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20/05/2011

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EDGE

the

PUB & Dining Nestled between Writtle and Roxwell

‘THE CHELMSFORD FANZINE’

ISSUE NO: 176

01245 421894

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JUNE 2011

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The Edge, Chelmsford, CM2 6XD.

Telephone 01245 348256

Mobile: 077 646 797 44


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Go on, have a Wibble!

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WHAT AN UGLY BITCH ctions All fun for d catere 400 from 4 ! people

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Now and Then

That is precisely what this mag thought when it first clapped eyes on Camilla at the recent Royal Wedding and not when it spotted Winnie (above) sat in the window of the Man About Town barbers shop in New London Road, cos she’s a vewy pwetty doggy woggy indeed. No, The Edge just thought: “Chaz, what are you doing with that dog, baby? You chopped the delicious Princess of Wales in for that munter. What gives, man? Why?” But one man’s Bisto is another man’s.....how does the saying go? The Edge liked the Royal Wedding a lot though. We felt it was good for our country and now we can’t wait for the day when ‘Dirty Harry’ Hewitt (obviously) marries a page 3 stunner (oh come on, it’s simply got to happen) and we all get another crafty day off work.

The Edge 077 646 797 44

Y A M H T 8 2 . T A S

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thing above 5mph. Fair enough.

The Edge Editor’s Column TICKING OFF I don’t believe it (did Victor Meldrew used to say something along those lines?), I’ve just been ticked off, and by Christ, I’m almost fifty. So when does it stop, eh? People and a total stranger at that - ticking you off? “Racing down here and creating dust that goes all over my house!” this old fella up a ladder shouted at me. Racing? Racing?? I wasn’t even out of first bloody gear. “I’m nearly fifty, tha’knows,” I shouted back. “Doing fifty more like,” says he. So basically, this guy’s got a (private?) dusty, untarmaced road right beside his property and it’s clearly my fault that dust rises from it when you drive over it at any-

What a tragic loss of a wonderful, restless, inquisitive soul.

NOT HAPPY

‘Leo Sayer’ in London

Not overly happy about a letter received and published on this months Letters Page though. Don’t see why The Edge should get a ticking off about what it published in its May editions. But then there’s nowt as queer as folk and you can’t please everyone all of the time, so why even bother trying.

Ten of us had an ‘all-dayer’ in London the other Saturday and The Kingmeister made a cracking job of organising it all and choosing the pubs for our route march….apart from the second one, which proper gave me the hump. Trouble is, people think you’ve got a strop on, but it’s nothing to do with that. Truth is, I cannot abide people taking the piss. This pub (on the Thames) stank of deep fat frying on the outside and dodgy drains on the inside, and my view is simple: there are plenty of pubs, why give one that so clearly masquerades as though it doesn’t give a toss any of our hardearned? I have to be happy. Things have to be right. Just so. That’s the way I am. OK, so it doesn’t make me as easy going as the next person, but so bloody well what.

The Life & Loss of Karen Woo Did you watch it (Sun. 22nd May, ITV1, 10:15pm)? This was the British doctor who was shot dead last year whilst on an aid mission in Afghanistan, just two weeks before her (planned) wedding day. She was making a documentary of her time there, so there was plenty of video footage, and what a remarkable young lady she truly struck The Edge as being. Talk about following your heart. Seems as though she could have been a ballerina, and a hell of a good one at that. But to jack that all in and train to become a doctor, without the sufficient qualifications behind her… Karen seemed to be one of these ‘special people’ (she was both radiant and remarkable – something quite special did seem to radiate out of her) who truly wanted to make a difference, and her motto in life seemed to be: ‘if you can, you should’.

Blackpool I like football, although I hardly ever mention it in the mag as I get the impression that most of its lady readers, judging by Mrs Edge’s own personal views of the game, wouldn’t be all that impressed if I did. But a little team from a shithole of a North Western sesaside resort called Blackpool actually climbed into the highest echelon of the English game at the end of last season (via the back door), but

alas, after early promise, it lasted for but one term only as the succumbed to relegation on the final day because they can score, but oh my God, can they not defend (as Graham Taylor might say. Who? Doesn’t matter). But hey, girls, they play pretty football in pretty tangerine kits – yes, I know, the same bright colour that you sometimes see in your fruit bowl – and they did something crazy, like setting out to beat teams both home and away, which made watching them exciting as you always felt something – anything – might happen. And their manager, ha! He’s a funny little chap who talks as though he’s a piece of straw sticking out the side of his mouth. And they have this talismatic ‘quarter-back’ called Charlie Adam who, according to his gaffer, “the vultures will swarm over and…..” I am one of those sad souls who always wants the fairy story to happen, so naturally I was ‘as sick as a parrot’ when Man. Utd. came back to beat them, as I strongly suspected they might. But any true ‘football person’ is going to miss Blackpool next season and any true football person will want them to return (to the Premiership) but figures they won’t. Least not any time soon. THE EDGE Chelmsford CM2 6XD 01245 348256

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The Edge 01245 348256


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Recorded my first three (yes, three) ‘Tweets’ just the other day, readers. Well, I imply that ‘I’ did, but if truth be told, I had to get someone else to do it for me, because (a) my toy Nokia’s so crap I cannot post ‘tweets’ from it, and (b) as John Bennewith so rightly says on this months Letters Page (see page 20), I am such a complete and utter Luddite. But it came to The Edge’s attention that without even having written a single word, it does indeed have some Twitter followers, so best not to disappoint ’em, I thought. Although come to think of it, perhaps The Edge might have done so, unfamiliar as it is with knowing just what to tweet. Truth is, I adjudged Twitter to be just another fad, although I now concede that it does offer the opportunity to be current, quick and observational, rather than rolling out once a month like a bloated old hippo. But surely you don’t sit down and think what to say, do you? Surely it either comes to you, or it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, then you leave well alone? You certainly won’t read any: ‘Nose to tail at the Army & Navy right now’ tweets uttered by The Edge, although now that I’ve said I won’t (in print), maybe I should? Would that be witty and radical and....? Nah, didn’t think so. Tell you what though. I’m equally nonplussed by Facecock, but if there’s anyone out there that literally loves it and has any ideas about what type of thing The Edge ought to (belatedly) be doing on there, then please do get in touch....and all the better if you’ve got a great idea and you can handle it for me! shaun@theedgemag.co.uk

www.theedgemag.co.uk

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Stiffer Littering Penalties The Edge read somewhere that stiffer penalties are to be introduced for morons chucking litter out of their cars, and damn right too. The way many McDonalds supporters simply drop those horrible brown, greasy bags out of their car windows after they’ve gorged on a triple burger in the Victoria Road car-park ....what sort of a ‘dining experience’ is that, eh? But it’s not simply motorists that ought to be targeted. Everyone should be. This actually happened. The Edge observed a woman with three kids coming out of The Meadows Shopping Centre onto the High Street the other day and she immediately placed a presumably empty can of fizzy pop on the floor (tucked nicely away, bless her) right outside Tie Rack. Yet if she’d only walked half-a-dozen paces in the direction of the cobblers immediately opposite, there’s a bloody bin (how can The Edge stop swearing when it has people to contend with?) for precisely that sort of thing. The way she put the can down ‘in a corner’ was as if to say: “I’m a responsible litterer, I am.” You’re a lazy bugger is what you are, madam. What sort of a message does it send out to her kids, eh? No wonder we’re overrun with scum in our society today, because both an ignorant and selfish attitude is exactly what’s prevalent. Supposing The Edge had walked down her garden path, whistling a right merry tune, and ‘tucked away’ rather nicely an old can of Theakston’s Olde Peculier right where her milk bottles are normally positioned. She’d be well impressed with that, wouldn’t she? THINK, you doughnuts, THINK.

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WHAT THIS PICTURE SAYS TO THE EDGE...

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You know, readers, The Edge absolutely loves this photograph, I guess because it simply does exactly what it says on the tin and pretends to be nothing that it isn’t (and you can’t say that about many folk these days). Ang hey, the captions are positively endless:-

sign

“I like beer and women, I do. What’s more, I don’t bloody care if the people of Chelmsford know it.”

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That’s what kind of sprung into The Edge’s mind when it first received this photo, sent in by Edge reader Stacey Taylor of his son Iain (above), snapped celebrating his 40th birthday in the Dominican Republic in March of this year, and I right good doo it appears to have been too.

graphic design

“I’ve quit me 500 sit-up’s a day regime, on the grounds that when I take me shorts off, girls don’t seem to be the least bit interested in me abs.” “Reading between the lines, I think I know what that Edge bloke is like, and when a photo like this lands on his desk, no way is he not going to put it into his mag.” Know what? The reason why this photograph’s so damn good is because it genuinely makes you want to be there. CORRECTION: Makes you want to be Iain! OK, lady Edge readers out there, OK.....The Edge accepts that it doesn’t necessarily make any of you want to be Iain (least not those of you who haven’t got any lovely womanly inclinations), but at least it makes you want to be in a holiday paradise without a care in the world, even though it has been rather nice for the time of year in Chelmsford of late, it has to be said. What’s more, you can literally smell (when’s the all new scratch’n’sniff version of The Edge coming out then?) this photograph and it’s all suntanny and malibu and coconutty. Mmmmmm.

Whatever happened to Gimpy, eh? (See page 25)

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The girls (above) are, apparently, ‘dancers’ (note the inverted commas, though it’s a fact that needs to be verified) from Derby and Warwick respectively, whom Iain met whilst he was living it up at the Bahai Principe Hotel in San Juan, on the north coast of the island. And many thanks in particular to Iain’s dad Stacey for sending these photo’s in (I sincerely hope it’s a pleasant surprise for your son to see himself in the mag, sir, as The Edge certainly doesn’t want ‘a lump like him’ after me guts for garters) because we actually go way, way back to the days before Reds was the Candy Club and it was called.... Springfields! Yes, Springfields, all those years ago when it very first opened.

