Friday, December 29, 2006

Swindon's Babies Getting Too Fat For The Womb, GWH Can't Cope

In a story getting bigger by the minute tonight, Swindon Centric has learned that babies being born in the town are putting a huge, podgy strain on mothers and mid-wives this Christmas season.

Primary Care Trust officials hope this is just a short-term problem as mothers to-be have been over indulging over the holidays. However health and safety chiefs are voicing concern as babies become too big for the mothers they are being delivered by. This follows a unconfirmed report of a heavily pregnant woman giving birth in Bridge Street. Experts have calculated that an oversized baby in an undersized womb has the same explosive potential as a champagne cork in the neck of a bottle.

The mother in question ''had a turn'' in Bridge Street and the baby was ''there one minute and gone the next'', quotes from Stanley Ridge, 48, a full-time Passer-By from Lydiard Millicent. '' There was a noise like an explosion, then the baby was gone, we heard shouts from the Jubilee Clock at the corner of Canal Walk, the baby had landed unharmed wedged in the clock several hundred yards away, my wife didn't see any of it, she was sale shopping''.

Staff at the Great Western Hospital have been issued with hard-hats until the new year

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Town's Viewing Figures Show Christmas TV Was Better Before Christmas Happened

In a story that many will understand will be the truth, but may prefer to deny the fact, Swindon Centric can hit you with an exclusive.

Christmas Day TV was better before Christmas existed, that's according to a study by local group Citizens For Moral Outrage based in Stratton St Margaret.

They've found that despite good efforts by the BBC with Doctor Who (which was good, everyone at Swindon Centric agrees) and The Vicar Of Dibley (also good), TV before Christmas was just better.

They point to viewing figures comparing two Morecambe and Wise Christmas specials, the 1977 AD Christmas Special was watched by a record, for the time, of 28 million viewers. The 121 BC Pre-Christmas Special of Morecambe And Wise however had an audience of 128 million proving without any doubt that TV at this very special time of year has begun to drop off.

  • See those exceptional viewing figures right here
  • Tuesday, December 26, 2006

    South Pole Record Team Abandons Attempt After Not Having A Unique Enough Group Name

    There's disappointment in the Covingham area of Swindon this Boxing Day after a group attempting to walk unaided to the South Pole had to turn back after finding their group didn't have the unique name they thought it did.

    The team's fourteen members from the call centre department of United Industrial Blowtorches, based at Edison Road flew back into RAF Lyneham this morning, the team had only got as far as London Heathrow when the news came thorough that another group from United Industrial Blowtorches from the Huntingdon office has just reached the South Pole unaided.

    '' We've been planning this for several months and to be struck with this news just as we begin is, well for workers in this industry, it's a real blow, '' that comment from Luc Craven, 26, the team coordinator who lives in Latton.

    Next Boxing Day the team plan to try again, having twelve members dressed as the respective characters from the song ' The 12 Days Of Christmas' and just to make sure no-one steals their unique record, they'll walk backwards, eating Wagon Wheels and singing 'Amarillo' in Mandarin'.

    Sunday, December 24, 2006

    Town's Turkeys Are Revolting ; People Panic Buy Their Peace-Loving Quorn Alternative

    With barely four hours to go before most major stores and supermarkets close for the Christmas holidays, reports are being reported that turkeys everywhere are revolting.

    The up-rising was first noticed by a nosey Moredon woman stood in the ten items or less line in Morrisons at Haydon Wick , '' I glanced round at a pallet of discounted biscuit tins next to the freezers when this headless turkey jumped up on the shelf it was on, pushed open the door and ran off toward the bakery to thaw off, passed the canned peas.''

    Ms A Podmore, of Jubilee Gardens, didn't report this strange event at the time as her husband was outside in the car and she had to get back for a Desperate Housewives double-bill on More 4.

    Fifteen minutes earlier, a gang of twelve turkeys was seen running down Paddington Drive by a startled Stagecoach driver, '' not the sought of thing you expect to see when on time and a half on Christmas Eve,'' he commented.

