7 February 2018

TMB denies match-fixing allegation

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has moved swiftly to deny allegations in the social media that the TMB was involved in fixing the result of the FA Cup 4th round replay between Swansea City and Notts County last night.

The allegations came after Swansea unexpectedly routed Notts County 8-1, with suggestions being made that the Notts County team had been bribed to lose the game convincingly following threats that the team would be forced to eat tripe if they won.

"We take these accusations extremely seriously, so I have myself fully investigated them just now and I can confirm that they are nonsense," Sir Norman said. 

Confusion may have arisen because the TMB had previously advised tripe lovers to watch the match live on BBC1, in an attempt to persuade them not to watch a BBC2 show being broadcast at the same time.

Sir Norman said the episode demonstrated the old adage that there was no such thing as bad publicity, adding "In the event, we had nothing to worry about with the Back in Time For Tea programme. It seems to have piqued a lot of people's interest in tripe, which is always a good thing."

The allegations are a bizarre echo of an incident also involving Notts County and a team of looky-likeys that were first covered in the TMB Books publication, Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral.

3 February 2018

BBC accused of 'blatant anti-tripe bias'

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has today condemned the BBC for what he called "blatant and outrageous anti-tripe bias".

BBC2: Back in Time For Tea
His comments came after staff in the TMB's media monitoring unit viewed a clip from Back in Time For Tea, a documentary showing how Britain might look once Brexit is fully implemented, which is due to air on BBC2 at 8pm on Tuesday 6 February.

Speaking earlier this morning, Sir Norman described the programme - which shows a family attempting to eat a meal of Yorkshire tripe - as "at best unhelpful, at worst downright defamatory" towards tripe. "This is not the image we expect broadcasters to give of tripe," he said, pointing in particular to one scene where a young teenager leaves the table and approaches what appears to be a bucket.

Although the youngster appeared unharmed and in good spirits afterwards, it was implied that he had regurgitated his meal. Sir Norman confirmed that the TMB would be taking legal advice to see if it was possible to have the show pulled from the schedules.

"Thankfully, this show will be broadcast on a Tuesday night, traditionally a dead night for TV, and is on a channel which only a minority of people watch. I am sure that more people will prefer to watch the FA Cup fourth round replay between Swansea City and Notts County on BBC1 than a young lad vomiting into a bucket," Sir Norman said.

1 February 2018

TMB denies 'low profile' strategy

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today rejected claims that the TMB was keeping a deliberately low profile to disguise the success of its sales strategy.

The claims, made in the February issue of Offal Monthly, were dismissed by Sir Norman as "reductive nonsense," and he pointed to preliminary sales figures for January which showed a sharp drop in sales of tripe across all regions in the country.

The article, by chief offal correspondant Daniel Hodge, claimed that the TMB had reduced its social media activity on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn while sales of tripe had 'gone through the roof'.

Responding to the claims, Sir Norman said: "January is traditionally a slow time for tripe sales. Added to this, we believe that Dry January is starting to have an impact as a lot of people say they won't eat tripe without an alcoholic drink to accompany it."

Sir Norman also denied claims that the TMB decision to outsource its social media activity had been a mistake. "We are reviewing our contract with Marple Syrah Media as we didn't recognise that the package we had selected restricted us to only 130 tweets per month. We know that to promote tripe effectively we need to up this by a factor of ten, so we will be examining our promotion budgets accordingly," he said.

31 January 2018

TMB to get rid of Tripe Girls before conventions in response to darts ban

The Tripe Marketing Board has announced that it will no longer use Tripe Girls as the practice of having scantily clad women standing in front of tripe stalls "does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms."

The Tripe Girls
A statement issued by the TMB on Wednesday read: "The TMB will end the long-standing practice of using walk-on Tripe Girls, commencing with the start of the 2018 Offal Processors Convention in Burnley later this year."

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said "We consider the time spent by tripe retailers at the convention as one of celebration, where guests and various performers can add to the glamour and spectacle of the event, enabling promoters and partners to showcase their countries and products." 

The decision comes just days after the Professional Darts Corporation announced it will no longer use walk-on girls to accompany players on their way to the stage, although this has since been revealed as a ruling made by television broadcasters.

