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Blackhaven Gazette

The organ of truth since 1722     *** THE BLACKHAVEN GAZETTE ***                                              November 2018


DEAR READERS, we are all terribly excited at the prospect of Mrs Fabula Mannering’s forthcoming book, “Dark Tales”  which is to be launched this month.  We understand that many local people will feature in its pages, though we are assured it is in parts fictitious, and that no-one can prove otherwise.  However it seems everyone is very eager to get hold of a copy to see just what may have been written about them!  The author has asked me to point out that she hopes it will be accepted as a work that mingles some serious home truths with a dose of imagination.  In any case some names have been altered slightly for the sake of decency (and to avoid libel suits).  Meanwhile, here is the latest edition of our Gazette to give you all something to read until the book comes out!


LOCAL NEWS                                                               

Bumper oat harvest bodes well for porridge season

Both the Upper and Lower Oat Fields in Blackhaven have produced an excellent harvest again this year.  Fergus Lamentable, the proprietor of Awthestuff (Blackhaven Stores), says sales of spurtles are set to soar.  “People want the latest fashion.  This year, spurtles will be slightly sharpened at the business end, made from durable, sustainable wood, sourced locally.  The secret of making a good porridge lies mainly in the oats of course, but a good, vigorous, spurtling technique enables you to get that consistent, creamy texture.”


Is Care in the Community failing our young people?

The trouble is, young teenagers are at a loose end.  It’s no wonder they go a bit doo-lally” says local man Auld Foggerty.  “I can’t tell you how many cream buns I’ve lost lately.  And the price of shoes is terrible these days.”  Mr Foggerty is 94.


Mystery arsonist remains at large

No solid clues have yet been found in the burning issue of the mystery arsonist who set fire to the village hall. But Inspector Macyard says police are in hot pursuit. We would like to appeal through this organ, for any members of the public with any information to come forward.  Also, can we appeal for an end to all the arson-related puns please.  Some of the language has been quite inflammatory.


Blackhaven Inks

The new tattoo parlour, at the Factor’s House on East Street, is a big hit in Blackhaven. “Tattoos are the new black”  says Ismay Roberts.  “Although I also do red or blue”  Ismay’s specialities are butterflies, doves, and  Satanic pentagrams.


“Nearly new” car sales in Blackhaven at all-time high

Blackhaven Motors remains the local supplier of choice for used motor vehicles.  “Multi-coloured Fords are our most popular type,”  says proprietor Jack Macalister.  “We can usually obtain what our customers want, and at a very reasonable price.  Rumours of worn or faulty parts have been greatly exagerrated.  People love a bargain, and that’s what we offer.  Also my cousin can do you a very good deal on insurance.”


Highland Scrimshaw Record-breaker!

Local man Sandy Shoreman has won the Highland scrimshaw record. In an international event, where he was pitted against scrimshawers from as far afield as Finfoggleheim and Raspberrydell, Sandy swiflty carved his way through a total of seventeen ducks in one hour, sustaining only minor injury to one finger. Dr Leckie, who attended the competition in case of medical emergencies, commented: “This could have been avoided if he had not swallowed his prize – a bottle of malt whisky – half-way through the final duck.”


Cake Maker Maggie reigns supreme

Maggie Soutar has won the Blackhaven Cake-Maker Competition for the third year in row, with a luscious lemon drizzle cake.

“This richly deserved award is most humbling,” she remarked.  “My secret is in the special fondant.”  Several members of the WRI have appealed that her recipe lacked jam, but we understand the decision stands.  Second place went to Ethel & Babs’ Pink Fairy cakes.



Visit Awthestuff Stores…

for anything you want really

special offer on coffin nails, two for the price of one!


Dr Sam’s Surgery            by Dr Sam Leckie


Dear Doctor – My wee boy has swallowed a pencil sharpener.  Will this be dangerous?

Dr S:    It should pass in the usual fashion.  Meanwhile, keep him away from pencils.

Dear Doctor –  I have a rather embarrassing condition of the nether regions.  Specifically, I answer the call of nature at all times of day and night, most unexpectedly.  My furniture is suffering.

Dr S:    You need  to see a specialist in this area, which thank God is not me.  Meanwhile I can recommend an excellent product for removing stubborn stains.

Dear Doctor – I have a terrible pain in both feet.  Every time I stand it really hurts, and all the way up my back.  It’s so bad I can hardly wear my new 8 inch stiletto heels.

Dr S:    This is a very common condition, called Stupidus Heelus.  Might I suggest trying some other footwear for awhile?  Or preferably, go barefoot until your brain re-grows.

Dear Doctor  –  My heart goes “Boom-diddy, boom-diddy, boom-diddy, boom-diddy, boom-diddy, boom-diddy, boom, boom, boom.”

Dr S:    Irregular tachycardia is a treatable condition these days, and can often be cured without resort to cliches or ethnic stereo-typing.


Clubs and Societies

The WRI will meet in the Blackhaven Hall on Wednesday at 7.30.  Our guest speaker is the Rev Dolores Impeccata, who will speak on her interesting experiences in Burundi in the 1980s, and on bowling techniques.  Jam will be served.

The Snooker Club meets at 7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This year we are planning to enter the World Championships, and to take our annual outing to the Drouthy Duck as usual.  No fighting.

Big Dougie McDougie will be playing at the Folk Club on Thursday at 8pm.  Lovers of traditional folk music should attend.  Others are forewarned.

