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@ Sheringham Community Paper Issue No 4 - Friday 27th December 2002 - Choose another issue
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Sheringham Community Paper HEAR'SAY


Well here we are again, with me to tell you, the readers, what's being talked about out there on the streets. Well this issue is the New Year and
Xmas one, and yet again we find ourselves at that magical time of the year.  One can almost hear the jolly festive carols playing as we go about our daily business, (actually playing in certain stores for the last twelve weeks!) Ah yes, we can imagine the wonderful aromatic odour of sweet chestnuts roasting away over our open fires, very carefully of course; don't want to call upon the third world services of the Green Goddess Brigade do we? And lastly as we relax after a full, satisfyingly thorough stuffing of Christmas pomposity, we hear the soft chinking sound of Grandma dropping her teeth into the sherry trifle during the Queen's Speech.

As winter bites outside, we cocoon ourselves away in front of the telly in our cosy and comfortable, doubled glazed and fully insulated abodes. Or if it's your second, third or fourth home/ investment, you happen to let out for nine months of the year and visit occasionally during the rainy season inputting little or nothing to the local fiscal economy. Then you would be relaxing in your intensively refurbished, fully doubled glazed, centrally heated, exclusively modernised, idyllic fisherman's cottage, with luxurious fitted kitchen and en-suite bathroom facilities in the master bedroom.

Whilst we steal away an hour or two in front of the warm glow of the fire, we can contemplate how much our next years rates are going to be and some (not before time) will have to pay the going rate for that little investment by the sea. Oh dear, I guess little Porcha won't be getting her diamond studded riding hat along with that pony after all. Mind you after the foot and mouth scare they're practically giving them away down in the New Forest, 12.00 should just about do it. Stop it! I say to myself, it's Christmas and so it is on to my other topic.

Don't you love it when it snows? It's the only time during the year my garden looks just as pretty as everyone else's is; and if the snow can cover up a multitude of sins on my lawn then perhaps it can do the same to Sheringham's pavements! Hopefully hiding in the process, all those disgusting sticky whitish blobs strewn in their millions all over the town centre's streets and beyond. To what am I referring? No, not pigeon or seagull doo, the animal responsible for this is much larger and of the upright two legged variety. It is an animal far dirtier than any other. Human beings! Of all ages. And the offence? Chewing gum. En Masse! Horrid, filthy, sticky white dollops of splodgy goo. Gum spat from the mouths of everyday individuals, these splats now cover the length and breadth of every inch of every pavement covering the entire town centre and beyond. Oh the joy of noticing that ones nice new hall carpet is now sharing someone's regurgitated plastic doby as it hitched a ride on the sole of ones shoe from the town clock.

Well as is customary by now, I have the solution, and it's been staring us in the face all along. In the words of Black Adder's Baldrick "I have a cunning plan". The solution being that Chewing Gum should be sold with a non-negotiable refundable deposit (30-40) per packet for the return of the offending "used" article. Also, whilst we are about it, the same adoption of thought should be afforded to Alco-pop bottles, crisp and cigarette packets and butts, sweet wrappers, drinks cans and take-away cartons.

Just think, the recycling and reduced landfill savings alone, from the post carnival steam clean would be enormous. The used gum could be returned to the place of purchase. Then reprocessed, squished into giant Tupperware cake boxes with
lids, repackaged and sold as a substitute for "blutac" only this would be slightly stickier. Also it could be sold as a backing material for faulty fridge magnets and not forgetting carpenters and builders have used it for securing "that pencil behind the ear" for years.

It could be placed along windowsills to entrap any would-be thief in the act of breaking and entering. Long strands of it could be hung down from the ceiling as "fly-traps" in the chippy or baker's shops. Last but by no means least, it could be stuck to the base of Alco-pop bottles so they could be lined up skittle fashion along the prom at night to encourage even more people to throw stones at them than already do.

Alco-pops should be sold in larger size bottles thus making it impossible for kids to hide them in their packed lunch boxes or to smuggle them into pubs in their tiny handbags on a night out. The bottles should be returned to the manufacturers by crate like the pubs used to do with the brown ale and corona bottles.

Crisp bags could be tied and stapled together to make scarecrows to keep any pigeons off the town clock and to keep the gulls out of the bins on the seafront. With every three million packets, flattened and stuck with copydex, we could commission the building of a life sized effigy of the Town Crier in his lovely new 500 suit, bacon and cheese and onion flavour for colour.

He could be holding a village in bloom award ironically stuck to him with recycled gum. In fact if we could save enough packets we could have models of anything we liked on Ottendorf Green like the concrete cow models of Milton Keynes.

I can see it now life-sized models of our councillors adorning the green, pointing out the directions of the toilet amenities of the town, the where-abouts of the lifeboat sheds and the new fire station etc. etc.

Or perhaps the people of Sheringham would like an effigy of someone more deserving. Mr. Macdonald's or Ken Tucky perhaps? Or possibly the greatest Britain; was that Becks or Churchill? Who knows? I suppose that would depend on your generation.

So there we have it. It seems to me refundable deposits are the way to go. They would reduce waste and land fills, create valuable reclaimed useful products, thus doing us all an environmental favour. Not to mention giving us all cleaner streets to live in and a spotless town centre. So get saving now! Or if we can't do that let's bin it! Please.

Christmas tidings and much merriment to you all in the New Year.
Vic

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all our customers and friends

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Sheringham Community Paper
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