Month: January 2015

Bromford Housing threaten to evict tenant for selling home-grown mushrooms

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Home-grown mushrooms
Home-grown mushrooms

Lichfield social landlord Bromford Housing has recently written to one of it’s enterprising tenants threatening her with eviction if she doesn’t stop selling home-grown mushrooms from a stall in her front garden.

Dimbles resident 43 year-old Bessy Banks has lived in the north Lichfield all her life. She said:

‘I got this letter from Bromford and took it to show our Kieran when I visited him in Swinfen. He’s good at reading, being a convicted forger and all that.

‘ “Mom,” he says, “Mom, they’re gonna kick you out the house if you don’t stop selling them bleeding mushrooms!” ‘

Bessy explained:

‘It’s really hard when you’re living in a house that ain’t fit for human consumption.

‘It’s so damp that mould is growing on the walls in every room, it’s even spreading to the furniture. If it takes hold of me fella’s 80in 4k Ultra HD 3D Curved LED TV there’ll be hell to pay, he don’t even live here really, if you know what I mean.’

Mushroom cultivation area
Mushroom cultivation area


Not being a woman who is easily beaten Bessy has tried to make the best of her predicament. She told us:

‘So I thought, I’ve got this house that’s covered in mould, mould is a fungus and so are mushrooms! I’ll grow mushrooms and sell ‘em to the neighbours!

‘I’d got all the raw ingredients, all I needed to do was to push the bed in the Bedroom Tax room up against the mouldy damp wall and let nature take its course. The mattress was sprouting with mushrooms in no time.’

Bromford Housing struggle to manage and maintain over 5,000 former council houses in the Lichfield Area.


Local manager David Ahktar said:

‘I sympathise with Mrs Banks but the tenancy agreement clearly states that the premises cannot be used for any business purposes. With the appalling conditions in these substandard homes we could have a whole new hydroponics industry sprouting up right under our noses if we’re not careful.’

Bromford have been paying lip-service to the complaints of tenants for years but have recently arranged for each complaining whiny tenant’s house to be inspected by a professional surveyor with an undeserved superiority complex.

Martin Sixsmith is one such surveyor, he commented:

‘We recommend that tenants turn up their central heating to the maximum temperature, regardless of the cost; keep open all the windows; never take showers or baths; and refrain from boiling water for any purposes in the kitchen. All furniture should be moved to the centre of the room well away from the walls.

‘If tenants choose to ignore our advice and continue to pursue this anti-social behaviour then they only have themselves to blame for the dreadful conditions in which they live. Scumbag scroungers the lot of them.’

Mr Akhtar of Bromford added :

‘For just £1.79 tenants can buy their very own hygrometer and monitor their ever-increasing despair for themselves. We are also handing out complimentary thermometers to enable them to chart their children’s temperature as they decline towards a chronically sick adulthood.’

Having received nothing but blame from the Landlord, as a very last resort Bessy has turned to local politicians:

Caroline Wood
Caroline Wood

Labour County Councillor, self-employed chiropodist Caroline Wood said that the lives of poor people could be considerably improved if they would only take good care  of their feet. Mrs Wood promised Bessy a voucher for a complimentary chiropody appointment.


Liberal Democrat District Councillor Marion Bland said in an email :

‘I’m very sorry to hear of your plight and know only too well what it’s like to be a discriminated minority. By the way, I live just round the corner, could you drop off some mushrooms after dusk one evening?’

Marion Bland
Marion Bland

Hoping to raise the profile of her campaign, Mrs Banks tweeted incumbent member Sir Michael Fabricant and young Labour firebrand Chris Whoishey.

Eventually Sir Fabricant informed Bessy that she must write to him to request an audience:

‘A missive addressed to me at Cathedral Close, written on the finest quality vellum with a quill pen fashioned from a swan’s feather stands the best possible chance of receiving a patronising response,’ he advised.

Mr Whoishey tweeted Bessy offering to breath heavily down the phone to her early one morning:

‘As you may know I have no interest in visiting the Lichfield and my life insurance cover specifically excludes any claim arising from entering the City from the north via Dimbles Bar. Good luck, and if you ever relocate to Sandwell please vote for me in the next Election 2020 which I plan to take seriously.’

