Harold is rumoured to be firm favourite in this year’s ‘best kept secret village’ competition, despite a handful of residents still leaving their lights on at night.
The contest, a national game of ‘hide and seek’ for beauty spots, was first brought to the attention of Harold by a travelling salesman.
“He just happened to have 300 hectares of black-out canvas for sale, and a rusty old transit, to take away all our sign posts”, revealed Cllr Ron Ronsson.
“He expressed his surprise at how easy it was to stumble upon our place, and bet me £20 we couldn’t make ourselves scarce. I wasn’t having that, so I diverted the whole of our tourist information budget to his Western Union account. But as he explained, that’ll probably help us stay hidden.”
Stretched tightly across the entire parish, the material is quite a talking point in Harold, despite a new byelaw that bans anything above a whisper. Fields, canals and buildings are now completely obliterated from view, to the point where on Google Earth, it looks like they missed a bit.
“The older members of our community are the ones who have really embraced the spirit of this”, insists Ronsson. “When we spot an outsider and sound our new ‘coming ready or not’ siren they go scurrying from their houses, diving for long-forgotten corrugated shelters in the garden.”
“I’ve explained that there’s not a war on and it’s just a bit of fun. But that doesn’t stopped them queuing outside Tesco for powdered egg.”
Ronsson revealed that the exact number of competitors is a secret, which adds a frisson of the unknown to the proceedings. But as the Councillor notes, villagers in Felching have been suspiciously quiet recently.
“I’m sending all our council employees over there daily to stand in the square, and shout their tits off late at night”, said Ronsson. “That makes the idiots switch their lights on or call the police. There’s no way those amateurs aren’t going to get spotted.”
Ronsson is confident of claiming his twenty pound prize, just as soon as the salesman returns.
“No-one’s seen him since our money transfer went through”, boasted Ronsson. “That just proves how well this is working.”