Nessie in Oulton Broad and a lost tribe living under Norwich - Did you spot our April Fools’ Day jokes?
13:04 01 April 2014
An astonishing photograph taken at Oulton Broad which appeared to show a creature dubbed “The Ness Point Monster” was one of our April Fools’ Day jokes, but did you spot two more?
The shot, taken by Oulton Broad councillor Colin Law, who is also leader of Waveney District Council, shows a slender-necked freshwater lake or marine mammal with a single hump, its long tail hidden underwater.
A call to brewers Adnams resulted in a special beer, produced to mark the historic appearance of the Ness Point Monster. Adnams chief executive Andy Wood said the beer, called Nessie: Monster of British Beers would be a 1.4pc brew and, in a cheeky tribute to Nessie’s escape south, made with Scottish oats and created by head brewer Fergus Fitzgerald.
• But it was all a hoax, as was the haunting face from the past which experts claimed could be further evidence that a “lost tribe” once lived – or maybe continues to live – under the ground in Norwich.
The image, which appeared to show a distinctly prehistoric figure peering into the street from the cavernous hole, was discovered as the Evening News examined old pictures of the famous Norwich “bus swallowing” incident ahead of the 26th anniversary of the spectacle at the beginning of March.
Steve Adams, Archant’s picture editor, explained: “Dozens of photographs were taken of the bus in the hole in 1988 but we chose the most iconic for publication and it has been reproduced countless thousands of times across the world.
“We were looking at some of the pictures that didn’t appear in the paper and suddenly realised there was clearly a figure appearing from the hole.
“When we enlarged the image, it swiftly became clear that we definitely weren’t dealing with one of the workmen tasked to investigate what had happened.
“We were initially baffled, but further research has shown that what we might have unearthed is evidence of a cover-up which has never been publicised before.”
The photograph backed up earlier claims that a hitherto unknown tribe lived below the ground in the city in the abandoned chalk mines beneath Norwich – and they say the tribe may still be living beneath the ground, surfacing only occasionally in order to hunt and seek sunlight.
• Of course, a tribe living beneath the streets of Norwich is complete nonsense and so are proposals to re-name the grades Ofsted gives schools in a bid to adapt to the world of social media.
Our third, and final, April Fools’ Day joke claimed that Ofsted bosses were considering new grades that would be easier to fit into Twitter messages, which are limited to 140 characters, and would help connect younger people with the inspectorate.
Schools are currently placed in one of four categories, “outstanding”, “good”, “requires improvement” or “inadequate”, but there are fears such designations are not fit for purpose when used on Twitter, which puts a premium on shorter words.
The reforms would replace the current grades with words of no more than four characters.
From the start of April 2015, the 11-character top grade “outstanding” will be re-named “fab!”, and the 20-character grade “requires improvement” will become “iffy”. The “good” judgement is unaffected.
• Did you spot all three? What are your favourite April Fools’ Day jokes? let us know by posting a comment below.