The Edge particularly loves this shot because it literally could be anywhere. I mean, the mag asks you for your holiday shots, so you then go and send one in of some sea and some sky. Genius! shaun@theedgemag.co.uk


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I am exhausted! After breaking up with my fiancé at the end of last month, I was determined to channel my frustration into doing something good, something amazing, something worthwhile. I was in one of those moods where I felt like I could take on the world and it’s mother when I finally decided, with a will of iron, what it was I was going to do. Have you ever tried to organise a charity event? It is damned hard work, I can tell you. I chose the charity, booked the venue and emailed every local musician, band and DJ I could find an email address for. That was the easy part. Now I’m having to deal with stage set ups, PA systems, microphones, finances. Um...help?! The list is endless. Advertising campaigns, press releases, selling tickets. Maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew? No! I am adamant that I am going to pull this thing off and that it’s not just going to be OK, or even good, for that matter. It’s going to be fabulous - and here’s two reasons why. Firstly, because my pride will not allow me any less than that. And second, I booked the venue for ‘A’ level results day and that means there will be a whole load of 18 year olds ready to party like crazy people, or unfortunately maybe drown their sorrows. Sly, huh? See, I’m not just a pretty face.

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I was catching up with a girl friend the other day and she told me she was dreading going to university next (academic) year. That took me by surprise because she’s a super confident girl, is very easy going and has no problem making friends. What’s more, she’ll be studying a course she loves, and her boyfriend will (fingers crossed) be studying at a university close to where she‘s based. The situation seems absolutely ideal. So I asked her what exactly there was to dread. “I‘m worried everyone will be going out and getting drunk every night and I don‘t want to do that. I just

want to settle down and get on with my career,” she told me. “I‘ve done the partying thing already and I‘m bored with it.” Well, she stumped me there, I can tell you. Of all the reasons to dread going to university, she has to come up with that one. What was I supposed to say to that? But she’s not the only one to take that view, apparently. My cousin’s girlfriend has the same view of student life. True, she was a little older, maybe 23. But still... Students who don’t want to booze? Undergrads who don’t want to party? Is this the new rebellion? What the hell’s going on!

Lies, Damned Lies Why do people lie so much? Why can’t we just be straight with each other? Why is it seemingly so hard for us simply to tell each other the truth? The biggest lie I was told lately was “I still care about you,” and let me tell you, that is a horrible lie to tell someone. How do I know it’s a lie? Because a couple of days later, he’s telling me to ‘get lost’ when I call him up, and that’s putting it politely. But it’s not just lies in relationships; it’s lies, lies, lies all the time. So many pointless lies. The weirdest thing is when we know someone’s talking a load of ‘bull’ and even they know that everyone else knows it’s all just crap, yet everyone seems to go with it. It’s almost like some unwritten law of social interaction. I can’t work out whether it’s all about sparing people’s feelings or simply making things easier (for ourselves)? Are we worried that people can’t handle the truth? That it’ll ‘damage’ their self esteem? Or are we simply avoiding confrontations? I also wonder whether it’s a problem with just English society. Friends I have who aren’t British all seem to have far less of a problem getting to the point; so much so that it really is quite funny to observe at times. For instance, when I asked one of my non-British friends what she thought of the dress I was thinking of wearing, she told me straight (“It‘s ugly”), simply because, I guess, it’s natural to her to do so. So why are we damned British the way we are? Why do we choose to dance around the truth, never get to the point and just lie instead? All this political correctness simply doesn’t help, where a spade is no longer a spade, it’s a ‘digging implement’, and a bin man is somehow a ‘waste disposal operative’. It’s getting way out of control. At this rate, very soon we’ll all be talking in riddles and even calling dead people ‘organically challenged’ - simply because the truth is seemingly way too much of a difficult thing to deal with. The Edge 01245 348256


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LAST BIT ABOUT CHARITY...EVER!

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The Edge suggested last month that it was fed up to the back teeth helping to promote this charity and that charity, so this next bit really is the very last straw....although, as ever, it’s for a jolly good cause. Launched in early March, Back Inn Time began encouraging their customers to make voluntary 15p donations to WaterAid whenever they requested tap water in the restaurant. Over 300 pubs across the UK have already signed up to take part in ‘Tap into WaterAid’. Joe Bhangal, owner of Back Inn Time, said: “We are fortunate to have a unique, loyal and regular customer base and this particular charity is proving incredibly popular with everyone, judging by they donations we have received so far, the majority far exceeding the 15p requested. Every donation counts and goes towards making a huge difference to communities living without clean water.”

OFF

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WaterAid, together with the weekly pub newspaper The Publican, hopes to raise £50,000 through the initiative. All money raised will go towards WaterAid’s life-saving work, ensuring access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation throughout Africa, Asia and the Pacific region. It costs just £15 for WaterAid to bring safe water, sanitation and hygiene education to a person living in abject poverty, so the momentum created by ‘Tap into WaterAid’ will genuinely change lives. To find out more, visit www.tapintowateraid.org/thepublican or email tapintowateraid@wateraid.org WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The mission aims to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. WaterAid work with partners and influence decision-makers to maximise the impact.  At least 4,000 children die every day as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation.  884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world's population.  2.6 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation This is almost two fifths of the world's population.  Just £15 can enable one person to access safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation.

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Between 4pm and 11pm in Central Park, Chelmsford, you have the opportunity to join a fabulous cast of professional artistes and amazing Essex talent to explore, seduce and surprise your senses through live cabaret, music, sideshows, poetry, silent disco and much, much more. Familiar faces will be mixing with new as visitors are offered the chance to become part of the world of The Fling for one day only. Once inside the tented village of delights, all activities are free, with a variety of food and drinks to purchase plus sights and sounds galore. The Fling is always flattered by those who don their glad rags, let their imaginations take over and dabble in entertainments new and old. Visitors to this most interactive of festivals must be sure to take something away with them, whether it is a new dance step, a crafty creation, the most catchy hum or simply the widest smile. Advance Tickets are available at £17.50 (concessions £15) until 1st July. Tickets are available on the gate (subject to availability) at £20. Tickets are available from the Chelmsford Theatres Box Office on 01245 606505 or via chelmsford.gov.uk/fling Tickets will be available for Leisure Plus card holders until 1st July. For more information about Leisure Plus and how to apply for the card, please visit chelmsford.gov.uk/leisureplus The Cultural Events team at Chelmsford Borough Council are keen to hear from people eager to share their skills, makes and shows and would love anyone who can entertain the discerning bunch at this festival of assorted amusements to drop them a line at events@chelmsford.gov.uk For up-to-date festival information visit chelmsford.gov.uk/fling or find Fling Chelmsford on facebook. The Fling is brought to you by the Cultural Events Team at Chelmsford Borough Council with support from The Essex Chronicle, The Meadows Chelmsford, Essex & Suffolk Water, High Chelmer Shopping Centre, The Printing Place, BBC Essex, The Comedy Club and Panic Magazine.

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The Edge 01245 348256


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The Two Brewers, 80 Springfield Road, Chelmsford, CM1 6JY. TELEPHONE: 01245 268801 Page 12

BEVERAGE REPORT

Much as I try to remain incognito when doing the Chelmsford drinking circuit and undertaking research (by accident or design) for these columns, it is an inevitable fact of life that I am occasionally recognised by people I don’t really know (you’d think the fact that my picture has appeared adjacent to this column on more than one occasion might make this a more regular occurrence). What these incidents reveal is that every member of the general public is a better journalist than I am (although by some accident they have never had an article published) and that they have a far better working knowledge of beer-related matters than I do. So superior is their knowledge in this field that I, a humble ignoramus, am often unable to recognise a scintilla of truth in anything they say. One such master of all things literatorial decided to bestow upon me some of his pearls of wisdom at one of the many beer festivals held in Chelmsford over the Easter weekend. He actually treated me as if he knew me, and looked a little familiar, although I couldn’t say who he was. His opening gambit (no small talk here, straight to the advanced class in journalism, for which the entry criterion is that the student must have twelve years more experience than the tutor) was that I spend too much time saying how bad certain pubs are and how much I dislike Golden Ales (thanks, I had forgotten) and that I should instead write about decent pubs. Why not, for example, write an article talking up the very place we were drinking in? After all, it sells a good range of beers, has a nice atmosphere, does decent food at reasonable prices (yeah, thanks again, ‘cos I only come here about three or four times a week and I’ve seen you maybe once in that time, and I’m not even sure it was here, so please start telling me what it’s like), so it’s surely thoroughly deserving of a much needed bit of promotion (yeah, much-needed, ‘cos on a Friday and Saturday night you can hardly move in here, so it’s obviously going out of business - why don’t you come here more often if the ‘lack of trade’ worries you? On second thoughts, don’t bother)? A lesser writer, such as myself, might think there’s a flaw in his line of reasoning. I have written an article saying how good the pub in question is, and made passing reference to it, on several other occasions. But ‘flaw’? Oh, no! It’s perfectly logical. Why, he suggested, don’t I just write another article saying exactly the same thing? Picture, if you will, a similar scenario, which I’m sure was commonplace in Victorian times... “Ah, Mr. Dickens! I’ve just finished Great Expectations. Didn’t like it much. Why don’t you write a book about a boy who escapes from a workhouse and winds up with a bunch of pickpockets in London?” “I already have. Didn’t you read ‘Oliver Twist’?” (Readers will note here that Dickens’s spoken communication was rather more concise than the written equivalent, which is fortunate given that I have a word-count to keep to.) “No. Why don’t you write it again?” Such an approach may well work for fans of James Bond movies and Status Quo records, which consist of the same ideas recycled ad infinitum, but they don’t even begin to apply to the world of journalism (note that I am displaying my ignorance again, by questioning the authority of the professor), which is concerned with current events and progressions. Having said that, it would make it easier for me to meet my monthly deadline, as I could just ask that the same article be repeated every month….. I’ll make the point one more time just to keep Journo Doc happy. The Woolpack is worth going to. Now raise your hand if you read this column and didn’t already know that. www.theedgemag.co.uk


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Russell Watson IN

CONCERT

Hylands House Chelmsford. CM2 8WQ Sunday 26th June 2011 Russell will be performing the Hylands House Last night of the Proms with National Symphony Ochestra, conducted by Robert Emery

