New lettuce shop that everyone wants because we’ve told them they do


Just when residents thought it was safe to venture back to the reality of a fairly windy main road, a wee PCSO and only one out of three cash points working with any regularity, the self-appointed and anointed campaign group Hoylake Pillage Strife is proud to announce its vision of what the village needs most – yes a very, very large lettuce barn inside the recently vacated Presbyterian Church in Alderley Road behind Sylvia’s shop.

HPS came up with the idea during a kaleidoscopic dream possibly enthused by a late night snack of Wotsits, and upon a clammy awakening realised that with the addition of just £250,000 of other people’s money (clicky), hopefully yours of course, Hoylake will never, ever be short of lettuce again. A bit like Scarlet O’Hara from Gone With The Wind, who by the way has given her full support to the project.

A spokesperson for the one-man-and-his-dog group said “Doing nothing with this spectacular building is not an option. That’s what the council always says when it’s talking rubbish isn’t it?

“There is no doubt in my living room that Hoylake needs more things to attract visitors, and after some extensive research carried out while sat having a sit down toilet, I came to the blindingly obvious conclusion: who in their right mind doesn’t like lettuce? Who?

“Even though I dont own it or run it or have any control whatsoever over it I know from constantly talking to myself in the mirror that there is overwhelming community support for what Hoylake has been crying out for ever since the Great Lettuce Drought of Black And White Times Back When I Didn’t Even Live Here.

“A petition, which I have signed my very self, proves that lettuce is the one thing that would bring hordes of visitors to Hoylake from places as far flung as Sydney, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Great Yarmouth, Machu Picchu, Narnia, Rosamund Street, Kings Gap – although I’m not entirely sure where that one is, to be honest – and the much-loved and very popular Orange Grove.

“In my vision, I heard seagulls squawking excitedly around the church spires as bustling queues of good old-fashioned nuclear families, mums and dads and grandmas and grandpas and uncles and aunties and ruddy-faced children in wellington boots, clapped with giddy joy as they entered the world-renowned lettuce barn.

“Lettuce has it all. It’s green, it’s environmentally friendly, it’s got leaves, it’s dead nice in salads, you could theoretically use one as a football, and in dock form can be highly efficient in coping with the biting sting of a nettle. So not only would the lettuce barn act as a hugely beneficial visitor’s attraction and source of no-nonsense leafy goodness, it would virtually act as a hospital walk-in centre, too.


“It is envisioned in my vision that the converted church lettuce barn, to be called Lettuce Pray, will be open all year round and will be operated by a successful remote lettuce vendor with whom Hoylake Pillage intends to form a symbiotic non-profit-making multi-national conglomerate farming co-operative thing.

“Of course this will all depend on getting some real proper community support behind it which on behalf of everyone else and for the purposes of time and effort I have decided to just assume is taken as read.”

The spokesperson said different types of lettuce will be sold at different times of the year in line with seasonal variation, but that “Cos” will be on display every Friday night whether you like it or not.

Toot toot!

* Thanks to Bugler nutcrackerz66 again who I think Buglers we can understand has something of a bee in their bonnet.

Answers to those questions on the Hoylake Beacon that the Hoylake Beacon needs help with

b icon

Buglers, the encrazed idea of turning the tarmacadamed top of a tidal storm drain into a much needed – by about two, or possibly five, people – arts centre, cinema, ethics lab, lentil plantation, rocket launch pad, school for X Men mutants, slinky teaching courses, Jedi Church, transcendental meditation with optional yogic flying spa, a brewery, cheese museum, Arthur C Clarke’s space elevator to the stars, AN ACTUAL LETTUCE, and anything else we can invent, is dead.

Dead as the proverbial dodo.

But our enthusiastic friends who don’t live in King’s Gap (clicky) but, curiously, perhaps because they think it sounds nice to their mates, so say they do anyway, continue to bleat on like a goat whose tender sweetbreads have become snagged on a farmer’s barbed wire fence that their reverie will one day blossom.