    Unconfirmed sources at the Wiltshire Constabulary said the turkeys were going to Bridgemead Sainsburys to liberate several of their more oppressed comrades at the fresh meat counter.

    Residents are being advised to lock their windows, bolt their doors and say their prayers. But make sure any turkeys already in the house are left outside first.

    Monday, December 18, 2006

    Residents Believe Football Violence Could Be Halted By Removing Seats ; Police Deny Saying 'If They Had A Brain They'd Be Dangerous'

    Following Saturday's clash at Swindon Town's match against Bristol Rovers, several concerned residents have asked for the Council to ban seats at future football matches to deny thugs the chance to throw anything.

    '' I don't think the residents who have raised this have really thought it through since I'm sure they'd just find something else to throw, probably each other, or the referee'' , said Paul Lemmon Sports And Disasters Officer.

    Suggestions that the same residents would have asked for icebergs to be made illegal after the sinking of the Titanic have been dismissed as frivolous.

    In a totally unrelated story, other residents have asked to have a footpath closed since drug debris is found covering the right of way.

  • Read that entirely unrelated story here
  • Sunday, December 17, 2006

    Army And Police On Alert As Christmas Shopping Turns Into A Scene From Gremlins

    With the majority of stores now closed this Sunday afternoon, anti-tank blocks, self defence training for staff and cages to put feisty shoppers in have been rolled out all over town as Christmas shopping enters the final countdown.

    The local civil defence plan will be enacted from 9am until 10pm tomorrow and every day at the same hours through Friday to 'protect the innocence and punish the overly festive' said local Territorial Army Deputy Sarah Mckenzie at an emergency news conference at the County Ground.

    The situation began deteriorating mid-day on Friday and is though to stay in a similar state throughout the week until around mid-morning on Thursday when most people are expected to have finished their shopping and be concentrating on travelling home.

    This weekend's shopping figures were released for Swindon this evening, the highlights include, three checkout staff assaulted with mince pies, seven brass bands in a brawl and seventy three shop windows smashed, fourteen of which were at the Canal Walk branch of Starbucks as patrons were told they had ran out of espresso brownies and poppy seed muffins.

    Unconfirmed reports that the mayor was heard suggesting citizens ' grab a bottle, a tin of quality street and pray for the 27th' have been denied by councillors.

    Friday, December 15, 2006

    Wrapping Paper Shortage Could Upset Kids Who Already Know What Their Presents Are

    In a conspiracy that could have the size and scale of the alleged Diana plot, uncertainty and rumour surround Swindon's supply of wrapping paper for Christmas.

    The whole situation came to attention when a fight broke out between two woman in WHSmith in Regent Street battling over a roll of red and green tartan patterned at noon today. As the women were dragged away by police, bystanders report hearing them shout 'that was the last roll and it was MINE!'. Stunned Friday lunchtime shoppers panicked and within 20 minutes selling out of wrapping paper was reported by Woolworths, BHS, Marks And Spencer and Boots.

    A spokeswoman for Clinton Cards said they were rationing customers to one roll per transaction. After just 35 minutes the news had reached the Outlet Village and by 5 o'clock Asda Walmart at Haydon Wick had run down to its last pallet.

    The Council Officer for Public Safety and Yellow Line painting, Marcus Forster-Smythe, '' We can confirm there is no wrapping paper shortage, if the people who've been buying up large quantities of paper had bought it at the normal rate there'd be plenty to go round.''

    Despite the reassurance, queues developed this evening at WHSmith when a rumour flew that a delivery is expected tomorrow morning at 8am. Anyone going to line up is advised to wear warm clothing, shoes and underwear. A kevlar lined vest and shin pads are optional but would be important for your own safety.

    We'll keep you updated with this story as it unwraps.

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    A Non-Driving Passer-By Says He'll Think Twice About Drink Driving After Being Told He'd Have His Name And Picture In The Paper

    A man questioned in a vox-pops on Canal Walk about the pre-Christmas anti-drink driving campaign had to feign interest in the story when he was told his picture and name would appear in a local paper.