Blackhaven Food and Wine Club will be holding their annual banquet on Saturday at 7pm in the Fig and Gannet, Avoch.  BYOB.  Please do not ask for “doggy bags” again this year, as this may cause offence.

The Blackhaven Hypochondriacs will meet next Tuesday, health permitting.  Dr Sam Leckie will speak from his considerable experience, on infectious diseases.  Please bring your own mugs.



Lost and Found

Lost:  In the car park, black bag containing pair of infra-red binoculars, ski mask, length of black nylon rope, duct tape, and other items.  Reward offered for discreet return of same.

Lost:    Pet iguana, escaped last week.  Can be recognised by small dark green spot behind left forelimb. Likes mice and otters.  Approach with caution.

Lost:    Complete first series on DVD, £10.

Lost:    Walking stick and dog, absent-mindedly left when I was out somewhere.  Sorry I can’t remember where it was.  I think maybe the dog was someone else’s now I come to think of it.  But the stick was mine, I’m pretty sure.  It was brown with a brass tip.  The stick, I mean, not the dog.

Found:   Sixteen copies of Big Dougie McDougie’s album “Big braw noisy tunes aboot Scotland”, found in wheelie bin outside the Folk Club after last week’s gig. Some damage.

Found:   Outside the Blackhaven Arms, paper bag full of cream buns. Also maroon cravat, slightly sticky.


Sports Report           by Doris Macallan

 Local team Blackhaven All Stars took on the might of Ardlochy Mechanics last week on home turf, and a lively match was expected.  The crowd of over 19 fans were not disappointed, as they were treated to a rare display of tactics and off-the-ball skills by our local heroes.  The first half passed relatively uneventfully, with Ardlochy scoring five or six lucky goals, some of them clearly offside. But it was in the second half that things really got going.  Tam McVeigh, our new striker, having made a great run down the left picked up the ball due to a defensive error (possibly caused by a hole in the pitch).  He rifled in a shot from all of 5 yards, which was only narrowly saved by the Ardlochly keeper.

The Mechanics were very fortunate to come back with an attacking move that ended with the ball in the back of the Blackhaven net.  Although I speak metaphorically, because as it happened, nets could not be found for the game, so the ball actually ended up in the garden opposite the pitch, from where it was eventually retrieved.

Nor was this all.  Alec Oldman, playing in his 123rd match for the All Stars, was unlucky to be sent off following an incident in the six-yard box.  He strenuously denied the charge of biting, and those marks on his opponent could have been caused by any number of things.  Reduced to 10 men (and some of them already showing signs of the excessive use of half-time refreshments) the All Stars game-plan, such as it was, began to crumble.  In the end the full-time whistle came as a welcome relief, and ultimately the scoreline of 26-0 perhaps reflected adequately the relative strengths of the two sides.


For Sale and Wanted 

For Sale – Pajamas, size 22, pink with Godzilla motif, unwanted gift. £12.

For Sale – Left handed corkscrew.  Would suit left handed person (who needs to open bottles) £4.

For Sale – Time-Share opportunities in Grimsby and other seaside resorts, contact Gazette for details.

For Sale – Several tons of jam, following over-enthusiastic WRI meeting.

Wanted – Fridge magnets of all descriptions, by collector.  Also very large fridge.

Wanted – Someone to watch over me. Contact Mme. B. c/o the Gazette.

Wanted – Luxury yacht, stealth-capable, complete with helicopter landing pad, midget submarine, etc.    For discerning and discreet megalomaniac.  Easy payments preferable. Contact D. McS. c/o Gazette.


Crime and Punishment in Blackhaven               by Inspector Dennis MacYard

Since I last had the privilege of speaking to you through the pages of this fine newspaper, I am sorry to say there has been not a single instance of anyone turning up at the station to report any body or bodies found in mysterious circumstances around the village.  Not a leg, or a toe or even a hand has been handed in.  Now, I am sure there are good reasons for this, and no doubt it is just a case of not wanting to be the first person to get the ball rolling, as it were.  But really, I would urge you all to pluck up your courage and not be afraid of any possible embarrassment.  I assure you, any such situations will be treated with the highest confidentiality.  You need not be concerned about anyone else finding out what you have been doing, and certainly we will not be revealing any names to the public.  Not before the gutter press get hold of them, anyway.

Now to other matters.  It has come to my attention this week that some of our younger residents have been engaging in a new “craze” of consuming very large globular sweeties, called “gob-stoppers”.  Not that there is anything illegal in that of course, not yet anyway, but it can lead to some degree of personal danger to those involved.  There was one case of a small boy who tried for a dare to suck on two of these at once, and had to be rushed to Dr Leckie’s surgery.  Fortunately the good Doctor was able to save the lad in question by the skilful use of a clip round the ear, (a technique we in the police force are discouraged from using these days) which dislodged, quite explosively, the offending items.  So to any youngsters out there, let that be a warning.  Gob-stoppers are not toys.  They are sweets – big ones.  And like any seemingly harmless substance, can in large doses be dangerous or habit-forming.  My advice to you is, just say no.

Incidentally, may I remind you that any items reported as Found (in the Lost and Found section of the Gazette) can be retrieved from the local police station where they are being kept safely.  We are particularly keen to help to locate the missing owner of the bag of ropes, duct tape etc found recently in the car-park.