FAVERSHAM: THE YEAR IN REVIEW

By Andy Capon

JANUARY

Rock legend Robert Plant revealed a plan to buy all the houses in Luton Road.

The 72 year old rock legend visited Faversham recently and was said to have ‘fallen in love with the town’ but couldn’t find a home big enough to house all 48 of his dogs.

“I have 48 dogs and Luton Road has 48 houses. They’re the smaller Victorian types and I thought they would make cosy little homes for my dogs – all black– so I’ve offered to buy the houses from the owners”

Robert Plant, yesterday – ‘Victorian’

No offers have yet been formally accepted, and the bill is expected to set Plant back around £13m.

Plant has also expressed interest in buying the popular Moonlight Café in Preston Street after walking in and having breakfast there.

He told The Spire, “It’s been a long time since I walked in the moonlight”

FEBRUARY

Traders at the top end of Preston Street celebrated in February following news that actor Sir Michael Caine had bought Cain’s Amusements. The derelict building had been empty for years and had proved an eyesore to visitors to Faversham. But that soon ended as the 88-year-old legend ploughed his money into refurbishing it.

“I wanted to turn it into a casino again but kept the sign that says Cain’s. It was cheaper to take the ‘E’ off the end of my surname, rather than adding an ‘E’ on the end of Cain,” he told The Spire.

“In any case, my real name isn’t Michael Caine. It’s Maurice Micklewhite. Imagine how much it would cost to get that sign made up!”, he added

MARCH

The notorious Court Street cobble that caused dozens of twisted ankles recently could soon be a thing of the past – thanks to ex US president Ronald Regan and Helen Whately.

Regan’s controversial Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) was launched decades ago, with the aim of shooting down incoming nuclear missiles, but has never been used due to a lack of incoming nuclear missiles. But a chance meeting between Helen Whately and Trump at his inauguration in 2017 has led to Joe Biden issuing Presidential Directive 71 – authorising the use of Star Wars technology to zap the deadly cobble.

“I mentioned to Donald that we had a notorious cobble in Court Street and he offered to zap it with the Star Wars weapon thingy, as a ‘Thank You’ for me coming along to his inauguration. Unfortunately, he never got around to it and passed the job on to Joe Biden,” Whately told the Spire.

Biden is said to be ‘keen’ to see if the defence shield is still working, and speculation is growing that zapping the cobble is imminent after a ‘man in a dark suit and sunglasses’ was seen putting tape around it (see picture).

“We’ll probably do it at around 4am, just to be on the safe side”, A White House spokesperson said.

APRIL

SWB announced that a ‘Man Bun’ purge was to go ahead in April

Faversham has recently been afforded the dubious honour of being the UK’s Man Bun capital and the finger of blame was being pointed towards the DFLs*, that have bought homes on the new housing developments.

SWB leader Roger Truelove told The Spire, “We did a Man Bun audit in 2010, and found that there were only four men in town wearing that style. With all the homes now being built, there are now 217 men walking around, and at least two DFL children have been spotted with one. This has to end”.

A public survey revealed that Faversham residents that have lived here since Bert Smith had that cycle shop in Gatefield Lane are irritated by Man Buns on a scale from ‘irritating’ to ‘ looking annoyingly f***ing ridiculous.’

“SWB prides itself on listening to our residents complaints, so we are allowing a 24hr Man Bun purge on Weds 14th of April”, said Truelove.

“Residents will be permitted to sneak up on manbunners and snip it off with a pair of scissors. We would ask that the man buns are disposed of properly, too. We wouldn’t want a dog eating a discarded bun and then throwing it up again like a furball,” he continued.

Scissors Budget restraints mean that SWB were not able to provide scissors but advised residents that they could be bought cheaply enough from That Shop That Used To Be Woolworths. *Down From London

MAY

A five-year-old girl offered a solution to the controversial proposal to employ ex-convicts to run Wetherspoon pubs.

