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The Voice in your Community

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Let The Voice Be With You

by Les Humphries of Rocester

September 10th 2020, Issue 100

Previous articles by Les Humphries can be found here

Well Readers, we have reached a milestone! ‘The Voice’ has defied the lockdown, where it continued online, and indeed is still available in that format but has made it back into print for this the 100th Edition.

I am proud to say I have been a columnist since the second edition, having received the first one through my letter box and thinking what a great magazine it was. When I saw the Editor was Nigel Titterton (formerly of the local newspaper), and through writing the Rugby reports for first JCB, and then Uttoxeter Rugby Clubs, I had known him for many years so I thought I must let him know I’m impressed.

So I gave Nige a ring to compliment him on the Mag: and he said “Why don’t you write a column for me Les?” and the rest is history. We don’t always see eye to eye on the content of my scribing’s, and more than once I’ve thrown my dummy out of the pram, but as we’ve picked up more columnists along the way, I feel it’s got better and better over the years, defying it’s imitators who have fallen by the wayside.

Now we can all venture out a little bit, let’s not go mad (as some already have), rather let’s be sensible so that we can get life back to normal as soon as possible in these strange and difficult times, if normal will ever be normal as we knew it before Covid. I fear we will never be able to completely relax until we get a vaccine.

On my first trip to Uttoxeter with Sandra since mid-March, having avoided using cash for months, we found a £1 coin in the car to put into the parking machine. So I went over, duly typed in the car number and put the coin in, only to find the council had increased parking charges to £1:40, almost a 50% increase for the same amount of time.

I thought well done the Council, this is a really good way of encouraging people back to a diminishing shopping area, by putting up the parking charges. A great inducement to visit what is already becoming a ghost town. There are always needless to say, plenty of empty parking spaces. Meanwhile if you go to Tesco, Lidl or Waitrose you find their ‘free’ car parks are chocker block but the stores themselves contain nowhere near the amount of shoppers in relation to the amount of cars. Anyone with half a brain can see why, it’s a way of putting two fingers up to the Council.

With sport about to resume in the town, local Football due to start this month, indeed it will already be underway when this edition hits the streets, with Rugby due to follow next month (all being well). But as things are at time of writing no spectators will be allowed, which is a body blow for all sport in the UK. I have been down to Oldfields a couple of times over the past couple of weeks, social distancing of course, which has been excellent just to have a chat and a bevvie, and feel something like what has now become ‘old times’, both rugby and football members agree that it’s going to be a very difficult season with income already at a premium for all. But we must not lose our enthusiasm for our chosen sports, and if we all pull together I’m sure we’ll all survive, as we have so far survived this terrible pandemic.

The Denstone Branch of The Royal British Legion held it’s first meeting since lockdown spread around Denstone Village Hall, on the 20th of August, to discuss amongst other things what form this year’s Remembrance Day Service will take. We will not be able to sell our poppies in the usual way because handling coins in particular is a no, no and a lot depends on what happens over the next month. Going back to the service, this will probably be a very brief dedication at the Denstone War Memorial with the Last Post and Standard dip , but no Service in Church. Parades are already banned this year. So a very unusual Remembrance Day is in the offing to be sure.

Finally, my pet subject, how the Kings English is abused these days. I’ve already done the ‘like’ being used out of all context, and the now fashionable way of answering a question by starting off ‘So’. But has anyone noticed how TH is now pronounced as an ‘F’ or ‘V’.? Watching ‘The Chase’ on ITV, when The Beast, who is a teacher which I find worrying, offers for instance - Thirty Thousand Pounds, he pronounces it as “Firty Fousand Pounds”. If anyone remembers singer Joe Brown, his group were called the bruvvers, which was done for fun as a Cockney way of saying brothers. Now it seems to have become common place, particularly by sports people “He was a fret every time he got the ball!” I love the Repair Shop, but when Jay the presenter does the voice-over as items are being repaired, he constantly refers to leather as levver. Is it really so hard to put your tongue between your teeth and say LEATHER?

That’s it from me folks, enjoy the rest of this 100th Edition, take care of yourselves, stay safe and I’ll see you next month,

TTFN Les...