+ + MORE ACTS TO BE ANNOUNCED

Special guest to be announced

SUNDAY 10TH JULY 2011 HYLANDS PARK, CHELMSFORD, ESSEX CM2 8WQ

Up Close and personal with

Plus support to be announced

SUNDAY 7TH AUGUST 2011

PLUS VERY SPECIAL GUEST

ALEXANDRA BURKE FURTHER SUPPORT TO BE ANNOUNCED

SATURDAY 6TH AUGUST 2011 LAKE MEADOWS, BILLERICAY, ESSEX CM12 0AA

LAKE MEADOWS BILLERICAY ESSEX CM12 0AA

Heart’s Club Classics Summer Party Hylands House, Chelmsford, Essex

Saturday 25th June 2011

SOUL II SOUL, JOCELYN BROWN, CE CE PENISTON, CORONA & SNAP CLASSIC TRACKS INCLUDING: “Back to Life” “Get a Life” “Joy” “Finally’’ “We Got a Love Thang’’ “The Rhythm of the Night’’ “Baby Baby’’ “Somebody Else’s Guy’’ “Rhythm is a dancer’’ “The Power’’ “Exterminate’’

www.ticketeast.co.uk

0871 224 1112 • 0871 224 1113


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MARQUEE FOR HIRE! Newly refurbished marquee now available for viewing for 2011-12 bookings. MONDAY-THURSDAY NO CHARGE! Friday-Sunday from just £250 Terms and conditions apply

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IT’S A KNOCKOUT FUN DAY SUNDAY 17 JULY 2011 SIGN UP, COMPETE, SAVE LIVES We need you to enter a team of 10 in our Fun Day at Benton Hall & Golf Country Club, Witham, Essex. With an ‘It’s a Knockout’ theme, 24 teams will take part, have fun and raise money to help beat blood cancer. Sign your team up now! In support of The Tim Reeve Charitable Trust.

beatbloodcancers.org

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NEW ‘Home of Comedy’

EE: So Waterfront Place is closing down this month, so no more comdey shows there. How much notice were you given? IF: Well, the rumour mill started mid March that something was about to happen, but we didn’t find out it was closing for redevelopment until mid April. EE: What was your reaction? You seem quite emotional about it. IF: Initially, I was more shocked than anything else and yes, I am quite emotional about it. The Waterfront has been the home of live comedy in Chelmsford for over 12 years and in that time, virtually every comedian you currently see on TV has at some point performed on stage there. In fact, just last month we had an impromptu visit from the young Jack Whitehall. So here’s to the next 12 years of TV comedy stars now to be playing in Chelmsford at Dukes. Since 1999 we have obviously built up a great relationship with long term members of staff and also our regular customers, some of whom have near enough come to every single show. I just hope that those customers stick with us and trust that we are working our butts off to make our nights at Dukes even better with an increased seating capacity. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the staff and management at Waterfront Place, both past and present, and wish them all the best for the future. EE: Was The Waterfront the first comedy venue that you’ve run in Chelmsford? IF: No, not the first, but definitely the most successful. All in all, I have been running Comedy Club nights in Chelmsford for the past 16 years. The first club I had in Essex was actually the The White Hart pub, which is now the infamous Sugar Hut in Brentwood. That place has changed a bit, I can tell you. There wasn’t a Vagazzle in sight back in 1995. EE: So why Dukes? What made you choose a nightclub? IF: Many reasons. It’s prime location is a massive advantage. It’s only a stone’s throw from the taxi’s, trains and bus station. The room layout and space available is second to none, as is the sound system, which makes it ideal for comedy. Also, the fact that it is independently owned is a huge plus for me personally. Where I can, I will always choose independent, local businesses to work with above chains. Supporting local businesses is important! EE: But it is a nightclub, so how is it going to work and what will it look like on Comedy Club nights? IF: The whole place will be totally transformed. Dukes is opening up on Thursday nights purely for The Comedy Club and we intend to make it a very special occasion for our supporters indeed. There will be candlelit tables, comfy seating and waitress service throughout the

night, plus drinks offers and promotions. And, far more importantly, incredible comedians to top the bill, that I personally guarantee! Date details; Thursday 23rd June, Thursday 21st July, Thursday 11th August, then fortnightly on Thursdays thereafter. Doors open: 7.30pm (shows start at 9pm) Tickets: £11 members (£13 non-members) Book on 0845 459 56 56 or at www.hahaheehee.com Food & Drink: Drinks offers and tasty basket meals costing only £5 (or less) available throughout the evening and lots of other surprises designed to delight your senses!

Ian Franklin “As MD of The Comedy Club, I am passionate about working with a new, exciting, independent company, and together we will do everything in our power to make these the best nights ever with the best comedians performing for the good people of Essex. Chelmsford is not our only venue - we have over 60 Comedy Clubs that run throughout the UK and abroad - but it is without the doubt the venue that is closest to our hearts. The whole Comedy Club team live in Chelmsford, our HQ is based in Chelmsford, and we are determined to make Thursday evenings nights to remember. We also exclusively represent some of the finest comedians in the UK.” “We are both pleased and excited that Dukes Genesis is the new home of comedy in Chelmsford. Since Dukes opened its doors 28 years ago, this will be the first time that live comedy has appeared there. With the experience of The Comedy Club and the sound, light and technology that Dukes has to offer, it will undoubtedly be a great collaboration of two strong local businesses working hand-in-hand to offer a great night and a fantastic arena for the audience to enjoy the very best of comedy.” Martyn Stokes and Jan Bonnington Directors of Dukes Genesis

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‘P RINC EFO R A DAY III’ PRINCE FOR A DAY Saturday 9th July

@ O’Connors Saturday 9th July

Baroness Carrickfergus is QILF The Edge didn’t watch the latest Royal Wedding. Instead, it went cycling and couldn’t quite believe how incredibly deserted Chelmsford was. Later on, as tradition dictates, it did attend a ‘Royal Wedding BBQ’, of sorts, before piling round to Lengthy-Boy’s to drink some more beer and wine watch the edited highlights on TV. Verdict: Not as good as Match of the Day, but all things considered, this mag has got to admit (quite surprisingly) that it was rather impressed, and not just with Our Bill’s new sister-in-law either. There was a definite feel good factor about the whole day that wasn’t simply to do with being granted an extra Bank Holiday - it was more than that - and that’s what caught this mag completely unawares. The Edge was an unashamed Princess Di fan. It thought she was absolutely great for our country and it never tired of seeing her splashed all over the ’papers, both broadsheets and tabloids alike, because she gave Britain something we’ve been lacking for decades: glamour. Yeah, yeah, yeah, The Edge appreciates that her ‘Don't Tread on Landmines’ campaign was a jolly good cause (no, really, it is)....but for sheer shapazz alone, Di was our very own Marilyn Monroe. So naturally The Edge is 100% behind ‘Curvy Kate’.

www.theedgemag.co.uk

A great day...NOT TO BE MISSED!

SUMMER BEER G ARDEN

eer Sunny B !!! n e rd a G

’CONNORS

“For one day only O’Connors becomes The Legendary Prince of Orange” Hall Street, Chelmsford, CM2 0HG. wholesome sere ved lunchtimes, onon goodGood whole somepubpub grugrub bserv dlu nchtimes, monthly monthlyspecial specialoffers offers fruit based drinks for the ladies, terrific atmosphere, probably the best fruit bpint asedofddraught rinksfoGuinnes r thelad s, te rrificatm sphere, prosport bablyonthtvebest serie ved anywhere in o Chelmsford, midweek and at the weekend....Come on, what mo re do you want? pint of draught guinnessservedanywhereinchelmsford, sport ontv Hall Chelmsford, CM2 0HG midw eekandStreet, at theweeke nd.....comeon, what m oredoyou want???

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MOULSHAM STREET REMAINS OPEN FOR BUSINESS! Moulsham Street's unique character and setting is currently being improved and enhanced for the future with the help of local businesses and our local council. Work started during May on an exciting new initiative to improve one of Chelmsford’s favourite streets. Chelmsford Borough Council and Essex County Council have worked closely with the community and local traders to produce an improvement scheme for the area between Parkway and New Writtle Street. When the work is finished, the area will be much more welcoming for residents and visitors alike, and will also be safer and more convenient for pedestrians and cyclists. Moulsham Street is one of Chelmsford's oldest and liveliest streets, offering a truly original range of shops and services. There will continue to be full pedestrian access to the street at all times, whilst the earliest roads vehicles can gain access between now and completion of the

BEFORE

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improvements, in light of the current Parkway blockade, is via Grove Road or New Writtle Street. In short, the kerb line is being moved and the pavement widened, whilst street furniture (including lamp columns) are being replaced, new paving laid, and finally a completely re-surfaced new road. Because of this, vehicles simply cannot use Moulsham Street from Parkway to New Writtle Street until 21st October, but there are clear signed traffic diversion routes in place. In the meantime, the easiest thing to do is probably nip up New London Road and along New Writtle Street to gain access, or via Princes Road/Lady Lane/Hamlet Road. Special arrangements have been made for deliveries to shops.

car park and free parking for up to an hour at any time in the Moulsham Street car park (off George Street), so visitors can still visit the street with minimum inconvenience. To view a full description and plan of the work being carried out plus diversion routes: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/moulshamstreet Essex County Council and Chelmsford Borough Council are working jointly on the scheme and the aim is to fully re-open Moulsham Street at the earliest, safest opportunity. Regular updates will be posted on the website. Both Councils are committed to supporting Moulsham Street and are working with businesses to promote the street whilst these improvements are taking place.

The public car parks at George Street and at Parkway will remain open, with special concessions while the work takes place, including free parking for 30 minutes after 5pm in the Parkway

Moulsham Street continues to offer a wide range of great independent shops. Find out more at: www.moulshamst.co.uk

DURING

AFTER

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Essex Boot Camp see page 22

VOTE DEMI This is Chelmsford’s very own Demi Bell, readers, and she needs your vote now to capture a place in the Miss England 2011 finals. Demi has already been selected as a heat finalist in the Miss Essex contest, so with your votes she’s looking to go all the way to the national final. Just text ‘06Demi’ to 84205, or you can vote from a landline by calling 0901 656 1526 and enter ‘06’ (Demi’s number) when prompted. Closing date 10/6/11. Votes cost 60p plus standard network charge

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This is the one and only slaughterman that is ‘Bernard the Butcher’, readers. He started out as an inherited mate, if you will (he was going out with my wife’s sister at the time I met my wife, who clearly started out as merely my bird way back then, as you don’t marry ’em just like that, do you?). However, like my wife, Bernard Bernington-F ***witt - as he is affectionately known to me, seeing as that’s the name I chose to christen him - has grown, if not in stature, then at least to occupy a loving place in my heart. That said, he’s going to bloody throttle me when he sees this! Y’see, I told him I wanted to borrow his camera to download some of the photo’s he’d taken of me and Mrs Edge on the Isle of Wight. Only whilst I had it in my possession, I thought I may as well take a peek at some of his other snapshots (as you do if you’re a cheeky northern twat like my good self) and when I saw this one, well, I knew I’d struck solid gold, easy action, baby. What on earth was ‘Our Bernard’ thinking, seemingly dressing himself up to go down for dinner at his all inclusive hotel on a recent trip to the Greek island of Rhodes. Does he always look and dress like this? What, special needs, are you thinking, readers? You know, now that The Edge comes to think of it, yes, yes, he bloody well does. But he’s got a heart of gold, has Bernard, and he’s the sort of bloke who’d do anything for anyone, or stand politely listening to anyone going on and on and on, rather than rudely turning around and walking away, like I would. The Edge 01245 348256


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Redefining The Wine Cellar “There’s a fantastic business clientele right on our doorstep, so we’ve got to do our level best to give them exactly what they’re looking for,” suggests Robert Sidney, who together with his sister-in-law, Ellie Long, has taken over the running of The Wine Cellar Bar & Bistro in Duke Street, Chelmsford.

