Musings From The Padded Cell

The Potting Shed.

“I can’t believe I used to have sex 20 times a week…But now I’m a bloody good gardener.”
Russell Brand

In my search for life beyond The Scruffy, your intrepid reporter ventured to Bingley and one of its newer bars.

A satellite town of less than 20,000 inhabitants but still within the reach of Comrade Hapless and her ruling Crony Party, Bingley strikes me as a place which would vote for devolution from Bradford in an instant. At least they might then retain their apparently doomed swimming pool.

Having just got a new Aldi to complement a Co-op, M&S Food, Sainsbury’s Local and several budget offerings, those that determine such matters have now enabled a new Lidl, risking turning a market town into an out of town retail park with anybody seeking a swim clogging roads East and West.

North Korea or Bingley?

Lidl have bought the site of the old Bradford & Bingley head office, a building of extreme ugliness flattened a few years ago. However, as with most things Bradford, joined-up thinking seems to have gone AWOL.

Don’t expect an architectural gem from Germany to replace this; cue end of carbuncle and hello giant German garage. The site was owned by Sainsburys who did nothing with it only for Aldi to nip in deftly and build a new supermarket slightly off the main street.

You can’t help but wonder, in a week when Bingley lost a swimming pool and gained yet another supermarket, what this says about “town planning”.

The Potting Shed

The nightlife has always been lively but The Potting Shed is definitely a cracking upmarket addition.

With its gardening theme, I tried to imagine my new greenhouse with Pravha lager on tap, a pizza oven and burgers like mini-mountains served by pretty girls. I might never leave it and sleep amongst my tomatoes forever.

They do sell real ale but there are certain things that only Our Jackie can do for a man. Far better the old girl’s bulging forearms to satisfy the more mature of us.

“Beer Sir?” The new waitress at The Scruffy follows recently introduced protocol.

There’s plenty to choose from including Estrella, Peroni and several more plus a great range of wines.

I can also confirm that one can at least still swim in the large glasses of wine available although walking unassisted – from casual observance – may be an issue later and icy streets will not stir memories of Torvill and Dean,

The afternoon flew by in a buzzing bar with a lively crowd of generally oldies eventually making way for the younger influx, doubtless sampling many of the other bars lining the main street.

So good signs for Bingley’s nightlife at least but wouldn’t it be great if someone might chance a word with Herr Aldi and Herr Lidl and see what community spirit they might promote by a joint bid to save the pool?

Hopeful I grant you but the answer to any question is never known till it is asked.

Footnote – the brains trust at City Hall has voted to impose parking charges on visitors to the magnificent St Ives Estate in Bingley.

Aside from the fact that this will generate diddly-squat and that the remote parking meters will be a sitting duck – are you following this councillors? – why only St Ives?

Why not Lister Park, Bowling Park or Wibsey Park? Because we don’t want to upset those that vote to keep our gilded arses in City Hall do we?

And remember Hapless’s classic quote pre Christmas as repeated in Idlelord – Beneath The Waters?

Having bought the former Britannia Mills site close to the city centre for just over £1m and then spent £212,000 on demolition and design work to build a new swimming pool the council then decided they could not afford to!

So Hapless offered the following comforting words: “This decision means that the council owns a well-located strategic site…it is planned to use this land as car parking to gain some revenue.”

And there you have the Grand Plan – a million installed parking meters!

Of course there are lots of ways to beat this stupidity for the able bodied but, once again, think of the very young and the elderly? Utterly bonkers, small-minded thinking from the peabrains.

Miller Homes

Those lovely people digging up green fields just down the road from me might just be having a few problems shifting their over-priced theme park.

Only the other day a glossy promotional brochure dropped through the door offering free stamp duty, legal fees and carpets to boot!
The starter box – sorry home – is priced at £177,500.

The Yare offers two bedrooms and French doors “allowing light to flow through” according to the blurb. What a unique selling point, glass that lets light flow! It’s a good job that this is so competitively priced at only just over six times the current UK average salary.

Yare is also defined as (of a ship) moving lightly which could be useful next time the area floods.

At the other end of the scale comes The London starting at £405,000. That should help with the housing crisis then.

Stop Whining!

More this week from the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), an antiquated and irrelevant burden on the public purse I have long argued should be shut down.

After Mother Theresa’s barnstorming speech came the predictable flood of warnings of doom and disaster. Special Correspondent Sneering Norman Smith commented on the possibility of hundreds of banking jobs going across the Channel.

Who gives a **** unless you own a sushi bar? And what a bunch of self-serving hypocrites given they can brush off thousands of old industry jobs lost with barely a whimper.

What a complete bunch of self-serving tossers the lot of them…apart from Harry Gration!

Still smiling even with Molly trying to pick his pocket…

One Hundred Years Ago

More fascinating revelations here including protests about the introduction of “coloured labour” at the same time as a shortage of labour on farms threatened the food supply.

Those in work suffered harsh conditions as reported but nowhere near as harsh as those fighting overseas. The gallery of those lost in action reminds us how lucky we are.

The King’s Arms, Heaton

Imagine your village without a pub? A few months ago I publicised the plight of the last pub in Heaton across town. News since that the once iconic Park pub (The Turf) down the road is also converting to a curry house further emphasises the collapse of pubs in this area.

Locals are attempting to purchase The King’s Arms from pubco Enterprise Inns in doing so creating Bradford’s first community pub.

Deadline day approaches so any benevolent souls out there who fancy an investment into a unique venture simply apply here.

Quote Of The Week

Attempting to defend the Council’s latest ineptitude re the lack of gritting on icy roads – God knows what will happen if we ever suffer a winter – here’s a gem from Crony Hall.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “By 2020 Bradford Council will be half the size it was in 2010 so like every other service Highways has had to make huge cuts…”

Which begs a simple question? If the Council is now half the size, why the same number of deadbeats fleecing the public purse – see Statement of Earnings 2010?

Thought For The Weekend

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