    '' I was asked whether the display of a crashed car that killed it's driver would make me think twice about drink driving especially over the holiday season. When I was about to say to the young lady reporter that actually I don't drive, she told me they'd take my picture and put it in the paper. I quickly said 'yes it's pretty shocking and would make me think again' as I thought about appearing in the local rag. What a treat, my Mum will be so pleased.''

    That comment from Martin Partridge, 29, a camel dung dealer from Redhouse, who's on page 4, bottom right hand corner, just underneath the advert for cheap-roll end carpet of the Swindon Beaver Herald.

    Rumours, put about by us, that the paper will tomorrow run an exclusive that he's actually a non-driver and that its reporter was duped by a professional confidence trickster have been denied.

  • Read about something entirely unrelated here
  • Monday, December 11, 2006

    Social Discrimination Comes Full Circle As Pensioner Arrested For 'Looking Shifty'

    Today in a victory for teenagers and anyone below working age, a pensioner in Swindon Town Centre was stopped and questioned by police after drawn attention by hanging round outside Marks And Spencer and 'looking shifty'.

    '' Too often it's us who are stopped and told to move on, just because we're hanging out and pensioners feel threatened and think we're all about to nick their hangbags. Todays move see's some of that ignorance being redistributed. We all think it's great.'' This comment came from Charlie Dawes, 16 of South Marston, who has been celebrating with his mates as the police said they'd have a policy of 'equality through discrimination' in the town centre. This means any pensioners congregating in groups of three or more who be asked to move on, if they refused they would be taken into custody and warned.

    The police hope to have a Anti Social Behaviour Order in place for over 60s by the end of the month. The area of the ASBO will be bounded by M And S in the Brunel Centre, Boswell's in the Brunel Arcade, BHS in Bridge Street and as far north as those charity shops near the Tourist Information Centre where you can pick up a right bargain and get rid of those Catherine Cookson paperbacks you've read to death. The area already bans the consumption of alcohol and police have said they will be firm and severe on those who break the rules, including the elderly.

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    XXL Factor ; Council To Rebuild All Schools To Accomodate Fatter Pupils

    Swindon Borough Council has announced a programme of school rebuilding right across the board to fit with our lazy societies fatness.

    A Education department spokesman said '' it is true that the rebuilding work is to ensure that Swindon's schools can accomodate the growing bulk of the average pupil using them. Classrooms and doorways specifically will see the most money spent on them to have the capacity to cope with portly children.''

    A suggestion that the money should be spent on making children take exercise, walk to school and teach parents to feed their kids with real food, as apposed to the plastic, fat filled, sugar and salt sprinkled junk they think passes for it at the moment, has been dismissed as making far too much sense.

    Further rumours that parking spaces are to be made wider for bigger cars to carry our greater capacity (technical term for lard-arses) has also been unconfirmed tonight.

    Swindon Shops Annual Christmas Business Downturn Worry 2006

    In a shockingly unshocking breaking story, Swindon shops have broken their own record for saying we're not spending enough on brightly coloured tat pre-Christmas for the year.

    Beating their own record by six days, several Swindon businesses issued the annual 'we should be making more money at this time before Christmas in worrying downturn in business' press release in an effort to scare people into parting with their cash.

    '' Its as much a part of the pre-Christmas time as mince pies, forgetting the wrapping paper and swallowing tinsel. The business community times the issue of the annual business slowdown story very carefully to ensure it annoys as many people as possible'' , said Aaron Moneypenny, Business expert.

    The CBWI , Confederation Of Big Winny Industry, hasn't ruled out issuing more pleading stories nearer the end of the following two weeks to get those cash registers ringing.

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    Future Anti-Crime Meetings Cancelled Due To Crime

    A meeting arranged to devise ways of fighting crime in Old Town has itself been blamed for increasing the crime rate following break ins at the houses of those attending.

    The police have blamed over exposure of the meeting's speakers and those attending prior to the meeting itself as the cause. Swindon Centric has a theory that the same fate may have befallen those in Old Town as those firefighters who recently had their own Fire Station burnt down due to poor practise.

