Illwell Town shows at The Leicester Comedy Festival!

Illwell is presenting four shows at The Leicester Comedy Festival in February next year. All the shows will happen at The tap And Barrel in Wigston Magna on each Sunday of the event.

Cropston Fairweather will serenade audiences through a bill of comedians on Sundays 10th, 17th and 24th with shows starting at 6pm.

On the 24th there will be an earlier show 'Crop's Circle' presented by Cropston and featuring guests in discussion and performance for a podcast recording.

Tickets are available from the venue The Tap and Barrel and will become available via the festival website in due course.

October 2018

A cycle path not dissimilar to The Bisley Lake one.

Bisley Town Mayor plans a cycle path toll.

 The Mayor of Bisley Town, Terrence Strap, has suggested that a ‘toll’ be introduced on the Bisley Lake cycle route that navigates around the edge of the lake closest to the town. The toll would mean that cyclists could no longer complete a complete circuit around the whole route without paying.

 In a ‘splat’, Strap said, “We want people to invest in the town and add value to the community. “It’s a little unfair that cyclists can just ride along the Bisley Waterside for free”.

 The plan is believed to involve the building of an electric fence and a gate patrolled by Sentries that forces riders through the payment point if they want to continue to ride. There would be a toll at each end of the Bisley stretch to trap people going the wrong way around the lake.

 A spokesperson for Illwell Town Council said, “This is typical of Strap, trying to extract money from innocent cyclists. One thing is for sure, Illwell will have no such toll introduced”.

 The path that winds around the lake is well used by cyclists of all levels. It undulates and weaves about, occasionally touching the shoreline and has several picnic spots. The longest route is nearly 21 miles in length. It was completed in 2004 from an old existing path that was there before.

 Strap received a tirade of abuse on Splattr after his first ‘splat’ but added, undeterred, “It wouldn’t be so bad if people stopped to shop or buy an ice cream but all they want to do is race through and not give the town a second thought”.

 Recently, Strap banned the Illwell Town ice cream vendor Tony Cokey from parking up at the Bisley shore as it hit sales of The Bisley Whip. Cokey, who sells the less synthetic Illwell Scoop said, at the time, “He’s just anti-Illwell”.

This latest move will no doubt cause another diplomatic row between the two towns.

The Illwell Book Prize

 Fury erupted at a Town Hall meeting over the suggestion that the annual Illwell Book Prize be opened up to include writers from Bisley Town. The competition has been a closed shop for 45 years to writers from Illwell Town and, previously, Wellgood and Illstone back when it was named the W.I. Book Award.

 Illwell has been the home of many good local writers down the years and last years winner Cedric Conners who won with his 2nd novel 'Circle of Tuna' was speaking out in favour of opening up the contest. “I would welcome more writers from a wider geographic to be allowed in”, he said. “There's no good reason to restrict it to such a small pool of talent and we should welcome Bisley Town writers into the dip”. When it was suggested that he was 'only saying that because he'd now won the prize' he replied “Partly”.

 A spokesman for the Illwell Book and Pamphlet Society said, “Letting Bisley writers in wouldn't necessarily mean they had a better chance of winning it”. But the majority seemed to be totally against change.

 Among this years four shortlisted books are, 'Do You Want To Come Camping' by Sean Harriot, 'The Cruel Winter' by Maddy Davis and 'Christmas Street Saga' by Eloney Jamus.

Love at First Flight - Couple who met on plane to wed!

Two strangers who were accidentally seated next to each other on a flight, are to marry next year after falling in love.

“I know people will think we’re crazy after such a short flight, but neither of us were desperate – honest”.

Mark and Elaine were surprisingly sat next to each other on the flight to Ibiza. Mark joked, “It’s funny ain’t it. You spend all that time online scouring dating sites then, just by chance, you meet the woman of your dreams and fall in love in the first 8 seconds. It’s bonkers!” Elaine admits to falling for Mark quickly too but after about 8 Proseccos.

 Spluttr went nuts over the romantic story:

 “It’s just amazing. You never know what’s around the corner!”

