Give thanks for getting a hammering
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, with Christmas lights glowing on the dark nights and Santa’s grotto set up in Park Mall. But before we could get into the festive spirit, we had to get through the strange day now known as “Black Friday”, a day where retailers give discounts to customers.
Our near-neighbours at the YMCA charity shop were certainly eager to get in on the action, even advertising in their windows that their sale would start a day early... on Thursday.
We suppose that you can’t blame charity and independent shops using whatever tools they can to boost business, especially at a time when consumers appear reluctant to part with their cash.
Yet Black Friday is meant to be a gesture of goodwill following Thanksgiving in the United States.
We’ve already imported Halloween celebrations which have rather usurped our traditional Bonfire Night. One can only hope that Thanksgiving isn’t about to leave Guy Fawkes sandwiched between two American festivities.
At any rate, it would mean two lots of turkey and servings of brussels sprouts, so hopefully it won’t catch on! Staying with the grumpy festive theme, we received an email about “shocking fillers” from Houston PR. They were looking for the worst possible stocking fillers, and included things like coal in the past, but that has apparently been replaced by batteries.
Other items on the list apparently include a tin of spaghetti and sausages, out of date Kit Kats, hotel conditioner, and a paperback guide to parenting.
But none of these are as bad as our reporter Dan Wright’s suggestion for fellow reporter Aidan Barlow’s stocking filler.
The West Ham fan suggested a signed picture of former Hammers player David Unsworth from the old autograph shop at the Designer Outlet might make the grade.
Mr Unsworth, aka Rhino, made the majority of his playing appearances for Aidan’s team Everton, and is currently the caretaker manager at the club. And finally, staff at Ashford’s County Hotel in the lower high street are feeling flush after the venue won acclaim for the quality and standards of its toilets in the Loo of the Year Awards 2017.
The pub has been awarded a platinum star rating by inspectors –the highest possible in the awards which aim at highlight and improve standards of ‘away from home’ toilets across the UK.
Loo of the Year inspectors visit thousands of toilets across the UK and the platinum rating only goes to venues which offer “exceptional toilets”.
The criteria include décor and maintenance, cleanliness, accessibility, hand washing and drying equipment and overall management.
County Hotel manager Christina Dangerfield said: “We are delighted with the award. Staff at the pub ensure the toilets are in first-class condition at all times and it is great that this has been recognised by the inspectors.”
The Black Friday sale at YMCA charity shop in Ashford started on Thursday; David Unsworth is currently the Everton caretaker manager. He played for the club, but also had a stint as a West Ham player. Right, the award-winning toilets at Ashford’s...