Tom and Pip are up with the lark, strawing out the cattle display for Open Farm Sunday at Brookfield. Tom is worried about staffing the shop. Kirsty is manning it at the moment.

    During Open Farm Sunday, Adam tires to interest the crowd in ‘Precision Fertilising’ whilst being buzzed by Toby’s drone. Deep Pip lectures the punters on the cattle and is also buzzed by the drone. Josh sells his eggs hard and in a deeply corny way.

    Justin has taken Lillian away for a dirty weekend. It would appear that Lillian has agreed to become his bit on the side, his fancy woman, his piece of fluff. “I think that this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” Time will tell, Lillian. Justin has to run off to pick up Miranda. Justin calls Lillian “an estimable woman.” How romantic.

    At the Bull, the Open Farm crowd have a well-deserved pint. The consensus is that it went well, although Adam is moaning about the dismal showing of the Ambridge cricket team. Adam and David discuss the referendum. Surprisingly, Adam is an Outer. David is worried about being snatched away from the €59 billion European Agricultural Guarantee Fund teat and is voting In.

    Helen calls Anna. Helen sounds stressed about breast-feeding Jack. Anna tells her that the Dark Lord has started proceedings to attain full custody of The Half-Dark Child AND The Pyrex Kid. Helen has been compelled to appear over a two-way video link at the hearing. “I can’t do that, Anna.” Jack is crying as he needs changed. Helen breaks down sobbing and is helped by a luverly cockerney fellow prisoner called Caz. “You’re quite posh, ain’tcha?” Caz makes her tea and calms her down. Caz has three kids - Paige, Courtney and Jaden – by two different dads. Once Helen tells Caz her story, Caz will quickly understand that she can’t play Absent Father Top Trumps with an expert like Helen.

    Jennifer quizzes Lillian about her weekend and why she’s been sleeping for so long since she got back. “I didn’t get much sleep at the hotel.” Jennifer is preparing for the big picnic for the Queen’s 90th. She keeps asking about Lillian’s (supposedly solo) trip and Lillian deftly diverts her attention to Jennifer’s own up-coming Venice trip.

    Jolene and Kenton are putting up a banner (careful now) and are about to have a ‘working breakfast’ with Wayne as Jolene continues to attempt to bond her current husband with her ex. The breakfast goes very well and Kenton and Wayne get on so well, that Jolene slips out to start Wayne’s prep for him. In fact, it goes too well – Kenton wants to meet Beverly Drains, Wayne’s imaginary girlfriend.

    It’s the day of the Road Announcement – finally. Will Brookfield be cut in two? David and Ruth are on edge. Kenton and Jolene are rubbing their hands – more traffic equals more punters for them, they think. Bert, Peggy, and the whole family are very tense. Finally the announcement comes through – the council are going with Route C! No Route B! Brookfield and Ambridge are saved! Bert hits the Bull to celebrate. Then the rest of the village doe, too. There’s a huge rammy as everyone gets drunk to celebrate. The whole village are over the moon – apart from Kenton and Jolene, but even they are pleased with the massive takings the impromptu party is generating. David is outside, gently weeping and caught by his mum. “Brookfield is saved! Saved for the kids. Forever.” He goes back in and is made to make a speech, which is drunk and emotional. “Route B is dead! Long live Ambridge!”

    The next morning, Rex comes to see Deep Pip at milking. He’s concerned that she’s upset about the loss of Hunky Mathew, but Pip is so fired up about Brookfield and her radical “cows eat grass” project. She actually sounds quite happy about it all and then goes on geekily about cows and grass and farm stuff. There’s a farm visit that she’s keen on. Rex wants to come, too, even though it’s a lecture about cattle fertility – fascinating to a nascent goose farmer, I’m sure. He’s so deep in the Friend Zone, there may be no way back.

    Lynda is with her acolyte, Susan, at the shop. Lynda is very proud of her efforts for her Grand Garden Opening. Her main rival, Bert, has managed to create a website for HIS garden (presumably created by the Fairbrother Brothers) and Lynda calls it ‘vulgar commercialism’. Only because she didn’t think of it first.

    There’s a meeting between the Brothers and Josh. Toby has oversold Upper Class Eggs and Rex doesn’t see how they can fill the huge order. Toby wants to buy more hens. “With what?’ says Rex. Later, Toby drives to Norfolk to pick up 200 goslings. Lillian calls – she wants to see Toby’s egg video. After watching it, she shoots it down.

    The Grundy’s have a big picnic for haymaking. Joe sets off reminiscing. “They are not long the days of cider and roses. That’s literature, that.” Kind Clarrie is concerned about the impact on others for Route C. No-one else has mentioned Edgley – the nearby village that will be ploughed under for Route C. Eddie has finally managed to replace the stolen money. All is well in Grundyworld, apart from the imminent eviction from Grange Farm.

    Lynda is fretting over her garden, a few days before the opening. “I really thought we’d be ready by now.” Even Robert is digging things. She gets an email from the insurance company – she needs to fence off the garden frontage to the Am. In a panic she calls Eddie, who says he’s laying a patio in Hollarton. Lynda screams round to Hollarton. She’s prepared to play a “generous bonus”, Eddie counters that he wants to promote his ‘shepherd hut building business’ at her garden opening. Lynda point-blank refuses, refusing to turn her garden opening into ‘a tawdry commercial event.’ She calls endless contactors to no avail. She is planning on cancelling the opening, but arrives back at Ambridge Hall to find arch-rival Bert, the Fairbrother Brothers and Josh busy building a fence for her. Good old Bert.

    Tom visits Helen and the Halfling for the first time. Helen sounds relaxed and calm. Tom tells her the good news about the road. Helen tells Tom about the custody trial and the continuing influence that the Dark Lord has over her. “The way he says things… everything always goes his own way.”


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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