“This place used to be heaving,” says Robert, and The Edge remembers those days well, back in mid-eighties, when Billy Brady used to preside behind the bar in a crisp white shirt and a pair of black braces. “We’ve simply got to do the absolute best job we can to appeal to our immediate neighbours,” continues Robert, “because so far as I can tell, they certainly haven’t been getting what they want of late.” IN has come a whole new team to run The Wine Cellar, including a quality chef to create an array of fresh food dishes, all made on the premises, plus a drinks menu that includes 8 ‘boutique beers’ as well as Louis Cristal champers at £190 a pop. “That’s actually £100 cheaper than they sell it for just down the road,” smiles Robert. There’s also a brand new bar, air con system and fully restored kitchen. OUT has gone the loud music, whilst attractive candle light comes into play during the evenings. “I’m fed up going out in Chelmsford and not being able to hear myself think,” says Robert, “so if I’m fed up to the back teeth of it, I’m sure other people must feel the same way. We are going to run this place the way we think it deserves to be run, and hopefully we’ll attract a more discerning crowd due to our efforts.” The lunchtime menu available when The Edge popped in recently included Pot Roasted Shoulder of Lamb served with butternut squash

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and sweet onions (£9.95), Thai Green Curry (with chicken or vegetables) served with Jasmin Rice (£7.95/£8.95) and a Wine Cellar Burger with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, salad and chunky chips (£7.95), whilst lighter bites appeared to start around the £4.00 mark. Food is served between 12-3pm Monday to Saturday and from 6pm-9pm Wednesday to Saturday evenings. Friday and Saturday nights have a late license until 2am, but again, Robert is keen to point out that the music will not get cranked up to such a degree to cause blood to run from the ears. “There are plenty of bars in Chelmsford for those who prefer to shout, instead of talk, so we certainly don’t need to add ourselves to the list.” Why not give the all new Wine Cellar a try? It’s not just the food that’s fresh...there’s also a brand new philosophy and ethos that’s gone into the running of the place.

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Edge & The F *** witt’s go to the Isle of Wight I reckon we should have had a WIDE LOAD sticker on the back of The Fuckwitt’s car though, readers....what do you reckon? Didn’t get pulled up about it, fortunately, and I always do all the driving. But hey, I do think I probably did clip a hedgerow and a pedestrian or two, by accident. Mrs Edge got us a blinding deal: just £63.75pp inc. for 3 nights accommodation in a ‘luxury’ mobile caravan at Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park in Bembridge (01983 872671) and ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Fishbourne. We stayed in plot 9 Culver Reach, but if you want all that ‘luxury’ and a view, as we’d have preferred, then book plot 26 Caulkers Rest. I’ve got to say, cycling (and on cycle-lanes wherever possible) is the only way to see an island (yes, I know all you walkers and yompers out there will doubtless disagree, but your mode of transport takes far too long). We pretty much stuck to the right-half of the I.o.W., from Cowes in the north (which we wouldn’t particularly recommend) to Ventnor in the south (which we would). However, our favourite spot was Old Shanklin and the Fisherman’s Wotsit pub tucked away at the end of the beach (they serve lovely ale in there, through clean pipes....me and the landlord ‘had a word or two’ about that). We’ll definitely go back and do the other half of the island at some point, so if any Edge readers know the I.o.W. and can recommend any ‘must see’ places or pubs in the west to visit, then please don’t hesitate to drop me a line: shaun@theedgemag.co.uk After all, you can’t go to Dorset all the time (like we have a tendency to do). What’s more, it’s pretty much but a two hour drive, even fully loaded and with plenty of drag from the bikes, from Chelmsford to Portsmouth, so that saved us an hour on our usual Swanage destination. Jersey’s still far and away my favourite island to cycle and I reckon the Isle of Wight’s more like Guernsey than Jersey, in that the former’s a bit like a land that time forgot. I’m also pretty sure that I once read that 75% of the islanders are retired, but I certainly have no desire to (ever) join ’em. Having said that, we did see a picture postcard of a little place called Godshill that looked ever so quaint, so we’ll definitely be going there for a cup of tea and a slice of cake next time. All things considered, particularly the price, it was a lovely 4 day break (we caught the 8:00am ferry out of Portsmouth on the Saturday and the 5:00pm return from Fishbourne the following Tuesday) and maybe some of you readers who’ve never taken a trip across the Solent might consider it now. After all, there’s more to life than Southend seafront.

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Hylands Chainsaw Massacre It’s England v Germany at Hylands Park the weekend of June 18th/19th, only this time it’s a Chainsaw Carving Competition. The only two previous annual encounters have been held at Broadlands in Romsey and the series currently stands at one apiece. The competition is one of the spectacular features at the Hylands Park Craft Sculpture & Art Fair (see right). Chainsaw Art is rapidly gaining in popularity and has a growing band of both followers and collectors alike. Over the course of the weekend, the ‘artists’ will carve a large classic sculpture, which will then be sold on the Sunday afternoon. There will also be a daily speed carving competition with all twelve carvers in the same arena in a fast and furious display of chainsaw massacring! It really is amazing to see what can be produced inside 30 minutes flat, whilst the pieces are sold at auction each day immediately after the competition. It’s very exciting to watch and gives the show visitor the opportunity to purchase a sculpture they have actually seen being created. There’s lots more going on at this Summer Festival of Crafts. In the working craft village there’s a Glassblowing Studio, Working Potters (including the mysterious Raku Firing), Rural Crafts & Skills and Artists Workshops. To round it all off, there are the Craftsmen’s Pavilions which showcase the skills of many talented Artists, Designers and Craftsmen. Full details on www.livingheritagecontemporarycrafts.co.uk

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YOUR letters

&

emails

17:56

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The content has always been light hearted, and occasionally coarse, but I don't mind either if these. It seems to me that a shallower, harsher, and more cynical tone has crept into your copy, and I just don't like it. There is not enough that celebrates the people that add to life in any of our press at the moment, and your magazine has drifted down the same road. I wish you and the magazine well, despite my decision. Steve Mack Read on, good sir, for seems like you’re not the only one..... E.E.

‘White Canons’

to theedge! CHELMSFORD, CM2 6XD. shaun@theedgemag.co.uk Phenomenal Response Dear Edge, I would like to say a big thank you for the support you have shown my new shop Memory Lane. The response to my adverts was phenomenal. In fact, no sooner had the mag come out than I had new customers coming into my shop telling me they had seen it in The Edge! It’s just great to see so many brand new faces through my door. The brilliant thing about The Edge is that people who pick up the mag will read it cover to cover (I've had many a conversation with all sorts of people who agree with this very fact), meaning we advertisers truly do get great value for money, as opposed to getting skipped over as happens in so many other publications. The Edge will remain a valuable tool in my difficult task of building up a new business. Regards, Vicki Phipps Memory Lane. Thoroughly pleased to hear it, Vicki. E.E.

Edge Loses Reader I regret to say that I have read my last copy of your magazine. I've liked it less over the last year and the May 2011 was the final straw. I should be able to tell you exactly what has caused me to do this, but it is difficult to offer the right words. Page 24

Dear Sir, My wife and I are regular readers of your free monthly magazine which we usually collect from our local Tesco store. We often discover some amusing articles and jokes and there is useful information to be found from the many advertisers on your books. However, the frequent use of sexual innuendos and excessively rude comments throughout the publication does leave an unpleasant taste to us, as practicing Christians. To date, however, we have read nothing that warrants any further action. On page 23 of the May issue, however, you have gone ‘a step too far’ in the short article headed ‘Ridiculous’. The brief 18 lines of print contain shockingly rude and defamatory comments about the Norbetine Community of Priests and Brothers that have been ministering since October 2008 to the linked parishes of Our Lady Immaculate, New London Road, and The Holy Name, Lucas Avenue. The Norbetines as a religious order have been in existence for nearly 900 years and are spread across the world. Our local group of ‘White Canons’ are a growing community which is providing truly inspiring worship to the local parishioners whose number totals around one thousand. I am quite sure that any other parishioner reading this article will be similarly offended, and what sort of image of the Church does it present to the thousands (?) of others who read your magazine. Just in case you assume that churchgoers nowadays are all grey-haired and few in number, I can tell you that at yesterday morning’s (packed to capacity) 9:00am mass at Our Lady Immaculate there were in excess of 50 young children who had finished their training prior to receiving First Holy Communion during the next two Sundays. Additionally both Churches train many teenagers as Alter Servers. Furthermore, your comments are not just anti-Catholic, they are antiChristian - would you be so loose with words if you were addressing the Jews, Hindus, or the Muslims? If you, sir, are not the author of ‘The Grumpy Goose’ series of

