Houseago Report will probe yellow peril

Following the suggestion by a reader that many road accidents may be caused by cars and not drivers, I have been informed by friends in North Norfolk that yellow lines may also have a life of their own.

Following the suggestion by a reader that many road accidents may be caused by cars and not drivers, I have been informed by friends in North Norfolk that yellow lines may also have a life of their own.

Apparently every time these particular friends go to Cromer, the yellow lines get longer.

An official complaint has led to research being carried out by the School of Penguins, Chess and Road Surfacing at the University of East Anglia, which suggests that the paint used to create the lines is a form of life, which has a desire to expand.

“At first we were inclined to blame it on global warming,” said Professor Ian “Sam” Aufmerksam. “But then we are inclined to blame most things on global warming. After we had a good look we realised there was something even more sinister afoot. So we called in consultants.”

After blaming things on global warming, calling in consultants is the second most popular reaction of businesses and water companies when faced with anything they can't be bothered to sort out for themselves, but it is rare for a university to employ this tactic.

“We were delighted to be called in,” said Henry (Fred) “Shrimp” Houseago, chief executive of Houseago Inc, who are based at Erpingham. “But then we always are. We have an excellent track record of going in, charging a huge amount of money and then leaving - but not without suggesting they employ us again should things not go well, which is often the case.

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“We will probably suggest that they should change the name of Cromer to Ibiza. It couldn't hurt, could it?”

The Houseago Report is due for release in 2010, but Prof Aufmerksam said yesterday that he was already concerned that the yellow lines would soon have the town surrounded.

“After that we believe they will invade every street and swallow up all the spare space,” he said. “Eventually the residents will not be able to breathe, or stop anywhere. They will turn yellow and shrivel up.”

He thought this might already have happened in other parts of Norfolk.

“When the report comes out, we will be urging immediate action,” he said. “Probably.”


The campaign to keep Motorways out of Norfolk (Moon), together with Full Moon, its more extreme offshoot, has had a long period of unlimited success.

I would advise them not to be complacent, however. It has been revealed recently by Scenery, the in-depth television programme, that the conspiracy to get Norwich City out of the Premiership, run by the Be Unfair to Norwich Guys (Bung) consortium in 2005, was fuelled by fan discontent.

Most Premiership fans depend on motorways to make quick journeys to away grounds, but the total absence of motorway miles in Norfolk apparently made the journey seem tedious and over-long.

Norfolk people are used to that, of course, but it is hardly surprising that fans from elsewhere revolted and cheered especially loudly when their teams played Norwich. As we know, this resulted in Norwich losing quite frequently.

Bung justified their anti-Canary campaign by pointing out that motorways were the safest roads in the country, and their members were being put at risk by coming to Norfolk.

“You can't even get to Carrow Road by dual-carriageway,” said a spokesfan.

Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation, said during the recently concluded National Motorway Month: “We tend to forget what life was like without motorways. Premiership fans will save the equivalent of seven matches plus two lots of extra time by sticking to motorways on their way to Premiership matches.”

A small group of Norwich City fans, who don't even have to try to remember what life was like without motorways, start a backlash against Moon this week, when they launch their own attack against “fanatical self-interest”.

The group - Extreme Challenge to Lying in Parts of the South-East (Eclipse) - is composed of hard-core militant soccer-watchers and has already been infiltrated by detectives.


Residents of Kilverstone Heath, near Thetford, are delighted with the news that a watchperson will be stationed at the level crossing where a train was derailed recently.

A Network Rail spokesperson said the watchperson would prevent driverpersons misusing the crossing by weaving in and out of the barriers. A survey carried out by this page revealed that more than 100pc of motoristpersons intended to do this.

But Mrs Hicks, Mayorperson of Little London, near Corpusty, who happened to be passing, said she had no intention of dodging the barriers, even if trains reduced their speed to under 20mph, which was a frightening prospect.

She added: “I think a watchperson is a great idea. But we could go further. Why not build a little hut for him or her by the crossing, and install gates? You could then prevent anyone from crossing unless he or she opened them.”

A consultantperson is being called in to examine this revolutionary idea.


House names which strain the credulity include such familiar lies as Hillview, Lakeview, Riverview and Seaview. So I was refreshed beyond measure last week when, during my bid to walk down every street in Norwich, I came across the wonderful Noview. It was pretty much spot-on, too.


This year's valueless prize for the least helpful sign in Norwich has been won by “Car park - previous turning right”, in Barrack Street. It reminds me of advice given to a bus passenger who requested help many years back: “You get off at the stop before the last one.” Well, who said life had to be easy?