Christine and Jim are out at dawn, skulking about looking at birds. Jennifer turns up and gets updates on the flood refugees progress. They are still not back in their houses. Weirdly, Robert Snell turns up. It seems most of the village are crawling about in the Millennium Woods (Aldridge NOT Ambridge) at five in the morning. Strange bunch. “Once the finches have started, it’s time to get on.” Jennifer invites Jim and Christine for breakfast.

    “That is a massive map,” enthuses David about Rachael’s input into the Flood Action Group. Rachael is the Environment Agency’s boots on the ground for the Ambridge disaster. “She’s very tall,” says Jim for absolutely no reason at all. The plan is to put post-it notes about everyone’s woes on the map. Robert tells of the long-lost Scruff. And still no word about Jim’s Riley. Jim feels that an independent analysis about flood risk might de-rail the dreaded Route B. Moneybags Jennifer offers to under-write the report. David draws Rachael’s attention to the blocked culverts. One of the culverts is the Agency’s – Rachael promises to check the maintenance records.

    Kenton is struggling with an enormous BBQ on the Green for the May Day event. Lynda is, as usual, running around being bossy. Shula is trying to be positive. On the day, David campaigns hard against Route B and flogs T-shirts and mugs. Rex Fairbrother introduces himself to David. “Didn’t my dads half sister marry your dad?” In David’s eyes he’s the son of that married man who had an affair with Elizabeth. Nic and Mia are there, Mia is going to be the May Queen. “This is the worst day ever,” moans Mia as the May Queen’s crown seems to have been flung in the pond. It’s not the crown, it’s a hubcap. No one can find the crown. Nic reacts in her usual calm way. “The whole day is ruined.” Kenton is swamped at the BBQ and David steps in to lend a hand. “I can manage on my own,” says Kenton. He’s still angry. “Look, I am genuinely sorry.” This cuts no ice with bitter Kenton. David consults with Jill about Kenton’s ongoing mood. Shula finds the crown stuffed in a hedge. Mia is happy. “We triumphed,” glows Lynda.

    The next day, after the crown theft, the Ambridge crime wave continues as Fallon’s bunting has been swiped from the Green. PC Harrison Burns mobilises the forces “It’s probably an international gang.” Fallon isn’t pleased that he’s not taking it seriously. “Emma and I handmade that bunting.”

    Ed has a meeting with Charlie. His plaster cast is off. Ed pitches the Fairbrother brothers’ land swap deal to Charlie. If he doesn’t have to pay the rent, Ed wants paid for the hedge work he’s doing for BL. Charlie will take it up with the board.

    In the Flood Bull later, Charlie is quizzed by DCI Burns about the great Bunting Theft. Fallon is touched by his concern.

    At Brookfield, Adam drones on about his new pasture idea to Deep Pip as the Fairbrother brothers turn up for a chat with David. The Fairbrother brothers seem quite taken with Pip, especially Toby. “Who’s that on the quad?” David plies them with home-made biscuits and they seem to be spending more time discussing Pip and rugby (the younger brother, Toby, was a pro for a while) than farming. Pip seems quite taken by the brothers, too. Toby Fairbrother will be back tomorrow to help roll fleeces.

    Oliver and Caroline (still resident at Grey Gables) make a rare appearance, Caroline is still very down about the damage at Grange Farm, but are preparing for the Hunt Dinner tonight. At the dinner, David arrives with Pip. Ed having turned their offer of a wedding gift down, Oliver and Caroline decide to help out by getting Clarrie a new outfit for the big day. Pip quickly has a fight with some bloke about gay marriage, defending Adam. Pip then manages to engineer a staff shortage for the sheep shearing and kindly offers to help. More time with Toby…

    At breakfast at Blossom Hill, the Evil One munches toast and continues his controlling ways with simpering Helen. Later, Helen calls him with the news that they are going to close the shop idea down. The Dark Lord is very pleased. His plan all along…

    Toby turns up at Brookfield with Jazzer and Ed to help shear the Brookfield flock. Pip is VERY pleased to see him. There is a huge chemistry. Ed manages to nick his first sheep. Jazzer shows Toby how to roll fleeces. Later, Toby strips to his vest. Pip is VERY pleased again. They finish with AC/DC blaring out and more major flirting between Pip and Toby. They head to the Bull by way of the Polling Station. Jazzer and Pip vote for the first time.

    Ruth and David discuss the Kenton problem. Jill thinks that lending Kenton money might help. David doesn’t want to be the man responsible for closing the Bull. Rachael has called back and the Agency culverts were checked in November.

    Eddie and Joe want to sing ‘traditional’ songs at Ed’s wedding. Ed reluctantly agrees and is treated to a blast of “The Fair Maid of Edgley” and something truly terrible about Borchester shoes. Poor Emma. Later, Ed takes Joe for a spin in the Megatractor. “Looks like you could fly to Mars in this.” Joe brings up the William/Ed feud and is upset that Ed didn’t ask William to be his best man. Really? Is that the best idea, Joe? Amazingly, Ed agrees to think about it. That is a scene I can’t wait to hear – Ed asking William to be best man as he marries his ex-wife.


The Week In Ambridge

The Week In Ambridge

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I am a new listener to The Archers - my Mother started me at birth, so I have only been listening for 46 years. Apologies if I get things wrong.

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