Personal and undiluted views
Warwickshire

173 days ago

Remembering the late Dr Tom Winnifrith

My father would have put big red marks on this obituary for him by Stephen Nash for the Anglo Albanian Association, where it is suggested that Shipston is in Worcestershire rather than Warwickshire. Otherwise he would have been rather touched by what follows as were myself and my siblings. But Dad wouldn’t have said so. Folks of his generation did not admit to such things. Maybe he might have chosen a rather less “mad professorish” photo.

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1416 days ago

Photo Article: Global warming deep and crisp and even in Shipston

I popped up to see my father in Shipston on Stour in south Warwickshire last night with a view to heading on to Oxford early this morning for other family business. At 2.30 AM I awoke and looked out of my window and there was nothing to see. By 6.30 AM the global warming was deep, crisp and even and it was still snowing. It is now 9.15 and it is still snowing and the Oxford event has been cancelled. The snow is now at least three inches deep on the roof of my car and the forecast is for snow all day. The best bet, methinks, is to head for the motorway now and go back to Bristol in time to catch West Ham ladies in action at 2PM against Brislington Ladies ( my local team) in the FA Women's Vase 2nd round. Come on You Irons!

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1700 days ago

The Field No 7 - Rob, Maggie, the horse and caravan

One day we woke up and there was an old style gypsy caravan, the ones with a rounded wooden roof, parked in our field at Butterwell Farm in Byfield. Next to it a horse stood gazing. My mother, a free spirit of the 1970s, had offered out our field to a couple called Rob and Maggie who spent their lives as new style gypsies.

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1898 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast, Great News from Shipston so over to Steve

Great news - may father is back home from hospital so I head back up to Warwickshire in a couple of days. Thereafter between him and the Mrs entering the final month it will be less of me, Steve Moore is in charge. Bash him if anything goes wrong. In today's podcast I look at City of London (CIN), IGAS (IGAS), XCite Energy (XEL), Wishbone Gold (WSBN), Nyota (NYO) and West African Minerals (WAFM).

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1921 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Mad Bull Malcolm Stacey just so wrong about the stockmarket (again!)

I am at my father's house in Shipston for my step mother's funeral. Their garden is magnificent and it is a wonderful day in this pretty Warwickshire town. Ahead of that I have a few words on the latest bullish offering from Malcolm Stacey - HERE. Malcolm is just plain wrong.

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1940 days ago

Back in Warwickshire, Almost Everything changes in three weeks

The first big shock was when our car pulled up outside my father's house in Shipston. Up ambled by step brother T who greeted us warmly and then up strode a rather sexy looking woman who I did not recognise at all. Had T found a new wife and not told us? The old rogue. These teachers: we know what they get up to in all their vast amounts of spare time and holidays. Reading weeks my arse. So who was this stranger?

It was only when she started speaking that I realised it was my step sister L. Shockingly she has not only cut her long hair but also stopped dying it brown and is now - like her mother and brother completely grey. It is odd how that change of hair colour and style acts as a total disguise. I must remember that, the next time the FCA tries to stitch me up and forces me to go on the run.

The was not the real shock though.

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2323 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - 17 June, going down memory lane

Coming to you today from Shipston in Warwickshire I start with a wander down memory lane. That is Mr nice guy. Then it is back to my true self as I plunge the knife into Sefton Resources and Goldplat and sit on the fence on Ten Alps now that Luke Johnson is on board. That flip flop Ben Turney is just too charitable.

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2474 days ago

Back in the garage and a message to my father about the cold weather & global warming

Back in Bristol and the cats are in disgrace for weeing on the doormat and the temperature is minus something. The Mrs is not sympathetic and I am back in the garage at my desk wearing a thick coat, hugging my heater and still freezing. I suggested to the Mrs that the cats be forced to join me as punishment but she said that would be cruel. And so I suffer alone.

At the tobacconists the Daily Express warns of snowfall across the country and of freezing conditions. I point this out to the Mrs on my return but she thinks this is just right wing propaganda and I must continue to work in the garage.

The Daily Telegraph warns its readers 

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2561 days ago

The deaths of my mother and aunt

The nature of my mother’s death has been raised by certain “admirers” of mine on Bulletin Boards, the circumstances of my Aunt’s death I have mentioned en passant here before. There are no secrets in the era of the interweb. Both deaths were mentioned in an article by their brother, my Uncle Chris (Booker) in the Daily Mail last week. Slowly I read it early on Saturday morning as it brought a number of thoughts to the surface. Matters not suppressed just forgotten or not reflected upon for a long while.  My mother killed herself. My aunt was murdered. There you have it. A shocking couple of sentences.

My mother died when I was eight and my sisters seven and five. She had become terribly depressed in that amazing sun drenched year of 1976 and – as I discovered only later – first tried to end her life at the height of summer while the rest of us were out walking. My father found her, revived her but thereafter she was confined to various hospitals in Northamptonshire, Banbury and finally in Oxford, the City where she had studied, met my father and where I was born. I saw her once that autumn at the Trout at Godstow and she seemed happy. She clearly was not and within weeks she had hanged herself. I remember being taken out of class by a lovely teacher who was almost in tears as she told me that my mother was dead. I cannot remember how I felt or what happened next. I did not find out how she died until I was fourteen.

