Thursday, 25 December 2008

Seasons Greetings!

Merry Christmas
Happy and Prosperous 2009
to all our readers!

Friday, 19 December 2008

Village News

with Margaret Morbey

Sue Reilly
Very sadly, Sue died on December 15th in hospital with her husband Gerry and son and daughter by her side. She had only lived in the village a relatively short time, but had become friends with many and loved the village. Her funeral is on Tuesday December 23rd in Chearsley Church at 2 pm. Our thoughts are with her family.

Chearsley Shop
Best wishes for a speedy recovery go to Janine who underwent an operation to remove her appendix on Wednesday 17th. Perry and Jay's staff have worked well to keep the shop and tearooms open and running smoothly while she has been away.
Christmas hours at the shop :
Christmas Eve - closes at 12noon
Christmas Day - closed
Boxing Day - closed
Saturday, 27th - 9am - 12pm
Sunday 28th - 9am - 12pm
Monday 29th - 7am - 5pm
Tuesday 30th - 7am - 5pm
New Years Eve - 7am - 3pm
New Year's Day - closed

Christmas at The Bell
Opening hours and events :
Christmas Eve 12pm - 3pm and 6pm - 12pm. The Long Crendon Mummers will be performing here at about 7pm
Christmas Day - 12pm - 2pm
Boxing Day - 12pm - 3pm. The Owlswick Morris Dancers will be performing from 12.30 onwards.
27th - 30th - normal hours.
New Years Eve - 12pm - 3pm and 7pm - 1am. Tickets for this are £10 to include refreshments, music and a glass of bubbly.
New Years Day - Breakfast from 12pm - 2pm

I would like to wish everyone in Chearsley and readers of this column a very happy Christmas and New Year.

Thursday, 11 December 2008


It would seem that the article published here has inadvertently caused offence.

I would like to assure all readers that the satirical content was not intended to be taken seriously, and that we unreservedly apologise for any unintentional upset resulting from it.



A special report from our undercover correspondent

Rumours have been circulating for some time around “the Three Parishes” of strange goings-on in the village of Chearsley. These centre around the self-styled “Mayor” of Chearsley, one Councillor Brown, who slipped almost imperceptibly into power some years ago, and who now seems to be developing a stranglehold on the village for, as yet, unknown purposes. Although external visitors are, if not exactly banned, certainly unwelcome in Chearsley, I slipped in under cover of darkness and joined locals at the B**l Inn, one of the best known pubs in the village. It was early evening in what seemed like a normal small village pub; the atmosphere was friendly at one end of the bar (at the other end neutral) with the usual pub banter, most of it intelligible, until the beer ran out after thirty minutes and the locals started drinking spirits. What I learned over the next couple of hours was chilling.

As the evening wore on the locals, who had initially been elusive and reticent on the subject of Brown and his antics, became increasingly vocal and forthcoming. They are clearly a frightened people when sober.

It seems that nobody can recall the exact moment when, or the reason why, the position of Mayor was established, and none can remember anything about an election even taking place, let alone being won by Brown. It seems, therefore, inconceivable that a figure such as he has emerged as “leader” over the past couple of years. Some say that he has always possessed dictatorial tendencies akin to those displayed by a certain African president, Robert Mu****, but that the restraining arm of his wife prevented him from displaying these over the years (as it did with many other things!). Sadly Jackie passed away just over a year ago and, after an initial period of quiet, the “Mayor” really began to get into his stride. It seems that he had been systematically building a power-base of cronies over the years in the secret knowledge that they would support him in his quest for power in the future. Now, in the glare of reality, those Friday night “curry romps” round at his place, and the occasional “tapping up” for a cheap deal on a hotel room probably do not seem quite so innocent. It must feel like being part of a massive hangover with no end in sight.

Not all Chearsleyites, though, are his supporters. Some, angered at local prices and shortages, have taken to travelling outside the village to buy their food and even to visit neighbouring pubs in places as far afield as Cuddington. One is a local who we shall refer to only as Jimbo in order to protect his identity, and that of his wife, Nicola, who is a jeweller. Brown has got wind of this and, keen to keep abreast of what connections his subjects may be making with neighbouring democracies, is even rumoured to have struck up a discreet relationship with at least one member of such a community in order to keep himself informed; although this is viewed by many as improbable in that it would, by definition, require an element of discretion, a quality that it is hoped the reviled Mayor will learn later. It is said that one well-known lady of Chearsley, occasionally employed by the Mayor in his home to do things he should be doing himself, has been lent out by him to one or two residents of neighbouring villages to spy on local goings-on whilst appearing to do useful things around their houses; at the same time she has been instructed to talk cheerfully of life in Chearsley in order to allay any fears being harboured by Chearsley’s neighbours that might lead to intervention and, possibly, calls for fair elections.