Sir Norman paid tribute to the work of the current group of Tripe Girls over the last two decades, but said they were now something of an anachronism adding "In any case, the individuals involved had expressed a desire to spend more time with their grandchildren." 

16 January 2018

Tripe industry 'must learn lessons' of Carillion collapse says chairman

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has called on those working in the tripe industry to learn the lessons of the collapse of the multinational facilities management giant Carillion.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at a hastily-convened press conference in Barnsley this lunchtime, Sir Norman said it was important that all managers looked carefully at what had happened with Carillion to ensure that the same would not happen with tripe.

"I am pleased to say that Carillion are not involved with the tripe supply chain, so our customers won't be affected at all," he said.  Nevertheless, it was beholden on the industry to examine the collapse of Carillion so that a similar fate could not befall tripe.

"One of the key lessons is that, well before the company went down the pan, senior executives at Carillion were able to properly secure and protect their bonuses, salary increases and pensions," Sir Norman said, adding "that's why I have today asked our financial team to prepare similar protections for our senior managers."

Sir Norman, who had interrupted his January fact-finding visit to Antigua to return to the UK to brief senior staff, said he felt sure that tripe producers and consumers would support his approach to corporate responsibility. "2018 promises to be a fantastic year for tripe," he said.

4 December 2017

Forgotten Yorkshire Book Launch goes off without disruption

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has welcomed the news that yesterday's public launch in Ossett by TMB Books of Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside went ahead without disruption.

Pic courtesy of @OssettObserver
"I was delighted to learn that the event went off without any of the demonstrations that had been threatened by militant vegans," Sir Norman said, adding "I am only sorry that I was unable to attend myself, as planned."

Brisk sales of the book yesterday mean that the lead researcher is now able to fulfill his pledge of donating the first £100 of his share of royalties from the book to the TMB's #MSisOffal campaign.

"This is a fantastic gesture by Adrian Littlejohn, for which the TMB is hugely grateful. We did ask the author Dr Eric K Shipley if he was interested in doing the same, but he declined, as he is saving his own share towards the cost of a camping holiday in 2018," Sir Norman said.

2 December 2017

Militant vegans attempt to disrupt book launch

Militant members of the Lancashire-based Vegans Against Tripe group have been blamed for graffiti which appeared overnight on the wall outside a venue where the Tripe Marketing Board is due to host a book launch tomorrow.

The event, which takes place at 3pm on Sunday 3rd December at Ossett War Memorial Community Centre, is expected to draw a mix of tripe lovers, people interested in the history of Yorkshire and anyone generally at a loose end in Ossett on a Sunday afternoon.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he wanted to reassure anyone planning to attend that there would be added security to prevent any unpleasant incidents, and that plans were in hand to ensure the offending graffiti was removed.

"We have a team of retired tripe dressers on hand for occasions like this, and they are well-used to working with bleach," Sir Norman said. 


1 December 2017

Destination Ossett!

Final preparations were made today for what is only the Tripe Marketing Board's second ever public event in Yorkshire.*

Ossett Community Centre
The event - the launch of TMB Books' Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside - is to be opened by the Lady Mayoress of Ossett and will see TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle introduce author Dr Eric K Shipley, who will give brief readings from his work.  There will also be an opportunity to hear a short presentation on the work of the TMB and to purchase a copy of Dr Shipley's book as well as tripe-based gifts and mementos and other books by the TMB.

Speaking of the event (which takes place at 3pm on 3 December at Ossett War Memorial Community Centre) Sir Norman said "I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to visiting Ossett," adding "I've read a lot about it and the surrounding area in Dr Shipley's book, so it will be interesting to see if it lives up to its reputation."

Representatives of the local tourist agency Visit Wakefield will also be on hand to promote the delights of Ossett's near neighbour. "They do sterling work highlighting the attractions of Wakefield, so it's good to have them on board," Sir Norman said.

Interested tripe lovers who are unable to attend the event on Sunday can purchase the book either from Amazon or direct from the TMB, along with a free TMB Pen, by visiting this page

* Full details of the first visit, in 2013, can be found here.

Tripe and Blancmange: A Marriage Made in Hebden

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has expressed his sadness on hearing the news yesterday of the closure of Yorkshire Blancmange, the country's foremost blancmange marketing agency.

