The Ambridge Socialist
9th March CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266
The real Borsetshire Echo: 60 years of class struggle in Ambridge
The Ambridge Weather Forecast by Hazel Potter
Is there a micro-climate in Ambridge? Weeks after many parts of the country experienced devastating floods, the rains have hit the village. Day after day the terrible weather is referenced: the Bull had to shut after water got into the basement and electrics (but not, thankfully, the beer cellar); the Am has flooded (Bert and Frieda Fry are safe, claims the BBC, although it remains likely that they were killed off by David Archer some time ago) and the water in the village is undrinkable (or did David Archer poison it?). So as the rest of the country recovers from the wettest winter since forever, poor Ambridge suffers in isolation. Perhaps the Jack Woolley window should depict a farmer swimming through a flooded field?
The floods have also identified Saint Shula as a climate-change denier, as she tried (unsuccessfully) to convince her mother that extreme weather was ever thus. Shula, of course, thinks God is in charge of these things and refuses to believe that God would allow humans to mess around with his climate.
So. Farewell then Rhys by Hazel Potter
The departure of one of the few known socialists in Ambridge, real-ale loving Welshman Rhys Williams, was announced via his girlfriend, Fallon. Rhys has rarely been given airtime, no doubt because of his left-wing views, and so it comes as no surprise that he was silenced for his final moments in the village. Fallon claims that Rhys is off to manage a bar in Cardiff: two beery haunts will indeed be opening there shortly, one a Brewdog establishment, the other Waen Brewery and The Ambridge Socialist will be visiting both in the hope of tracking Rhys down and getting the real story…
In Other News
A month in Ambridge, Nancy Banks Smith, Guardian 5th March
Many of the children in Ambridge have a somewhat opaque parentage. There is Daniel born by IVF, and Henry by artificial insemination. Not to mention George, Phoebe, Rich and Ruairi, who are just the innocent products of complicated plots. Who Do You Think You Are? (a programme that abhors the commonplace and discarded even Johnny Vegas as too humdrum) would fall on the Archer family tree with delight, whooping like baboons.
Only Henry, conceived in a fertility clinic, can’t take even a sporting guess at his father. However – prepare to be amazed – I think Rob Titchener, the dapper dairy manager who has swept Helen Archer off her feet, despite the misgivings of her family and friends, is secretly Henry’s sperm donor. And He’s Up To Something. How else can we account for his gnomic phonecalls to his wife, a children’s social worker, and his inexplicable fondness for a tiresome toddler? Also (and this is the clincher) Helen, who has the incisive intellect of a marsupial, is fatally attracted to bounders. I may be wrong, but I’m not as wrong as Rob, a man who clearly cannot walk from A to B in a straight line.
Currently Ambridge is under water, and not before time, you may feel. The Bull is flooded, and Brookfield, not the best name for a farm in the present climate, is awash with refugee sheep. “There’s a flood alert on the Am! The water’s still rising!” “Oah! Noah!” (Aficianados of Ambridge accents will recognise Ruth’s voice here.)
In the great scheme of soaps, Ambridge is a pond not a torrent, but lately life seems to be lapping round our ankles. It may be that, under its new producer, Ambridge too is experiencing a climate change. Jennifer’s insistence on replacing her “old-fashioned, inefficient and extraordinarily out-of-date kitchen” with something ever-so-very-in-vogue sounds like a metaphor for a new, improved Archers.
Which is all fine and dandy, but will the lemon drizzle cake taste as good?
A Month in Ambridge will return on 2 April.