No Surprises Living in Devizes: Exchanging Preconceptions

Ah, nights at “the Bin,” I remember them……erm…. well, I remember them. The aptly dubbed “Corny Bin,” for those out of town and few who care not to venture the rough streets of Devizes at night (they can be irregular,) is Devizes’s only real nightclub, situated at the basement of the Corn Exchange, hence the name, see?

 
Subject of ridicule for many a decade, (ha-ha, as if Devizes would have nightlife,) it never did itself favours. One night I recall I paused to observe that while the blokes were having a pint and laugh at the bar, the girls were fighting on the dancefloor. A flying knee-length boot flew past my eyes and broke my concentration, I ignored the sentiment; this is Devizes.

 
Could a £45,000 renovation, removal of chewing-gummed carpets, conversion of the DJ booth and bar, and an identity change cleanse its reputation and wipe away the title “Bin?” Manager Ian Mathews believes in time it will; it certainly looks the part.
Essentially, I always liked the layout of the place, meek as an amphitheatre, it’s simple design with the bar across the rear and a square dancefloor with seating looking onto it, is functional and practical. The issue was the clichéd and formulated entertainment on offer for the past decade, something which no matter how much silver paint you lick onto walls is going to benefit.

 
So, the last Friday of the month embraces an under 16’s disco, or “nappy night,” as adults used to dub it when I was a nipper; our generation had to endure their patronising smears, I don’t see why you kids should get off so lightly. Scot free you already are with the old blackboard rubber launch, you don’t even know what a flipping blackboard rubber is. Teachers nowadays sacred to throw a reprimand at a child through fear of a lawsuit, let alone an oak-edged armament; they say it doesn’t hurt so much if you don’t know it’s coming.

 
Whereas, other Friday nights bring us tribute acts and themed nights. This Friday, 29th, is a night for new romantics, as leading synth-pop covers-band, Paul Dodson and Andy Randle, aka BINOMIAL and top international tribute act Keith George, alias ‘The Boy George Experience’ share the stage, sure to redefine the club’s reputation and send a signal to Devizes that times a changin’.

 

Keith George and Binomial Facebook[153].png

 

Amusingly, the only comment on the Gazette’s article on the revamp was, “It’ll take quite a lot to shift the name corny bin;” defining Devizes to a T. While we yearn alteration and updating, we crave our traditions and values too much to fully embrace change, undoubtedly because perpetually mocking ourselves is the backbone of our sense of humour; and why not shagger?

 
Take the public meeting on Thursday at the Town Hall, “a vision for Devizes; the next conversation,” sounds like a poor sequel to a movie franchise which was okay to begin with. Organised by The Trust for Devizes and Devizes Area Board, chairing the meeting is none other than Claire Perry, who said, “I’m really looking to being part of the next conversation about the vision for the future.” (Unsure if the word “forward,” is missing from that.)

 

new look devizes
new look Devizes

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I think there’s far worse a right-wing politician to be our spokesperson for Westminster; Enoch Powell, Napoléon Bonaparte, Alan B’Stard, to name a few. Yeah, make no mistake, I like some things Claire says to the community, but she’s hardly a worthy contestant for Catchphrase; “say what you see.”

 

Being a method of attaining affordable housing is key subject, Claire Perry, really? Who during the “bedroom tax” outrage, voted for reducing housing benefit for applicable social tenants? Claire Perry, who unswervingly voted for phasing out secure tenancies for life, and charging a market rent to higher earners renting a council home? (theyworkforyou.com)

 

With the political ethos in which Nick Clegg leaked the Tories refused to build social housing, because it would ‘create Labour voters’, can they really risk a torrent of affordable homes in such a safe consistency? Especially while May annoys Brexit leavers and remainers alike, in one swift goof.

 
Minister Gavin Barwell confessed to Inside Housing Magazine, they were scheduling to build higher rent homes, and supplying socially rented council housing was just a giggle. Upon being asked if homes planned would be of lower-level council rents, the minister said, “No, I think the idea is that they are what you’d call affordable rents in housing terminology, but they are social housing.” Shamefully, what’s “affordable” to a minister, far out-stretches what’s affordable to most.

 
So, a meeting to discuss future housing in our town, with an MP who, according to theyworkforyou, “has never rebelled against their party.” A parliament which can’t guarantee safety in existing social housing, and u-turned their flagship pledge to build the “a new generation” of social housing announced in their manifesto? Okay, I’m not holding my breath; preparing for a winter of discontent like a Tory; I’ve got my badger-skin hat on already.

 
I’d rather take my chances with a Boy George tribute act, than a hag like May from the church of the poison mind. Good luck to the Exchange, we’re gonna need to let our hair down.

No Surprises Living in Devizes: Conkers or Bonkers?

Around this season in years gone by, kids yielding nailed planks and discarded house-bricks gathered in the suburban scrapheap where I grew up. No, it wasn’t something as vicious as a rival school skirmish, that would’ve been later in the term. They congregated unsupervised at the aptly named Chestnut Crescent, to lob items into trees.

 

The parameters of health and safety would’ve been a call to “watch out,” while children launched said items, wrecked go-karts and toddlers airborne. Those who dared scramble the shelling zone would collect spoils the big kids disregarded. There was no more order then this; if you were hit you learned a lesson, for the sake of conkers.

