Hemingbrough, near Selby, Yorkshire




Elf and Safe Tea.

Hemingbrough Parish Councillors asked their Elf n Safe Tea Councillor in May 2011 for some ideas about a Pensioner’s Christmas Tea; not their brightest idea - Duh!  That’s not the joke!


I kid you not.  They got a 22-page document that contained false accusations and showed Councillors are already predisposed to spend money “instead” of making a donation to an independent local charity set up to help the poor of the parish, for example, a single parent who may need help with an expensive school uniform for a child winning a scholarship. Councillors couldn’t wait to try to withdraw it and try to reclaim the copy given to a member of the public under the Freedom of Information Act.


So it’s true, an Elf n Safe Tea Manager is ‘whine seller’ who writes a 22 page document when asked for a brief, and almost, but not quite, but maybe or maybe not comes close to a long string of words that seems to resemble a grammatical form that could sometimes be but not necessarily construed as a recommendation   






















Introduction.  As a result of the discussions held at the above mention Parish Council meeting under the agenda item identified above and the agreement in principle of the idea of a pensioners tea I was delegated by the council to gain further information into the practicalities of the proposal by visiting organisations and venues within the parish to ascertain the feasibility of the proposal.  To achieve this I have visited and discussed the idea with a number of representatives of various venues (identified below) and purveyors of food and drink within the parish.


Before commencing my journey to speak to representatives of potential venues and the purveyors of food and drink I thought it may be a good idea to ascertain the potential number of eligible parishioners to assist the representatives when deciding if they could be a help to the parish council with the pensioner’ tea proposal after all I did not want to make myself or the council look silly when asked how many people we were talking about.


I cannot quote any more of this report as Page 3 of 22 contains 35 lines of warnings about copyright [so here I acknowledge the two ‘brief’ extracts above have been copied from the ‘A Feasibility Study and Report for Hemingbrough Parish Council into the provision of a Pensioners Tea. Copy for the Parish Clerk prepared and presented by Councillor David Bilton GradIOSH May/June 2011, and that “all the contents therein, for example photographs, supporting documents and information is subjected to copyright protection” [including the local Chinese Take-away and Fish Shop menus.] 


We need more Elf n Safe Tea Managers because, like sperm, only one in two million ever does anything worthwhile.

n Safer Tea Manager’s Fact of the Day. 

In Britain in 1993, three people needed hospital treatment as a result of accidents with their tea-cosies.


Elf n Safe Tea Manager’s Nightmare.

Pensioner Parish Councillor suffocated by Tea Cosy at party sanctioned by Elf n Safe Tea Manager.


Cartoon by kind permission of 'The Hemingbrough Bard'.




“Make sure you are well protected if you ask awkward questions at the Parish Council [2007-2011] Open Public Forum. They will probably think you are taking the p***"

What one thoughtful resident, with a wonderful sense of humour, provided for my protection.


Witch Bottles were used by my Primitive Methodist ancestors in this area. Their original bottle is still buried by the front door of a Wressle cottage. Traditionally, the bottle contained urine, bent nails and pins, rosemary and pubic hair.


Friends are helpful not only because they will listen to us, but because they will laugh at us; through them we learn a little objectivity, a little modesty, a little courtesy;  we learn the rules of life and become better players of the gamee.

When we begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves."

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.  It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.


Osama Row in retaliation for asking questions


Look here Markham, this nonsense that you are involved in has to stop, no more dressing up! The memsahib is very upset at your picture appearing in the local press wearing dark glasses. I ask you, dark glasses indeed – in broad daylight! It’s enough to upset the locals. Have you no sense!

Now we hear in the local rag that some woman thinks you are that monster Bin Laden. Never realised that dark glasses were the hallmark of arab terrorists though, thought it was stretching it a bit far. The village must have seemed to be full of damned terrorists this summer – makes you wonder what was in those ice creams they were carrying. I shall have to take my revolver out when I go out for our rations if this goes on.

It’s time you realised that these people have lived sheltered lives, next thing they could be accusing you of being from Mars. So stop this bloody nonsense of prancing about in dark glasses as if you are an Arab. You're not undercover in the desert now! You're retired, remember?

I was taking the memsahib to the Colonel’s “Desert Song” themed party this week end. It makes me shudder to think what would have happened if the CIA wallahs had seen us if dark glasses can have this effect on these people. You have ruined our little get together, the memsahib is in tears and she now has doubts about our old friend TE Lawrence!
Major EdItion


More ‘supporters’ plotting their get away from your village?

Did she really think that your photograph was anything like Osma Bin Laden? I think there is only one thing to say: SHOULD HAVE GONE TO SPECSAVERS!


I know Elvis is supposed to be alive and living in Hemingbrough, is Osama there too? What a place!


Do you know if the couple of men going round the village passing themselves off as Mormons were really from the CIA? I think you should have been told.

That woman must be really silly to have taken that picture seriously - how often did she see bin Laden in sunglasses and a beanie hat!!! Actually, if it said you were a secret member of the Garden Gnome Lookalike Society, I might have believed it!


We are disturbed about the information from your village. Mrs. C. has had you under surveillance for a long time. She knows you lived in and travelled throughout the Middle East. She says you support a familiar figure known throughout the world; a man with a long white beard. She says he has lots of supporters who help him move elusively, slipping from country to country with ease, always in the dead of night. She says his trips are meticulously planned and executed. He will spend up to a year preparing his surprises. She thinks he will be visiting you in Hemingbrough within weeks. We know his usual mode of transport is 'unconventional'. The only other information we have is that he always wears a version of the eastern style of dress coloured like the setting desert sun. You are under observation. If this man arrives in the dead of night, you will be reported to Mrs. C. no matter what time of night it is. We know who he is, where you live and her phone number. He has a number of aliases, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nikolas


Stop Press - Has another ObL lookalike been spotted, masquerading as a contestant on a television game show? Get your poison pen out Mrs. C!


I expect Mrs. Chilvers will now learn how quickly a nickname will stick because surely, irrespective of who is eventually revealed as the anonymous letter writer 'Gutless Snake', she will always be known as 'Mrs. Chilverssssssss'.


My chin is raised, making it easier to look down my nose at Mrs Jean Chilvers, the corner of my lip is tightened and slightly raised on the right side of my face, I have a slight smile at being called a community activist, member of the Hemingbrough Action Plan group, and a people’s champion, my finger is pointed accusingly as I convey my feelings of pure and utter contempt as she sought, yet again, to draw the Church into the Parish Council controversies because a photograph of me from many years ago that is already well known to the Hemingbrough Church Ladies Group, caused my friends to nickname me Osama bin Markham as they knew I had lived in the Middle East, travelled extensively throughout the region, and made many friends there.