 “It’s so good to hear some good news for a change”.

“Elaine’s a nice name”.

 The airline have now tabled plans for a ‘singles’ flight service to and from lonely places for those in search of love.

 The happy couple plan to marry next year and believe their relationship will be long and lasting. “If it’s not”, said Elaine, “I’m sure we’ll be able to split up as quickly”.

We have the edge on nature, says Bisley Surgeon! 

The controversial plastic surgeon, Robert Futility, has released a book condemning nature. In his ‘Humans Know Better’ book, he describes natural processes as ‘obsessive and fundamentally negative’.

“The thing is”, he says in his book, “Nature has been around too long and gotten set in its ways about beauty and looks and how things should be. It doesn’t want to accept new ideas”. 

Chantelle Plaztique (a model from Lincoln) claims that she has ‘the ups on nature’ by revealing her latest breast surgery. “Why ain’t it you able to enhance yourself wit boob sacks”, said Chantelle who boasts a massive chest.

Bum lifts, lip bloats, tummy sucks, thigh suction are just some of the things people are getting to look more natural than their natural selves.

Casey Fondleman from the TV programme ‘Cutewords’ admitted to having enhancements to make her look like she’d had enhancements. “I had two from the bottom and four from the top”, she gleefully expressed as she toppled out of a boutique in Bisley.

“We have to hide what we’re really like, else men wouldn’t fancy us, don’t it”, said a woman who recently appeared on the reality TV show ‘Thick Town’. “So what if we ain’t what we should be. At least we ain’t robots, at least, ain’t, ain’t, ain’t ...” 

Futility’s book realises that for a long time nature has been blamed for making women, in particular, feel the need to cover the hideousness of reality. It’s available from all good book stores and some bad ones.

Spluttr has exploded like you wouldn’t believe:

“People should accept me for who I’m not”, said Peepy Quervis, a resident of Brighton.

“I have changed my appearance completely and, now, friends don’t know who I am! They’ve reported me ‘missing’”, said William Hunt of No Fixed Abode.

Robert Futility was unavailable for ‘no fee’.

There are up sides to cosmetic surgery. Beautiful lips.

September 2018

Ban ‘We need to make sure this never happens again’ Campaign!

 Illwell Town News backs calls to have the phrase ‘We need to make sure this never happens again’ from the language – because it always does.

 It’s the politician’s favourite line and they trot it out constantly to reassure the public that everything’s being sorted out – when it isn’t.

 We back the suggestion that it should be replaced with, ‘It will happen again because we’ll take our eye off the ball sooner or later’.

 The phrase is issued in different forms but generally preceded by the words, ‘We are going to have an inquiry to...’.

 A spokesman for ‘Common Sense Against Daft’ said, “No matter how many times bad things happen, nothing stops them happening again. Lorries will tailgate and kill, people will stab, fires will burn, ship will sink and planes will crash. You can’t stop stupidity either”.

 A politician we spoke to, who wishes to remain ‘a politician’, said, “I understand the frustration of hearing this all the time and I will try my best to make sure I don’t say it again”.

Fairweathers market the first ever ‘All day Evening Meal’.

 Following on from their ‘All Week Sunday Roast’, Fairweathers Pub Chain have started selling an evening meal all through the day.

 The chain have said that they want to provide for all tastes and are expecting there will be high demand.

 Critics have accused them of trying get rid of a surplus stock that was about to go out of date. “There food is delivered in ‘long life’ frozen packets and I fear some of those meals are reaching there ‘eat by’ date”, said a critic.

 Another critic suggested that the ‘all day evening meal’ was in fact just a ‘meal’.

 “We seem to attract a lot of criticism from jealous food experts and such but we have a lot of very satisfied customers”, said the manager of the local branch.

 Recently they were criticised for banning dogs because of their unpredictability and the fact that they scared some customers. That came only a year after some customers were banned for scaring dogs.

 In another incident, a vegan was given beef and had to throw up in the toilets just in case it had any beef in it.

Pupils sent home from school for flouting uniform rules. 