The closure comes after the death of Mr Josiah Bickerstaffe, the Honorary President of the League of Blancmangiers, based in Hebden.

Speaking late last night, Sir Norman said "It is always sad when a fellow food marketing agency has to close its doors, particularly one which is promoting a product that divides the nation."

Sir Norman said that the TMB had previously collaborated with Yorkshire Blancmange by providing copywriting expertise for its popular 'Blancmange is a dish best served cold' slogan.

"On a more positive note, we have agreed to help sell a number of redundant promotional t-shirts that Yorkshire Blancmange had left when they closed, and these are available on our website now," he added.

£1 from the sale of each t-shirt will go towards the TMB's #MSisOffal campaign for the UK Multiple Sclerosis Society.

27 November 2017

World Tripe Day 2018

The Tripe Marketing Board is pleased to confirm that the focus for its World Tripe Day celebrations in 2018 will be Sofia in Bulgaria.

Shkembe Chorba
The city fought off stiff competition from Porto, Kingstown and Wakefield to receive the accolade.

Sofia is famed for its Shkembe Chorba, a traditional Bulgarian soup made with beef tripe, paprika and milk usually served with a garlic sauce.  Per capita consumption of tripe there is one of the highest of any European conurbation, apart from Florence and Wigan.

Speaking after the city was named, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "We'll be delighted to join our colleagues from offal marketing agencies all across Europe next October to celebrate what is only the 5th ever World Tripe Day."

Sir Norman said he looked forward to the day being marked all across the globe.  The announcement came as the TMB confirmed its programme of fact finding visits for the next 12 months. 

"After the launch of Forgotten Yorkshire in Ossett on Sunday 3 December, we'll be making preparations for a hectic schedule that takes in Lisbon, Valencia and Sardinia. Tripe is truly going global, and 2018 looks set to be the Year of Tripe," Sir Norman said. 

A New Dawn For Tripe - Hello, Yorkshire!

The Tripe Marketing Board is delighted to announce that its new offices in Barnsley have been formally opened this morning.

Barnsley - a new home for tripe
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Monday 27 November 2017 marks a new stage in the resurgence of interest in tripe that has intrigued the nation ever since the launch of World Tripe Day in 2013.  Now, from our base in West Yorkshire, we can develop new markets for tripe."

Sir Norman, who was unable to be present for the official opening due to a prior engagement with the TMB's accountants, said he was looking forward to the post-Brexit challenges of marketing tripe. 

"Our long-standing commitment to Yorkshire, which has often been described as the Capital County of Tripe, dates back over many decades. Here, we'll be facing the continent head-on - in fact, it's just to the right of us now - ready to take tripe to our European neighbours," he said, adding "We may be going through a divorce, but that doesn't mean we won't talking!" 

It's Lancashire Day!

The Tripe Marketing Board would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers in Lancashire the happiest of Lancashire Days.

Our long-standing commitment to Lancashire, which has often been described as the Capital County of Tripe, dates back over many decades.  Our predecessor organisations chose to make their base in Preston precisely because Lancashire was the historical home of tripe - from Wigan to Chorley and Bury to Bolton, tripe was always readily available for local consumers to enjoy.

We are proud of our Lancashire roots - and we are proud of tripe!

Whatever you are doing today, we hope you have a grand time of it.

25 November 2017

TMB Chairman issues clarification after radio interview

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has today clarified remarks made by BBC Cumbria presenter Gordon Swindlehurst following an interview with Sir Norman on his 20 November lunchtime show.

Sir Norman
In a wide-ranging chat, Sir Norman discussed World Tripe Day, the publication by TMB Books of Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside and his favourite recipe for cooking tripe, which he had been served whilst visiting Rome for the 2017 World Tripe Day celebrations.

After Sir Norman had left the studio, Mr Swindlehurst made reference on air to "something Sir Norman had picked up in the back streets of Rome".

Speaking earlier today, Sir Norman said: "Unfortunately, my wife did not hear my interview as she was having her hair done at Simons Hair Shop in Carlisle when it was broadcast, but she did hear Gordon's subsequent comments, which made for rather a frosty journey back to Lytham.  I am happy to make it clear that these comments referred to a recipe, and not to either a sexually transmitted disease or a prostitute."