The idea was put forward by deputy PM Dominic Raab following post Brexit staff shortages, but the pub giant was struggling to find criminals to staff its bars, according to CEO Tim Martin, “We thought they’d all jump at the chance to work our pubs, but we’ve not managed to fill one vacancy yet”

But Davington based Amber Newlyn produced a possible solution, “If they’re struggling to find criminals to staff their bars, surely they could just ask 90% of their customers?”

“They’re pretty dependable in that they turn up every day at 8.30am and don’t leave until the evening. All the staff have to do is look out for the regulars who have a tattooed tear on their face. Problem solved.”

Tim Martin was said to be ‘impressed’ by Newlyn’s suggestion and has rewarded her with a packet of Haribos and a free all day sesh in Faversham’s Leading Light outlet.

“That’s very kind of Tim but I’ll pass the sesh on to my dad. He’s been drinking non-stop since mum left him for a neighbour. I’ll keep the Haribos, though”, she said.

JUNE

A dog was almost killed after an allergic reaction to a snake bite.

‘Poppy’, a two-year-old labradoodle, was out on a walk with owner Arthur Barrow when they stopped at The Castle at Oare for a drink.

“It was a hot day, and I fancied a swift pint”, said Barrow, “Poppy and I sat in the garden, and I noticed the pub’s water bowl was empty, so I tipped a drop of my pint into it. Poppy likes an occasional slurp sometimes!”

But a few minutes later, Poppy was ‘convulsing’ on the ground, according to Barrow. “Her eyes were swollen, and her tongue was the size of a golf ball” Luckily a vet was drinking on the next table and immediately diagnosed Poppy as suffering from a snake bite”

But this wasn’t a bite from a snake that had slithered through the grass, according to Barrow. “No, it was from my snakebite and black that I had tipped into the water bowl. Poppy is clearly allergic to lager and / or cider. Or maybe even blackcurrant cordial”

Poppy has since made a complete recovery, with Barrow adding, “I’m just glad she didn’t get aggy and start taking on other dogs, like I used to after a few snakebites when I was younger”.


JULY

Councillor Harriet Pipkin spoke of her ‘vindication’ after taking it upon herself to re-point the cobbles in Court Street.

The jagged cobbles had caused dozens of injuries in recent years, with compensation claims now stacking up at Faversham Town Council (FTC), but half camel / half councillor Pipkin seized the initiative by fixing the problem herself.

“As you’ll know, Faversham councillors recently came bottom of the national table for pointing at things accurately and re-pointing the Court Street cobbles has long been on FTC’s ‘to do’ agenda. I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone, as it were, by demonstrating my pointing skills whilst serving the community”, Pipkin told The Spire.

Market traders and shoppers alike have since praised the 33 year old councillor. 80’s legend Nik Kershaw, who recently had to be rescued after getting trapped between some cobbles said, “I told Pipkin months ago, Wouldn’t It Be Good if she could fix them. And she has. I shall reward her with a free copy of the single if I can find one in a charity shop”

A spokesman for Court Street based cobbler Trev’s Shoe Repair said, “Huzzah for Cllr Pipkin! I’ve been ‘pointing’ this problem out for years”

AUGUST

Developer Anderson Homes came under fire in August after admitting that there ‘kinda could be a problem’ with their new estate being built on a lake.

Anderson CEO Craig Balsam was taken to task after a lorry delivering goods to the new estate overturned on Ham Road, shedding its load.

Potential homeowners visiting the sales office were disturbed to see that the load included otter traps and internal guttering. There were also motorised internal windscreen wipers scattered across the road.

Balsam was challenged about why such items were being delivered to the new development (Pictured) and said, “Well, yes… there is a slight problem with the fact that we’ve built homes on what is effectively a lake and we were hoping to install the otter traps without the buyers knowing. This has thrown the spanner in the works a bit…”

He later admitted to The Spire that there were plans to install drawbridges on the new homes ‘for when the water table peaks.’