It's now known that up to 30 children were sent home from Illwell Primary for ‘dressing inappropriately’ on the first day of term and the number is expected to rise.

Some parents were outraged at the ‘new rules’ and claim they were not prepared. A parent who chose to remain anonymous said, “My boy was sent home simply because he didn’t have the right shoes and had yellow jeans on! The school should give us time to get to know the rules”.

Another disgruntled parent shouted at our reporter from the window of a car as if was speeding away from the school, “Shove your damn uniform!”

 The decision created a ‘heated’ situation at the school gates with some parents threatening to punch the Headmaster in the face for not being reasonable.
“It’s not like you can get the uniform from anywhere”, said another person. “There are only 6 specific shops nearby”.

 The Headmaster, Mr. Mallet, said, “The rules are clear and were given to all parents three months ago. The parents have had all summer to get the uniform together. It’s so disappointing when so many managed to dress their kids appropriately and then we get kids in trainers, tight skirts and skinny jeans. One boy turned up in a puffy shirt and knee high boots”.

 A lot of parents backed the Headmaster. “It was almost laughable”, said Kevin Slap. “You’d think it was a fancy dress parade the way some kids were turned out. And some of their parents were wearing pyjamas! You can bet your life that if there's a rare, branded, limited edition, hard to get, pair of trainers brought out, the kids will have them the next day but they can't get a basic school uniform in three months".

 A teacher at the school remarked, “Can’t anybody see the answer? The only way to get all kids to wear the same thing is to let them wear what they want”.

 This comes on the same day as ‘Academies’ came under fire for being stupid.

Local Singing Competition on hold as judge is sacked!

 The annual singing competition held every year at The Wellgood Head has been put back this year after William Robertson was sacked. 

Robertson, a reasonably successful singer in the past, insisted that his wife be a judge alongside him. Other panellists thought the idea was ‘ridiculous’ and Robertson was told to go and revive his career.

The competition itself has become less popular over the last few years due to lack of any real talent. “Most of the wannabees tend to wail like they're being murdered”, said Ronny Most, a former judge and Radio Illwell personality. “It’s all too glitzy now. There’s nothing fresh and, when they get through to the final, they all look the same, like they’ve had a make-over from a back street tattooist”.

Robertson was unavailable for comment when we met him but his wife is said to be upset that she wasn’t considered 'worthy'.

The make-up of the judging panel will now feature two new faces and the competition is likely to start in October.

“I think it’s stretching the ‘take your wife to work day’ a bit too far” said a punter who agreed with the decision to sack Robertson.

Some supporters of Robertson were upset and took to Spluttr to vent their frustration. One disgruntled fan remarked, “So, what if his wife doesn’t have a singing pedigree! Nor do most of the audience, and they still get to vote”.

The Wellgood Head have supported the competition for a number of years despite opposition from local musicians who believe it tarnishes the venue’s good name. A few years back, Cropston Fairweather said of the contest, “It gives Karaoke a bad name”.

Food Giants, ‘Dregs’ opens near to town! 

The fast food chain Dregs have opened an outlet close to Illwell Town which has some locals worried.

The food giants, famous for their lukewarm food, have opened in a service station 3 miles from Illwell Town centre and although it’s not inside the town limits people fear it could be the thin end of the wedge.

The chain that have branches in most towns of the UK have never managed to move into Illwell because of opposition from the majority of the town who are loyal to local bakeries and the home-grown Illwell Tartlet. The chain do their own ‘squashed flat’ pies, pasties and  tartlets which are thought to be ‘inferior versions’ of tradition fare for the mass market.

Locals don’t appear to think that Dregs Tartlet will threaten the prize-winning Illwell Tartlet that is often protected.

“We don’t have anything to fear”, said Ron Robinson of ‘sPies’ on Christmas Street. “People who are coming into the town are going to eat when they get here and people going away from the town will be full. Dregs is unlikely to tempt them. Besides, we don’t really cater for the same type of customer as are products do not easily fit in your pocket.”

The café/bakery ‘sPies’ is one of the most popular, drawing customers from all around with their award winning Lumpy Buns, Niche Quiche and Sweet Chive Tea.  