23 November 2017

'Tripe Friday' set to break all records

Tripe retailers across the country have been preparing for their first ever 'Tripe Friday' tomorrow - the annual day of the year when most tripe is sold.

First initiated by the Tripe Marketing Board in 1979 as 'Tripe Thursday', the idea was quickly dropped when it failed to stimulate sales.  However, the success for many retailers of 'Black Friday' later convinced the TMB that the time was ripe to re-launch the initiative and 'Tripe Tuesday' was born.  After two years of mediocre results, the board has agreed to link the marketing push with other retailers, starting tomorrow.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said that Tripe Friday was just what the industry needed in the run-up to Christmas.  Speaking at a media conference at Leeds earlier today, Sir Norman said: "We've taken the precaution of asking tripe retailers to stock up to avoid disappointed customers - these prices can't last forever!" 

22 November 2017

New Face at the Tripe Marketing Board

The Tripe Marketing Board is pleased to announce the appointment of a new board member.

Michael Hargreave Mawson, who was born in the North Riding of Yorkshire, brings to the board a wide experience of marketing in many other areas of economic activity which are unpopular with the general public, including the nuclear industry, the defence industry, the tobacco industry, and, of course, biological research and development.  

Michael Hargreave Mawson
More recently, he has devoted his considerable talents to history, particularly that of the Victorian era, which led to a passionate interest in tripe.  As a vegetarian for over thirty years, Mr Hargreave Mawson freely admits that he has never tasted tripe.  Speaking after his appointment, he said: “You don't have to be drunk to flog Scotch, and, in fact, I am told it can often be a hindrance. It's the same with tripe.” 

In filling the role of Director of Customer Experience and Global Head of Aftersales, Mr Hargreave Mawson is responsible for ensuring that each and every one of our customers is completely delighted with our product. 

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was delighted to welcome Mr Hargreave Mawson to the board, adding:  "Michael is just the sort of fresh, young face we need to stir up our work - I'm looking forward to seeing the contribution he will make to the work of the TMB in the months and years ahead."

Board members are hand-selected for their skills, knowledge and family connections, as well as for their love of tripe.

18 November 2017

Lancastrians accused of 'fixing' tripe poll

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has accused a shadowy group of Lancastrian vegans of exerting undue influence on an online poll organised by the TMB.

The poll, which has been running for six days over three rounds, was aimed at finding the most popular venue to host the TMB's public launch of its new book, Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside.

Suspicious voting patterns
After the first rounds saw the shock elimination of Mexborough and Barnsley, Sir Norman asked for a behind-the-scenes investigation into voting irregularities which revealed suspicious voting patterns that favoured Todmorden, the former Lancashire town that was moved to Yorkshire after local government reorganisation.

Sir Norman said it was clear from the detailed analysis conducted by the TMB that the heavy vote for Todmorden had what he termed "a sinister political undertone" designed to destabilise both the TMB and the fragile peace between Lancashire and Yorkshire.

"For this reason, all votes for Todmorden have been annulled," he said, adding that he had asked the TMB's PR department to make all necessary arrangements to host the book launch at 3pm on Sunday 3 December in Ossett, West Yorkshire.

16 November 2017

OffOffal Rules Against TMB in Landmark Decision

The offal processing industry regulator OffOffal has today issued a ruling that will strictly limit the publicity that the Tripe Marketing Board is able to give the books published by its publishing arm, TMB Books.

The decision, which was made after complaints had been lodged by British Spleen and the UK Federation of Lung Processors, means that the TMB will be able to mention its books in the social media no more than 40 times a day.

File under 'Humour'
Head of TMB Books Sheena Eastham said she was disappointed by the ruling, coming as it did in the crucial run-up to Christmas. "We had just spent a small fortune having a whole suite of  adverts designed and produced ready to launch our full catalogue under the 'A Tripe Book is For Christmas' banner," she said.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he would be lodging an immediate challenge to the ruling and that he had arranged a breakfast meeting with the TMB's legal advisors Young, Gifford & Black. "Now that we are more dependent than ever on our publishing arm to finance our vital work promoting tripe to the nation, this restriction could be a fatal blow to our plans," he said.