short articles then you have an implied responsibility to proof-read everything and correct as necessary before going to print, which has clearly not happened on this occasion. In addition, I consider that ‘Ridiculous’ is actually libelous and that the very least you should be doing is printing a heartfelt apology in the June edition. I will be contacting my Solicitor tomorrow to see what she thinks and I am planning to write to Ian Hislop, Editor of Private Eye and long standing panelist on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You? for his advice. I could also consider phoning many or all of your valued advertisers, asking if they wish to be associated with a magazine which is capable of printing this sort of article? There is, however, a much more hassle-free way that you can deal with the situation, by printing some positive and encouraging comments about the Norbetines in the June edition, thus ‘spreading the Good News’ to all who may be interested, and to those who may be seeking some relief from this increasingly materialistic and timepressured society of ours. Let me know your deadline and I’ll arrange a full-page article..... Yours sincerely, Mr. Steve J. Knight Just for the record, readers, and to save you having to look it up, here’s what ‘The Goose’ wrote in last months Edge:‘Driving along London Road I recently saw three figures dressed in white robes. Well, I laughed so loudly I nearly shat myself. Were they monks, priests or just demented idiots? Who knows? Who cares? What do these three ridiculous men think they look like? What a load of crap religion is; and we feed it to our kids as if it were their daily bread. Are we still living in the Middle Ages? Don’t they know the true meaning of Easter? Chocolate and bunny rabbits.’ The Edge stands by this article and has it’s own peculiar theory about Easter in particular, and it goes something like this: When I place something in our garden shed on a Friday, only after the weekend it is no longer there, I do not imagine said article has ‘risen’.....I simply assume that Mrs. Edge has moved the bugger, as she has an extremely tidying up tendency to do. E.E. THE GRUMPY GOOSE RESPONDS: Well done. You have demonstrated better than I ever could how aggressive and abusive your (catholic) religion is; from the torture and murder of the Inquisition to the physical and mental abuse of children in Irish catholic children’s homes in the 1950s and 60s to the recent (reluctant) admission by

the pope that priests have systematically sexually abused children. What a cynical ploy (threat) by you to ask for publicity for your dubious cult in return for not taking action against The Edge. Is your religion so fragile, your beliefs so weak, that you need to turn to the law to defend them? Isn’t god big enough to defend himself? Two thousand years of religion brought down by five column centimetres. Shouldn’t you turn the other cheek? What am I saying? Of course you don’t practice what you preach; you’re a catholic. It’s a case of do as I say, not do as I do; and yes, I think ALL religions are equally bogus. I have every right to hold this opinion, as you are free to hold your opinion on the existence of god. There are no facts in this debate. However, this Sunday, why not take the 50 young children from your church to a Children's Hospice so that they can witness at first hand some of god’s good work. Let them watch children die in agony in front of their parents; after all, cancer is gods will, isn’t it? As for ‘ridiculous’, yes, I stand by it; grown men walking the streets in white dressing gowns - UTTERLY RIDICULOUS.

Huge Fans Hey Shaun, Me and the fella are huge fans of The Edge. We always have one in our house somewhere :) We were thinking of popping an ad in.... Toni Humberstone Well, thank Christ for that. That’s more bloody well like it. E.E.

Luddite Hi Shaun, I have just read the article about aQ2 in The Edge and I think it would be a great idea to get an iPad version of your magazine. It is the way forward for sure. Stop being such a Luddite! Kind regards John Bennewith Managing Partner JWB Associates Forgive me, John, but isn’t an iPad merely an up-to-date version of one of those Etch-A-Sketch ‘drawing tool’ thingies from way back in the sixties? E.E.

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE A chap who wishes to remain anonimous also telephoned The Edge to complain about The Grumpy Goose. “Dog owners need to have Public Liability Insurance,” he said. The Edge doesn’t like ‘unleaded’ dogs bothering its ankles whilst out cycling. E.E. The Edge 01245 348256


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REMEMBER GIMPY?

The Edge remembers its character Gimpy (postal address: Mr. G. Mask of Gimpton Supermare-on-Trent) with great fondness, but wonders whether many other Edge readers out there share a similar recollection, or is Gimpy one you’re rather glad we at the mag put to bed? I came across this old photograph (right) as I’ve been sorting out my office of late (no, it’s still not finished yet, but The Edge has indeed taken delivery of a brand new ‘Kingfisher’ (or turquoise to you and I) glass worksurface and is now awaiting - small problem - delivery of its legs) and the years genuinely seemed to roll on by for a minute or two whilst such sweet nostalgia got the better of me. Gimpy. Dear, dear Gimpy, you lovable old rogue. I remember ‘The Length’ once shooting ‘The Gimpster’ in a Nail Bar, whilst he was awaiting a manicure (Gimpy, not ‘The Length’) and we were at pains to get the rest of the customers (all ladies, funnily enough) to keep straight faces and practically ignore us so that the resulting photograph had a certain authenticity to it. Then there was the time, on The Edge’s motoring page (singular), no less, when ‘The Gimp’ popped up out of the boot of the brand new car being featured, also sporting a long cream ‘flashing mac’. Out of shot, customers who were booking their cars in for a service and what have you, truly must have been wondering what the bloody hell was going on, so fair play to the dealership concerned (MG, gawd bless ’em). Then there was the time Gimpy visited Alton Towers and when the photographs went on display at the point of departure from The Black Hole, The Edge seems to recall, yep, you guessed it, there was a nice little commotion as no one appeared to remember seeing Mr. G. Mask climb aboard, least of all the theme park’s spotty Mensa undergraduate employees. So, dear readers, do any of you have any fond recollections of Gimpy in his prime, as The Edge brings this fair tear-jerker of a trip down memory lane to a somewhat sad impasse? If so, please do not hesitate to email: shaun@theedgemag.co.uk and fill the mag in with some right flowery prose. Or, perhaps you might like to suggest a brand new character that you’d like to see within the pages of The Edge? Or maybe you yourself like to ‘dress up’ in a corset and a pair of size 10 high heels and adjudge yourself to be a character in the making? Feel free to contribute. It all goes into the melting pot to make The Edge The Edge!

www.theedgemag.co.uk

WAITRESS! You appear to have served me a bottle of chilled Liebfraumilch instead of the nice little Marsanne I ordered. Christ, do I look like I drink Liebraumilch, hmmmmmmm???

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ONLY JOKING! Fishing

Two friends are fishing near a bridge. Suddenly a hearse and two funeral cars drive over, so one of the men stands up, takes off his cap and bows his head. When the cars have gone, he puts his cap back on, sits back down and carries on fishing. His mate turns to him and says, "Dicky, that's one of the nicest and most respectful things I've ever seen you do." Dicky replies, "Well, we were married for the best part of 45 years after all."

Harold & Mildred & Ethel Harold is 92 and lives in a senior citizens home. Every night after dinner, Harold goes to a secluded garden behind the centre to sit, smoke a cigar, listen to music, ponder his accomplishments and reflect on a life well lived. One evening, Mildred, age 86, wandered into the garden. They began to chat and before they knew it, a couple of hours had passed. After a short lull in the conversation, Harold turned to Mildred and asked, "Do you know what I miss most of all?" Mildred asked, "What’s that, Harold?" "SEX!" he replied. Mildred exclaimed, "Why, you old fart, I bet you couldn't get it up if I held a gun to your head." "I know, I know," said Harold, "but it would be nice if a woman could just hold it for a while." "Well, I can do that," said Mildred, who unzipped his flies, removed his manhood and proceeded to hold onto it tightly. After a while, they agreed to meet secretly each night in the garden where they would sit and talk and Mildred would hold Harold's cock. Then, one night, Harold didn't show up at their usual meeting place after dinner.

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Alarmed, Mildred decided to go look for Harold to make sure he was OK. So she walked around the centre until she found him sitting by the pool most contentedly with another female resident called Ethel, who was holding Harold's prick in her hand. Furious, Mildred yelled, "Well, you two-timing bastard, Harold! What on earth does Ethel have that I haven’t?" Old Harold smiled and replied, "Parkinson's..."

999 Call A man calls 999 and says, "Sorry to bother you, but I think my wife’s dead." The operator says, "How do you know?" He replies, "Well, the sex is the same, but the washing and ironing’s starting to pile up."

Prostate Test After experiencing the discomfort and embarrassment of a prostate test at his local hospital, Ken decided to have his next test carried out in Bangkok whilst on holiday where the beautiful nurses were rather more gentle and accommodating. As usual, he was asked to strip and lie naked on his side on a bed and the nurse began the examination. "At this stage of the procedure,” she said to Ken, “it's quite normal to get an erection.” "But I haven't got an erection," said Ken. "Not you, I meant me," replied the nurse. Yes, that’s right, readers, this joke did appear in The Edge not so very long ago, but I just love it, so there it was again! E.E.

Blind Girl I was in bed with a blind girl last night and she said I had the biggest penis she’d ever felt. I said, "You're pulling my leg, love."

Lingering Kiss A tough looking group of bikers were out riding when they saw a girl about to jump off a bridge, so they stopped. A big burly man, obviously the leader of the pack, got off his bike and said, "Hey, what do you think you’re doing, bitch?" "I'm going to commit a suicide," she said. While the biker didn’t want to appear insensitive, he didn't want to miss an opportunity either, so he suggested, "Well, before you jump, why don't you give me a great big kiss?" So she did, and it was a long, deep, lingering kiss. After she had finished, the biker said, "Wow! That was the best kiss I ever had. That's a real talent you’re going to be wasting. Why the heck are you committing suicide?" "Because my parents don't like me dressing up as a girl."

Screwfix I've just had a letter back from Screwfix. They say they regret to inform me that they're not actually a dating agency.

Tartan Two men go into a dress hire shop in Glasgow. They explain to the staff that they are going to be attending a weeding and don’t know whether to wear trews or the kilt. The man in the shop ponders and asks, “What's the tartan?” The men answer, “Usual white dress.”

Ferrari ‘The Ferrari F1 team fired their entire pit crew yesterday.’ This announcement followed Ferrari's decision

to take advantage of the British government's 'Work for your Dole' scheme and employ a group of Liverpudlian youngsters. The decision to hire them was brought about by a recent TV documentary on how unemployed youths from Toxteth were able to remove a set of wheels in less than 6 seconds without proper equipment, whereas Ferrari's existing crew could only do it in 8 seconds with millions of pounds worth of high tech gear at their disposal. It was thought to be a revolutionary bold move by the Ferrari management team as most races are won and lost in the pits, giving Ferrari an obvious advantage over every other team. However, they got more than they bargained for. At the crew's first practice session, not only was the scouse pit crew able to change all four wheels in just under 6 seconds, but within 12 seconds they had resprayed, rebadged and sold the car on to the McLaren team for 24 cases of Stella, a bag of weed and some dodgy photos of Lewis Hamilton's bird in the shower.