Illwell has prided itself on keeping the majority of ‘chains’ out of the town and despite Fairweathers, the pub chain, and Pronto, the cheap shop, there are few others.

Spluttr comments:

“Why would anyone go to Dregs when you can go elsewhere and get food!”

“I tried Dregs once and bought a Fake Bake. I threw in the nearest bin after one bite!  

“Whenever I see a Dregs, I cross the road!”

“At least our Lumpy Buns are safe!”

Above: An example of the old 'favourite' hand pull towel machine.

More hygienic?

Hot Air Blow Dryers Alert!

 A recent report into Hot Air Blow Dryers used in public conveniences has sent alarm spreading through Illwell’s toilet community.

 The report, done by scientists, concluded that the machines spread more germs that paper towels and it urged the use of them to be stopped, particularly in Hospitals and good clean Pubs.

 The main problem, according to experts, is that people don’t wash their hands properly and bits of dirt and scum fly about in all directions and could hit someone in the face.

 “If we could get people to wash their hands properly then it would solve a lot of problems the world over, but that will never happen”, said a leading Health Worker.

Pubs and cafes all over Illwell now have the dilemma of whether to carry on using the dryers or to convert back to paper towels. Some are angry after spending money on the expensive appliances. On hearing the news, it's rumoured that one furious landlord ripped his system off the wall and threw it into the street.

 After we posted the link on Spluttr the comments came in thick and fast and most were 'not keen' on the dryers. A selection of the comments: 

“They make too much bloody racket an’ all”.
“And if you sneeze at the same time you’re drying your hands, think how much worse it will be!”
“I much preferred those old hand pull machines with the blue towels. They were hygienic. The only difficulty was getting your leg through the loop”.

You won't believe the new craze that's gripping the internet - well, you will.

The new craze that’s sweeping the internet where people have to do what everybody else does to show that they’re one of the crowd who does things that they’re told to do – and it’s not even for charity - has taken hold.

It’s called ‘Snaking’ and involves a person wriggling their bodies while waving their hands in the air as a bus hurtles towards them from behind. The idea is to see how long you can stay in the road.

Police have warned that, although the bus would usually stop if someone was gyrating in the road, people could be badly run over if drivers are, for instance, distracted by watching the craze on their phones. "We could actually have a situation where a driver is viewing the very person their about to hit! It's that addictive!" said a ex-police officer.

One youngster called Del Fusion (Internet handle), who'd been brought up on the internet said, "I tried it and suddenly I was hit by the realisation that I'm stupid. So I stopped and got on with thinking up acronyms".

"It's cool because everyone does it", said a Snaker from Hull. 

A contributor to a recent report called the 'Study To Understand People's Internet Dependency', said, "It's a worrying trend when, otherwise, normally balanced people copy something that's been thought up by an idiot".

A local school teacher remarked, "We see a lot of these trends and obsessions being played out in the classrooms and playgrounds. It's like the modern day version of the 'chain letter'. Kids feel they'll be picked on if they don't join in and, when they do, they're still picked on".

Pronto store sells ‘fake’ gold wedding ring.  

A woman who brought a gold wedding ring at a local branch of Pronto, only to find out that the ring was in fact ‘painted plastic’, says she wanted to tell her story so others wouldn’t make the same mistake and shop at Pronto.

The £99 band was advertised as ‘pure gold’ and had the correct markings but when it she went to have enlarged its’ true identity was revealed. “When I prised the ring off my finger at the Jewellers, it just snapped and he looked at me funny. I ran out”, said Mrs Salmon from Cambridge.

A Pronto representative said, “We take issues like this very seriously are we’re conducting an internal investigation to find out what happened. We suspect some of the toy rings accidentally got mixed and packaged and priced along with real jewellery. We’re recalling all gold and toy rings and we suggest, if anyone feels their ring might not be gold, to see if it snaps easily”.

The question was put to the store, “Why would a plastic ring carry a hallmark?” They answered, “To make it look as real as possible”.

