14 February 2019

TMB chairman cancels speech for key Euro meeting

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has apologised for cancelling a number of  scheduled engagements next week due to a requirement for him to attend top-level European talks to discuss the future of tripe.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking earlier today, Sir Norman said he was particularly disappointed not to be attending the annual general meeting of the Garstang Ladies' League, which has been a regular feature on his calendar for the last eight years.

Sir Norman will be meeting key industry leaders in Las Palmas in Gran Canaria for a three day summit early next week. He hopes the meeting will also confirm the principal venue for this year's World Tripe Day celebrations on 24 October.  There are currently three cities competing to host the event which in previous years has been held in Madrid, Rome and Sofia. "At this stage of the year we normally have this matter decided, but I can see I shall have to knock some heads together if we are to reach an agreement soon," he said.

Sir Norman confirmed that his trip next week was not part of the TMB's regular schedule of fact finding visits, so he was not expecting to be visiting any abattoirs, but added "If the opportunity presents itself, I'm sure I'll find it difficult to turn it down." 




2 February 2019

TMB chairman denies plans to move HQ

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle last night dismissed media reports that the TMB is planning to move its operating base in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Rumours of the possible move began circulating after the Leyland Evening Argus reported that Sir Norman had been spotted with a ‘Teach yourself Maltese’ book under his arm.

Speaking at the annual gala dinner of the Preston Ladies' League, Sir Norman dismissed the suggestion as "idle speculation and gossip," adding "Things have come to a pretty pass when a chap can’t read a book without two and two being added to make four." He went on to blame malign vegan influences in the north west media who were conspiring to stop people eating meat based products.

Sir Norman confirmed that the TMB had a number of fact finding trips in the pipeline, including visits to Gran Canaria, Bratislava and Lanzarote.  "It is vitally important that we stay ahead of the game by exploring all possible export markets, whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations," he said, and pointed to the success of the TMB's short video on the subject, which had already been viewed over 30,000 times.



20 January 2019

TMB chairman denies encouraging 'panic buying' of tripe.

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has today denied suggestions that the TMB is stoking up demand for tripe by encouraging consumers to 'panic buy' in the run-up to Brexit on 30 March.

Relax
The denial came during a live debate on Yorkshire Radio's flagship Sunday morning politics show Mardy after John Barr-Coad, Visiting Professor of Retail Psychology at the University of Wakefield, had accused the TMB of frightening consumers into buying tripe.

Professor Barr-Coad said that a TMB video released via social media and which purported to instruct potential purchasers to 'relax' actually used reverse psychology in an attempt to encourage them to panic.  "Before this video was issued, I doubt anyone was seriously wondering about a shortage of tripe after Brexit," he said.

Sir Norman described the claim as "ridiculous", adding: "We simply want to assure customers that there are enough stocks of tripe to cope with demand - and, in our judgement, there always will be."  He said that simply using the word 'relax' once or twice could not be grounds for claiming that the TMB was trying to scare people.

During questions, Sir Norman admitted there had been something of an 'uptick' in sales since the video was released last week, but claimed this was due to people tiring of a diet of pulses and tofu during the first two weeks of 'Veganuary'. 


10 January 2019

Chairman rails against LGBTQ

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has condemned organisers of an LGBTQ parade due to take place in Lancashire this weekend, accusing them of politicising what is a "centuries old tradition."

Sir Norman Wrassle
His comments came after he was not invited to this year's Tripe Dresser's Sunday, making it  the first time in living memory that the TMB would not be represented at the event.  

Traditionally, this is the day when tripe dressers unveil their new aprons and parade proudly through the streets of local Lancashire villages, scattering shreds of their old aprons which are then devoured by stray dogs and small children.

The editorial panel of the Longridge and Goosnargh Butchers' Tripe Quarterly (LGBTQ) magazine has denied that the omission was linked to the TMB’s controversial move to its new Headquarters in Barnsley, but Sir Norman said "It is hard to escape this conclusion, as I have heard reports that a flat-bed truck has been seen carrying my ceremonial chair festooned with banners reading ‘Vacancy’."

Sir Norman has demanded a meeting with the LBGTQ to "sort this matter out in the old fashioned way”.

3 January 2019

TMB chairman 'not in hiding'

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has denied rumours circulating in the Lancashire media that he is in hiding, following a series of vicious responses to a Tweet he issued yesterday.