White Wine Spritzer A man walks into a Welsh pub and orders a white wine spritzer. The bar goes deathly silent as everyone stares at him. "Where you from, boyo?” says the barman. “You sound almost English." "Oh, I'm from just across the Severn," replies the man, nervously. “So what do you do then, just across the Severn?" asks the barman. "I'm a taxidermist,” says the chappy. "I mount animals." “Phew!” sighs the barman, obviously relieved. “It’s alright boys," he shouts to the regulars in his pub, "....he's one of us."

Same Guy Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, surely I don't look that old? Alice was just such a person. Sitting in the waiting room for her first appointment with a new dentist, she happened to notice his diploma hanging on the wall, which bore his full name. Suddenly, she remembered a tall, dark, handsome boy with the very same name who had been in her secondary school class some thirty years ago. Could it be the same guy that she had had a secret crush on way back then? Upon seeing him, however, she quickly discarded any such notions. The balding, gray haired man with the deeply lined face was surely far too old to have been her classmate. After he had examined her teeth, Alice asked if he had attended Morgan Park Secondary School. “Why yes, I did,” he beamed. “I'm a Morganner!” “When did you leave to go to college?” Alice asked Her new dentist thought for a moment, then answered, “Sixty-five. Why do you ask?” Alice exclaimed, “You were in my class!” Her dentist looked at her closely and said, “What did you teach?”

Penis Enlarger Spent forty quid on eBay last week for a penis enlarger. Just opened the package and some bastard’s sent me a magnifying glass.

Routine Check-Up Went for my routine check-up today and everything seemed to be going just fine until I felt a finger up my arse. I’m going to change my dentist.

All jokes published are supplied by Edge readers. Please send your ‘egg yokes’ to shaun@theedgemag.co.uk


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MARRIAGE Before Marriage

THE GOOSE Unfortunately, The Goose is taking a sabbatical (least The Edge hopes it’s only a brief respite) until the Autumn/Winter, but it’s got absolutely nothing to do with The Letters Page this month - The Goose’s decision had already been made. So, is there anyone out there who reckons they could fill The Goose’s boots for an issue or two? ’Course, we’d have to give you a new name (unlike the Beeb’s Top Gear team calling the new Stig simply ‘The Stig’ again, when we all know it’s not). How about The Angry Aardvark or The Rattled Ram....something along those lines. The sad fact is that The Goose felt its columns were weakening when The Edge actually considered them to be strengthening. shaun@theedgemag.co.uk

Bob: ‘Ah, at last. I can hardly wait.’ Jane: ‘Do you want me to leave?’ Bob: ‘No. Don’t even think about it.’ Jane: ‘Do you love me?’ Bob: ‘Of course. Always have and always will.’ Jane: ‘Have you ever cheated on me?’ Bob: ‘No way! Why are you even asking?’ Jane: ‘Will you kiss me?’ Bob: ‘Every chance I get, honey.’ Jane: ‘Will you hit me?’ Bob: ‘Hell, no. Are you crazy?’ Jane: ‘Can I trust you?’ Bob: ‘Yes.’ Jane: ‘Oh darling.’

After Marriage Read from the bottom up.

GREAT TITS Blimey, readers, The Edge has gone both twittering and tweeting bonkers this month. OK, so I’m pretty sure we’ve been able to attract either a couple of Great Tits or Coal Tits to our seed feeder thingy that we bought from Wyvale, but one day, Mrs Edge and I spotted something even more colourful, and what deep, yet fleeting, joy it did bring us. Haven’t a clue what it was. Could it have been a Goldfinch, by any chance, do any of you feathered fanciers out there know? One bird I really cannot abide is Doves. They both look and sound so stupid. Have you ever seen a Dove’s nest? Lazy swines. Surely they are the UB40 of birds and when one did start nesting in our spacious acreage, I took a bloody broom handle to its efforts.

MUSIC GLOVES

The Edge just loves the Go Compare advert for ‘music gloves’. ‘Can’t play the piano? You’ll be able to play like a concert pianist whenever you pull on a pair of music gloves...’ Love it. Love it. Love it. That’s daft advertising at its best, is that. Also love the cooing style signature tune of the Nat West ads, even though I’ve never set foot in a Nat West bank in my life.

Could it really have been a Goldfinch spotted in ‘Edge Towers’ back garden?

GANGSTA The common Starling is hardly the most welcome of visitors to ‘Edge Towers’ derriere jardin, but sometimes one’s perceptions can be changed when one encounters a fellow amateur twitcher such as the pork slaughterer that is The Butcher....yes, readers, him again. “I don’t mind Starlings,” says our man from C&A. “How come?” said I. “They’re just boring birds and exceedingly greedy eaters.” “Yeah, but they’ve got a bit of character,” says Bern. “If you watch them and how they move, how their heads bob forwards and backwards, they’re kind of like gangsters.” Whoa! Now The Edge would never have thought of that. Crows, maybe. But then aren’t crows far more like funeral directors? So maybe our Bernard’s not such a f ckwitt after all? Well I never.

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Chris & Lucy Vickers outside the Luxor Hotel with a copy of the April 2011 Edge in Las Vegas.

Laurence Sandum of The Fitness Academy (see back page) recently promoted a joint WUMA (World United Martial Arts federation) and UK MA SDA (United Kingdom Martial Arts Self Defence Association) sanctioned martial arts competition at The Marconi Club in Chelmsford. Clubs that attended the event included Tony Childs’ Total Martial Arts, Paul Finn’s Karasac Kali and Laurence Sandum’s Black Belt Martial Arts Academy, as well as a number of other clubs from all around the country. The bill began with some full contact Filipino stick fighting, which was brand new to some of the audience in attendance. Then came Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Strike & Grapple (a variation of standard MMA rules) and Ground Grappling bouts. Every single competitor put in a great amount of effort leading up to the event, which made for a brilliant atmosphere and some excellent battles. Representing Chelmsford and Laurence Sandum’s Black Belt Martial Arts Academy

were Lucas Brand, Joe Spencer, Gary Das, Kerry Masarati, Samantha Smith, Rachael Stone and Lloyd Ramsey. Promoter and Senior Coach of The Fitness Academy, Laurence said, “I would like to thank Peter Squire, the club’s resident competition co-ordinator, for all his hard work in preparing the fighters, and also all the other officials and helpers involved on the day. Congratulations too go to all my students for achieving such great results. Not only did the event allow local fighters to participate in their home town, it has also encouraged many of the crowd to enroll at our academy and experience all the confidence and self defence benefits that martial arts offers.” Anyone interested in attending any other UK MA SDA events or courses, or interested in learning martial arts for self defence at Boreham’s Award Winning National Centre of Excellence, are welcome to call The Fitness Academy on 01245 467680. And remember, your first lesson is free! www.thefitnessacademy.co.uk www.blackbeltmartialarts.co.uk

AT HOME WITH AUCTIONS...

Paul Bridgeman - Auctioneer

The Estate Agent that works for

YOU!

Q: Who are you and how did you come to join The Home Partnership? A: Hi. I’m Paul Bridgeman and I previously worked for one of the largest auction houses in the UK for the past 13 years. Since 2006, I have conducted auctions across England, Scotland and Wales. I moved on to focus on other projects, and then joined The Home Partnership to set up an Auction Department with a view to offering clients the chance to sell their properties via auction locally, and also to offer properties for auction throughout Essex, as this is something that no other estate agent in Chelmsford does. Q: So why sell a property at auction? A: The biggest advantage to selling at auction is the speed of the sale. On the day of the auction, the ‘drop of the gavel’ gives the seller an exchange of contracts just four weeks after marketing commences. Completion then takes place 20 working days later. In addition, the seller has certainty with an exchange at auction that there is no chance for the buyer to withdraw or renegotiate the price at the very last minute. Q: What sort of property would sell at auction? A: Any type of property can sell at auction. However, it would depend on a sellers personal

circumstances as well. The best sales are those properties that are going to generate high levels of interest. By getting all the interested parties in the auction room together, competitively bidding against each other, you know that you will achieve the best price possible of the property concerned. In addition, unmortgageable and distressed properties, or those that are suffering from structural or legal issues, also sell well at auction. Q: When is your first auction planned? A: The Home Partnership will be holding its first ever auction on Tuesday 19th July at the Pavilion Marquee, Essex County Cricket Club, Chelmsford, CM2 0PG. The auction will start at 2.00pm prompt. Q: How would someone include their property in the auction? A: The closing date for entries is Monday 13th June, so we would require the seller’s confirmed instructions on or before that date. In the first instance, we would carry out an appraisal of the property for auction. This can be arranged by contacting The Home Partnership on (01245) 250222. Or by email: paul@thehomepartnership.co.uk. Alternatively, why not call into our new offices in Duke Street to discuss the best way forward in selling your property.

www.thehomepartnership.co.uk 11 Duke Street, Chelmsford CM1 1HL Telephone: 01245 250222 Page 28

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TV GOLD - THE LIVER BIRDS TVTVGOLD BIRDS GOLD--THE THELIVER ONE GAME

‘GOLD! Always believe in your soul, you’ve got the power to know, you’re indestructible....’

The One Game The Edge absolutely loved, and I do mean loved. But you need to go back to 1988 to remember it and it was only broadcast throughout the month of June and that was that (I was distraught). Nick Thorne (Stephen Dillane) was a businessman who had achieved success by marketing games and found himself drawn into ‘a game of reality’, set over a long weekend, by his former business partner Magnus (Malahide)....which kind of sounds a bit like The Master in Dr Who, don’t you think? God, just the mention of those names....I was 27 and living in Boreham with a certain young lady.... Now then, Thorne had forced Magnus out of their initial joint business venture, so there was bad blood between the pair of them. ‘The One Game’ turned out to be a series of challenges, set by Magnus, to force Thorne to confront issues from his past, which threatened both his cur-

rent professional and personal lives. Initially, Magnus steals millions of pounds from a computer account and sends a challenge to Thorne and his girlfriend, Fay, to solve. It leads the former to a closed shopping centre where he is persued by a gang of thugs and forced to watch the kidnap of his ex-wife..... Seriously readers, it was true edge of your seat type stuff (this weekly drama) for its time. I do wonder whether the creators of that Michael Douglas film The Game had ever seen The One Game, although I suppose it’s doubtful as the series was only ever aired once and not many people I knew at that time seemed to bother tuning in. But Thorne was seemingly trapped in some strange, weird reality game (of life) - where there were no rules - and it was indeed pretty revolutionary stuff for its time, or so The Edge thought, though what it would think of it now.... Hey, you can buy it as a DVD, if you like?