He blamed jealousy and envy on the part of other offal promotion organisations, adding: "Everyone knows that the lung people haven't produced a decent book since the 1960s."

Meanwhile, sales of TMB Books' latest publication, Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside are said to be going well, boosted by the offer of a free TMB pen with every copy purchased direct from the publisher.

The book is due to be publicly launched in Yorkshire on Sunday 3 December 2017, at an event that has yet to be formally announced. "We tend to have to keep these things under wraps until the last minute, because of possible demonstrations by militant vegan groups, but I can promise you we're planning an event people won't easily forget," Sir Norman said.

15 November 2017

TMB grant cut will not impede our work says chairman

A decision by East Lancashire District Council to axe its annual development grant to the Tripe Marketing Board will not be allowed to stand in the way of the urgent need to promote tripe in the months and years ahead, chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has pledged.

Cllr Nigel Farnworth
The decision, which brings to an end a period of support stretching back over three decades, was announced this afternoon by Cllr Nigel Farnworth, leader of the ELDC, who told reporters from the Burnley Argus that the council would not support an organisation that was turning its back on Lancashire and moving to Yorkshire. 

Sir Norman said he was disappointed by the decision, as the £500 received each year from the ELDC had helped put the Lancashire tripe industry 'back on the map'. "Our beating heart will always be in Lancashire, even if our brains and guts are soon to be relocated across the border in Barnsley," he said. "The £500 makes all the difference to our ability to go out and about promoting tripe to our partners across Britain and around the globe," he added.

Sir Norman said that the TMB would have to redouble its efforts to promote the work of its publishing division, TMB Books, as this would now be the sole source of income for the organisation.  "I won't deny that we are batting on a sticky wicket, but with Christmas fast approaching we can only hope that tripe lovers - apart from buying tripe - also decide to stock up on tripe books as gifts for their friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours and close acquaintences," he said, adding "We may otherwise have to cancel one or two of our fact finding trips in 2018, which would be a great shame, obviously."

10 November 2017

TMB chairman 'relaxed' about son's future career choice

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has defended comments made in an article written for the popular Yorkshire style magazine Wakefield Tommorrow!, where he said that he doesn’t care what profession his son chooses "as long as he likes tripe."

Sir Norman Wrassle
Sir Norman had said that he is "worried as heck" that his son, Stuart, will turn his back on tripe as he grows older,  “Not only because of how it will ruin his life but because of how it will reflect on me,” he said.

There has been previous speculation that Stuart, who is 48, was being 'groomed' to become the next chairman of the Tripe Marketing Board but, apart from a few occasions when he acted as returning officer for the TMB's popular Tripe Dog competitions, he has shown little inclination to follow in his father's footsteps.

Sir Norman said that he was aware that his son, who currently works as a stock controller for a wholefood retail chain, did not relish the prospect of taking on the mantle of chairman, but he hoped that he would at least demonstrate a liking for tripe. "This isn't a case of 'tripe-shaming'," he said.

He insisted that he will continue to love his son "no matter what," and optimistically concludes that having a son who turns out not to like tripe might ultimately help him overcome some of his own vegan-related prejudices.

8 November 2017

TMB to retain Lancashire base after move to Barnsley

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today confirmed that the TMB would retain a presence in Lancashire following the opening of its new operational base in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, later this month.

Speaking from his Lytham home earlier today, Sir Norman said: "We will keep a skeleton staff in Preston for the forseeable future to deal with enquiries, diary engagements and press and media relations".

Innovative advertising
The announcement followed a series of demonstrations outside the TMB's Preston office as locals complained that the TMB was deserting the county.

Sir Norman dismissed a series of parallel demonstrations in Barnsley against the move as the work of militant vegans, who he accused of "whipping up a frenzy of anti-tripe opposition".

Sir Norman said that, by having a presence in both counties, tripe could be "truly TransPennine", comparing it to the railway system that linked Yorkshire and Lancashire.

As evidence of the growth of UK tripe's reach, Sir Norman said that sales of TMB Books' two flagship publications, Forgotten Lancashire and Forgotten Yorkshire, were both on the up as Christmas approached, prompted by innovative advertising in the social media. "Whatever side of the border they come from, a lot of people will be unwrapping a tripe book at the end of December!" he declared.