Not having a mother was a little unusual in those days

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2991 days ago

Northants wins!

In 1976 my family was living in a small village on the borders of Northants, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire called Byfield. Buy a mile one way and a mile and a half the other way we were just inside Northants. And one day I was told by my Uncle Chris (who was staying) and my father that we must all listen to the radio as something historic was happening.

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3193 days ago

Delight in Sheep Street Shipston – should I flog my father’s house without telling him?

The Sunday Times has a feature this week on the top ten towns in Britain to live in because that they still have a thriving Town Centre having battled off the wicked supermarkets. Put another way: the top ten twee towns for the Middle Classes to live in nice houses and who cares about the jobless plebs who can’t get cheap food anyway. Naturally, following last week, Shipston in Warwickshire is in there. And as a bonus…

Perhaps as a reward for the leading role played by my step mother in the screw the plebs and Tesco campaign, Sheep Street where my father and step mother own a house is the most desirable street in Shipston. Naturally as a wicked right winger, I note the looming property bubble, I have put my father’s house up for sale without telling him. I will break the good news to him later.

NB. If comrade Kenner, Shipston labour councillor or any other dumb leftie is reading this, that last line was a joke. Following Brother Kenner’s last contribution here, I feel the need to point that out, patronising though it may seem.

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3196 days ago

Friday caption contest - Shipston on Stour Edition

I am not sure if this story is sponsored by the Shipston Middle classes who wish to deprive the Shipston plebs of affordable housing, cheap Turkey twizzlers and above all jobs, or by the coalition as we enter a triple dip recession.

On balance, having put Shipston on the map this one is in honour of the unholy alliance of deluded middle class lefties and Tory Toffs in Warwickshire who stopped Tesco from opening a store in the town where my father and step mother (deluded lefties) live.

I write about this here about 24 hours ago.

To win a “It’s Time to Leave” T-shirt which in this period of intense global warming will be extremely useful, simply post your entries to the picture below.

You can, of course, buy your own It’s Time to Leave T-shirt, sweatshirt, hoodie, mug or thermos flask in my online store here.

My entry is: “Someone spreads a vicous rumour on the Council Estates that the Shipston venison and pheasant shop is selling turkey twizzlers at half price in the name of diversity and choice”

Last week I asked you for your captions to this picture.

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3197 days ago

Breaking News: Deluded Middle Class Lefties and Tory Toffs screw the plebs and Tesco in Shipston

An excited email arrives from my deluded lefty step mother Helen (sister of Tory Toff Sir George Young) – Stratford Council in Warwickshire has tonight thrown out plans for a big Tesco on the edge of Shipston-on-Stour. The unholy alliance of deluded Middle class lefties and the Tory Toffs has won.

And so there will no new jobs created for the plebs on the council estates. The residents of Shipston will continue to be served by two Co-ops that are not that cheap and have a limited choice as well as by the two butchers where the Tory Toffs and my dad can buy pheasant, quail, expensive lamb and pork and not care about paying over the odds because they can afford it. The plebs who were hoping for a place to get a wide choice of cheap Turkey twizzlers will be disappointed.

So no jobs and no choice of cheap turkey twizzlers for the plebs. No planning gain which would have created some affordable and rented housing for the plebs. The articulate middle class lefties and Tory Toffs have won the debate and can still choose which butcher to buy their quail from and life goes on. The Tory Toffs are naturally wicked and hate the poor. We all know that. The deluded Middle class lefties are tonight celebrating preserving the “community” and “diversity” of this small market town. But it is a community that many folks are financially excluded from. It is a diversity the plebs cannot afford to enjoy.

It has made my step mother very happy. That makes me happy. But it was the wrong result for those at the bottom of the heap. Capitalism could have assisted them. When capitalism is blocked to preserve the vested interests of those who are affluent it always makes the poor poorer.

As a non Guardian reader I am not meant to care about the plebs. That is meant to be the preserve of deluded middle class lefties. But in reality….

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3201 days ago

The 8.04 from Temple Meade – more fun in the global warming

It was meant to be the 8 PM. But it was late. I am on my way to Warwickshire on family business. The main line up to Didcot seems problem free. After that it gets worse as it is snowing again. I think I can make it though by train to Moreton-in-Marsh but that is where my problems begin. My father is the world’s worst driver in perfect conditions. After dark? In the snow? Forget it. And so how to get to Shipston-on-Stour? This is an Agatha Christie murder in the Cotswolds vicarage in the bleak midwinter – sort of Roger Ackroyd but in Warwickshire.

Perhaps I might already have hidden my cross country skis behind the railings at Moreton and just speed over the hills to Shipston? There is more chance of that than of getting a taxi. Nine firms tried, four answered and that was only to say that “it is snowing, good night.” Maybe I might hitch a lift if there is anyone else mad enough to travel on a train into rural white-out tonight?