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Moving on, did any of you notice (er, no, because I received no emails to correct me) last months deliberate mistake in this very section, whereby The Edge suggested that the theme tune to The Liver Birds went something like this: “Come down to London town, watch the people there, rushing round and round, with no time to spare....” With lyrics like that, that quite clearly couldn’t have been the theme tune to The Liver Birds, which was, of course, set in Liverpool. But what was that the theme tune to, because The Edge is honestly fecked if it knows, and it’s really starting to bug me now?

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Email: leigh@bang-olufsen.co.uk www.bang-olufsen.com/leighonsea Page 29


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Spartacus As I’ve mentioned before (and doubtless will do so again, as I do tend to harp on a bit), I very rarely watch TV, riddled as it is with retarded drivel masquerading as entertainment, and pseudo-science and cod-philosophy kicking education in the bollocks and running off with its lunch money.

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THIS MONTH I HAVE MAINLY BEEN...

It takes something pretty special to get me religiously glued to the TV each week, and so the makers of ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’ and ‘Gods of the Arena’ should give themselves a pat on the back for basically getting me to staple my arse to the sofa for the last few months.

writes The Kingmeister Ho-hum, just another day at the office. ‘Spartacus’ is a savage retelling of the famous slave rebellion, led by the titular Thracian gladiator in 73BC. For those of you who don’t know this riveting historical tale, read a f *** ing book for Jupiter’s sake. I say ‘savage’ as each episode is literally drenched in blood and gore, not to mention a superb amount of naked women, garnished with a dash of orgies. Its mix of historical accuracy and brilliantly choreographed (and therefore utterly unrealistic) fight scenes works very well, and if you sniggered when I mentioned historical accuracy in a program so unashamedly rude, bloodthirsty and crass, then seriously, go and read that book like I told you to. A lot of people seem to have an odd double-standard when it comes to things that offend them. They’ll watch decapitations, dismemberments and defenestration all day, cheering lustily at every yard of flying entrails, but show them some tits or a set of bollocks and they go mental.

gorgeous Lucy Lawless, who I’m sure some of you remember as Xena: Warrior Princess (and yes, you finally get to see her tits in this one) as Lentulus Batiatus and his wife Lucretia, master and mistress of ‘The House of Batiatus’. For some reason, seeing an actor of Hannah’s stature wiping his arse with a rag on a stick and constantly saying that exceedingly naughty ‘C’ word is extremely amusing to me. But, if I’m honest, it’s really the gladiatorial combat that gets me tuning in each week. I’ll even carry on with this uncharacteristic honest streak and admit that I really do think bringing back real swords-in-the-spleen and axein-the-skull gladiator fights to the death would be amazing. It’s probably a result of my lifelong love of the ancient world that I really believe single combat to the death is a noble thing, and I’d be a regular at the arena every week if it was ever brought to Chelmsford. Crikey, if it had still been around when I was a lad, I’d have probably left school and run off to join a ‘Ludus’ to get trained up as a gladiator myself.

Personally, I can’t see anything wrong with the odd orgy, or having a handful of nubile slave women to, er, give me a hand whenever I need one. In fact, I believe historians refer to this era as ‘the good old days’. Spartacus stars the always excellent John Hannah and the always

Pictured: The good old days Page 30

Crixus the Gaul thanks his careers advisor I’m sure a lot of you will scoff at that, but I honestly don’t believe we’ve changed all that much since those times; in fact, all I need to do is point towards the entire weight of human history to back me up, or tell you to turn on the news. At our very heart, we’re still the blood thirsty savages we always were, but we’ve just been taught that we should be more ashamed of it now, so we’re better at pretending otherwise.

Obviously, a program like ‘Spartacus’ is right up my alley you’re talking to the man with his favourite Roman legion tattooed on his arm after all - but I was pleasantly surprised to find that our very own editor is an avid fan too, a discovery that prompted an in-depth conversation on the ‘The House of Batiatus’ outside a pub, and, probably unsurprisingly, we now refer to each other as Crixus and Gannicus, two of our favourite characters. Blood and boobs aside, the tale of Spartacus is a right riveting story, and if throwing in some sword fights and sex gets more people familiar with that fantastic period in history, then I’m all for it. As noted author Conn Iggulden said: “History is simply a collection of brilliant stories that just happen to have dates attached to them.” If you haven’t seen ‘Spartacus’ yet, and you’re not one to be easily offended, then I really can’t recommend it enough. And thankfully, we’ve got season two already in the works, so that’ll be another month with staples in my arse again.

Slutwalk Now, first things first: that’s a pretty good tagline, isn’t it? Secondly, I’m sure I’m going to upset someone with this article, so let me get this out of the way first: I don’t care. I completely agree with the ethos behind ‘Slutwalk’ and I’ll back you ladies up 100% on this issue. But there’s also something about it that I find intrinsically amusing, so I’m probably going to make a few jokes about it too. And if that offends anyone, go ahead, you fill your boots and complain away. In January of this year, a representative of the Toronto police force, a man who obviously has the public relations skills of Freddy Kruger, reportedly had the following to say to a group of students he was lecturing on health and safety: “You know, I think we’re beating around the bush here. I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this. However,

women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.” Basically, this is that ridiculous argument that she must have been ‘asking for it’ dressed up in slightly better (probably less slutty) clothes. I can only imagine the collective: “What the f ***?!” moment that rippled around the hall as PC Sanguinetti let loose with that zinger. It’s the sort of thing Prince Phillip comes out with, moments before his handlers realise he’s slipped his muzzle and tackle him to the floor. I love the way he said: “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this…” before he unleashes the slut cannon on them. Does that mean he talked this speech over with his superiors before he went on? Honestly, if you’re giving women a talk on safety and you have to be reminded not to call them sluts and basically say sexual assaults and rapes are their fault, then I’m fairly confident you’re in the wrong job.

To be honest, I reckon her on the left is pretty safe Because of this glorious moment of foot in mouth stupidity, women across the world are now taking part in protest marches that they’ve dubbed ‘Slutwalks’. Like I said earlier, it’s a brilliant name, and I completely agree with you ladies. But you do know someone is going to make a porno movie with that name now, don’t you? A UK ‘Slutwalk’ (I’ll never get bored of saying it) is now being organised with an anticipated 5,000 or so selfstyled sluts who’ll be slutwalking in their slutty clothes from Hyde Park to Trafalgar square. What’s that? Yes, of course I’m thinking of going to cheer the good ladies on. In all seriousness though, I honestly do agree with the ladies on this one. Women should be able to wear whatever they want, go wherever they want and get as drunk as they want without worrying about being safe from scumbags who can’t control themselves. Slutwalk UK have a huge group on Facebook who are organising this event, so if you want to get involved, have a look. However, whilst I do appreciate the gravity of the message they’re trying to get across, I still mainly think it’s a great idea, simply because of thousands of girls marching about London in their unmentionables. They should even do a Slutwalk UK once a week, only just up and down my road.

www.theedgemag.co.uk


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Marconi Statue looks like Fred Astaire

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A brand new (possibly short lived) series entitled

REMEMBER LOCAL SLADE? FOLK WHO LOOK A BIT LIKE MOVIE STARS....BUT ONLY A BIT This really could be the shortest run series in The Edge’s 15 year history, if you readers cannot even decipher where your editor is coming from with this one. But, I bumped into a chap out the back of The (all new) Plough (like it there) the other evening called Noel Gibbs and, despite the fact he quickly told me that some people have said he looks a bit like Jack Dee, The Edge thinks he looks an awful lot more like that Swedish actor whose name you probably don’t know (Stellan Skarsgard) but whose face is doubtless familiar (he played the role of Prof. Gerald Lambeau in Good Will Hunting, amongst others). So did I think Stellan Skarsgard was having a beer out the back of The Plough? No. Not in that poxy pink and blue mock rugby top I didn’t. But there’s something a little creepy about those eyes, don’t you think, readers? Noel works in travel whilst Stellan has starred in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Hunt for Red October and Amistad. Also, Skarsgard’s 6’ 4” (you’re not, Noel), has seven kids and reckons sometimes people mistake him for Liam Neeson (in your dreams, mate). He got paid $1m for his role in Goya’s Ghosts (beat that, Gibbo, lad).

XåÑÄÉá|ÉÇ Éy VÉÄÉâÜ It’s May, I’m compiling the June Edge, but already I’m missing April. What a start to the summer April truly was, and with two truly excellent Bank Holiday weekends, where as usually it rains and the sun comes out on the Tuesday most of us go back to work, as if to cruelly taunt us. It’s the sheer explosion of colour that The Edge truly loves and why spring will forever be its favourite time of year. When you first notice the bright pink blossom on the trees during some of March’s bleak and forgetful days, it all seems so sudden, as though it’s been hung out overnight, like Christmas tree baubles. I’m always like: ‘Whoa! Where did that come from?’ And the smells. We’ve got some wysteria that’s grown all over our pergular in our south facing (oh yeah, I’d never buy a house without one...the south facing bit, that is, not the pergular) back garden and every now and then, when I’m out there, I’ll get a whiff of it and it is nothing short of intoxicating. Isn’t it just lovely, simply being out in the garden, pottering, which is something I never thought I’d say. Ever. Our latest purchase is a statue of Buddha that is discreetly hidden amongst one of our herbaceous borders, along with a P.B.L. (pollinating bee log) so the ickle buzzers have somewhere to live and, er, buzz and stuff.

