Peterborough’s Turkeys of 2016

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

It’s a strange almost surreal period between Christmas and New Year but for newspaper columnists it’s easy fodder to look back at the year and look forward to the next.

And as I’m never one to not take the easy option here goes.

I’d like to start by handing out some awards – I think I’ll call them the Turkeys.

The first Turkey is the They Don’t Pay Me Enough To Do This Award and that goes to this plucky (see what I did there) young man who appeared on Anglian Water’s Twitter feed in a inflatable turkey costume (check it out, it’s worth it!).

It turns out that it was to promote a campaign to keep turkey fat out of your sink this Christmas!

I hope the poor chap doesn’t have to dress up as a t*** next Christmas.

The Grateful Grinch Award goes to all Peterborough shop assistants not one of which served me in the run-up to Christmas while wearing toy antlers. You probably don’t realise it but it was the best present you could have given me.

The Things Can Only Get Better Award goes to Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich.

As it happens he’s a very nice chap but I’m afraid that doesn’t save him. He may have united the warring factions of the city’s Conservatives but he’s had a tough year not least presiding over Peterborough’s shocking schools’ results as the cabinet member for education.

He must have been delighted to read in last week’s PT about Stephen Marriott who was jailed for his role in a major drugs gang in the city.

The court heard Marriott got involved with the gang because he wanted to earn money to move to a different part of the country to give his children a better education.

Blimey when even the crims are unhappy with the schools we must be in serious trouble!

The Can You All Just Stop It Now Award goes to anyone who got involved in the mannequin challenge. Just get back to work! No doubt it was the same people who did the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Maybe next year we should combine the two – let’s see if you can stay still when a bucket of ice water is chucked over you.

The runner-up is anybody who wore a “Christmas’’ jumper. Unless you’re wearing one on Christmas Day because it was a gift from Great Aunt Nelly and you don’t want to offend her, don’t do it. Remember, a Christmas jumper is no substitute for a personality.

The It Might Be Christmas But That Won’t Stop Us Upsetting You Award goes to Peterborough City Council who have announced plans to fine residents who put their bins out at the wrong time.

I don’t have a problem with this, but I have written to the council to tell them that the next time my bin is left blocking my driveway I will be fining them.

The Move Along There’s Nothing To See Here Award goes to anybody involved in plans to develop North Westgate.

Well, that’s 2016 done and dusted now for 2017.

I don’t do resolutions, although Mrs T suggested I should make one to stop banging on about how great Yorkshire is.

I’m afraid there’s no chance of that although I admit if I wasn’t a proud Yorkshireman, proud Yorkshiremen would irritate me.

We are, after all, the county that gave you Geoffrey Boycott and Arthur Scargill and now it seems King Arthur and Camelot.

University professor Peter Field reckons he has solved the mystery of the location of Camelot and believes the key to the entire mystery could be lying just outside Huddersfield.

Previously the only thing I’d come across lying just outside Huddersfield was my old mucker Rob after several pints of Sam Smith’s finest.

I am going to launch a campaign in 2017 to get Michael Cross back in the Key panto.

No offence to others in Peterborough pantoland but Crossy at the Key was, er, a key part of the city’s cultural offering. It was good to see him in panto at Oundle but it’s not quite the same.

My main hope for 2017 is that my daughter’s obsession with Frozen finally comes to an end not least because my costume is getting quite tight.

My critics berate me because they say it’s easy for me to sit on the sidelines and carp, but I am a man of considerable vision and I would like to share my big idea for 2017.

The city council should buy Broadway theatre and convert it into a luxury homeless shelter (complete with security guards of course). And next Christmas it can move that white, baubly thing from Cathedral Square into the foyer.

There you go, three problems solved with a single swish of my magic wand.

See you next year.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

Regular readers of DOABD will know that earlier this year I “retired’’ Schoolgirl T from this column in a bid to let her enjoy her schooling without the burden of me sharing her adventures and mishaps with the rest of Peterborough.

However, as she will soon learn, I’m not to be trusted, and I have to share her letter to Santa with you.This year me and her mum were dreading her wish list. We thought it would be an expensive litany of toys, games and clothes.But bless her, for such a high maintenance child (she gets it from her mother), her wish list was modest to the point of frugal – a Belle dress, chocolates and a loaf of bread!

To her delight, she got all she asked for (watching Mrs T wrap the bread up was fun) and plenty more besides.

There was one thing she wanted and didn’t get because mum wouldn’t let it even get as far as Santa’s letter.

The mobile phone elf was busy anyway.