Thursday, 14 January 2016

Crime of the Cen-tree? Northants Telegraph column, 14th January 2016

At school I once borrowed a book from the library which caused much amusement amongst my classmates when my Form Tutor read out a message from the Librarian stating it was due for renewal or return.

The tome in question was called 'The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding' - but in my defence it was an Agatha Christie, not a children's book about a plum pudding fulfilling its Christmas destiny!

I mention this now because there's been a recent real-life adventure involving a Christmas pudding.  Every year, outside The Yews in Gretton, two 100-year old (approx) box bushes are decorated to resemble Christmas puddings.

Jo's puddings are legendary throughout North Northamptonshire and Rutland.  Visitors make pilgrimages down the High Street just to see them, and they bring big smiles to many faces, young and old.

However, on the Monday night before Christmas, Jo's 'pudding tops' were stolen.

A Facebook appeal to have them returned was sadly then followed by an even worse theft being committed the following night.  Somebody removed one of the box bushes altogether by dragging it out from the garden using a vehicle of some description.

Everyone in the area is shocked that anybody could do this - a drunken prank stealing the pudding tops is one thing, but a premeditated return to the scene and removing an ancient box tree is in another league. 

Despite more appeals the culprits have yet to be found, but following an article on the Northants Telegraph website - and even a brief mention in The Sun with the puntastic title 'Crime of Cen-Tree' - the bush was found abandoned and has now been returned to its rightful home.

I'm thinking this crime should be made into an Agatha Christie-type mystery, starring Aidan Turner.

I was trying to engineer a storyline where he could remove his shirt (accidental red-wine spillage, perhaps?), however, my 12-year old daughter has told me that this is sexist.  In my defence, I did explain to her about his appearances in And Then There Were None and Poldark.  She remained unimpressed!

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