Wednesday 20 June 2018

Landmark Deb-Acle

The Broads National Pike Visitor Centre took a step forward today as the Blessed Authority announced a shortlist of 3 expensive carbuncles from a selection of 100.

Dr Pikeman expressed his “genuine surprise” as architects fell over themselves at the prospect of taking a large fee for designing a £750,000 cafĂ© in the middle of nowhere. Or, “a prime Norfolk Broads tourism spot”, as Axle is now to be known.

The Blessed Authority has a long and proud history of pointlessly expensive vanity projects, including an abortive spell in exotic offices at Horsefly House, the Spirit of Boredom ranger launch which can’t go under bridges, and the famous Mockyard which is too small to house a boat. As is customary, the budget for the latest scheme was publicised without consulting members, to avoid the embarrassment of anyone disagreeing with it.

Keen to learn from the Mockyard experience, all of the shortlisted designs dwarf their surroundings. “We wanted something which could survive extreme flood events and climate change” said a Blessed Judge, “and we’re confident that any of these buildings would still be visible even with a 100ft rise in sea levels.” Sustainability is also key to the designs, with an insistence on low maintenance non-flammable materials like thatch and timber cladding.

The designs include one intended to look like the bastard offspring of a moth and a wherry, and another which is supposed to work like a giant periscope - already dubbed “The Upskirt”. However, the winning entry will be the giant “National Pike Education Centre”, by virtue of the clever inclusion of the words “National Pike” in its title. “In addition to the inspirational name, what we particularly liked about this design was the assimilation of most of the moorings into the frontage of the building” said Dr Pikeman. “This accords with the Blessed Mooring Reduction Policy, which requires that we continue to reduce the number of visitor moorings year on year so that we don’t have to maintain them.”

Judges were also pleased to be spared the embarrassment of considering any entries which complied with planning policy, confirming that none of the designs would be acceptable if put forward by a private developer. “Landmark buildings like these are contrary to policy, so only an organisation responsible for determining its own planning applications could consider building them” said Dr Pikeman. “Fortunately, I only have 2 planning officers left and I don’t have to play the Long Game anymore, so this will be a doddle.”

Sacked Chair Granny Burgess expressed her excitement at the prospect of spending nearly a million pounds for no reason. “We have no idea how many visitors we might get, or how much money they might spend, or really what the benefit is at all. But we still believe it represents strong value for money” she said.


  1. I'm going to be laughing all day at this!

  2. Unfortunately this is all too close to the truth. A final swansong vanity project for Dr. Pikeman? We just have to hope that common sense prevails. Maybe they could divert the cash from spending on grand gestures that they don't have to make - to dredging, which is their statutory responsibility and has been cut by 40%.

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