So, to those questions, questions

b questions

Let’s deal with them one at a time shall we Buglers? Yes let’s.

b 1

Galloping horse manure of the highest pedigree. The Beacon if it was ever even slightly alive other than in the mind(s) of desperately deluded do-gooders is deader than Finnieland. It’s as likely to happen as Norwegian Wood opening up a concession in St Luke’s Methodist Church (ask your mum, young Buglers – or, more likely, your guilty looking dad).

b how long

“We don’t know”. Well, yes. Succinctly put. Moving swiftly on.

b hcc

Fear not Buglers. Kes will still be on at least six times a year whether you like it or not, because they like it and that – as they say in King’s Gap, even when you don’t even live or work there but perhaps, just perhaps, want to impress people – is that.

b commercial

No, Because it’s not going to happen. But if it did, we’re 100 per cent certain that Kes and Kes alone would ensure bumper profits year after year after year. Have you seen Kes? No? It came out when phones still had dials on them. Had an eagle in it or something. We had weekly binmen then, too. I miss the weekly binmen. And spotted dick with green custard. Christ. I miss Rolf Harris too. Whatever happened to him?

b steering


Er, I mean, other people too. Honest. But none of us really want to put our names to it. I know that might look a bit shit, but it’s nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that if this goes absolutely nowhere, our fingerprints aren’t on it. Got that? Look. Look! There’s a seagull on a bike! There! Look! (Scarpers…)

b advice

Nobody we’d care to identify. Like, you know, in any way whatsoever. But they are real. Really. But apropos of nothing are you a fan of Michael Jackson’s seminal retrospective track, Man In The Mirror? Let’s rock!

b covenant

We have no idea whatsoever. Clearly. Is it something to do with nuns? But we really really really wish we’d made even the slightest proper enquiries into this before we launched our now rather hollow sounding website promising you Kes – yes, Kes! (it’s got an eagle in it, deffo) – every Friday night before you die.

b money

Definitely, absolutely, and 100 per cent not from me. I mean us.

b funding

Not a cent. Unless you’re offering? But…. hang on…. I have got an unchecked lottery ticket here? Shall we? Shall we? SHALL WE SHALL WE SHALL WE?

b developer

He’d do some maths.. In one column, he’d ask how much money he could make. In the other, he’d ask how much money he could make. Then he’d laugh his head off and help himself to another large slice of fantasist pie.

b community

Well, I love it. And so do the people I’ve told to love it, too. Not actually knocked on anyone’s doors, mind. But to be fair, we don’t have to. We know best. And we know Hoylake people know that without even ever asking.

b council

They’re not. There is no project to kill other than the one swooping around my skull like a badly directed pterodactyl.  And even a basketcase local authority like Wirral can see screaming lunacy from a mile off. They are, after all, the experts at it.

b tourism

Yes. The same council that has gone quiet on the Chinese fraud who was going to turn Birkenhead into Shanghai. That council is our mate and mentor, that is.

b public

Yes. And even though we said we’d been in deep talks with Wirral Council et al, it is with regret that we probably just looked them up on the internet and said “YAY!”. But to be fair there are loads of lolzcats on there too, I can exclusively reveal. I have cheat codes for Hungry Horace and Manic Miner, too. I know. ME! MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

b pipe

Yes. Entirely. And I live in King’s Gap even though I really, really don’t. I like me. My wife likes me. I am Mr Curtain Rings Man.

Toot toot!

* Thanks again to Bugler nutcrackerz66.

Giddy excitement builds as Keith Lemon sort of announces plans to open Hoylake cinema

b icon

Roll out the red carpets and pack your Brownie cameras full of 35mm film* Buglers.

Plans are excitingly afoot to turn Hoylake promenade into a veritable home from home for Hollywood types.

How do we know this? Because this (clicky clicky) recently launched website tells us so.

The “Beacon” will be** a 120-seat cinema on the site of the old lifeboat museum…………. you know, that really popular attraction that this website said would never work but has confounded all by being only third behind Disneyland and Mecca in The World’s Most Popular Places To Go When You’re At A Loss At What To Do Today***

This won’t be a community thingy though Buglers, it will be there to make money. The way the museum doesn’t.

So it would seem reading between the lines that they’re looking for other people’s money to make this come about which is fair enough as that it is largely how dreams and more importantly viable businesses are born.

And just look Buglers just LOOK at “What people are saying” about it!

b people

Daniel Craig! DANIEL!!! YIKES!

Someone who was ACTUALLY in Kez****!

An obscure aristocrat!

Someone else!

Impressive stuff!

Except those really famous and influential people***** were actually talking about something else entirely, namely the, er, self-styled community cinema at the old Parade School, not the Mekon Beacon.

So who are the Mekon Beacon Steering Group behind this proposed wondrous scheme?

b about

Well that cleared that one up didn’t it?