Let’s be realistic. I have booked into the Bell Inn for the night. A roaring fire. A stiff whiskey from the landlord who keeps looking out over the wintry fields with a worried eye. The mystery blonde woman of a certain age in the corner with her plain, but attractive, hen pecked daughter. And there is a report that David Mills has escaped from Tessa Jowell’s farmouse retreat near Shipston and is on the loose. Who is that Italian gentleman in the corner who keeps on mumbling about Rubies?

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3236 days ago

Video Postcard Number 19

Recording in freezing and wet Warwickshire with a new camera I hope the sound and picture quality is alright. My old camera has gone astray somewhere between Real Man Pizza Company, drinks with Lucian and St Albans. I fear it will not be seen again.

On the Agenda

1. Nigel Farage joins the speaker line-up at UKInvestor Show on April 13th. A real buncjh of men and women who one would describe as a Master Investor plus Farage. It really is a cracking lineup and you can book your tickets here.

2. Another two tips out this week on the Nifty Fifty. You can gain immediate access ahead of two more tips next week here.

3. Centamin and the idea of quantifying political risk in any stock

4. Northern Petroleum, director buying and market over-reaction

5. Plans for a Christmas slowdown by me

You can watch the video below:

Approximate Running Time 9 minutes

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3240 days ago

Oakley Update – Good News

Oakley (my cat) is through surgery. That is to say he now has only three legs. He is still at the vets but is expected to leave this evening. He appears to be more interested uin the fact that the nil by mouth regime is over and that after a day of fasting he can once again stuff his face. He was not known as fat cat for nothing.

There is one last trauma and that is that Tara ( his soul mate) has shifted to a Christmas home. She has showed her displeasure at the separation by a) mewling constantly and b) urinating in a bedroom c) refusing a breakfast of fine bacon. The two animals are not brother and sister but have not been separated in 11 years.

The great reunion is either tomorrow or Friday depending on other family matters – I trek back to Warwickshire tonight.

A photo of the patient will be posted later. Thanks again for all your kind enquiries and best wishes.

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3243 days ago

Victorian Christmas Street Fair Shipston

I am spending more time these days in Shipston-on-Stour in southern Warwickshire where my father lives with my (not wicked but just deluded lefty) step mother. I could not live there full time. The average age is about 97 and everyone seems to know who everyone else is. I just want to be left alone. But walking along with my father between the White Bear (his “office”) and home about once a minute there is a greeting of “Morning Professor”. Dad was not actually a professor just a senior lecturer but he looks the part.

Friday evening saw the Victorian street fair. Some folks dressed up in 19th century garb. There were clowns on stilts and a brass band blasted out all those Christmas carols you remember from childhood. Truly it was freezing and felt like it was very much the Bleak Midwinter. All the local societies had stalls. Naturally the Cats Protection League was my fave but

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3248 days ago

It’s snowing! Big flakes of global warming in Warwickshire – Very Exciting!

Yup I know it is December so not really a shock (unless you are a total global warming nutter). And I know that it is a bit childish but there is always an excitement in seeing the first snow of the winter. It only becomes a pain later. And so at 3.30 AM as I work on a new book idea I look out of the window and there are huge snowflakes falling on Shipston-on-Stour.

I am again at my father’s house sorting out a few things. It is only about half an hour from the village in which I grew up. Snow lay thick on the ground and roads when I had my first driving lessons 27 years and eleven month ago with Mr Ceney. That was fun. A few years earlier snow meant a day off school if you lived in our village. Harbury was at the top of a steep hill and so it was sometimes too dangerous to try to drive down that hill towards Warwick. Yippeee off to Ufton Hill to sleigh down on a plastic bag.

And now the snowflakes are falling harder. The child in me wants them to settle. Step sister Flea’s very young daughters are staying the night and I know they’d love to throw a few snowballs at Grandpa tomorrow morning. Heck, so would I. The adult in me knows that I have to drive the Old Man into Warwick tomorrow and I am not sure I really fancy doing it on snow covered roads. I am torn.

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3251 days ago

Video Postcard Number 17

I hope the sound and light work here. It was filmed in my father’s conservatory in Warwickshire – not exactly an ideal studio but then is not the BBC. That has to be a point in my favour. The video is about eleven and a half minutes long.

On the Agenda

1.Oil stocks – the reasons for selective bearishness

- funding issues, how the recent stream of drill failures have had a disproportionate impact on the ability to raise capital in this sector

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3252 days ago

Why cannot my Deluded Lefty Dad say no!

I have spent the day with my father at Shipston in Warwickshire. A landslide somewhere near Worcester meant that my route was a the “scenic” one but we have enjoyed a happy afternoon chatting about various family matters. Our conversation was, however, interrupted by a series of phone calls and knocks on the door – my father is a victim of his inability to say no.

First up was some bird trying to persuade him to fit new plastic windows and plastic doors. Given that his house was built in 1692 this was clearly a pointless call. Of course if Dad had told her that last time she called rather than just listening patiently and saying eventually “ this is not a good time” she would not have bothered with this call. Next up was Christian Aid to whom my Dad already gives a fortune by Standing Order. Christian Aid called to say it needs more to help starving people in Africa, blah, blah, blah. Unluckily for it, when it asked for Mr T Winnifrith it got me.

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