    Reports that police in both cases are looking for a man called Mr Irony who was wearing a wry 'I told you so smile' have been denied.

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    North Wilts Supervisor Snoozes ; Leisure Centres Lose

    In a exclusive for Swindon Centric, we can reveal the reason for the proposed closure of leisure centres in Cricklade and Wootton Bassett, due to set of spare keys being lost.

    A senior supervisor for both centres went on a two week break to Italy and seems to have misplaced the spare set of keys that are allocated to both facilities.

    The North Wilts Authority has proposed closure of both centres as its only a matter of time before the master set is lost, possibly during operating hours, meaning either people couldn't get in, or more seriously, couldn't get out.

    A mass petition has been arranged to make the council rethink and have a mass search down the back of the authority owned three piece suite.

  • See, or maybe don't see those missing keys and those missing facts here
  • Friday, December 01, 2006

    Major Employer Pretends To Go Bust ; Tries To Get A Farepak Handout

    Breaking suddenly this lunchtime, a major Swindon employer, as yet un-named has pretended to have gone into liquidation as a profit boosting effort in the hope of getting a Farepak style handout.

    Trying to raise urgently needed revenue so the company could pay for the fatty foods and expensive wine, spirits and beer for it's Christmas party was the sole reason behind this deception an insider for Swindon Centric.

    '' Our bosses said in a strategy meeting that the Farepak bailout scheme that the government launched had raised a few millions pounds and our Director Of Marketing saw no reason why a 'pretend' scheme for our firm couldn't work in a similar way. If there's any money left over, it'll be given to the employees who have been most loyal this year, so I'm going to take the family down to Cornwall for the New Year.''

    It was unconfirmed this afternoon whether reports of employees posing as charity workers standing on the corner of Regent Street and The Parade collecting money in red buckets was accurate.

    Wednesday, November 29, 2006

    Swindon Has Sun Turned Down To Save Power

    In a huge victory for environmentalists and plenty of local tin-foil hat wearing nut jobs alike, the local Council has had the Sun turned down.

    To allow Swindon to meet it's local emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol the local authority received permission early this afternoon to have the sun turned down from a barmy 26 degrees to a mild 19 degrees for two hours tomorrow.

    '' This will allow Swindon to cut it's CO2 emissions within it's annual target for year ending 2007'' a Council spokeswoman said today.

    It is believed that no residents will be directly effected as the turnoff is taking place at the quietest time of the day to prevent major disruption to businesses.

    The 'cooling off' period will be from 0100 until 0300 Greenwich Mean Time, an angry Sydney, Australia resident called the Swindon Centric Office to say City officials down under were asking citizens to dig out their jumpers and flashlights.

    It is unconfirmed tonight that Sydney is looking to have it's cooling off period during business hours, Swindon time, as a tit-for-tat retaliatory action.

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    Flooded Residents Surprised By Over Flowing River

    In shocking news today, several dozen Swindon residents were totally 'shell shocked' that there floodplain located houses were flooded after heavy rain.

    " This came as a total surprise, we had no idea, no warning. The water just started pouring across our newly laid decking, in through the new conservatory and caused our brand new SUV to float round the double garage, like I told the insurance assessor.''

    This quote from Charlie Farley, 38, cess-pit cleaner from Rodbourne came as many residents moaned about not being protected enough at times of heavy rain.

    The Council denied it had costed the finances into pitching a big plastic sheet stretching from Junction 16 Borough boundary to the A419.

    Suggestions by local weatherman that residents should use common sense and watch weather forecasts and not moan when they live in houses in flood prone areas was withdrawn as too controversial.

  • See a weather story disguised as news to fill pages
  • Monday, November 27, 2006

    Multiple Murderer With 15 Victims, Says This Was His Last One, Honest

    A local murderer, who has served 2000 hours community service for fifteen murders has promised that this was his last one and he has finally learned his lesson.

    Martin Chopper, 39 of Dead End Avenue, Grange Park, has just served his last sentence of community service, when he told Swindon Centric that this really is the last time and the straight and narrow is the way for him now.

