World peace and parking in Peterborough!

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

I reckon if somebody could sort out parking problems then world peace would follow shortly afterwards.

Parking is one of the banes of modern life – at home, at schools, at work, on a night out – where to park is always an issue.

The cause is simple –there are too many cars and not enough room to put them. And that means that people who own the room have us over a barrel.

After terrorising motorists for years, the clampers finally got their come-uppance but the new menace is the shopping centre car park.

As reported in the PT, Peterborough resident Terry Harris fell foul of the rules and copped a £70 ‘fine’ for outstaying his welcome at the Asda car park in the city centre.

Terry didn’t take it lying down and somehow discovered that the signs in the car park were unlawful because they are slightly too big.

A technicality you might think and not one that excuses Terry’s misdemeanour. As somebody who is a bit of a stickler for rules normally I’d agree.

But having fallen foul of these sneaky rules myself anything that sees the ordinary man striking back is okay with me.

Mrs T got hit with a demand for £80 after staying 15 minutes over the three-hour limit at the Bretton centre.

She hadn’t even been aware there was a limit (there are signs, but if there are no pay machines you assume it’s free).

Thanks to the intervention of those nice people at Sainsbury’s she managed to successfully appeal the charge. It was a smart move on their part as they would have lost our annual business that runs into thousands of pounds.

What really annoyed me was not the charge, it was the extortionate size of it.

If the demand had been for £10 we’d have had a collective harrumph, paid the fine and vowed like Roger Daltry to not get fooled again.

The woman who caused the Broadway Christmas Eve bus crash with her careless driving leaving 13 passengers injured was fined £92.

So how can £80 for a small and unknowing error be fair or justified?

Our politicians should change the law and then sit back and accept the praise for delivering world peace.

Nobby’s back

With my ‘nostalgia’ hat on I wrote a piece for last week’s PT about the city’s famous and much loved Nobby the tramp.

He used to be a very familiar sight walking round the city centre and it felt like I saw him every lunchtime when I went for a sandwich .

But several years ago he was found a proper home and dropped out of sight.

That was until about 10 minutes after I had finished writing the story. I was at the Bridge Street/Bourges Boulevard pedestrian crossing and who should be coming the other way but Nobby.

Talk about spooky.

Kop that Klopp

Liverpool’s demonstrative manager Jurgen Klopp lost his cool with his own supporters as his team struggled to overcome lowly Sunderland.

I was a bit disappointed to not see the headline KLOPP’S KOP STROP.

I was even more disappointed when my boys Leeds United weren’t able to beat Liverpool in the cup and really upset him.

Hold a candle to it

I’ve made it plain to my family the one present I don’t want in my Christmas stocking is a candle because a) at Thornton Towers we’re lucky enough to be connected to the National Grid and b) Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue service has enough on its plate without a fire at my house.

I was delighted then to be contacted by a PR company telling me about the rise and rise of the ‘mandle’ which it turns out is a candle with a “hyper-masculine’’ scent such as petrol or tobacco. It claims two/thirds of British men have purchased one. Not me, mind you if they make one that smells of bacon cooking, I could be tempted.

I’m here all week

I sympathise with those people whose evening out to see Billy Connolly was ruined by traffic problems but some of them ought to remember one of the Big Yin’s pearls of wisdom: Try to live in a place you like.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

Despite the impression my nickname for him might give, Toddlernator the Terrible has immaculate manners. He is the most polite two-year-old on the planet.

At the start of every day as the rest of the family are grunting at each other T the T issues us all a cheery “Good morning’’.

He never misses a please or thank you or to be more accurate a pees or fankooo.If anybody gets in his way, he always pipes up “excuse me’’.

And even as he is reigning blows on his big sister’s head with his toy guitar he’s already apologising profusely. “Sorry, sorry,’’ he chirps although judging by her face I think she doubts his sincerity.

I can’t take any credit. I quite like rudeness. I remember once waiting at the check-out in Waitrose. I put my purchases down, filling the belt.

A posh looking woman joined the queue and without a word just pushed my groceries along the belt to make room for hers. I was taken aback, but perhaps childishly just pushed it back.

She fixed me with a steely eye and with the advantage of years of inbred superiority responded in an accent that could kill a pleb at 10 paces:“Don’t be such an a***!’’

She made me laugh.