The words ‘Handforth Parish Council’ should probably mean something to you by now.
Less than 24 hours ago, those three words may have only been on the radar for Mancunians purely due to the fact that it’s just a stone’s throw away to the south of us, being just over the Cheshire border into Wilmslow, but now, it means something completely different.
It’s hard to know where to begin with it all, but to cut a long story short, clips from a Handforth Parish Council Zoom meeting have been going viral on Twitter today, and while this may sound like a bizarre thing to have captured the attentions of the nation, considering council meetings are known to be like watching paint dry at the best of times, there’s a very good reason for it.
And that reason is because this meeting descended into what can only been described as absolute chaos, with raised voices, hysterical laughter, endless complaints, passive aggressive behaviour, and swearing councillors trading insults left, right and centre.
People on the internet have been describing the whole thing as “British comedy gold” and “the best British comedy in decades”, and honestly, they’re not wrong.
With the tension between members having been continuing to build, the meeting eventually culminated with the Handforth Parish Council Clerk himself – or at least, that’s what his screen name said, but his identity is a little sketchy – being booted off the call entirely by the name on everyone’s lips right now – none other than, Jackie Weaver.
“You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver”.
Those were the Clerk’s famous last words before Jackie Weaver exercised the authority she actually did have, and removed him from the meeting.
And it all went rapidly downhill from there.
But if Jackie hadn’t kick-started the ensuing madness with her undeniably savage actions, then Handforth Parish Council and Jackie Weaver wouldn’t have gone on to become trending topics on Twitter, and our Friday would be a lot duller, so it’s not hard to see why the internet has taken a particular liking to her.
Not only has Jackie now reached legend status, being the meme of the moment and prompting responses from a whole slew of famous names, she’s also bagged herself her own parody Twitter account too.
Now, you might have thought that those few viral short clips were all this meeting had to offer to the world, but we couldn’t be happier to say it actually only touches the surface.
The extended version / meeting highlight reel is even better.
Sure, the ejection of ‘Handforth PC Clerk’ has deservedly grabbed all the headlines, but the full video is 18 minutes of absolute insanity that some comedy writers couldn’t have written better even if they’d spent years brainstorming it.
There’s so many moments to unpack, but we really don’t want to spoil the viewing experience for you.
At one point though, as ridiculous as it sounds, Jackie Weaver even declares that the rest of the meeting members must only refer to her as Britney Spears from now on, and if that doesn’t make you want to watch it, we really don’t know what will.
The comments section is filled will people saying things like: “John Smith is the most John Smith looking person ever. Perfect casting.”, and “the sexual chemistry between Alan’s iPad and Sue is palpable”, as well as “I’ve just spent the last 30 minutes on Zoopla trying to find somewhere, anywhere, in Handforth to move my entire family. This is the greatest thing I’ve seen”.
The best way we can try and sum it all up is, and this could very well be the understatement of the century at this point, but as Jackie so eloquently puts it – “It’s nothing if not lively in Handforth”.
Ice cream sellers are complaining Cadbury Flakes are now ‘too crumbly’ for 99s
The Cadbury Flake is an icon of British confectionary.
First developed all the way back in 1920, and surprisingly discovered just by chance thanks to Cadbury Bournville factory employee, Ralph Thompson – who noticed thin streams of excess chocolate falling from moulds cooled into flaky ripples – the Flake has gone on to become a beloved sweet treat, not just in the UK, but in several other countries worldwide too.
Due to the success of the chocolate bar, by 1930, Cadbury began selling half-sized Flakes specifically for sticking in the top of vanilla soft serve ice cream, known as ’99 Flakes’, which were served by ice cream vendors nationwide.
Many will be familiar with the famous 1983 advert, where Cadbury chose to brand Flakes as “the crumbliest, flakiest milk chocolate in the world”.
But could the day finally be here? The day when the “the crumbliest, flakiest milk chocolate in the world” is now just too crumbly to stick in 99 cone? Well, according to a growing number of ice cream sellers, this is apparently the case.
With the UK having been treated to some warm weather recently, and the hottest day of the year even on the horizon this bank holiday weekend, it’s led to ice cream traders across the country complaining that 99 Flakes have started deteriorating in quality since the production of the chocolate treats was moved over to Egypt in 2020.
Vendor John Taylor, who owns of C&M Creamery Ices in North Yorkshire, complained to the BBC that the quality of 99 Flakes nowadays is “embarrassing for an ice cream man”.
“You can’t give someone a 99 with a broken Flake,” he added.
Lawrence Glauser, owner of Lorenzo’s Ices in East Yorkshire, agreed with fellow vendor John and described the situation as a “big issue” because often at least a quarter of the Flake boxes are “unusable” – which has left him having to resorting to more creative measures.
“I now serve trays of ice cream and sprinkle bits of Flake on top,” Lawrence revealed, “I shouldn’t have to do that. I’m fed up of the wastage”.
Katy Alston, who is the president of The Ice Cream Alliance, says she won’t be using Cadbury Flakes in the 99s she sells from her ice cream van in Bognor Regis for the first time ever this year, as she claims she sometimes has to throw at least half the box away because “they’ve all been broken”, which doesn’t help when she has a reputation to maintain.
“If you order a 99, you want a good solid Flake in it,” she concluded.
Addressing the growing concerns, a spokesperson for manufacturer Mondelēz International said: “Cadbury Flake 99 is a naturally delicate and crumbly product, and we have processes in place within our supply chain to avoid any breakage as much as possible.
“We are aware that recently some customers have received product which does not meet our usual high standards. This has been addressed following recent improvements to our production processes although some prior stock may remain in circulation.
“We are in the process of liaising with our customers (wholesalers) to support those potentially impacted.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused”.
Featured Image – Flickr
Manchester is set to be hotter than Madrid this bank holiday weekend
The UK could see the hottest day of the year so far this bank holiday weekend, with temperatures predicted to hit 24°C in some parts.
And that means Manchester is set to be warmer than Madrid.
The Spanish capital is usually known for its soaring temperatures around this time of year, but in recent weeks, the city has been experiencing some unseasonably rainy spells, and as that seems set to continue for the foreseeable, it means us Mancs could be taking over the role of basking in the sunshine this bank holiday weekend instead.
According to the Met Office, temperatures over the next couple of days in Greater Manchester will reach highs of 23°C in some boroughs.
And we’re all set for a “fine and dry” end to the month of May.
The summer-like conditions are all thanks to the fact that the area of high-pressure that’s brought fine conditions across the UK over the last few days are predicted to persist for a little while longer, according to the Met Office.
Looking at the bigger picture for the weekend, the Met Office’s Chief Forecaster, Paul Gundersen, explained: “The jet stream sitting to the north of the UK is holding unsettled weather systems at bay and allowing high pressure to dominate bringing fine weather to the vast majority of the UK.
“The current position of the high-pressure means we will see a westerly air flow over the UK, a cooler direction than if air was being brought up from the South, and areas such as Spain or Africa, therefore, we are not likely to reach heatwave conditions, but temperatures will still be warm reaching the low 20’s for many, particularly in the South West and southern Wales.”
Forecasting into next week when schools are out for half term across Greater Manchester, the Met Office says there’s “a strong signal the high pressure will continue to dominate our weather”.
The forecasted sunshine and dry weather has, however, got experts issuing travel warnings as people are expected to hit the roads across the UK.