The Tweet, in which Sir Norman expressed disappointment that Greggs the bakers had launched a vegan version of their acclaimed sausage roll, drew immediate fire from Twitter-based vegans, with over 60 responses received within an hour.  

Sir Norman's Tweet
Earlier today Shaun Jacobs, host of the Lancashire Radio 6am news round-up show Morn', Shaun, fielded a number of calls from listeners who accused Sir Norman of 'deserting his post' and 'hiding away' when news emerged that he had cancelled his scheduled lunchtime speech to the Chorley Soroptimists.

In fact, Sir Norman was still in Jamaica, where he has been forced to extend his Christmas fact finding visit due to the knock-on effects of the delays caused at Gatwick by non-existent drones late last year.

Speaking from the capital Kingston this afternoon, Sir Norman said he was naturally disappointed not to be able to honour today's engagements, but denied suggestions that he had been asked to stay away from his home because of worries about militant vegans.

"I'll be back in the UK as soon as it's safe and feasible for me to be so - ready to start the long march that will surely see 2019 become the Year of Tripe!" he said.

17 December 2018

Tripe sales rising in run up to Christmas

Provisional figures for UK consumption during November 2018 suggest a "small, but perceptible" increase in tripe sales, according to seasonally unadjusted returns from retailers across the country. 

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "It would be premature to say tripe has turned the corner, but it's certainly encouraging."
Longridge Women's Guild greet the news

Speaking at the AGM of the Longridge Women's Guild at the weekend, Sir Norman said that sales of tripe in the month leading up to Christmas now account for almost 8.33% of total annual turnover. "This is a quite remarkable achievement and testament to the way people are at last turning to tripe," he said.


Sir Norman pointed to the success of the TMB's publishing arm TMB Books as yet more evidence of the public's appetite for tripe, adding "There's no doubt that more people than ever will be reading a tripe book this Christmas."

 

9 December 2018

Tripe industry 'disappointed' by minister's resignation

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has expressed his disappointment that a visit to the TMB's Preston office by a Government Minister was unexpectedly called off yesterday.

Sir Norman Wrassle
The planned visit was part of concerted efforts by Theresa May to persuade industry leaders of the merits of her controversial Brexit deal. Mr Will Durian, MP for Ilchester and a junior minister at the Department of Offal Affairs, was expected to meet key figures from the tripe processing community for an informal discussion and photo opportunity, but resigned en route to the meeting.

Mr Durian has quit his role in protest at the Prime Minister's proposals. Sir Norman said that the TMB was disappointed that Mr Durian had cancelled the visit, as the tripe industry had wanted to let him know exactly what they thought of the plans.  "We had everything prepared, even down to a huge sheet of the finest Lancashire tripe to use as the backdrop," Sir Norman said.

Several boxes of Southport tomatoes, which were expected to be used as part of the 'welcome' ceremony, were instead distributed to care homes in the area.

1 December 2018

The TMB Guide to a Healthy Holiday Season

Tripe retailers across the country are gearing up for one of their busiest ever Christmas and New Year periods!
  
Some kind of tripe dish or other
As 2018 - universally regarded as the most depressing year since 1954 - draws to a close, many folk will spend the holiday period  drowning their sorrows by consuming vats of cheap wine or barrels of beer before beating their spouse and retiring to their beds in a drunken slumber.  The next day, their husbands will be logging on and Googling for 'traditional hangover cures' - and this is where tripe comes in.

The Tripe Marketing Board has sourced 10 of the world's best hangover cures, all of which are guaranteed* to induce sobriety fast.

So, whether you're in Preston, Rome, Wakefield or Casablanca - pick up a bit of tripe tomorrow, and be prepared!

And why not visit our bookshop, while you're at it?


10 GUARANTEED* Hangover Cures
  1. Pancita - Mexican tripe and pigs feet stew 
  2. Menudo - Mexican tripe stew 
  3. Dobrada - Portugese tripe stew
  4. Pho -  Special beef noodle soup
  5. Trippa alla Romana - Italian style tripe
  6. Trippa alla Parmigiana alla Morocco - Moroccan style tripe (with Mozzarella cheese)
  7. African style tripe and onions  
  8. Arroz caldo de jeneva (includes tripe)
  9. Tripe alla Gordon Ramsay
  10. Flaczki - Polish tripe soup   
* Guarantee not valid in Poland, Italy, Africa, Portugal, Mexico, Indonesia or Lancashire 

25 November 2018

Personal shoppers are 'another first'

The Tripe Marketing Board will be introducing Personal Tripe Shoppers in an attempt to help busy consumers choose the right tripe for Christmas. 

