Monday, December 11, 2023
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Blonde Essex girl in lather over shampoo gaffe


By Colin Allcabs, Consumer Correspondent

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by a blonde Essex woman who claimed £400,000 in damages after a misunderstanding over instructions on her shampoo bottle.

Chelsea Gooch, 24, took the “wash, rinse and repeat” wording on her bottle literally – and washed her hair repeatedly for eight hours until the shampoo ran out.

But the marathon shampoo session, which involved nearly 80 washes, caused damage to her hair, ridding it of its natural oils and causing her “untold emotional stress”.

She sued the makers of the Gurnier peach melba shampoo for £400,000, but High Court judge James Landon swiftly granted the request to dismiss the case characterised by Gurnier’s legal team as “a willful misreading” of the product’s instructions designed to support a “wrong-headed attempt to assign culpability” to the manufacturer.

Ms Gooch, who is an executive assistant trainee administrator beauty technician from Witham, has vowed to continue pursuing her case, saying she intends to continue filing her suit “again, again and again” until it is heard by the courts.

Gang nabs £20 treasures from Suffolk museum


By Rob Banks
Crime Editor

A daredevil gang stole rare artifacts worth £20 after using pogo sticks and an electric drill to break into a Suffolk museum.

The criminals are believed to be connected to a mastermind who plotted more successful £60million raids on museums in Cambridge and Norwich.

“I suppose it was only a matter of time before they struck here,” said Mrs Anne Teak, curator of Stowmarket’s Museum of East Anglian Strife. “Some of the items are irreplaceable top end pieces which were donated by generous local families when their grannies died.”

The artifacts were a seven-inch jelly mould, made of some kind of metal alloy, worth £3, an OXO tin (circa 1950) valued at £7.50, and a silver plated but tarnished hairbrush worth £11, once owned by a deceased usherette at the Regal Cinema.

suffolk museumAntiques no show: valuable items missing from the Suffolk museum

Police say the ruthless gang used a high-powered Hilti DD350 drill, costing £3,000, to tunnel under the museum shop, then used pogo sticks to jump over state-of-the-art laser security beams to snatch their haul.

They then left via the staff kitchen door, jemmying it open with a spoon before making their getaway in a high-speed ice cream van.

Stowmarket’s top thiefcatcher, Det Insp Will Knabbem urged any witnesses to ring Crimestoppers. He said: “We are finger-printing the spoon which they carelessly left behind. The Oxo tin is very distinctive and may be too hot for a fence to handle. It is red with white lettering, spelling O-X-O. We need to find the items before they are melted down and lost to history.”

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‘Being called Donald Trump has ruined my life’


By Hugh Dunnett
Crime Correspondent

A Suffolk man with the same name as controversial US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has called in police after being repeatedly threatened and ridiculed.

Donald Trump, 32, from Bury St Edmunds, started getting hate letters through the mail last month, and now he’s also receiving up to 30 abusive telephone calls a day – many from America.

“At first I thought it was funny having the same name as him,” Mr Trump said from the hardware store he runs with his brother, James. “But since the American Donald Trump started becoming more extreme and bigoted in his views, I’ve had nothing but trouble.

“It’s one thing people having a joke, but they think they are writing to or calling the real Donald Trump, and have no idea I am just a shopkeeper from Suffolk trying to earn an honest living. It has ruined my life and so I called the police.”

Man called Donald TrumpThe controversial Presidential candidate, left, and Suffolk’s Donald Trump on the right

Letters passed on to police include one which threatens to burn down his house for his racist views towards Mexicans trying to get across the border into America. Another questions his abrasive attitude towards women, suggesting he should “watch his back”.

“Those sort of accusations are very upsetting,” said Suffolk’s Mr Trump. “I don’t actually know any Mexicans, but I enjoy Mexican food as much as any man.

“And suggesting I am somehow sexist is ridiculous – I’ve been happily married for ten years, and I do my share of the shopping, cooking and housework.

“I have toyed with the idea of changing my name by deed poll, but I’m going to stick it out and hope that Hillary Clinton wipes the floor with him at the election and we never hear of the other Donald Trump again.”

Even children laugh at Donald Trump as he walks along Angel Lane and Churchgate Street in Bury St Edmunds on his way to work. “I don’t mind their teasing,” Mr Trump said. “It’s the vile hate letters and calls I can’t stand.

“I can’t even let my wife or daughter answer our home telephone because it will almost certainly be someone screaming abuse down the line. I don’t know how they got my number, because last month I was forced to go ex-directory. I assume it has been shared on social media somewhere.”

