Dear all. Just to let you know that the town is expecting coach-loads of vaccinated OAP tourists next week when Beckworth’s premier attraction Derek Peculiar’s House Of Peculiarities reopens after a covid restriction forced it to shut. Mr Derek’s famous nephew, Hugh Grant, will be on hand to unlock (and clean?) his dead Uncle’s life work on Monday, or Tuesday. Given the status of the attraction Mr Hugh is expecting a very long queue, with gaps of 2 metres and masks worn at all times. Famed amateur psychic and welder Mr Peculiar originally opened the “museum of the strange” almost 50 years ago back in 1975 to display his vast collection of very odd things bought on his travels welding around the world, the highlight being his unique collection of scale models made from elastic bands. I’m looking forward to visiting myself but will wait for a day when there’s nothing on telly. Yours Natalie Clifton, Tourist Information
Apologies to you all, but this weekend’s annual News At Ten fan convention has been postponed due to Lockdown and because none of the fans know how to host a virtual event it can’t be hosted online. I’ll let you know the new date when I have it. Yours Natalie Clifton, Tourist Information
Hi to all. Just a reminder that this years annual Beckworth St Andrew concert has been postponed until next summer due to an injury to the headline act. Top Scottish father and son band The Proclaimers were originally booked to perform but the son, Craig Proclaimer, has hurt his foot whilst completing a sponsored walk from Leith. Tickets will still be valid for whenever we can be arsed to do the concert. Yours Natalie Clifton, Tourist Information
Fantastic news for those of you already planning for Autumn, unemployed taxidermist and amateur wax “sculptor” Neville Preston-Tussaud is planning to extend Beckworth’s most exciting indoor tourist attraction by October. Inspired by his (probable) Great Great Great Grandma, Mrs Madam Tussaud, Neville is to extend his waxworks museum beyond the garage next to his house and garden shed. He has put in a planning application to erect a permanent gazebo in his front garden to show at least another 5 paper-mache celebrity effigies, he’s hoping to have Prince Harry and Mrs Markel finished in time, and has a Donald Trump ready for painting by his 4 year old daughter. As soon as I know more about the museum expansion I will of course let you know. Thanks Natalie Clifton. Tourist Information.
Hi, I just wanted to remind parents that tomorrow Wally Walloon, the star of Belgian TV’s famous children’s show Le Diable en Pantalon, will be performing his new one man show in the library garden (weather permitting, if it’s p***ing it down he’ll set up in the Gent’s toilet). Wally, the famous 11-fingered master of shadow puppetry (he recently lost a finger in a road-trafiic accident involving a lawn-mower), will perform his all new show “Jean-Paul Dans Le Jardin” in French with subtitles provided on a powerpoint presentation alongside. The show starts at 2pm and entry is £12 per child, under 3s £6 and adults £18, but hurry as tickets are very limited. Thanks Natalie Clifton. Tourist Information.
