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Leading Tories and Bramley Avenue residents have called for the sacking of a grotto Santa after he allegedly told children that Helen Whately didn’t exist.

Retired tyre fitter Harry Reynolds, of Cheney Road, is said to have told the excited children, some as young as four, that Helen Whately was a ‘Krampus’ type figure that was invented to scare them into behaving in the run up to Christmas.

“I’d heard that children were being told that if they weren’t well behaved, Helen Whately would turn up on Christmas eve and steal their presents. She would arrive in a sleigh being pulled by Andrew Bowles and Mike Cosgrove”, 68-year old Reynolds told The Spire, “I was only trying to protect them”.

“One tearful little girl said she was terrified that she wouldn’t get the new One Direction DVD she wanted because she lived in Whately’s constituency. I just couldn’t let this poor girl’s Christmas be ruined like that,” Reynolds added.

Ex Tory councillor Bryan Mulhern said, “Reynolds should be removed from his position and replaced with someone who simply says ‘Ho Ho Ho!’, rather than turning Whately into an anthropomorthic half goat, half Tory figure. Everyone knows that her pointed tail is a birth defect and nothing to do with her being evil incarnate”.

Ex councillor Mike Cosgrove added, “I agree that Reynolds should be sacked. In fact, I think they should shut the grotto down altogether as I live opposite it and the sound of children enjoying themselves actually makes me quite ill”.

A spokesman for Whately said that she was unavailable for comment due to an appointment to have her horns filed.



It has been compared to Viz and Private Eye. It has been criticised as ‘childish, cruel and pathetic’ as well as lauded for its surreal look at Faversham life. The Spire began life back in August as a blog, and 13,000 hits and five months later, it’s about to become a book.

Author Andy Capon told us: “It began mainly out of having too much time on my hands and a love of absurdist humour. Think Monty Python and Spike Milligan and you’ll get the picture. It’s been quite well received in town and readers seem to be embracing it for what it is – just silly, nonsensical rubbish ‘journalism’...”

Regular features include misandrist serial killer Mavis Harcourt – the decapitation doyen – a badger with a deep loathing of Queen and the ongoing saga of the perils of the Bear Inn corridor. Wisdom is imparted by George Oare Well, and law and order is kept by the dubious Sgt Stan Murch. And as if that wasn’t enough, the four horseman of the apocalypse have taken up residence in town too.

“The response has taken me by surprise, to be honest,” Andy said, “Someone said that The Spire was just we need right now, which was nice. All the time people keep reading it, I’ll keep doing it.”

The Spire Winter Collection 2019 will be available to buy from Castella and Creekside Vinyl, priced £12.99, with a pound for every copy sold donated to Pilgrim’s Hospice.


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