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle announced the new service at the gala Christmas dinner of the Croston Crafters' Circle, where he was guest of honour.

"Let's face it - there aren't many people who haven't bought a hasty gift for their partner or significant other only to find when they get it home that they've bought the wrong size flowers or the wrong colour perfume. Locating the perfect gift for loved ones can be fraught," Sir Norman said.

Tempting gifts
He pointed out that the TMB already offered tripe lovers a wide range of tempting gifts and merchandise, many of which were perfect as Christmas presents or 'Secret Santas', adding "There's now no excuse for dashing to the nearest Heron garage on Christmas Eve and having to make do with the limited choice available."

The new Personal Tripe Shopper service will be launched on 1 December in selected butchers throughout the North West.

Specially trained ex-slaughterhouse assistants will shop for the best cuts of tripe for you, to take all the worry out of your Christmas tripe requirements.  Simply make an appointment and then relax, secure in the knowledge that, whether it’s honeycomb, reticulum, blanket, book or reed tripe that you are after, it will be dressed in advance to add joy to your table on the big day.

"This is yet another first from the Tripe Marketing Board," Sir Norman said.

20 November 2018

TMB Website Hacked

Visitors to the Tripe Marketing Board website are advised that it has been hacked.

At around 8.23am today, the @TripeUK Twitter account was notified by an alert board member that a page on its website had been modified to read 'Meat Is Murder' and that a link to www.vegansociety.com had been inserted, along with a smiling cartoon carrot.

Website Hack
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "We're not sure how long this has been there as we don't get too many visitors to our site and this is the first report we have received, but we are working to resolve the issue."

At this stage, only the page relating to 'Jobs at the TMB' is known to be affected by the hack. The page does not appear in the main site index and was updated last week to include details of a new position of Political Lobbyist, at which time no problems were reported.

Sir Norman said that the TMB's web designer was currently on annual leave, so it may be some time before the page can be re-modified, adding "We don't know if it affects any other pages in the 'back end' of the site as we don't really know how many there are, so if anyone spots anything suspicious please let us know."




12 November 2018

"We'll take criticism on the chin" says TMB chairman

The Tripe Marketing Board has undertaken never to fine people who leave bad reviews on Amazon about its books.

Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he thought it would be counter-productive to issue fines to people who left negative reviews of books published by TMB Books, the publishing arm of the TMB.

Speaking from his Lytham home yesterday, he said: "We know that tripe is a very divisive foodstuff.  People either loathe it or hate it so we're well used to the critics.  And the same holds true for our books."

He gave the example of a review posted by Mr SG Holt of Radcliffe of the TMB's first book, Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral.  Mr Radcliffe said:

 'No, not for me. Got it from Amazon today. did'nt (sic) take long to go through it, I'm a Lancastrian & I just could'nt (sic) get into this at all. 106 pages of tripe'.  

He only gave it one star - unlike the 29 people who gave it five stars, including Mr A Kershaw of Hebden Bridge who said:

'Although I was raised in Lancashire, so much of the county's history was unknown to me - until the appearance of this valuable book ... drawn from the archives of the Blunt family. That collection was discovered only recently, in an attic in a number of Asda carrier bags. What a find it has turned out to be'.

Other books published by the TMB have also been well received, including Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside, The Lost Films of 20th Century Spatchcock and A Brief History of Tripe.  All are available to purchase via TMB Books and make ideal gifts for anyone with even half a funny bone.

Sir Norman said that the TMB had to take negative comments 'on the chin'.  "We'd much rather pay people to leave good reviews.  That way, everyone's happy," he said.



11 November 2018

Tripe sales to rise in 2019 says TMB

The Tripe Marketing Board has sharply upgraded its forecast for UK tripe sales, predicting that tripe  output will expand as fast this year as it did last year and that sales will be much more buoyant than it predicted before the EU referendum in 2016.

Strategy Document
Speaking at the launch of a new strategy document Tripe for You, Not Tripe for EU, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said the tripe industry was at a turning point and that 2019 could see the first increase in tripe sales since 1954.

