This morning, during a phone call with my mother, I was informed forecasters have predicted imminent adverse meteorological conditions in the north of England. Snow, high winds and risk of polar bear attack just some of the unpleasantness apparently heading our way

I’m assuming her source is a weather forecasters, not a unreliable prophecy was old Joe from the East Ardsley Conservative (Connie) Club. A local gent who spends a large part of his dotage forecasting, predicting and wildly guessing the area’s upcoming life events.

Joe an eccentric local man who enjoys nothing more than spreading his erratic sooth-saying amongst villagers. Forecasts ordinarily undertaken in the Connie club tap room, accompanied by his muckers and a very reasonably priced pint of Theakstones bitter.

Examples of his foresight include predicting the Great Tingley Jumble Sale of 1978, along with the 1969 Thorpe Jamboree – Events that did come to pass as foreseen. That being said, though, as it was his wife who organised the event, villagers were quick to brandish accusations his foresight was from insider knowledge, not the result of him having extrasensory perception.

In 1983, two weeks before it came to pass, he also forecast the terrorising of locals by the Giant Fox of Moor Knoll. A huge animal which walked on it’s hind legs, intimidating villagers with it’s confrontational growling and violent chicken theft from Binks butcher shop.

A dark time for East Ardsley. An era where Joe had to fight stoically to defend himself against villager’s gossip – Sceptics who didn’t belief his argument that the fox suit hanging on his washing line the day after every ‘attack’ wasn’t his. Unable to supply a viable reason for the presence of the suit, he was ostracised for a time.

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However, time is a great healer and the soothsayer is now a highly respected member of the community. West Yorkshire people whose working class roots were forged during the Industrial Revolution by the area’s railways, coal industry and textile mills. Individuals who, despite his idiosyncrasies, oft seek his company in the Connie Club bar.

A popularity that would’ve been even more stellar if the club steward had been gullible enough to believe his prediction of impending doom should beer prices not get lowered by 20%.

In some ways I hope the eccentric prophet is the bearer of the bulletin about our impending meteorological unpleasantness. After all, the West Yorkshireman’s ‘sage-like’ proffering of inclement weather would’ve less chance of coming to pass than weather man John Kettley’s forecast.

To clarify, I wanted to confirm my scepticism isn’t born from mistrust of or disbelief in those claiming to foresee future events. Like most topics, I maintain an open mind about the subject. My tongue-in-cheek comments above are merely a mischievous swipe at the trade’s more eccentric exponents. 

That being said. I suppose I’m slightly puzzled why those who claim to have foresight don’t win the lottery jackpot every week, or have a many avoidable accidents as those bereft of ESP.. 

I had cause to walk to my local supermarket earlier – Incorporating a freezing amble up School Lane. It’s safe to say whoever was the source of the weather forecast they weren’t wrong when they foresaw northern England becoming ensnared in icy temperatures.

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