30 November 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name?

Tripe. It's a word that's become synonymous with all things rubbish.  Even a cursory glance at the internet reveals that tripe has got something of a negative image. 

In an era when youngsters turn their noses up at anything that doesn't come out of a packet and when almost every reality TV show is dismissed by the critics as 'a load of old tripe', it's a name which presents a double liability for anyone charged with marketing tripe - as, of course, are we. 

We've done our best to improve the image of tripe, but it's an uphill battle.  That's why we're launching a competition to FIND A NEW NAME FOR TRIPE.

 Sir Norman Wrassle, Chairman of the Tripe Marketing Board, said: 
"Over the last four months we've invested heavily in the social media such as Facebook and Twitter, in a bid to improve the image of our product. 

"In that time, we've had over 9,000 visits to our website and this parallel TMB Industry news blog, and we've had some spectacular results in some areas of the north west.  Yet we seem to be failing to break into our target market of the under 85s.  That's why I've ordered this re-think."

New Director General, Mr Timothy Flaxton-Buoys, said: "After only a week in post I commissioned a study to determine why people don't buy tripe.  Amongst the under 85s, less than 0.2% had ever tried tripe, and many were turned off by the sight of it.  They were unsure how to cook it, and many were put off even considering it by the name.  We need a new name that will pull tripe into the 21st century." 

For a chance to win a signed copy of Derek J Ripley's Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral (described by Lancashire Life magazine as the book that revitalised the Lancashire tripe industry) RRP £9.99, submit your entry no later than Friday 14 December 2012.

You can submit your entry via our website, submit a 'comment' below, or Tweet your entry to @TripeUK

The judges decision is final, and no cash alternative will be available as a prize (although we will substitute 1lb of the finest Lancashire honeycomb tripe at your request).

27 November 2012

Greatest Lancastrian Poll: The Results Are In!

After a month of voting, and over 500 responses, the results of TMB Books' online poll to find the Greatest Lancastrian can now be revealed.

The results are published to celebrate Lancashire Day - 27 November 2012 - when Lancastrians all over the world traditionally pour themselves a cup of Lancashire Tea, pull out a copy of Lanky Spoken Here by Dave Dutton and fry up some Real Lancashire black pudding while listening to a track or two from The Lancashire Hotpots.  There'll be time in the afternoon for a Lancashire Eccles Cake, and a good read of Lancashire Life and in the evening, no doubt, a nice dish of tripe and onions and a pint of Thwaites beer, while settling down for a good chuckle with Derek Ripley's book Forgotten Lancashire.

Top of the shop, with 33% of the votes was Lancashire hero Fred Dibnah.  Fred took an early and unassailable lead in the vote, at one point with almost 40% of the votes cast.  His promotion of all things Lancastrian made him a popular choice - he'll be chuckling to learn the news as he drives his heavenly steam engines, no doubt!  Well done, Fred - we salute you!

A surprise second place went to Gerrard Winstanley, the Leveller from Wigan who has made his mark in so many ways down the generations since he died in 1676, shaping the agenda of British socialism ever since.

And in third place, another Wigan lad, George Formby - turned out nice again, George! 

In fourth place, Rochdale's Mike Harding, who has entertained millions with his humorous songs and comedy - you're in fine company, Mike, and technically the greatest living Lancastrian!

TMB Books would like to thank all those who have participated in the poll - commiserations to those candidates who failed to make the top slots!

26 November 2012

An Anthem for Lancashire

Tuesday 27 November 2012 is Lancashire Day, and to celebrate tomorrow's great day, the Tripe Marketing Board has commissioned a new Anthem For Lancashire by acclaimed Bolton songsmith, Woodly Gutteridge.  The song is sung to the tune of the classic 'This Land Is Your Land': 

This land is thy Lancs, this land is my Lancs
From Bury market to the Blackpool Tower
From the Trough of Bowland to the Fylde Coast waters
This Lancs was made for thee and me.

As I went driving that M6 highway
I saw above me that cloudy skyway
I saw below me that Ribble valley
This Lancs was made for thee and me.

I drove and I broke down and I followed a taxi
To the sparkling sands of  Southport and Formby
While all around me a voice was sounding
This Lancs was made for thee and me.

