man BBC camera crew filming a new TV series. “Where Do You Think You Are?” is hosted by the pretty model and ex-army cadet Fern Cotton and sees celebrities dropped into the middle of nowhere with just a rain-mac, some boiled sweets and a compass to test their survival skills. Without any previous training they are expected to find their way back to their birthplace within a week by living on their wits, stealing food and walking miles as riding on public transport or getting taxis is off-limits. The episode they are filming in and around Beckworth sees Dale Winton trying to return to his Gran’s council flat in Bethnal Green with, I am told, hilarious consequences. It sounds like a must see programme, so good luck to Dale and the BBC. Christine Batley. Chief TV and Survival Correspondent. Beckworth Guardian
(Above) Dale Winton passes through Beckworth on his way to his Gran’s in East London
Fellow citizens of Beckworth, and surrounding environs, the time has come for us to defend our way of life, to put on a united front to and stop faceless corporations mugging us on our high street in broad daylight. I am of course talking about the harmful fracking that has started on Floyd Street, Beckworth’s heart if you will. Without warning the road and pavements (sidewalks to our non-English speaking foreign residents) of our vibrant shopping street are being torn up, just to find gas for cookers. I can speak for the majority of residents when I say we cook with electric so have no need for this fracked gas (apart from a small need to run the central heating, but thats just in winter and cold days the rest of the year). So I am organising an anti-fracking group, Oldies Against Fracking, and will tirelessly campaign to stop this digging up of our high street just for the greater good of this country. I didn’t even vote for Nick Clegg‘s Liberals and know fracking is his ruddy idea! This coalition will be the end of us, gas or no gas! Anyway, please join us this Wednesday at 10am when we will attempt to surround the fracking site with a human shield (Bring sarnies and a flask as we plan to be there until near tea time, or earlier if it rains).
Ray Eastleigh. Founder Member. Oldies Against Fracking (OAFs)
(Above) The Fracking starts on Beckworth High Street
Many commuters were today struck by a double-dose of travel misery, effecting both the working-classes who can’t afford a car (or are banned from driving) and inconveniencing residents who choose to shun local shops and drive to the large out-of-town Tesburys supermarket. Users of the Beckworth to Slocombe Road experienced long queues as the road is dug up by utility companies for the fifth time in six months (work is expected to last 4 weeks and leave deep potholes in the road) and for train users delays are ongoing on the recently opened 3 mile Beckworth to Inmanston railway (due to leaves on the line and the wrong kind of rain splashing the rails). A spokesman for the rail franchise (run by ex-politician John “One Train” Prescott) said “once we can be arsed to clear the tracks a normal two trains a week service will resume. In the meantime a rail-replacement bus service is in operation and Beckworth Roamer travelcards will be accepted by local bike-hire companies.” So good luck to all travellers during this difficult time. Christine Batley. Chief Transport Correspondent. Beckworth Guardian
(Above) Rail Franchise owner, and sole train driver, John Prescott earlier today patiently waiting at a red signal near Beckworth station due to lethal leaves on, and near, the track
Good afternoon. Beckworth’s Famous Banana Museum will be 150 years old next March and we are planning to celebrate with an exhibition (to be opened by three-times-a-day banana fan Sir Alex Ferguson) featuring working-class people’s banana anecdotes. They can be happy, sad, harrowing, deeply-distressing, or even tragic experiences, as long as they are probably true and happened to you (or someone you vaguely know). Maybe you were on the Titanic eating a banana when it sank, survived a plane crash by living off bananas for 18 long months (like Robinson Crusoe famously did in that novel Huckleberry Finn) or perhaps attended a funeral dressed in a banana costume. If you have a life changing disfigurement involving our beloved bent yellow fruit then please let us know and you could be featured in the exhibition. Anyone who does will get a day’s free bananas! So we look forward to seeing your narratives. Thanks Den Hawkchurch. Archivist. Beckworth Banana Museum
(Above) Banana’s similar to the one’s on show at the Banana Museum
(Size and quantity may vary)
Hello. For those of you with an interest in history may know that today marks 347 years since the Great Fire Of Beckworth was started, and thankfully quickly extinguished. Thought to have been started deliberately in a fancy cake makers in Padding Lane (now Floyd Street) the fire was believed to be the work of ne’re-do-well teenage graffiti artists Trevor Shrewsbury and Vince Dorchester in a copycat arson attack following news of the Great Fire Of London had been reported by Beckworth’s town crier. Like the capitol’s big fire many dwellings were destroyed (three including the town brothel) and a few people made homeless for a week. Thankfully in a just a few short hours the ferocious fire was extinguished by a crack team of two volunteer fire-fighters using buckets of urine kindly passed-along the street by near neighbours and and bottles of past it’s sell-by-date milk donated by the local dairy. In no time Beckworth was quickly rebuilt and a small statue of a flaming cake now stands a few hundred yards from the exact spot where the fire is thought to have probably started. Mssrs Shrewsbury and Dorchester were hanged from the town’s gibbet the next day for their heinous crime and their families sent to Coventry on a cart (giving rise to the idiom). Then, in an unforeseen twist, a few months later the owner of the cake shop, a Keith Ippling Esq, confessed it was all an insurance scam and so was also hanged. His family was sent to Eastbourne as Coventry was no longer admitting criminal’s next of kin after so much trouble with the Shrewsbury and Dorchester families.
The legend of the town’s fire lives on in the familiar children’s rhyme Beckworth’s Burning recently made into a chart-topping rap single (and MP3 download) by Professor Green featuring One Direction
(Beckworth’s Burning, Beckworth’s Burning, Fetch the Neighbours, Fetch the Neighbours, Pour On Urine, Pour On Urine, Fire! Fire!)
So the next time you’re passing the town’s vandalised cake statue spare a thought for the poor souls who lost everything in the great fire of 1666. Thanks, Bill Christchurch. Beckworth Historical Society.
(Above) Probably what the Great Fire looked like before being put out
Hello all, as parents and lollypop operatives will know today is the first day of the new school year and Beckworth has additional cause to celebrate as the town’s very first faith school has opened it’s automatic sliding doors for the first time. Based in the disused and arson-damaged Woolworth’s shop on Madonna Lane the aptly named St Godless-Or-Not is the UK’s first agnostic faith school for 7 to 11 year olds. Opened at 8.45 this morning by local celebrity and school governor James Corden the school curriculum boasts lessons in shiatsu, ballroom dancing and crown green bowls alongside curriculum subjects with the aim of bringing a “broad church” of education to the young enquiring minds of Beckworth. They are also hoping to offer after-school clubs in the future (such as chess, ballet, poker, car respraying and glass-blowing) though they are waiting for second-hand unheated portakabins to be put in place first. Good luck to pupils, staff and parents. Christine Batley. Chief Schools & Education Correspondent. Beckworth Guardian
(Above) James Cordon opening local Agnostic faith school