"It's too early to tell, but the indicators are all there," Sir Norman said, adding that retailers had reported the smallest ever decline in quarterly sales in the autumn.  "This means that fewer people than ever before are turning away from tripe and it could well mean that sales will actually increase at some point next year," he said.

The strategy document predicts that, as exports to EU countries decline after Brexit, the home market will become increasingly important. "People will literally have never seen so much tripe as they will after March 2019," Sir Norman said.

10 November 2018

Tripe Christmas TV ad banned by regulator

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has reacted angrily to news that the TMB has been refused permission to air its 2019 Christmas TV ad by OffOffal, the tripe industry regulator. 

David Lloyd
The advert, which features former Lancashire and England cricketer David Lloyd and takes the theme of 'Choose Tripe this Christmas', was to have aired primarily in the North West, North East and Yorkshire over the next six weeks.

Lloyd, who had an extensive playing career, with 407 first-class matches and 288 one day games, is a well-known lover of tripe and has regularly discussed his passion for the product during quiet times in his commentaries for matches on Sky TV.

Sir Norman said: "This is more than disappointing. We had high hopes for this advert, which took a modern and upbeat approach to tripe and was deliberately designed to appeal to the under 65 audience."

He said the TMB was considering releasing the advert in selected cinemas as an alternative. "It would be a real shame if this never made the light of day," he added.

The ban echoes similar events in 2015, when a controversial advert for A Brief History of Tripe was withdrawn after complaints by Doreen Partington that a photograph of her reading the book was used without permission.





6 November 2018

TV crossover show idea "premature"

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has dismissed suggestions that the TMB is in talks with an independent TV production company about a potential crossover show as "ridiculously premature".

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking in response to questions following his speech to the Garstang Women's League this afternoon, he said that plans for Strictly Tripe Off - in which contestants who are voted off Strictly Come Dancing will move on to a sister show where they will be randomly allocated a tripe recipe to cook and eat on live TV - were only in the preliminary stages.

Nevertheless, Sir Norman said he was excited by the project and he hoped participants would want to convey their emotions about their tripe experience through the medium of contemporary dance. "This could rejuvenate what is frankly a somewhat tired format by giving that little extra edge to the celebrity performances," he said. 

He refused to be drawn on whether he or his wife, Lady Cheryl would consider appearing in the twin shows, "but I have had my Oxfords re-soled and heeled," he said.

4 November 2018

TMB chairman apologises to Bulgarians

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has apologised for any offence caused to the the Bulgarian nation when his comments about the country's tripe soup were made public after a TMB employee reached a settlement with the board before an Employment Tribunal.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Sir Norman's comments were contained in a recording of a private conversation.  Speaking after the settlement had been reached, Sir Norman said: "I'm naturally disappointed that this recording has surfaced and I would not like it to be interpreted in any way that Bulgarian tripe soup is not perfectly edible.  I understand that many Bulgarians swear by eating the soup as a hangover cure.  It is not personally to my taste and I would hope this episode does not sour the very cordial relations we have with the Bulgarian people."




Tripe Marketing Board apologises to ex-employee

The Tripe Marketing Board has issued an unreserved apology to a former employee who was a member of the TMB's social media team.

The apology is part of a settlement reached with the employee prior to her case reaching an Employment Tribunal and includes substantial damages.

In a statement agreed with solicitors Young, Gifford and Black, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said:

"It was wrong of me to expect a junior employee of the TMB to eat a dish of Shkembe chorba as part of the recent World Tripe Day celebrations in Sofia. I am happy to confirm that we have reviewed our terms of employment and made it absolutely clear that no employees, interns or volunteers working for the TMB will be expected to eat food they find repulsive.  I am pleased to confirm that this also applies to board members.  I am personally sorry for any  offence caused to this employee".

As part of the settlement, it was agreed that the evidence relating to the event - which consists of a recording made of a conversation between Sir Norman and another member of the TMB delegation - was to be made public and the TMB is happy to comply with this requirement.





2 November 2018

TMB chairman in surprise 'step down' offer

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has said he is prepared to step down from the UK's most senior tripe promotional role to allow ex-Prime Minister David Cameron to take over the reins.

The suggestion came after revelations in the media that Mr Cameron - who controversially stood down as leader of the Conservative Party after losing the EU referendum, which he had called in a desperate attempt to paper over deep divisions in his party - was considering a return to UK politics.