Dear all. As you probably know Floyd street will be partially closed today, near the site of the ongoing fracking, as we reach the low-key climax of this year’s Allen Key Post- Centenary Celebrations. For those with short memories, it was 103 years ago last week that local lock-smiths (and cousins) Cyril Key and Norris Allen invented their world famous large “hex keys.” (For the full story please see the blog dated 21 October 2013). Descendants of the Allen and Key families are planning to spend today singing traditional allen key-based songs and selling cheap novelty gifts made from recycled allen keys. A must see will be the newly formed Allen Key Display team, led by local hardman Ross Kemp, performing their death defying allen key based stunts. So come on down, it’s not often you’ll get to see original allen keys in action. So see you there. Yours Natalie Clifton, Beckworth Tourist Information
(Above) Mr Key and Mr Allen’s prototype keys made a hundred years ago. Probably
Dear all. This weekend the World’s premier primate entertainment extravaganza will be coming to Beckworth and it promises to be an amazing show for the whole family and pets. This is the first time that China’s Monkey Magic has come to these shores, after being banned for the past 47 years, and we are honoured that our town is their first port of call on this inaugural tour. The show is now allowed in the UK as it has allegedly been given a clean bill of health by China’s own health & safety experts and is claimed to have “won” 3 or 4 animal hygiene certificates, plus an “award for the the best use of monkeys in a Chinese state sponsored show”. The shows will take place in a borrowed circus-tent pitched on the sports field and tickets for each dazzling show are £125 per adult or £55.50 for children under three. A press release, translated from Mandarin, claims the two-hour long show “is staged entirely by apes and the audience should expect to see violence, swearing, urinating on stage and scenes of simian nudity.” It goes on to give lurid details of the acts which include “motorbike-riding gorillas performing dangerous stunts whilst smoking pot and drinking; orangutan “clowns“ throwing excrement at the audience; baboons Bing and his wife Bong the world famous lion tamers; high-wire displays by an acrobatic gang of unruly gibbons (one even gets fired out of a canon, extra impressive as there’s no safety net!!); sword-swallowing juggling contortionist macaques; and stars of the show three bike-riding chimpanzees. All compered by star of Hong Kong reality TV, Herman. A renowned chain-smoking capuchin who once went into orbit around the moon for a month courtesy, of the Russian space federation.” The press release added a five star review by “The president of China’s neighbour North Korea, Kim Jong-un, who described the circus as being just like a real Planet Of The Apes. In a tent” As a footnote its also mentioned that “if the house band gets through quarantine they will be a flamenco group made up of rescue apes” which is very commendable! Monkey Magic sounds like it’ll be a real hoot, just like a circus should be. So see you there. Yours Natalie Clifton, Tourist Information
(Above) Stars of Monkey Magic, bike-riding sisters Shu, Ting, and Blanks
Dear all. This weekend Beckworth is once again hosting the annual News At Ten fan convention and this year it’s moving to a new bijou venue. With the scout hut temporarily out of action local chef, and massive news fan, Huge Firmly-WittlingStick has offered the use of his garden shed. The one-day event will be opened by BBC newsreader Jane Hill who I am assured is well know to newsies (I’m told she’s the late-broadcaster Jimmy Hill’s daughter, though i can’t see the family resemblance myself). Organisers hope to host book signings and selfies with newsreaders of old if any turn up, which in past years they haven’t. Mr Firmly-WittlingStick will be providing light refreshments cocktail bar and and this years raffle prize is the chance to meet Fiona Bruce whilst she has her nails done. Sounds unmissable to anyone with a passing interest in the news. Yours Natalie Clifton, Tourist Information
(Above) The late Jimmy Hill’s daughter Jane will be opening the News At Ten fan convention this weekend
Hi to all. Just a reminder that tonight Beckworth will be hosting a major event to celebrate the birthday of St Andrew (The patron saint of Scotland and Golf courses). Local Scottish residents have auctioned off a balsa-wood replica of The Stone Of Scone and hired the scout hut. Once again the top Scottish father and son band The Proclaimers are booked to perform, but after almost failing to appear last year the duo are hitching this year. In 2014 they’d walked all the way to our St Andrew gig, which is 500 miles or so from their “sunshine” retirement home in Leith. Craig Proclaimer just texted me to say they are just crossing the border, so if they get the lifts they should be here tonight. I’m told there are still plenty of tickets for sale, so grab yours pronto. Yours Natalie Clifton, Tourist Information
(Above) Once again The Proclaimers kindly celebrate St Andrews day with a gig in Beckworth but this year they won’t risk walking 500 miles to do so
Hi to all. Today is the start of the Festival Of Light Diwali and the town will be throwing open it’s doors to light seeking visitors. We’re not literally asking residents to leave all doors wide open, as it’s too cold and too tempting to burglars, but maybe leave some ajar or at least unlocked? Also, we are asking all residents to keep all their lights on and burn candles all day and all night in celebration. Or shine a torch out of an open window at any passing strangers. Have a very happy Diwali. Yours Natalie Clifton, Tourist Information
(Above) Why not arrange your candles in a pattern to celebrate Diwali