Not really Buglers. Not really really really.

So someone who knows their way around the miracle of the world wide web had a look to see who owns the Beacon website.

Turns out Buglers it is owned by a firm oddly claiming its address as near-the-edge-of-Meols’ Manor Road as also “The King’s Gap” – breath – called Twenty Five Educational which is run by…


…, wrong image, hang on…


…that’s it….

….Mark Howard, who as part of Hoylake Village Life set up the, ermmm,  community cinema at the old Parade School.

Glad to clear that up for anyone who was wondering.

Toot toot!

* Little ones, this is how cameras used to work. Parents hated children having them because it meant them having to fork out a small fortune to develop your rubbish pictures and yet more to buy replacement film. If this sounds old fashioned, it’s not. The exact equivalent now is you demanding cash for credit on your mobile phone.

**Will never, ever be.

***Not even slightly true.

****No, I haven’t seen it either.

*****Only one is.

THANK YOU for the awesome email from Bugler nutcrackerz22 who sent it to

“Marco Pierre Shite”

Not my words Buglers but the words of a correspondent who has sent an email today (which makes a change by the bloody way). Here it is.

“Dear Hoylake Bugle,

I understand you have an outlet for moans like this, so please indulge me.

How long does it take to make a cocktail, do you reckon?

Because yesterday I made the rueful and expensive error of visiting what I imagine is Hoylake’s as-near-to premier destination, the Holiday Inn Express/Marco’s that masquerades as the old King’s Gap Hotel.

It was quite an important day. We were commemorating the death of a mother-in-law I’d sadly never met but who was clearly adored by everyone, and so our miniature family get together strayed over from a decent lunch at the Green Lodge to what we hoped would be a final hurrah at Marco’s.

There were only four of us, matching the same number of diners in the restaurant to our rear.

If you aren’t familiar with the bar at Marco’s, it’s quite an impressive sight: All black marble, chrome and piercing white lights, with a kaleidoscopic tiled floor and a reasonably well-stocked metropolitan-style bar behind the serving area.

You might imagine that when a certain golf tournament is taking place, they might even have staff who know what to do behind it, too. But because the golf isn’t on, and it’s just us mere mortal locals handing over cash, service wasn’t just “below par” (geddit?) but absolutely dreadful – in fact, way beyond dreadful.

Now, I have spent a lot of time in bars of all descriptions, and even worked behind one while on foreign shores, where being able to cobble together a cocktail or two is a prerequisite. Not in Hoylake’s “top” hotel, however.

We ordered: One mojito, two Long Island ice teas, and one black coffee with a brandy.

TWENTY MINUTES later we had the ice teas, which weren’t actually all that bad if not for the fact we could have walked round to Sainsbury’s, bought the ingredients and made the drinks ourselves in the same amount of time.

THIRTY MINUTES later arrived the mojito, which had the merest hint of molasses which rendered the mint as mere leaves. The ice in our ice teas had of course long since melted.

And FORTY minutes later came the coffee, with the brandy in a shot glass.

So no chance to do a collective “cheers” or anything.

And then a demand for a mere £27.50 for the lot.

Dumbstruck – clearly, because we stayed for another, on the grounds it simply cannot happen twice, can it? – the next round was simpler. Three vodka and tonics, and one brandy. Bish, bash, bosh, surely?

Oh no. TWENTY FIVE MINUTES later in an empty (but us) bar and barely occupied restaurant, we are served our drinks. Just the £25 quid this time. And no change in the till, either.

I had the pleasure of meeting Marco Pierre White when he relaunched the restaurant and bar a while back, and it’s clear that he demands a certain level of service that was woefully lacking here.

What is certainly lacking at Marco’s is management. No one appears to be in control, the staff seem unsure and uncertain, and if you want to charge me almost thirty quid for a round of four drinks, then I want them to be exact, served together, and preferably before we reach the next millennium.

I’m not blaming the individual staff members. They were perfectly pleasant, but quite clearly badly managed, as my sister-in-law – herself a former successful publican – could quite clearly see.

This wasn’t Marco Pierre White, not by a scintilla. This was Marco Pierre Shite. On legs. And whatever they’re paying the great man to have his name attached to the place is, with respect, probably not worth it, mate.

The venue – Hoylake’s finest, supposedly, let’s not forget – needs to buck up, not fuck up. But either way I won’t be bothering its shores again any time soon.

Anyway, cheers – I needed that!