An insider at Suffolk Police said: “This is an unusual case. We have advised a 32-year-old man from Bury St Edmunds on matters of personal safety, and we are investigating a number of threatening letters he has received in the post.”

Bucket list man swims with tinned tuna


By Suffolk Gazette staff

A bucket-list obsessive who couldn’t afford to swim with dolphins achieved the next best thing when he went swimming with some tinned tuna.

Daring pensioner Colin Paterson, 84, fulfilled his dream this week when he hired out the teaching pool at the Leiston Leisure Centre in Suffolk.

“I’m thrilled to have finally crossed this one off of my bucket list,” said Mr Paterson, who is a retired postman. “Obviously it wasn’t quite the same as flying out to the Florida Keys and meeting actual dolphins. But the flights cost £800, whereas the pool is only £3 for seniors on Tuesday afternoons.

“It was wonderful to watch the tinned tuna interact with its natural habitat. It was extremely playful and provided a very spiritual experience for me. However, I did have to keep a good grip on it, otherwise it would have sunk.”

tin of John West tuna chunksBeyond the pale: bucket list fan took tinned Tuna for a swim

Mr Paterson has spent his last ten years completing everything he wants to do on his bucket list before he dies. Two years ago he climbed a mountain by reaching the top of Great Wood Hill, the highest point in Suffolk, at a jaw-dropping 136 metres above sea level. Last year he crossed off the bungee jump when he got his two grandsons to hold him upside down by the ankles in his utility room.

“And the fact that I cycled to the leisure centre this week and then walked into town afterwards meant I can also tick off the triathlon,” Mr Paterson added.

“Next year I want to go on a safari tour of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya,” he explained. “But if that doesn’t work out, I’ll catch a bus to the Lowestoft petting zoo.”

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Church closes doors and moves to Tesco


By Evan Elpuss
Religious Affairs Editor

A 14th-century church closes because of congestion from two new supermarkets is now going to attract “worshoppers” by conducting services in Tesco.

Saxmundham used to have a thriving high street until the town was bypassed – then Tesco and Waitrose set up opposite one another on the small winding road which once lead to Leiston and the St John the Baptist church.

Chaos ensued when new residents of the massively over-developed town attempted to visit the shops, causing gridlock which backed up to the rarely-changing traffic lights in the high street.

Local parishioners of St John the Baptist could no longer access their place of worship due to congestion on Church Hill – but have now been invited into a temporary pop-up church in Tesco for Sunday morning service.

Local vicar the Reverend Neil Cushion said: “Well, in a very real sense we are now all living in the modern world and must find communion with the Lord wherever we can.

“The high ceilings and basic arrangement of aisles within a supermarket will be familiar with church goers, so the micro-church in aisle three of Tesco has been well received as it reminds us of the Holy Trinity and takes account of falling congregations. With 24-hour supermarket shopping, seven days a week, time is a precious commodity for many of our parishioners.

“Now we can have ham with our hymns and salami with our psalms.”

Worried Waitrose bosses are now looking at the possibility of their own United Reformed chapel in a bid to secure their share of so-called “worshoppers”. They will offer free hot cross buns and have identified a suitable area in the tea and coffee aisle.

In an ironic twist, the owner of the church, Lord’s Estates Inc., is in advanced talks with Sainsbury’s about possibly demolishing the building and replacing it with a third supermarket.

An insider on the Suffolk Coastal District Council planning committee said: “In the 21st century we expect Saxmundham to become a supermarket hub for East Suffolk – and we can’t let an old building that is only used once a week stand in the way of progress.”

Suffolk Tour switch as drug-free riders can’t do hills


By Bernie Legg
Cycling Correspondent

The Tour de France could sensationally move to Suffolk because professional cyclists have been forced off drugs and can no longer cope with steep hills.

“Since we enforced a ban on illegal stimulants and rigorously carried out blood tests, the cyclists can no longer get up most of the hills in France,” a Tour insider told the Suffolk Gazette. “And the mountain stages are now totally out of the question.”

Suffolk, with its flat or low-rolling countryside is seen as ideal territory for the new generation of clean cyclists, and already former yellow jersey winner Sir Bradley Wiggins has indicated he would now join the race.

“I thought my Tour days were over,” he said. “I was just totally sick of riding up hills. It really hurts your legs. But Suffolk will be great. My Auntie Brenda lives near Saxmundham, so I should know.”

Tour de France bosses are expected to reveal their decision to uproot to Suffolk in the coming weeks.

