Musings From The Padded Cell

The Trumpit

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
George Orwell

The Thackley Trumpit may never have had the reach of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire but it symbolises the core values of local news and the passion of those wishing to keep this alive.

It even had a review in The Guardian just over a decade ago which described it as “fearless about local news”.

Founded seventeen years ago by Alvin Blossom and Bill Craven, it continues to offer news, opinion and a liberal dose of satire free from the sanitised BBC and government PR machines.

In recent years I’ve been flattered to provide padding for the Trumpit as Bill continues to entertain; now it’s time to move it on to another level hopefully with your support. And it’s going to be free!

Of course there are numerous free “local” magazines around but none devoted to Idle and Thackley. This is a brilliant part of Bradford but often ignored especially by City Hall apart from the house building department.

The new Trumpit will look different with an A5 and colour format the main changes; but all your old favourites will be there. Plus we will be looking to promote local talent be it artistic or written.

But here’s the big difference; we aim to create a community fund to enable us to support local good causes, the ones often ignored because they don’t tick the right boxes.

Unlike other publications we will not be full of adverts; we aim to provide a fifty-fifty balance of entertaining content. Of course, we do need advertising to make this work.

Whilst we will be aiming at local businesses, there are those of you reading this that will hopefully wish to support us. If you wish to advertise please contact me – idlelord@sky.com – thank you.

Tales From The Scruffy

Young Bet covers up

What a week as the world went topsy-turvy with pretty young girls sacked in their hundreds just for being pretty. The Scruffy’s regulars had their say too and a Gallop poll requested all barmaids to cover up instantly.

Glasses were raised, hats thrown in the air and beers were toasted.

Our Jackie took this rather personally and walked off in a huff seeking employment on the pole bar at the Working Mens Club. Others seemed happy to obey though and Young Bet arrived Sunday with her new look, tattoos covered up.

In the same week that the Spice Girls announced they were reforming, the Old Spice Boys aka The Fishermen had been celebrating their new found fame after last week’s photo call at Sunday prayers.

Back by popular demand

The muscular Young Geoffrey had several offers from Readers’ Grandads and xxxOld&Grey.com Thankfully he’d turned down this late chance of fame and fortune to grace us with his twinkling dancing feet again.

Boosted in number by Billy the Fly, although not in matching red, having worn red for three weeks running, fish is the least of our worries.

Three Pints was in earlier than ever, his Sunday visa now extended by a good hour and so a renaming ceremony of sorts was conducted; he shall now be named Four Pints No Home.

Giant driving instructor Simmy was moaning about being clocked speeding whilst testing an insurance black box.

Meanwhile, Camouflauge Carl hobbled across in another attempt to bribe your’s truly for a mention, this week with a packet of Morrisons Sherbert Dabs. Shameless!

Camoulflage

The quiz was in full flow, heads down, quiet all round. Whilst The Fishermen puzzled over a GCSE Maths question, desperate to win the free beer and supplement their final salary pensions, a jackpot of £95 was announced.

Win that and it would be free jumpers all round and a Saturday at Matalan.

The winning ticket was pulled out belonging to Giant Geordie to instant cries of “fix!” given Young Bet is his betrothed. Giant glanced around the room for the culprit as eyes fixed firmly downwards on drinks.

Keen to dispel suspicions of corruption, landlady Sara took him gently in her hand and whispered this week’s jackpot question. After several shakes of his shiny head, the big man returned to his seat with a consolation fiver.

“I’ll have to sack him off!” said Young Bet from behind her veil to sounds of coughs and false teeth flying into pint glasses as the locals tested their hearing aids.

A flash of light followed from Four Pints No Home’s watch; it was Mission Control requesting a return to base and don’t forget the eggs.

The cold air beckoned us all, another week ahead, the fate of the shiny Giant one as uncertain as the weather.

Location, Location, Location

Old news here again but the reality of low house prices in Bradford should be something positive and yet somehow it is not.

Consider the Channel 4 series Location, Location, Location.

Searching for a £1m bijou in Battersea, Jeremy and Jemina are often challenged to look down the pecking order. Choose somewhere cheaper, close to where you want to be, in the hope that the better areas drag up the more depressed ones.

Logically this should apply to Bradford – on its arse – and Leeds – boom town?

Yet whilst London and the South East have billions spent on transportation, in the North we suffer outdated rolling stock, inefficient lines and blocked road networks. And only with good transport links can cheap property have real value.

The Government is about to commence a feasibility study on reopening the Skipton to Colne line, the missing link on an East to West link.

Given the state of the M62 it is a no-brainer even for a vacant egg-head like Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary.

However, even if transport links were better, the city centre living much trumpeted by hopeless Hapless Hinchcliffe, has little to offer young people who could most benefit from an affordability perspective.

The general view of our city centre remains unappealing despite clear improvements. This recent article follows several recently concerning the West End area of the city,once vibrant.

Close to the University and Bradford College, it has rapidly become deserted. If we cannot even convince students to populate Bradford’s nightlife there is something wrong and Crony Hall fail to understand this.

The catalyst for regenerating this area must be the Odeon redevelopment – ad naseum – you only have to compare and contrast Leeds.

Prior to the Leeds Arena being built, the area at the top end of Leeds was poor by comparison with the rest. Since then it has been revitalised because – Bradford Council take note – businesses need footfall.

However, a stagnant night life and depressed house prices are also symptomatic of a far greater divide across the city, one which politicians are too frightened to even begin to debate. The elephant in the room.

We remain a broadly divided city and district, like it or not. People have made choices where to live and those are evidenced by the wide spread of values.

This does not make us any different from other cities but we have far more challenges than most.

Footnote

One week on and this article here from the same source claimed a lack of affordable housing in Bradford?

Talk about editorial incompetence. And, as often is the case, public comments were barred.

One Hundred Years Ago

As greenfingers begin to twitch up and down the country a tale here that still resonates today – School gardens prove their worth.

And Finally – Thought For The Weekend?

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