When the sun came shining, thought I was dreaming
In the dark mills spinning and the roll ups rolling
A voice was chanting, As the rain was stopping,
This Lancs was made for thee and me.

This land is your Lancs, this land is my Lancs
From Salford Uni to the Hill of Pendle
From the River Irwell to the Bay of Morecambe
This Lancs  was made for thee and me. 

Dr Derek J Ripley, the TMB's resident historian and author of Forgotten Lancashire, welcomed the new composition as a fitting tribute to the county and congratulated Mr Gutteridge on his fine lyrics.

22 November 2012

New Chief Executive

Sir Norman Wrassle
Sir Norman Wrassle, Chairman of the Tripe Marketing Board, today welcomed the appointment of  Timothy Flaxton-Buoys - currently the chief executive of the Bolton Opera House - as the next chief executive of the TMB.

Mr Flaxton-Buoys, who is recognised for the significant contribution he has made to the arts in the north west, was head-hunted for the role following the resignation of two previous CEOs, who both left after disappointing sales of tripe over the last twelve months.  

Sir Norman scotched rumours that the TMB had made over-generous settlements as part of the redundancy arrangements for outgoing chief executive, Mr Henry Wrassle. 
Sir Norman said: "I have no doubt that Mr Flaxton-Buoys is the right man, in the right place, at the right time.  I have long thought that our work has been hampered by lack a lustre performance by some of our senior managers. With this appointment, those days are hopefully gone.  I commend Mr Flaxton-Buoys' integrity, experience and vision and under his expert guidance we can now look forward to making our dreams of a tripe Christmas a firm reality."

Mr Flaxton-Hall is 53.

16 November 2012

TMB YouTube Channel Notches Up 3000 Views

TMB Books - the publishing arm of the Tripe Marketing Board - is today celebrating the 3000th viewer of its YouTube Channel.

Sir Norman Wrassle, Chairman of the TMB, said: "Although we don't know exactly who it was, sometime between the hours of 12 noon and 1pm today, somebody became the 3000th person to view one of the promotional videos uploaded by TMB Books.  We would like to salute that person."

The TMB YouTube Channel has only been operating 4 months, and the viewing figures compare favourably with competitor channels such as that of the Potato Council.  Their most recent offering, 'Mexican Wedges' has garnered just 45 viewers in 5 months, whereas TMB's 'Look Alikes' has notched up a creditable 592 views in less time. 

Sir Norman said: "Even one of our most recent offerings - 'A Brief History of Fridge Magnets' has attracted over 170 viewers.  More people have watched our videos than voted for some of the UK Police and Crime Commissioners in yesterday's elections.  This gives the lie to the view that tripe is a declining speciality, and vindicates entirely the £500 budget we have allocated to the channel." 

The TMB also paid tribute to Dr Derek Ripley, who has acted as the historical consultant for the series of promotional videos. Emily French, TMB Books Communications Officer, said: "What Dr Ripley knows about esoteric aspects of north west history isn't worth knowing, and we have been fortunate to have him aboard."  A surprise hit has been Dr Ripley's work on the Lancashire Games, which this year was rather overshadowed by another sporting event taking place in the capital.

Dr Ripley's recent book Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral is available in bookshops across north west England or from Amazon, where it can also be downloaded for Kindle devices.

14 November 2012

October 2012 Tripe Sales

UK tripe sales values were down by 0.2% on a like-for-like basis in the 12 months from October 2011, when they were down 0.5% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.6%, against a 1.5% rise in October  2011.

Sir Norman Wrassle, Chairman of the Tripe Marketing Board, saw grounds for optimism in the figures.  He said:

"This is one of the lowest reductions in tripe sales values for many years, and it's possible we are turning a corner.  Our investment in social media and advertising, together with our Men In White campaign may well have stemmed the tide."

Some media experts have pointed to significant rises in tripe consumption - often as high as 300% - but this is starting from such a low base that growth is negligible. Plans are underway for a pre-Christmas push in the hope that tripe can form part of the family festivities in Britain's households over the holiday period. "We're dreaming of a tripe Christmas!" Sir Norman said.

8 November 2012

I'm Famous MP Suspended

Veteran MP Sir Denis MacFlurrie has been suspended from the Conservative Party after it was revealed that he will participating in the flagship Tripe TV show I’m Famous Put A Wasp In My Mouth. 

