The Turriff Advertiser (locally known, not entirely with affection, as The Squeak) produced a non-story so perfect it seemed to us a quintessence of local non-journalism. The Squeak Names and Shames. Here goes:
A blemish in Turriff’s flourishing display of hanging flower baskets was promptly removed on Wednesday. Compared to the majority of the attractive baskets provided by the Turriff Town Pride Group, the one beside the Bank of Scotland High Street premises was in poor condition. Several local residents had expressed their disappointment to the Advertiser and shortly afterwards the basket was removed.
A spokesperson for the Bank of Scotland commented, ‘The hanging basket in question will be replaced with nice new flowers and we’ll do our best to keep it watered.’ TTPG’s Jim Anderson explained that shop keepers and street-front firms had been given equipment to care for the flowers which should be watered every day.
One member of the public who wished to remain anonymous said: ‘It’s a complete and utter waste of money and effort for a basket to be displayed them not looked after. It’s a disgrace on behalf of the Bank of Scotland as everyone else’s are so bonny.’
Another bystander added, ‘It’s not very nice with the Turra Show coming up.’
The baskets and flowers cost over £40 each and require daily attention in order to keep Turriff looking at its best.
Small town life … Meanwhile, ELSEWHERE in the Scottish News, for the first time in history we acquired a copy of the Scottish Daily Express because we were riveted by the front-page headline at a garage.
CRAZED SKIPPER LASHED TO MAST
Well, would YOU read on? It turned out to be just what it said. The Captain Ahab in question, name of Spike, went impressively bonkers 90 miles of Finisterre. ‘A radio beacon was set off by the [crew] after Sellers reportedly showed signs of ‘deep mental problems’ and tried to sink the yacht … Sellers, a father-of-three from Fort William, was left tied to a mast for seven hours.’ Nobody knows what it was all about. While Spike, captain of the Argo, belongs roughly in the 19th century with Moby Dick and The Wreck of the Hesperus, Another local-paper story just a few days ago was still more archaic; an unfortunate farm labourer in an isolated part of the country came gradually to the conclusion that he was the Messiah. Unfortunately the result of this was that he murdered his brother, with the intention of resurrecting the poor man as a sign and portent, but it didn’t quite come off. He was remanded as unfit to plead, of course, but it’s hard not to feel that he should have been repatriated to the seventeenth century where they knew how to deal with that sort of thing.