“But look on the Brightside,” he continued, “In a few years time you could technically market your home as a houseboat. There are bound to be some folk with more money than sense who would snap that up…”


SEPTEMBER

Faversham Town Council announced that they were ‘fully prepared’ for the anticipated ‘third wave’ of covid after installing a new sanitising centre outside of Faversham Guildhall. “We are installing a new sanitiser where locals can wash their hands” Said Cllr Martin (not that one, the other one) “and have acquired an original sanitising sink from the great plague of 1666”.

The concrete sink (pictured) was filled with vinegar and water, just as it was in 1666, although FTC were undecided which vinegar to use, with the council being split over Sarson’s or Cross and Blackwell.

“Sarsons were formed 128 years after the plague, so I personally think they’d be a better vinegar making firm to use. But Cllr Hook reckons Cross and Blackwell are better,” said Martin, “Perhaps we should ask Ossie’s Fish Shop about which vinegar is best.” The basin was eventually filled with Sarson’s malt vinegar.





OCTOBER

Bob Geldof’s plans for a Monet style pond at Davington Priory may have suffered a set back after he told Southern Water to ‘f*** off.’

The Boomtown Rats singer’s outburst came during a public meeting to discuss the ongoing sewage crisis. Southern Water are responsible for sewage and South East water are responsible for supplies.

The KM headline, yesterday

But Geldof’s outburst proved to be an own goal, with South East Water backing Southern Water, who refused to supply water for Geldof’s pond.

“Us water firms stick together,” said South East water spokesperson Arthur Barrow, “We’re separate regulated companies, but water is our business! You tell one water company to f*** off, you may as well tell them all to f*** off. In fact, if he wants to fill his pond using our water, he can f*** off, too. There. How do you like that?”

Barrow later added, “Personally, the pond idea was waste of water anyway. I don’t like Monet’s”

NOVEMBER

Faversham library reported a recent surge in interest for philosophical literature – and the source of interest pointed towards market traders.

Trader John Fitch, who runs an antique stall on Faversham market, told The Spire, “I am forever having customers come to my stall, ask how much something is and then say to me, “I’ll have a little think,” and I never see them again”

Other traders made similar claims, but a local explained the connection between customers who are having ‘a little think,’ and the sudden interest in philosophy.

“I stopped at a market stall and asked the trader how much he was charging for a vinyl copy of Led Zeppelin 4. I said I’d have a little think and before long, I was thinking about deeper stuff, like Kierkegaard and Socrates – the philosopher, not the footballer,” said Cheney Road resident Twinky Houlihan.

Other shoppers who turned to philosophy whilst thinking about spending five pounds on a book, included Stone Street resident Arthur Barrow. “I told a trader I’d have a little think about buying something from him, and before long, I was knee-deep in the works of Plato. The thinker, not the Disney dog”

But market trader Mick Levit soon capitalised on the new interest in deeper thinking by opening a stall selling books on nothing that very subject.

When asked by The Spire if he’d sold any books on philosophy, he said, “Not yet. All my customers are still having a little think about it”

DECEMBER

There were jubilant scenes on London Road this week after work finally finished on the Ashford Road traffic lights.

Work began in 1991, when Bryan Adams was still at No 1 with Everything I do (I do it for you) and the cost to the taxpayer has been estimated at £12 billion pounds. Amazing Despite this, motorists have given the green light to the new system. Stone Street resident Arthur Barrow said, “It’s worth the wait! Who’d have thought that a traffic light installation would make negotiating the Ashford Road junction a lot easier? It’s amazing!”

“I can’t believe that a system to improve traffic flow has actually improved the traffic flow – at last!”, said Twinky Houlihan of Cheney Road.

“I was 21 when work began”, said John Taylor of Athelstan Road, “I always wanted to see the work finished before I died, and now I can. Lucky really, as I have liver failure and probably won’t see Christmas”

Bryan Adams declined an invitation to officially open them, but Faversham MP Helen Whately was spotted opening them at 2am last Wednesday ‘Whilst in a dressing gown’, according to Ashford Road residents.