Mrs. Salmon had worn the ring for ten years and had never suspected it was a dud. “I noticed it was very light but I just thought that’s how they made gold these days”, she added.

After the ill-fated purchase of the ring at the Pronto store, Illwell News offered to get it valued, and an expert said, “It’s worth almost nothing at all. It’s just a bunch of cheap shops”.

Mrs. Salmon had intended leaving the ring to her daughter who no longer wants it so she has laughed off the whole thing and had the ring melted down to make a small shape for the mantle-piece.

DJ to quit Bisley FM Breakfast Show. 

Evan Clark (known as Clarky) has been a fixture of Bisley FM Breakfast Show for a long time but he is due to quit by the end of the year.

He says, ‘not wanting to do it anymore’ is the reason for his decision but some people will no doubt want him to continue his knock-about morning banter modelled on the 70’s DJ Ed Nollinson.

Both men climbed to the top with zany antics that please the casual listener.  

“There’ll always be a market for ‘shallow’”, said a spokesperson for the station. “It’s a shame to lose him and we’ll need to bring in someone who’s a little bit different but a lot the same. Someone who knows where the bar is set and leaves it alone”.  

Fears that Clark wants to move to Radio Illwell’s drive-time show ‘Light, Lovely and Pointless’ are unfounded. "He isn’t likely to cross the pond (Bisley Lake) unless it’s to buy a book", said Illwell’s Programme Controller, Ron Grady. "As for getting one of our shows, not a chance in Hell!"

Grady was once Clark's producer when they both worked for the commercial station Central Radio before it went into administration. Clark was responsible for getting Grady sacked, citing his 'controlling manner'.

Illwell Outdoor Summer Stage at The Lake finally ready! 

After a years in the planning the summer stage was finally finished and erected on Illwell Shore on August 31st ready for a hastily re-arranged show featuring Cropston Fairweather and The Wigged People.

The stage was due to be completed by May of 2018 but was delayed because of what was described as ‘a con’. The Bisley construction company ‘Stage Set Up’ were accused adding costs to the original agreed budget and work was halted while they argued. Eventually, a compromise was reached and the stage was completed two days before it was due to be dismantled.

“At least we got to have one day of music”, said a reveller.

A spokesperson for The Council Of Illwell said, “I don’t think we needed to go to ‘Stage Set Up’ in the first place. We have plenty of blokes in Illwell who could have knocked up a stage in no time, without any fuss and at half the cost. Why go across the pond (Bisley Lake) when we have local skills nearby in this vicinity?”

It’s not the first time a Bisley company has fallen out of favour with Illwell.

The Bisley security giants ‘Show Police’ were banned from operating at all future Illwell Town events in 2016 after complaints about heavy handed tactics. Even artists were getting involved at the 2015 ‘Lakeside Fest’ when Cropston Fairweather’s manager said, “Discrete is not a word they understand. Nor do they seem to realise that the festival goers are paying their wages".

All Show Police staff have the distinctive yellow ‘hi vis’ jackets with the words ‘SHOW POL’ on the back distinguishing them from real people. If people see any of them in the Illwell area they are advised to stay clear and inform the authorities.

August 2018

Bisley Bank fined by Ombudsman 

The local bank of Bisley Town has been find a record amount of money for misleading customers into thinking they charged less for ‘unauthorised over-draws’ than leading banks, when they actually charged more.

It came to light when a customer invoiced the bank for his time, travel and parking charges when they insisted he came to their premises for a meeting that, he says, could have been held at his home. “They wanted to talk to me in order to help me with my finances and it cost me £7:20 in expenses and two hours of my valuable time, which at minimum wage would be £15.66!” said Mr. Corner. “They did actually say that the meeting should be at my convenience but when I suggested they come to my house, they weren’t keen. They refused to pay my invoice of £22.86 and that's when I started looking into 'charges' on my account. I was mad”.

Mr. Corner spent weeks looking into charges over a six month period and compared to other banks. The conclusion was that the Bank's slogan "We charge less because we're small!" flew in the face of reality.

