Residents of the chocolate box village of Aynton in Berkshire have said that they are ‘stunned and shocked’ by the Transport Secretary’s decision not to route the controversial High Speed 2 rail link close to their homes.
‘Of course we don’t want the thing blighting the countryside, decimating our house prices and raping our daughters,’ said Mrs Mary Smyth. ‘But now, it’s not threatening to destroy the very fabric of our civilisation with sweaty Eastern European navvies poised to steal our handbags and abuse our livestock. In later years we won’t be blighted by train noise so loud it will deafen our kittens. And that is of equal concern.’
With HS2 not passing within 70 miles of the village, it means fewer journalists in the pubs and B&Bs, fewer opportunity to highlight the ‘Save our mobile library’ campaign and lower sales of Mrs Jameson’s special marmalade. Plans for a lyrical BBC 4 documentary about a 100-year-old vegetable growing competition being cruelly threatened by the government’s callous decision to route the railways through private allotments, have been abandoned, also wrecking the assistant producer’s plans to sleep with the intern associate runner.
‘I for one was hoping for some media attention for my moustache,’ rued Bob Williams, landlord of the Dog and Duck. ‘This has taken me three years to grow and I was going to threaten to shave it off live on TV if HS2 threatened the village. Now if I shave it off, nobody will notice, and if I leave it on I’ll just look a fool.’
Aynton residents have debated taking the fight to Westminster with the slogan ‘Threaten us with HS2 or we will lose our ‘Save our horse-trough’ campaign’, but protest organiser Mike Holloway has found few takers. Moreover, the ‘No HS2’ issue is having a serious effect on his drink problem.
‘I’d love to live in a place where they’ve started a real old fashioned pub-based protest movement,’ said Holloway. ‘Then, as my boozing got worse I could kill myself in protest over what this ill-thought out scheme was going do to my beloved home. That’d turn a few heads. Worked for the Arabs, didn’t it?’
4th February 2013