    The reason Mr Chopper, famed for the use of a meat cleaver in his criminal past, has escaped a prison sentence until now is due to his charity work and his darned nice, approachable and cheery manner.

    Local Magistrates refused to comment that efforts were being made to remove Mr Chopper's reserved parking place pass at the Magistrates Court in Gordon Road, Swindon.

    As one local man walking his dog, who refused to be named, said '' everyone knows parking round here is murder.''

    Friday, November 24, 2006

    Christmas Light Shocks Only Those Who Have Nothing Better To Worry About

    In the usual seasonal display of non-news, there has been yet another local ruckus about a provincial town's shopping centre Christmas Lights.

    A story getting more uninteresting by the second, Swindon Centric haa learned that this year's town centre lights are 45% smaller than previous lights. Outraged locals have said it's shocking when the rise in Council tax seems to show the money's going somewhere that no-one is sure of.

    An unidentified member of Swindon Services was reported to have said that although the lights size was 45% smaller that older designs, the strength of the bulbs has been increased from an average 60 watt to 100 watt in a effort to mask any disparity. It's thought that with brighter lights nobody will be able to see the decorations themselves and therefore not see the diminutive scale of them.

    The government office for standards in Christmas lights, OFSWITCH, said when the average year on year change was accounted for with the factoring of all other lights in the Country, Swindon had 18.5% more Christmas Lights than in previous years, though it would have been 25% this year if somone hadn't nicked a reindeer off the nativity scene on the Town Hall steps.

    A jolly old fat man in a red suit, with an unhealthy interest in children is the prime suspect.

  • Swindon's switch on, with no scandal
  • Monday, November 20, 2006

    The Louder We Get ; The More Deaf They Get

    With the huge opposition to the proposed closure of Lower Shaw Farm, the Council's attitude to it's residents does seem bizzare at best.

    You will remember the debacle with the Headland's 'Hondalands' Academy which the Council seems relentlessly determined to pursue, despite major misgivings by not just residents and teachers, but also, it's own councillors. Well, remember that fantastic piece of spin put on the results of a consultation exercise where a certain member of the Council assumed that the people who didn't answer the survey must have been in favour, otherwise they would have said so?

    A bit like saying that all those millions of people who don't bother to vote in general elections all support the government 100% but are just too bone-idle lazy to vote.

    And we are constantly told that 'these are the chances to have your voice heard'?

    Well, Councillors, if you're listening, the people of Swindon do not want you to close, meddle with, touch or go anywhere near Lower Shaw Farm, we've spoke, nay shouted from the rooftops and what have our elected representatives done?


    Why is it when a subject as emotive as this one gets people rallied, the people we elect do not listen?

    I certainly hope that I am wrong, very VERY wrong.

  • Read the opposition to the plans here
  • Sunday, November 19, 2006

    Nationwide Customers Can't Put A Name To Their Faces After Laptop Theft

    Nationwide Building Society based in Swindon admitted a laptop which contained names and personal details of customers was stolen in a shocking case of potential identity theft.

    Independent security experts claim there is only one full proof way of protecting againest such robberies. Sarah Sheildford of private security firm Lock and Load recommended '' the only real way to protect one's identity is to keep a paper copy of personal information, specifically first and last names, address, date of birth and hair colour and height. Otherwise you may wake up one day and not know what your first name is, your eye colour or your height.''

    These increased security measures are needed after last year's famed Highworth hijacking of several dozen people's identity. Leaving many residents not knowing what their own personal details were. It took one man three months before he could finally work out his surname and what his age was.

  • Read the real Nationwide story, click here
  • Friday, November 17, 2006

    Tagging Of Local Councillors Will Improve Performance

    In a countrywide first, Swindon is to experiment with electronically tagging local councillors in an effort to improve overall efficency.

    Locals with new DAB Radios and third generation mobile phones will get an regular beeping sound from their sets when a local representative is within 100 metres, with the beeps getting louder the closer they get.