Bessy has vowed to continue selling her mushroom but all parties are looking to the future and considering their options.

Bessy's options
Bessy’s options
Bromford's options
Bromford’s options

You can follow Bessy’s ongoing campaign here

“The Missing 2” filmed in Lichfield and Burntwood and “based on real events”

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The second season of the hit TV drama “The Missing” is to be based in and around Lichfield and Burntwood, the BBC has announced.

The original series starred James Nesbitt as a bereft father searching for his lost son. The second season, with a new cast, follows distraught constituents searching for their lost politicians.

Co-writer Jack Williams commented:

‘We don’t want to give too much away but I was intrigued by reports of local politicians mysteriously disappearing and wanted to weave this into the new drama.’

In the past couple of months Burntwood has experienced the strange disappearance of Conservative town councillors from Council meetings and surgeries.

Celebrity granny and serial local councillor Sue Norman (Labour) commented :

‘There are regular Tory no-shows at Council, I took a picture of their empty chairs at a recent meeting. That went down well I can tell you.’

empty chairs 2

A spokesman for a Burntwood Conservative who couldn’t be traced responded:

‘That photograph was an absolute disgrace, it suggests that we just hadn’t bothered to turn up, which is absolute rubbish. In fact we had been inadvertently delayed by a gluhwein incident whilst on a fact-finding visit to the Birmingham’s German Market. We complained about the picture because it showed two local voters who actually had made the effort to turn up’

Another Tory no-show at a recent surgery prompted a local resident to complain, Ted Tumbleweed explained:

‘I went along to the surgery at the Library only to be told that no Conservative councillor was available. I have issues with dog fouling outside of my house and I wanted my councillor to look into it. If my dog decides to shit on the public footpath, it’s the council’s problem not mine. They’re useless.

‘I pushed a note complaining about the councillors’ absence through the door of Labour group leader Steve Woodward as I couldn’t find any Conservatives.’

Mystery also surrounds missing Labour Parliamentary candidate for Lichfield and Burntwood, Mr Chris Whereishey, who has not been seen in the city of Lichfield since his selection in January 2014. At that time he issued a press statement by phone from his living room in Great Barr suggesting that his selection would have incumbent Member Michael Fabricunt “trembling in his boots”.

Mr Whereishey’s agent, Sue Norman said:

‘I remain hopeful that Chris will put in an appearance before the general election. I’ve no idea what’s happened to him, he’s just disappeared. Mysteriously.’

Mrs Norman denied rumours that he is appearing in panto as Dr Seuss’ The Grinch.


Burntwood residents also have concerns for the safety of their beloved MP Michael Fabricunt who went missing from the constituency in May 2010 and has not been seen since. Local hairdresser Bev Francesco said:

‘I voted for him in May 2014 hoping that he would pop along now and again for a haircut, but nothing. It’s like he’s disappeared off the face of the constituency. Mysteriously’


Screenwriter Jack Williams said:

‘There is clearly some evil afoot in the badlands of Burntwood and we will be crafting “The Missing 2” around these real-life events. I dont want to give too much away but we are planning a story set in the near future, a dystopian vision of a small community left alone by their political leaders with fear stalking the streets.’

A teasing trailer for the new series is now available to view on-line and was shown at the end of the final episode of the first season:

A small girl on the new Burntwood Swing, wearing a cheap dove-shaped hair clip recently purchased from Brownhill’s Christmas Market in her hair.

The area is surrounded by a perimeter fence and CCTV cameras, reminiscent of Redwood Wildlife and Safari Park.

A hole in the fence to which is attached a similar/the same dove jewelry;  a VW campervan drives off, presumably in the direction of Gentleshaw Common for one of the regular dogging sessions.

Cut to the girl looking through the fence which has a “No Unauthorised Access” (in German for added menace); beyond the fence, military personnel and vehicles, suggesting an upgrading of security measures around the Wall following the election. 

Final external shot of a family home, Christmas; inside a toy monkey bashes cymbals before falling off a window ledge – a clear reference to the fate of the UKIPs after the election.

Watch the trailer here.