The Edge has always loved Shirley

Noel Gibbs

Actor Stellan Skarsgard

Separating? Separating? Teresa Foss Solicitor. Resolution Accredited Specialist

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FIFTY...NOT OUT New ew & Imp ew Improved! Im mp proved! ro oved EssexRestaurants.com xResta now w receives over 35,000 unique visitors per month looking for tried a place to eat, have you trie ied it yet? The new improvements site features a lot of improv vements including better search facilities & a new special offers area, sign up here. www.essexrestaurants.com/offers www.essexrestaurants.co om/offers

by Steve Ward I HATE YOU There was a survey a while back to determine the most detested companies in the UK. Before we look at the results in more detail, let’s ponder awhile on who gets asked for their opinion in these surveys. The conclusions often make for fascinating reading and it’s a regular occurrence that once it’s all done and dusted you wish you’d had a chance to add your two pennies worth. We all get asked to fill in online surveys to tell hotel chains what we think about our recent stay, and of course, our opinion is much valued. Maybe. But when were you last asked which company you really, really hated? You know, truly interesting stuff that you’d feel honoured to have been a part of. The list of detested companies is quite an odd mix and shows that it is possible to abominate firms for a variety of reasons. What the list doesn’t bring out is the absolute hatred word used advisedly - engendered by any firm that uses a call centre. Being hung out to dry for hours on end by someone who thinks your call is really important to them (but not important enough to pick it up anytime this week) would make everyone’s top five. But as nearly all the companies on the list will have a call centre in operation, which one do you apply that hatred to? Top of the despised list is Manchester United. Now, you may be surprised to find this when such solid under-performers as British Gas are available for the vote, and just how many people have to deal with ManU on a regular basis anyway? Very few, is the answer, so obviously they are getting a large number of votes simply because people hate the football team. It doesn’t really count, does it? No, so we’ll disqualify Manchester United and promote Ryanair to be the number one most hated company. Anyone who has ever flown with the airline will find it very, very easy to accept that one. It’s not just the sheer awfulness of a business model that charges you for using a credit card yet also has the brass neck to charge you for not using a credit card. Or that you are herded around like cattle heading for the abattoir. No, the real reason so many people truly, madly, deeply hate Ryanair is

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because Michael O’Leary makes no bones whatsoever about the fact that he thinks you are absolute scum. People like you shouldn’t be allowed to fly. No, you are just trash in his eyes and will be treated accordingly. But your cash is OK, thanks. Ryanair is followed closely by the aforementioned British Gas. You will have taken a day off work many a time to await the annual service visit from one of its team of highly trained engineers. Only to be told at half past five they are running a bit late and he’ll be round tomorrow. No idea or thought whatsoever that the rest of us live in a world where we don’t have a little woman in a pinny hanging around the house with naff all to do except wait for their highly trained idiot to be arsed to turn up. And when he eventually does, the boiler that previously worked just fine will now not sustain a pilot light for more than ten minutes. Incompetent bastards, and well deserving of their number two spot. Surprisingly, you have to get to number eleven on the list until you find the first company related to railway travel. Even then it’s not one of the operators, but Network Rail. The suspicion must be that the train operators are regional and as such no single one of them mustered enough votes in a national survey to make it to the top ten. However, if the National Express East Anglia votes were added to those of Virgin Rail, Southwest Trains and all the other companies, they certainly would have been pretty near the top of the pile. BT made the top ten to nobody’s great surprise, but there were a few that did cause an eyebrow to raise slightly, Roger Moore like. McDonalds, for example. Sure, most of us think the food is dreadful and the chemicals involved mean you can taste that burger for weeks afterwards, but it’s a shop for Chrissake nobody forces you to go in there and eat the stuff. If you don’t like it, walk on by and get something else instead. It’s not like the train companies where you have no choice. Lloyds was the only bank to make the list. Given that all bankers have become the devil incarnate in recent years, it seems a bit unfair for Lloyds to be singled out for special hatred. There’s no obvious reason why this should be. After all, Fred the Shred was at RBS, and the other UK based disaster involved HBOS. Lloyds did take on HBOS, but only because Gordon the Moron forced it to. It is a confusing situation for sure, so maybe it’s simply that Lloyds has a name that everyone can get their heads round and accordingly it’s the poor bugger that’s in the list as a representative of all banks. In summary, it’s easy to understand why most of the firms named above have been included, and sadly it does lead to one fairly solid conclusion about companies operating in the UK. We’re pretty good at incompetence. steveward2000@hotmail.com

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IT’S OK TO OWN A SKODA THESE DAYS ...HONEST! Jeremy Clarkson even had a helicopter land on the roof of the all new Skoda Yeti he was driving on a semi-recent episode of Top Gear......whilst doing 50mph! In fact, Clarkson was hideously impressed with the Yet, so best we all go out and buy one tomorrow, eh, readers? But of course, that’s not quite how it works. The Yeti’s nearest rival is, apparently, the Nissan Qashqai, so if you thought ‘Yeti’ was a bit of an odd sounding name for a car, erm.... The Yeti combines the rugged strengths of a genuine 4x4 with both the practicalities and running costs of a hatchback. Yep, it is a true crossdresser of a vehicle if ever there was one. Prices range from £13,990 to £22,635 - the latter being for the high spec 170bhp diesel ‘Elegance’ version which is what The Edge has unsuccessfully been trying to tap Darlington’s of Harlow up for as an A.L.U. (all liveried up) loan car. Well, you’ve got to try, haven’t you, readers. And surely with ‘The Edge drives a Yeti’ plastered all over one it’d definitely boost sales. It was certainly much easier lugging boxes of Edge mags about with 5 doors at my disposal, that’s for sure, as well as saving my back from constantly aching with it’s much higher driving position (I’m slowly falling apart, me). What’s more, how practical to have rear seats that are situated higher than those in the front - and which also recline - thus aiding the visibility of its rear seated passengers, as well as being completely removable for oodles of interior loading space (bikes, buggies, you name it). Honest readers, if the Yeti’s seats did any more, they’d seriously need to audition for a slot on Britain’s Got Talent. Meanwhile, Clarkson, however, was far more Every new car design has impressed with the fact that you can pretty much to start somewhere and this drive the Yeti off the edge of a cliff and in neutral is where Skoda began...with the Yeti! gear, it’s got this hill-decent control gadget gizmo thingy, whereby without any gear being engaged nor any feet being placed on its pedals, the Yeti will literally crawl down almost anything up to ninety degree slopes, without careering off into oblivion and subjecting its incumbents to certain death. (OK, so most of us probably won’t ever need such a device, but hey, it’s there if you ever do!) The Yeti is also a relatively wide vehicle too, so it’s stable and feels both safe and solid on the road. And hey, if any of you out there reading this still can’t imagine ever driving a car with a Skoda badge on the bonnet - get over yourselves - it’s pretty much a Volkswagen these days anyway.

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Clarkson’s verdict: A good-looking, British-built, attractive car with a silly name. Edge verdict: Come on, Darlington’s, when does The Edge take delivery of aforementioned A.L.U. loan vehicle?

The special edition F Fabia a abia has been developed d to celebr ra ate 100 year rs of the Monte Carlo rally. rally a y. celebrate years The new F Fabia abia Monte Carlo o ffeatures eatures a whole arr array ay of sporty sportyy ffeatures eatures and styling off offering ering g ffantastic antastic value for for money money..

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Official fuel consumption in mpg (litres/100km) (litres/100km) for for the Škoda Škoda Range: Urban U 19.6 (14.4) - 68.9 (4.1), Extr Extra-urban a-urban 36.2 3 (7.8) - 94.2 (3.0), Combined 27.7 (10.2) ( - 83.1 (3.4). C CO2 O2 emissions for for the Škoda Škoda Range 89 - 237g/km.

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TOTALLY TRACIE Road to Hell Things are not what they used to be when it comes to Car Insurance. Last week, I got my renewal in the post and I nearly fell over. Despite not having made a claim for several years, the premium’s gone through the roof. It appears that since the EEC has got involved and stuck their oar in, women must now pay the same premium as men. What a cheek when everyone knows women are better drivers than men. But this has cut no ice with those in high places in Brussels, for seemingly there must be no sex discrimination when it comes to insurance and men and women must pay exactly the same amount. It also appears that insurance companies are no longer making any money (how my heart bleeds for them, NOT), so things really must be bad if that’s the case. So up go all our premiums and we must seemingly grin and bear it. What rankles with me even more is that not only do you get a straightforward renewal premium in the post, you also get bombarded with quotes for House Insurance, Dog Insurance, Travel Insurance, Health Insurance, plus anything else that’s insurable. Which reminded me of an email I received a while ago.... Are you insured for sex? If not, make sure you get the correct insurance for the type of sex you are having? Please find below a list of approved insurance companies catering for most tastes:Sex with your wife - Legal & General ’Phone Sex - Direct Line Sex with your Partner - Standard Life Sex with someone different - Go Compare Sex with a Fat Bird - More Than Sex on the Back Seat of a Car Sheila’s Wheels Sex with a Posh Bird - Privileged Sex with a Transvestite Confused.com

Puff of Smoke Sticking with the insurance theme, a true claim was made by a lawyer in the USA who purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against fire, amongst other things. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars, and without yet having

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made even his first premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed a claim with the insurance company. In such, he stated that the cigars had been lost "in a series of small fires." The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason: that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. So the lawyer sued....and won! In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. But the judge also stated that nevertheless, the lawyer held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be ‘unacceptable fire’, and was therefore obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure any lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for the loss of his rare cigars in the ‘fires’. But after the lawyer had cashed the cheque, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of.... ARSON! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail plus a $24,000 fine.

Up Yours A new study has revealed that women are more sexually attracted to men whose ring finger is longer than their index finger - which puts paid to my theory that women are attracted to men with bulging wallets and flash cars. Apparently, it all goes back to genetics; the longer the ring finger, the higher the testosterone of a man, so men with a longer ring finger are almost guaranteed to ‘get the girl’. Yes, I know you’re all having a look at your ring finger as you read this... Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Johnny Depp are just a few who share this trait, and I was in total agreement, until Paul McCartney’s name appeared on the list. I am trying very hard to remember the last time Macca was sexually attractive to anyone? Perhaps it was before he started using orange hair dye, wearing shoes that look like slippers....and prior to losing his marbles and marrying Heather Mills.

Forget Marbella Finally, before I sign off, a bit of good news for Chelmsford Town Centre. Those of you celebrating the break ’til the Autumn of The Only Way is Essex should take heart, according to Hotels.com. Forget Marbella...Chelmsford is the ‘Holiday Hot Spot’ this year, with an increase in bookings of up to 211% on this time last year. Yes, that’s people looking to base themselves in Chelmsford and take day trips to the likes of Basildon, Brentwood and Pitsea in the hope of spying a celeb. What a town!

Tracie123@aol.com


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inning Award W Bullying 's Anti Children Self tial Arts r a M d n a Classes Defence r child to u o y h c a te "we will he bully f de eat t fighting" without


Edge Magazine June 2011