    Councillor Joshua Marcus ( Wichelstowe South) said ' most of the older members of the council were againest this trial, but overall, it'll allow voters to know where the people they vote for are on a day-to-day basis.'

    Rumours that the scheme includes fitting religious door-to-door sellers has been rejected as too expensive has been denied by officials.

    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Luddites Win Wheelie Bin Fight ; Lose Right To Live In 21st Century

    Swindon Borough Council has listened to it's residents and promised not to force wheelie bins on those people who are frightened by them.

    In an attempt to better serve those residents who oppose putting their rubbish in a solid, sanitary container and who say that 'they look ugly', the Council has unveiled a new, exciting strategy. Those local residents who do not wish to live in the current age will be given a free Council grant to use the government time-machine, travel back to the early 1900's and live in a more suitable age. No piped water, NHS, cars, ASBOs, mobile phones, airplanes, paninis, Belgian Chocolates, internet or any nasty modern devils like wheelie bins.

  • For the full real details, click here
  • Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Council Gets Desperate As It Considers Selling Itself To Raise Revenue

    With the sound of pursestrings snaping shut having become familiar to Swindonians, the Council has been forced to assess all possible options.

    This includes comissioning a feasibility study into selling itself to raise much needed money.

    The tendering of the entire council to the highest bidder has been mooted before behind closed doors, but never got beyond the thinking stage.

    A Council spokeswoman apparently said ' with the possible sale of the Council we could ensure that the coffers would be comfortable for the forseeable future.' She declined to add that with the sale, the Council wouldn't have to pay for anything, so the money would end up being useless and not needed.

    Reports that planning applications would end up having to be submitted to your local chip and pizza shop couldn't be confirmed this afternoon.

    Accusations about the authority wasting money on feasibility studies has been taken on board with the promise of a feasibility study into suspending feasibility studies. Its conclusions are expected in 2009-12.

    The Council did add though that even with this vast amount of money, it would still end up selling off Lower Shaw Farm, just to make sure it would eventually alienate everyone it serves in the town.

    One local authority, do I hear, a tenner?

    Wyvern Asbestos 'Least Of Our Worries' After Shock Dragon Discovery

    With the Wyvern Theatre shut well into the new year as asbestos is removed, a late breaking story this lunchtime shows that we aren't quite being told the truthiness.

    Workers contracted by the Council to ensure the building is fit for purpose have discovered a suspected stash of Ballistic Missiles hidden behind the decorative dragon on the exterior of the structure.

    Historians studying ancient documents from the 1970s have found the building was part of the local Civil Defence Plan in response to a nuclear attack. The building was designed to act as a bunker if the unthinkable happened during the Cold War.

    As a result the facade which faces Theatre Square was built to contain a missile defence system. The eyes of the dragon retract to allow Surface To Air missiles to be fired as a last line of defence for the town.

    A local man out walking his dog, who wished to have his identity kept secret, said ' it's a well known local legend that the missiles were built at the Railway Works'.

    MOD and Council officials surprisingly refused to comment.

    Good Manners Cost Robber Millions in Bank Raid

    In a true show of the community feel of our town, Swindon Centric can reveal (as our inaugural story) that a bank raid was foiled this morning by sheer good manners.

    At around 9.45am this morning, an attempted robbery on an as yet unnamed Commercial Road bank branch was foiled by customers in the queue. A masked man pushed ahead of the waiting customers and demanded money. However when he was challenged by a pensioner with a walker that he wasn't in the queue, he got angry, pulled out a shotgun and started shouting.

    A tense stand-off followed for almost two minutes as customers muttered under their breath that ' it was a disgrace' and 'manners cost nothing'. The robber lost his nerve and fled the bank shouting 'I'm terribly sorry, it's totally my fault'.

    The man is described as stocky, wearing a black pullover hat, black and white striped jumper and a bag marked with the cryptic word 'SWAG' written on it. Its unknown whether early reports on him being identified as Burglar Bill are confirmed.

    The branch manager commented 'it just goes to show, good manners can cost you everything, including several thousand pounds'.