Spennyriver is a place I like to visit from time to time. It’s a fictional town deep in the heart of the Midlands, UK. It’s a bit different from what I usually write, but I think it fits into the weird category. The Dispatch is the local newspaper that keeps us up to date on all the goings on in this small Midlands town. It’s like a regular town with regular people. Just weirder.
It’s a place I’ve been wondering what to do with. There may be a book in it at some point, but for now I would like to introduce you to some of the breaking news in this strange town. The town has its own vocabulary, not unlike the medium-sized city, Nottingham (although it’s NOT Nottingham). If you struggle with any of the vocabulary, drop a comment, and I’ll translate! Any particularly difficult words I translate at the end of a story. If you say the words out loud, it makes more sense. Trust me.
Here’s a couple of stories from the Spennyriver Dispatch:
Plea for missing woman to call home
Chief Superintendent, Miles Farnsworth, today made an impassioned plea for the missing lady – Ilene Privett – to call home.
Those of you that have been paying attention, will know that Ilene has not been seen since last week. Mrs Privett (59, homemaker) was last seen leaving the community centre after a particularly violent session with the knitting circle. Officers in full riot-gear were called to break up a number of altercations that had broken out amongst the mainly female knitting group. The women – and one man – were armed with knitting needles, one with a crochet hook. More details on this disturbance can be found elsewhere in this edition.
Mrs Privett was seen walking away from the community centre at around 3pm. Local busy-body, Jeb Davis, 62, gave his account of her last known moments: “I saw her cum outa the building, an walk ova ther, towards coop. She ‘ad a knitting needle in each ‘and, and she looked proppa miffed.”
Superintendent Farnsworth was quick to point out that Jeb wore his shirts the wrong way around and probably shouldn’t be trusted as an eye witness.
Anyone in the vicinity of the community centre is asked to call the missing person hotline: 111-IM-LOST with any information.
This missing person appeal is now in its fifth day, and signs point to it going further. For those of you that are inclined, Big Jim is taking bets on when and how Mrs Privett will be found. He can be contacted @thepub.
‘Mr Charity’ does it again!
Eric Sweat, our local charity fundraising campaigner, has successfully completed his most recent sponsored effort.
For those of you following Eric’s progress, this will already be his tenth fundraising effort this year. ‘Mr Charity’, as he likes to refer to himself, has raised money for a variety of worthy charities right here in Spennyriver, including The Sheila Wolfe False Kneecap Society, Hamsters Are People too, and most recently The High Arch Shoe Association.
For the last week, Eric has been buried alive in a glass coffin, six feet beneath the carpark of ‘The Ostrich and Wombat’ pub, to raise money for the Spennyriver Squirrel Sanctuary. He has only been able to communicate with the outside world by means of facial gestures and by twitching his ears, as he made the coffin just a bit too narrow. He has only had the food to eat that he took in with him, most of which looks like it had spoiled a couple of days in, and has been sloshing around in the three or four inches of urine that had been collecting, due to an oversight with the toileting arrangements.
Eric was unsealed from his coffin this morning and had this to say:
“A big thank you to all of you who gave money to such a worthy charity. Your generosity has raised almost £25 which will help to provide our local squirrels with enough food to last them to the end of the week.”
For up to date information on Eric’s latest campaigns, keep watching this space, or call the charity hotline on 111-HELP-ME.
There’s the first two stories from The Spennyriver Dispatch. I hope they were informative. Spennyriver’s moto is A Day in Spennyriver is probably enough.
Would you take out a subscription…?
If you would like to share an excerpt of your work and publicise yourself / book, just drop me a line at authorsteveboseley (at) gmail (dot) com.