War Memorial Gary Trouton

Straight Talking

June 2007

In this months article, the Grumpy Old Man answers some of his critics.

Well! To say that some people have got the wrong end of the stick is an understatement. Certain people within the village seem to think I am on a one man crusade against them. One person has even called me a buffoon and a fool! I have consulted my solicitor about this gentleman's comments and they charged me £130!

My first article has been cited as ill-thought out, ill-informed and inaccurate drivel.

This gentleman has even called me a coward, because I won't reveal my identity. I consulted my solicitor about this comment, and he charged another £130.

I do not write this article as a single person, I write this article as the average person in Stoke Ferry; someone who chats with his friends down the Blue Bell or (before its demise) the Millers Arms. Someone who has a conversation with people he meets whilst at the Post Office or down the Corner Shop. I would love to take all the credit for the views I have, but I can't as these are the views held by many in this village. Are we all fools and buffoons?

I commented on this gentleman's house, not because I have anything against him, but to show that architecture is a very emotive subject. I think the Swiss Re: building in London is a masterpiece of architecture, my wife thinks it looks like an enormous ****. My wife thinks that Andy Warhol was a terrible artist; I think the man was a genius. I think Park House looks no different from the Mill, the gentleman who owns it thinks his house is the best in the village. And to set the record straight, I did not suggest, imply or bracket the resident of Park House as an outsider that was his own assumption.

Truth can be split into two categories, the truth, and perceived truth. The truth is exactly that, it is without any pre-qualifications or any other terms and conditions. Perceived truth is what the majority of people believe. Perceived truth is when the masses take small pieces of information that is known to be fact and then fill in the blanks with what they think is the truth. For over a year the Stoke Ferry Residents Association has been meeting on a regular basis, their minutes published every month in the Pump. They have been working very hard in the background, of that I have no doubt's, but STILL I and many other residents have no idea what it is they are trying to do. I stated in my first article that "a lot of money seems to be spent by the Residents association on the old Church" I am not accusing the SFRA of assisting this gentleman in financing the building; I am merely stating that the perceived truth is that they are. If this is not the case then the SFRA must state this more clearly. If they don't, then these "inaccurate" beliefs will continue to be held by some residents of Stoke Ferry. One point of fact is that this gentleman did except all the fire extinguishers that are in the building and that the SFRA would pay for the annual maintenance, as stated in previous SFRA minutes.

It did upset me that 2 members of the SFRA decided to resign, apparently over my comments; I believe they have made the wrong decision. I know he and his wife had worked very hard to stage last years event, and I was not criticising his or his wife's work, but making general comments toward the whole of the SFRA. In their April minutes the SFRA attempted to answer some of my gripes, but again they actually missed the point, by a mile! Yes they did have activities for the children, but these activities were out of sight of the main event, I don't want my children or any others to be pushed away in some field, or hidden is some tent in the church yard, I wanted them to be on the Hill with me and my wife, enjoying the day, I am a firm believer that children are our future and as such should not be shut away from everyone else. The SFRA make mention that all money has been accounted for, I am sure it has...on what though? What on earth did they spend all the money on? Please tell us so that we know what the truth is instead of us having to use "perceived" truth.

I understand that there have been two complaints to the editor about the comments I made regarding Stoke Ferry Parish Council and, what I perceive as, prejudicial interest. Once again someone has grabbed the wrong end of the stick, I never indicated, or implied that this councillor's son had done anything wrong, i just stated that one of the four children who was "apprehended" was this councillors son, and as such this councillor should have taken no further part in the conversation. I also understand that Stoke Ferry Parish Council has asked the editor to point out that "Expressions of interest" were the responsibility of the individual Parish Councillor and not the Parish Council itself. That may be the case, but if any other members of the Parish Council were aware of this potential charge of "prejudicial interest" being levied they should have spoke up at the time and not allow it to continue. Its not what the rules and regulations say, its what the public thinks. The public have put you there so it's only right and proper that you act, at all times, in the best interest of the parish.

To the lady who wrote a poem about me (no one other than my wife has ever dedicated a poem to me...I am so flattered), I have been involved in a lot of village events over the years, both actively and financially, sadly I am unable to financially assist any longer due to the extortionate prices that solicitors charge.

My final comment goes to the resident of Park House. How dare you threaten the editor of the Village Pump with legal action? You wrote in your letter "I do hope that that you, The Editor, are responsible enough, and aware enough of your legal position, not to print any further garbage of this nature". I immediately contacted my solicitor about this gentleman's threat and he charged me a further £130.

Grumpy Old man

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