In a Tweet issued this morning, Sir Norman said:


Mr Cameron, who has had wide experience in the distribution of tripe and whose activities as a student did wonders for sales of pigs heads, could take over the role as early as January, if TMB board members were to approve the appointment.


1 November 2018

TMB to investigate Malmo museum

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle last night announced that the TMB would be investigating reports that tripe was being featured in a so-called 'Museum of Disgusting Food' that has opened in Malmo, Sweden.

Mouse wine (pic The Guardian)
The museum has collected together dishes such as Mouse wine (a drink infused with dead baby mice from China),  Casu marzu (a Sardinian speciality cheese crawling with live maggots) and civet coffee, (a coffee that includes coffee cherries eaten, part-digested and defecated by the Asian palm civet).

Tripe features in the museum as an ingredient of the classic south and central American dish, Menudo.

Speaking at a meeting of the West Lancashire Soroptimists, Sir Norman said he was not there to defend menudo, but he wanted people to understand that tripe didn't have to be disgusting.  "There are literally dozens of ways to cook and prepare tripe to make it relatively tolerable, so to include tripe in this museum at all is a little unfair to our fine product," he said.  He pledged that he would personally visit the museum at the earliest practicable opportunity to see exactly how and why tripe was being featured, adding "Putting tripe alongside dead baby mouse soup seems more than a little unfair to me."

In response to questions from the audience, Sir Norman refused to be drawn on reports which had surfaced in the West Lancashire Argus that a TMB staff member had launched an Employment Tribunal appeal after she had been required to eat a bowl of Bulgarian tripe soup on a recent visit to Sofia during celebrations for World Tripe Day. "We do not comment on internal staffing matters, but I want to make it clear that there was no force-feeding involved and nor was this a part of some bizarre TMB initiation ceremony, as has been suggested," Sir Norman said.

30 October 2018

TMB responds to Budget 2018

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle last night welcomed Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget statement as offering "a lifeline" for the UK tripe industry.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at a meeting of the Longridge Ladies' Circle, Sir Norman said he had initially been worried that the Conservatives might be turning their back on the austerity policies that had been so good for tripe over the last decade, when Theresa May announced at her party conference that austerity was over.

"I was pleased that Mr Hammond was much more cautious in his own pronouncement that austerity is "nearly over".  That "nearly" hides a multitude of sins - we've been "nearly" turning the corner with tripe sales for as long as I've been chairman of the TMB," Sir Norman said.

He went on to say that the tripe industry had benefited hugely from the government's commitment to austerity as the public were forced to consider buying cheaper cuts of meat, such as tripe, to help their meagre incomes go further.  "Mr Hammond's statement offers us a lifeline.  Austerity is not over yet, and we've had great success in slowing the rate of decline in tripe sales to almost zero.  There's still a chance that by the end of the year tripe sales can actually increase for the first time since 1956," he said.

Sir Norman also gave an update on World Tripe Day 2018, which saw celebrations all around the globe from Chorley to Canberra.  "This year, we were flying the flag for British tripe in Sofia and I am pleased to say there was a lot of interest in our product," he said.  Sir Norman said he would be giving a fuller report to TMB board members in due course. 


22 October 2018

Chairman apologises for World Tripe Day confusion

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has apologised to tripe lovers who may have been unable to obtain supplies of tripe today after what he termed "confused messaging" appeared on social media channels over the last few days.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking prior to a dinner engagement in Manchester, Sir Norman said he understood that some stockists had already run out of supplies in the run up to World Tripe Day, following a sustained use of the hashtag #WorldTripeDay by followers of the TMB's Twitter account @TripeUK.

"I don't pretend to be an expert on these matters, but I'm told that overuse of the hashtag has led many people to believe that World Tripe Day was today, when in fact it isn't until Wednesday 24 October," Sir Norman said.  He apologised for any inconvenience caused but said he hoped that supplies would be replenished in time for people to celebrate the day in the proper manner.

Sir Norman is due to fly out to Sofia tomorrow, where he will be celebrating World Tripe Day as a guest of the Bulgarian Federation of Offal Processors, BFnOF.  This will be the 5th annual world celebration of tripe and Sir Norman said he was looking forward to seeing how the dish is prepared and served in Bulgaria. "I hope to bring back a lot of interesting recipes for people to try out," he said, but added "I also hope to introduce them to some of the traditional Lancashire ways of serving tripe, so I've packed a fair few bottles of Sarsons'."