The PuckeringPuckering Gazette logo Gazette

Volume XXIX, No. 25

Saturday, August 7, 1999             50p.

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Cuppa with Shirley
Ann's Letters
Simon's E-mail
House and Grounds
Site Map
Letters to the Editor
Eclipse: Nothing to Fear?
Residents of Puckering should have nothing to fear from the coming eclipse according to Frank Churchill, resident hermit at Stoney Grove. "Ancient people saw it as a sign of the end, but so far it never was. They would fall to their knees and pray for the the Sun to return and so far it has, which they then saw as sign of redemption."

The Reverend L. Nigel Banks was also unperturbed by the coming   solar event. When asked if he saw it as a portent for the coming millennium he laughed. "All this stuff about the end of the world  is pretty silly really," he said. "We create our own dates, and our own crises, as proved by the Y2K problem. I rather think God uses an altogether different calendar."--Nigel Twicks


Litter Problem May Ruin Chances for Best Village

A strange collection of litter may have ruined the chances of Puckering in the Annual Best Village competition this year. Colonel Bratherton was taking his early morning constitutional when he came across several small piles of keys up and down the High Street. He moved them out of sight, but worse was to follow. Residents reported finding empty wallets outside of the pub, a collection of old purses by the Post Office and almost a hundred old and broken watches scattered by the village pond. "I have no idea where these came from, or why they are here," said a clearly exasperated Colonel Bratherton. "This individual has brought disrepute on the village. It's desperately disappointing after we did so much to put things back in order after the storm. I hope the local police will find this hooligan and prosecute him to the full extent of the law. We should bring back the birch!"  Whether or not the litter was observed by Competition judges remains unknown, since the date and time of their inspections is a closely guarded secret.--Nigel Twicks

And the New Beer is....

Order a pint of Nun's Habit   and you'll now be helping the Upper Puckering Parish Church. The Reverend Nigel Banks declared himself delighted with the whole competition. "We had a number of suggestions and many of them were even publishable," he enthused. "The money is needed more than ever and I really hope that the Village Idiot will see a lot more trade and that we'll all benefit as a result."--Nigel Twicks

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Puckering Profiles:  Simon Tinsley - Ever a Commoner?
Is there no class in English society? One can now look at Simon Tinsley who, in buying Stoney Grove, has taken upon himself a role in village society to which he was not born. Despite a broken home--his mother and father divorced when he was a teenager--he remains a family man.  Recently, he brought his father to live with him at the house he shares with fellow lottery winner Ann Simmons. While Tinsley sometimes seems dismissive of his position he has become very aware of the importance of the great house in England." In a way it was leaving England that made me appreciate it, that and meeting Ann and becoming excited by her deep love of history. After leaving college I just wanted to see something different and the States seemed to be where it was happening." Tinsley worked in computers and was dealing with the Y2K problem. It was there that he met Ann Simmons and there that they purchased the fated lottery ticket that bought them their current success.

Tinsley is becoming more used to the expectations of the village-- "we help where we can"-- and the Reverend Banks can be assured of his helping the church restoration at the Village Idiot. "When I was in the States I really missed good beer and curry, that and cricket of which there was absolutely no coverage." Still interested in technology Simon is working with Emma Knytleigh, a young student, to put information about Stoney Grove on the World Wide Web, which he describes as a way of making the house public and giving people some access to it.

As for future plans, Tinsley isn't making any. Fate has shown itself to have a very capricious hand, he says. "Look at us, who would have thought it!" Who indeed.  --Nigel Twicks


Cricket at Stoney Grove

Even in a great storm there can be a silver lining and for Nigel Morcombe it showed in a chance conversation at the Idiot. "We were discussing the lack of suitable spaces in England to play cricket when Nigel Twicks pointed out that in the 19th century several games were played at Stoney Grove. A call to cricket enthusiast, and present owner, Simon Tinsley ensued, a groundsman was dispatched and with some hard work it appears that the last game of the season may yet grace the lawns of the great house. "--Lumpy Gaites

For the edification of our readers this week the Gazette carries an account of a famous game played at Stoney Grove in 1882, the 100th anniversary of the house being built. (see Sports).