The move has prompted the Suffolk Gazette to launch its own professional cycling team on the understanding it will receive huge support in its home county. Top riders are already queueing up to be part of the elite team, including last year’s Tour winner, Chris Froome.

chris-froome-suffolk-teamTour de France champion Chris Froome shows off his new Suffolk Gazette team kit

Froome said he was “over the moon” about the move to Suffolk, and with joining the elite Suffolk Gazette team, which will have a special Adnams fitness drink for riders. He said: “The move to Suffolk is sensible. I’m quite fair-skinned and no matter how much sun lotion I put on I just burn in the south of France.”

It is expected that the new Tour, which will eventually be rebranded as the Tour de Suffolk, would finish in Felixstowe with the award ceremony beamed around the world live from outside Peter’s Ice Cream kiosk at the bottom of Bent Hill.

Sprint champion Mark Cavendish explained: “The flat stages have always been my favourites. I’ll admit I’m a bit worried about the finish in Felixstowe and coming up Convalescent Hill. It’s steeper than you think. Most people get off and push so I might do that, too.”

However, the British Medical Association expressed concern about the lengthy award ceremony in which riders are clad only in lycra shorts and tops. “This type of clothing may be fine in France but we have genuine concerns about the winners catching a chill. That North Sea breeze can be deceptive. We recommend warm tracksuits.”

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Felixstowe to host next year’s Oscars


By Arthur Aspall
Entertainment Editor

Felixstowe will host next year’s Oscars as organisers seek to calm the race and diversity row that overshadowed last night’s ceremony.

The newly-refurbished Spa Pavilion has been chosen to put out the red carpet for the world’s biggest movie stars.

By replacing Hollywood with a chilly Suffolk seafront, the Academy of Motion Pictures believes its showpiece event will better reflect the film-making industry – and its audience.

“The decision will show the world that the Oscars are not just purely about Los Angeles,” an Academy insider said.

oscars-picAnd the award goes to… Felixstowe

Management at The Spa say they are delighted. “The Spa is a world-class venue and we are thrilled to host the Oscars.” Asked about experience in dealing with demanding stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, a spokesman explained how the seaside venue had hosted Ken Dodd on more than 23 occasions and Showaddywaddy were regular visitors, too.

“Sylvia had to make their tea just right, or there would be hell to pay,” he admitted. “And I won’t go into the Chuckle Brothers’ rider about Bourbons. There is nothing we haven’t seen.”

The famed after-party, where the stars dance all night, is set to take place at The Alex. Staff could not yet confirm staying open until dawn, saying Tiffany the waitress needed to cycle home all the way down Western Avenue and might be a bit tired.

Air hockey

Other entertainments under discussion for the winners and losers of film’s most prestigious prize are an air hockey competition at the Pier (the bit that’s still open), and flood-lit crazy golf.

The idea is rumoured to have come from British-born top director, Ridley Scott, whose Nan shared with him her fond memories of wartime visits to the town. She is said to have developed something of an obsession with Peter’s Ice Cream. It is understood that the locally-run business will be supplying 99’s (£2.75 each) to the cream of Hollywood on the red carpet event and will take on hundreds of new staff to meet demand.

But critics of the move claim the legendary parade of glamorous half-clad starlets each February is in jeopardy. “It’s one thing to sashay along in a balmy 27 degrees,” said one insider, “but quite another in a biting north-easterly wind. They’ll catch their deaths.”

The British Medical Association has suggested that the tradition can be saved if actresses accessorize their designer gowns with woollen hats and mittens.

Long-term local resident, Gladys Knight said she was unimpressed. “Felixstowe has seen better than this. In the ‘50s the Pier Pavilion hosted Reg Handy and his Amazing Organ every May.”

The Suffolk Gazette, meanwhile, has confirmed that the Cannes Film festival will not be taking place in Lowestoft.

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Norfolk song laments Family Fortunes TV ban


By Arthur Aspall
Entertainment Editor

A Norfolk man whose family was rejected by TV programme Family Fortunes for being too “closely knit”, has made a song to cheer himself up.

Bubba Spuckler, of Downham Market, had hoped to appear on the show with close relatives to win a dream trip to an exotic location like Suffolk – or some money to invest in their turnip smallholding.

But television producers were confused when it emerged Bubba was, in fact, his own grandfather, and opted to put a family from Surrey on the show instead.

Bubba was so upset at missing out, he chose to write the song explaining his strange Norfolk family, which you can see in all its glory below.

Bubba, 24, now hopes the song will become an international best seller so that he might, after all, be able to afford a long-haul holiday to the Suffolk sunshine coast.

Norfolk brothers Billy Bob and Bubba SpucklerBubba Spuckler, left, with his great-grandson Cletus

An ITV insider said: “We regret the Spucklers were turned away because our presenter Vernon Kay would never have got his head around who was who in the family. They had to be seen to be believed, to be honest.”

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