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.

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”.

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

More hygienic?

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.

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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