Let us now look at how a number of the many important and previously revered aspects of life in Chearsley have changed for the worse under the “Mayor”:

Already during Brown’s tenure the local food retail economy has been seen to collapse mysteriously, only to be replaced “miraculously” in a move that many see as having been orchestrated by Brown - he certainly claimed some credit for it – and which has involved the creation of a new retail and restaurant complex in which he may even have a stake. Indeed, whereas previously the main commodity sold over the counter was postage stamps, whose small margin of profit was constitutionally placed beyond Brown’s reach, now we see the beginnings of a small restaurant chain where the elders of the village gather to socialise and take coffee (and who knows what else) whilst not realising that the profit margins are more than that on stamps, and they will soon be skint.

It can surely be no coincidence that the reviled Mayor’s despotic reign has also seen unprecedented disruption to the local mail service. People now have to travel much further (nearly to the edge of the village) to post a letter, and, in the way of tin pot dictatorships the world over, there has even been high-level political debate over the shade and hue of the post box itself.

That this mind-numbing argument rages as the God-fearing people of Chearsley continue to go hungry on Monday nights owing to the shortage of pubs serving food underlines the intellectual poverty of this and similar regimes. Although the lack of pub food is allowed under the bye-laws, one can be sure that the hated Brown and his cronies remain well-fed as he has been known to have food sent in from as far away as Long Crendon to enable them to party well into the night.

Brown is known to have links with the Crendon restaurant scene going back some years, and it is rumoured that it may not be long before we see the villagers being enticed away from their normal consumption of dried or (in the case of the affluent) tinned foods stock-piled from the previous village shop to participate in a burgeoning restaurant scene, thus lining the evil dictator’s pockets even further and, presumably, contributing to the cost of his growing number of offshore properties. And all this is happening in a village that only recently got electricity – an event for which the “leader” will undoubtedly try to take the credit but which, in fact, came about as the result of a phone call to the electricity company from an old-age pensioner at the bottom of Dark Lane.

Not content with having a hand in the retail, food and utility sectors the feared despot has recently snurgled his way into the blossoming Chearsley sex industry – sadly a common feature of desperate economies. The growing trade in titillating literature had always been kept strictly undercover; that is until recently when Brown, without shame, and under the guise of charitable fund-raising, forged links with the publishers of an “artistic” calendar, the innocent contributors to which are a group of ageing (mostly over 30) local female residents, many of whom, having recently retired or been put on short-time working, were unable to raise the money by other means to visit the tea shop. These poor women have been enticed to strip off their clothes and have their photos taken and compiled in a calendar that is being hawked around at exorbitant prices. No benefits have been passed on to these unfortunate women, but to a charity nominated by Brown himself, and with which he is known to have had previous links. It is clear that the phrase “short-time working” was ominously prophetic in this case. In recent radio interviews one BBC insider and another unnamed woman who is married to Andy Yorke, when ruthlessly quizzed by journalists about the venture, continually played down the “embarrassment factor” insisting that it was all in a good cause.

One is tempted to ask why, faced with the appalling events of recent years and the downturn in Chearsley’s fortunes, nobody has stood up to the Mayor, and sought to overthrow him for the good of all and the future of democracy in Chearsley. And so, shortly before closing time, I did just that. The effect on the locals was astonishing; almost, although not quite, as bad as if someone had called last orders too early. There was deathly silence for almost a minute; all present peering down at their shoes or trainers, until an older gentleman pushed through the crowd and in a halting tone related a story that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up:

Apparently, around the time of last year’s Carnival, several members of the community had taken quite a few drinks in the bar early on a Friday evening and conversation, including some about the Mayor, was in full flow along with the associated bravado. Around 6.45pm Brown entered the bar and folk kept the conversation going, although now a little more cautiously, whilst Brown, after a muttered exchange with the owners and the transfer of sums of money, turned around to face the drinkers, a very large glass of wine in hand. His eyes darted sharply around the room, across the faces, never resting, as if he were registering the identities of everyone in the bar and deciding who he was going to talk to, whilst, at the same time, receiving future episodes of his life via his mobile phone. At this point one of the foolish youngsters, a large lad who had taken too much drink, made some crack about whether Brown was looking for a running mate for the next Chearsley elections. At this, Brown put down his drink and without smiling pointed outside to the Village Green. The drinkers followed his gaze. What they saw next shocked them to the core. Scattered around the Green were a number of crude effigies of people of the village that had been created from straw, paper and old rags, some standing or leaning oddly, and some scattered around the floor with their heads torn off. Wandering amongst them with glazed expressions were some of the women of the village dragging crying children by the arms asking them who they thought the effigies looked like. The entire pub fell silent and the customers filed out slowly, drinks unfinished, no words. I left as well and didn’t look back. It was obvious that the effect had been achieved.