A representative of the bank commented to say, “We are trading within the law”. When asked "How far within?" He replied, “Just”. He was then asked why a successful and profitable company like Bisley Bank, who also run chain of Launderettes, felt they had to stretch the law to the limit with the highest penalties for law abiding customers. He declined to comment.

The fine, which has been rumoured to be into the millions but is in fact £750,000 will go the treasury and the bank will recoup the money from their customers with various charges.

Mr. Corner is preparing to invoice the Ombudsman for his work.

Man thrown out of popular fast-food purveyor in Bisley for not ordering properly! 

The Bisley branch of the famous fast-food chain MeDangles has made the headlines for losing patience with a man who couldn’t get their signature dishes right. A four star employee of the chain described the incident. “At first he asked for a ‘Big Jack with Frits’ which obviously isn’t the right name. When I said, ‘Do you mean chips?’ He replied, ‘Haven’t you got Frits then?’ It was irritating. I said that we don’t have a ‘Big Jack’ either. So, then he asked for a ‘Whooper’!”

Apparently the unnamed man was getting everything wrong even though the menu was clearly displayed in glowing neon behind the counter. “He didn’t seem to realise it was a fast-food establishment”, said a person behind him in the queue. “It was actually slowing things down! He asked for a bucket of fish at one point, and everyone knows MeDangles would never do that!”

A spokesperson for MeDangles said, “It’s a shame that people can’t get our dishes right after we’ve bashed them over the head with our products for years but I guess some people will always be out of touch. The Supervisor said he was asking for ‘Big’ instead of ‘Large’ which is confusing for a well trained workforce. They were stressed out by the incident. A number of employees had to take the next day off with symptoms of ‘confusion’ but they will all be supported with extra conditioning so they can be back to work as soon as possible to support their families”. 

Eventually, security staff had to intervene and managed to extricate the man (who kept referring to them as ‘Life Guards’) from the premises.

Music Review: Patty and Jim – The Wellgood Head

The last time Patty and Jim came to town they were pretty much unknown but now you could say they are 'not known very well' at the very least. There latest album launched them as an album making duo back in 2010 and they're touring off the back of it.

They started with an old song from 2010 called We Reached That Time In Life, an autobiographical account of their love for each other and their contentment with life on the road and off. Their second offering 'Sitting In The Garden' is packed with attitude. As is tune based on a boundary dispute called 'Our Fence'.

It's a consistent set with Jim's guitar playing completely complimenting Patty's voice. When he hit's the keyboard it changes gear and his stolid lack of movement thoroughly compliments her swaying and jigging.

The last song was a their trademark ballad, 'We're Leaving Now' which was better than the other songs but at least the highlight of the evening came at the end.

Illwell Bunting Festival visitor numbers remain exactly the same!

The second annual Bank Holiday Bunting Festival was held in Illwell over the weekend and as many flocked to the event as last year according to the organisers.  Geoff Thomas, editor of the magazine 'A Bunting We Will Go' said, “It was certainly as busy as last year, so that's an improvement. A lot of the same faces, sure but interestingly the number of new faces corresponded exactly with the number who didn't come back.” Geoff is on The Bunting Festival Committee and over sees many activities during and over the weekend, one of which was The Triangle Square Bunting Competition, won by Graham Deane with his alternate 'square/triangle' theme, fitting in nicely with the location of the event. 

One festival goer praised the event as unique. “There's nothing like it in my life. I've been a fan of bunting for decades and what a lot of people don't realise is that bunting isn't just one dimensional inverted triangular plastic pieces suspended by a string, although that's part of it”, she said. 

One cheeky Bunter created the theme of a 'washing line', by creating mini items of bright coloured clothing strung along a wire between two posts, for the competition. Everything from trousers and blouses to underwear and socks. Unfortunately, some of the items were stolen before the bunting was judged and the exhibit didn't make the final. 

There are plans to make the event even bigger next year, Mr. Thomas confirmed. “It's not a bad thing that numbers were consistent with last year as consistency is one of the main tenets of good bunting manufacturing but imagine if the Bunting Festival Boundary threshold was crossed by one more person, or a dog even!”

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