 

 

Next day my Dad would search his shed for his screwdriver, while mum was adamant she wouldn’t put the cooker on just to bake conkers. But, mention the game to kids these days, they’d probably search Google Play-Store on their tablets; “nope Dad, no such game exists; you’re making it up.”

 

Kids don’t play conkers, it’s vanished along with concrete playground floors and triangular shaped flapjack, because we’re health and safety conscious, aren’t we?

 

Yeah right, not while a nation sinks under hurricanes, yet insists “god’s punishing us for electing a Muslim president.” I watched a video on this; Middle Americans witnessed their town submerged, even remarked it’s happening more frequently, awaiting Trump to slip his undercrackers outside his suit, don a cloak and save the day.

 

They really believe climate change is a hoax; the word of a xenophobic, chauvinistic melted figurine of He-Man, who scrapped Obama’s flood protection standards days prior to Harvey, over scientists.

stupid

We’ve gone from conkers to bonkers. What do scientists gain from fibbing? What about crocked politicians in bed with the energy industry? Hum… tricky.

 

That insane trigger-happy President is proof alone we’re far from health and safety conscious, with 6,800 nuclear warheads at his disposal, compared to North Korea’s four; he can’t be trusted with a Twitter account, let alone a nuclear arsenal.

 

“Don’t throw that triangular shaped flapjack son, it might be dangerous.”

 

“Don’t vote for selfish, warmongering pricks Dad, it might be slightly more dangerous.”

 

And we follow them like sheep, desperate for a trade deal because we wanted our cake and to eat it. If Middle Americans believe it, we’re never far behind.

 

So, don’t be giving me H&S assurances, not while we speed like a bat out of hell with blatant disregard, while rotting conkers line pavements and gardens; take this as a metaphoric Brexit remark, or a literal stab that we drive too fast, I’ve overtaken caring; conkers to bonkers, see?

 

From Rotherstone residents rightfully wishing to close their road to cars, to the stretch from Honey Street to Woodbrough being upgraded, existing chicanes outside the school being treated as a challenge rather than a traffic calming measure. It’s called Broad Street, not Brands Hatch. Past tragedies seemingly forgotten, our need to get to work paramount; time is money.

 

We must stop this craziness and slow down, it really is this simple. Why even make a car with a hundred on the clock? Yet, mention an electric car or bike and we quiver; the prospect to skid in a climate change conspiracy theory puddle.

 

Step in Sustainable Devizes, using their (third Saturday) monthly stall in the Shambles yesterday to promote their Next Generation Vehicles Show, to be displayed at the Market Place on Saturday 30th, from 9am to 3pm. Working to reduce the town’s carbon footprint, they invite you to throw off the stigma, come see, and test drive, a large variety of electric vehicles, from hybrid cars to scooters.

susta

Over the winter Sustainable will be hosting a variety of talks at the Quaker Meeting House, starting on 11th October’s discussion on Food Assemblies. Being Devizes is breaking the limit for nitrous oxide emissions, we owe it to the future, rather than continue the current slack attitude; we can’t even be trusted to park responsibly.

 

It’s all fun on the Parking like a Muppet Facebook page, but the shebang appears to have attracted Traffic Wardens on overtime.

 

Once a free-parking day, sparks flew on social media as a photo of a traffic warden who either appeared to be working on a Sunday, or least playing a game on his mobile.

 

Comments roared about changing times. I dispatched an email to Mrs Bilella, processing officer of Wiltshire Council’s parking services, asking why this has suddenly come to pass, being Sunday has always been free to park in Devizes and inquiring about changes; signs don’t display this information.

 

The reply was prompt but vague, “Officers have always worked on Sundays; this has not changed. There will be a consultation soon regarding parking charges, this will be available at libraries, online and local newspapers.”

 

Within the day I asked to be sent the details, but was told, “Please check the website for more details,” which I searched but found nought. I commented on the post, asking the tagged traffic warden if he was merely checking for Muppets, or parking fees had been secretly introduced. I inquired, more importantly, his high score on Snake. But commenting on the post was turned off prior to his reply; I bet Joanne Moore doesn’t have these problems, but she reports, I’m just here to wind you up!

lock

 

So, I’ve no idea what’s what; park like a Muppet and face changing consequences for all I care. More professional whinger, Iain Wallis rightfully ranted it’s, “become a target for raising parking charges where other similar towns pay half what we do, and see no rise. Is it because we’re doing markedly better than other towns? Or is it because we seem to try and stand apart from Wiltshire Council?”

 

Mr Wallis suggested the proposed increase is, “a fudging of the law to allow rural bus route funding, when the road traffic act specifically forbids using parking charges to top up other budgets.” The concern the consultation will affect business in town; no surprises there.

 

Traffic wardens don’t receive fair representation, but I’m not here to set any records straight. Sorry guys, but it’s when you say, “just doing my job sir.” Well don’t; find another job, go cull badgers, or something more productive.

 

Here’s another annoyance; cull puppies too, they bite. No, love puppies, but not badgers; out of sight out of mind. I see them, every morning, they’re my work buddies, with their silly waddles; until, because of our persistence to speed, they’re roadkill.

 

Until we slow down we’re wiping out enough of this beautiful wildlife already, and without sufficient research to prove a cull will cure bovine TB in cattle, we’ve no right to go through with this. Wait for scientist’s reports, or we mirror Middle-Americans, wailing climate change is a hoax while neck deep in flooding.

 

nosupcovad