Over the next few weeks one well known village family, who hadn’t even been in the pub that night, went into voluntary exile in an Arab country, whilst another, a hybrid Anglo/Australian family unit, are believed to be considering a similar self-imposed departure for foreign shores.

I fear we have not heard the last of this. My sources within the local area tell me that the controlling committee of a nearby smaller, less raucous, capitalist hamlet had recently arranged for Brown to be “interviewed” in a blacked-out and sound-proofed coal shed at the end of someone’s garden to try to ascertain his long-term intentions and to challenge his dictatorial behaviour. Apparently he gave the excuse that, because his background had given him only a Palin-esque grasp of world politics, he had confused Mugabe with Mandela, and that it was in trying to emulate the latter that he had therefore “made a few mistakes”. He was let go on the basis that the neighbouring village elders would be content to allow his behaviour to go unchecked, and for the excesses and debauchery exhibited by those in power in Chearsley to continue as it was, thus eroding the economy and infrastructure of the village to the point of implosion. This would obviously provide opportunities for the neighbours to pick up the pieces to their advantage.

It is unlikely that the intelligent residents of Chearsley will stand up and be counted and face up to this tyrannical regime, as it seems that both of them are already in Brown’s pocket. One ray of hope for the community might be the emergence of an unlikely figure to challenge for the reviled leader’s position. He is always seen to be sitting at the bar on the occasions when Brown comes in. He says little but watches a lot. Inside sources say that he has the local knowledge, the experience and the time to challenge for the leadership. We cannot identify him here for fear of reprisals of the worst kind (the bar has been known to run out of Chiswick before when he has been visiting friends in Spain…), but we can simply say that he has a house in School Lane which appeared in one of the infamous Calendar photos, and that he is always watching, and, some would say, waiting, for an opportunity…….

Monday, 8 December 2008

Neighbourhood Watch - Community Message

Christmas is the time of year when burglars can see our homes at potential rich pickings as we stock up with lots of presents. Don't allow your Christmas to be spoilt by not taking some very simple precautions.

Consider the 3 L's Look, Lights and Lock
Look - around your home what is on display that may entice a burglar and keep it out of sight.
Lights - keep a security light on when you are out preferably a timer light.
Lock - always lock doors (and double lock them) and windows and don't keep your keys near your letter box.

Please contact your local Crime Prevention and Reduction Advisor if you need guidance on how to make your home safe.

Visit for crime prevention advice.

We wish you a very merry and enjoyable Christmas and a safe New Year

Inspector Sean Hodgson
Head of Crime Prevention and Reduction

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Village News

with Margaret Morbey

British Legion Poppy Appeal

The collecting box in Chearsley Shop raised £40.38 this year, contributing to a total of £1,041 raised in Chearsley and Cuddington from house to house collections and collecting points, slightly more than last year.

Chearsley Tea Rooms and shop

Credit and Debit cards can now be used here. There is also the facility for you to top up your phone cards and gas and electric keys.

Christmas Table Decoration Workshop

Joy Payne is holding a demonstration and workshop at Chearsley Tea Rooms on Thursday 18th December from 7.30 to 9.30pm. If you are interested in being inspired and helped by Joy to make your own individual Christmas table decoration, call in at the shop for a booking form. Be quick, as places are limited. The cost is £18 for all materials, tea or coffee and light buffet or £20 to include a glass of wine.

Sunshine Club Christmas Bring and Buy

You are invited to come along to Tyringham Hall, Cuddington on Thursday 11th December at 2.30pm. Buy Christmas presents and enjoy a cup of tea. Entry is free. All proceeds go to the Sunshine Club Christmas dinner and party. Several residents from Chearsley enjoy their Mondays at the Sunshine Club, so please come and help support them.

The Sunshine Club participates in a recycling appeal for old mobile phones and ink cartridges. Les and Jan at Cuddington Post Office will take any contributions you may have, or phone 299150 for collection.

Christmas services at St Nicholas, Chearsley

The Christingle service is on Sunday 14th December at 4.00pm

The Carol Service is on Sunday 21st December at 6pm

Crib Service on Christmas Eve at 4pm

Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at 11.30pm

Christmas Praise on Christmas Day at 10am

Carol Singing round the Village

Come and join the throng, meeting at the bus stop on Wednesday, 17th December at 6pm. There is also another evening of carol singing round a different part of Chearsley on Monday, 22nd December. Again, meet at the bus stop at 6pm.


Tuesday, 16th December is the next recycling day for collections of glass, paper, plastics and cans

Best wishes

These go to Sue Reilly, of Bottom Orchard, who is at present in Stoke Mandeville hospital. We hope Sue is soon home again and feeling a lot better

Monday, 1 December 2008

A Little Reminder

Available form the Village Stores and Bell Inn.