In the programme, celebrities stay in three star self-catering accommodation at an unknown location in the depths of the Forest of Bowland without basic necessities such as a personal assistant or valet and are forced to endure challenges such as doing their own washing and ironing, making their own meals and drinking non-vintage champagne. The nearest Waitrose is over 25 miles away.

Sir Dennis follows in the footsteps of previous contestants such as politicians Edwina Korma, George Arafat and Richard M Nixon, TV personality Sir Johnny Savage.and comics Mike and Bernie Chortle. It is rumoured that Sir Denis, who has been MP for the safe seat of Parbold West since 1948, will receive a fee in excess of £100.

7 November 2012

Shock Poll News

Lancastrians were today waking up to the surprise news that Fred Dibnah has taken an early and commanding lead in a poll to determine the Greatest Lancastrian.

With 400 votes already recorded, the result seems to point to a runaway victory for the Bolton-born steeplejack and steam engine enthusiast - although there are almost three weeks before the poll closes.

Dibnah's vote even outstrips the combined vote of Wigan boys George Formby and Gerard Winstanley and popular BBC Radio 2 folk presenter Mike Harding has been pushed into fourth place.

The poll results will be announced on Lancashire Day and organisers TMB Books have put out an appeal to any Lancastrians yet to vote to visit the poll website and exercise their democratic right to choose the person they think has made the greatest contribution to Lancashire.

A spokesman for TMB Books said: "We have had one or two issues with the poll which we believe are down to the Yorkshire company which is organising it for us.  Now that the election in the US is completed, we hope the eyes of the world can shift to the more important matter of determining who deserves this great honour."

6 November 2012

TMB Endorses Romney

The Tripe Marketing Board today endorsed Mitt Romney as its choice in the US Presidential election. TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: “We believe the interests of the industry would be best served by Mr Romney. He clearly talks our language-tripe.”

2 November 2012

The BBC v Mr Danny Baker: TMB Statement

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has condemned as "outrageous" the BBC’s decision to release popular radio broadcasters Danny Baker and Mike Harding. Sir Norman said, “The BBC clearly feels threatened by our recent announcement about the launch of Tripe TV. By not renewing the contracts of of Mr Baker and Mr Harding, two of its finest broadcasters, the BBC has increased its output of tripe - which is already substantial - at a stroke. The BBC is clearly intent on challenging Tripe TV as the UK’s premier provider of broadcast tripe even before the channel is launched.

“Well let me say this. We accept the BBC’s challenge. However much tripe you decide to broadcast we will broadcast more. In a race to the bottom, we will win every time. Don't forget, we have much less money than you.

"In fact, I would like to issue the following challenge to the BBC. I will be in London on Monday. I have a meeting in the morning but will be free in the afternoon. Send one of your top executives to meet me on Clapham Common at 2pm and I will take him on. I may be 72 but I used to be an amateur boxer and I am still very handy.”

As a tribute to Mr Baker, the TMB yesterday asked 100 shoppers in Preston city centre the following question. “If you were taking your partner out for a romantic meal, what would you choose from the menu? Would it be white tripe, green tripe or no tripe at all?” One percent of those polled said they would choose white tripe. 99% said they would choose no tripe at all.

1 November 2012

Safe From Sandy

TMB Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today paid tribute to Brian Yarvin, the Tripe Marketing Board's Operations Director for the Atlantic and Areas West of Lancashire, who battled through the after-affects of Superstorm Sandy to keep in touch with our headquarters in Preston.

Brian is based in New Jersey, which has born the brunt of the storm that recently hit the USA.  He nevertheless managed to post a message to We Love Tripe! - the Facebook group page managed by Emily French, the TMB's Communications Officer - re-assuring us that he was safe.

Writing yesterday, Brian said: "No heat or electric, but I made it to an open coffee shop this morning - we are dirty, but fine. All tripe vendors are closed for the near future though."

Nevertheless, we heard earlier this evening that Brian had managed to locate some tripe and was tucking into a plate of Tibetan cold spicy tripe in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Sir Norman said: "It's people like Brian who make me proud to Chair the Tripe Marketing Board.  He would doubtlessly shrug the honour off, but he's a true hero of tripe.  We hope he and his family stay safe over the next few days."

The TMB is monitoring the position closely, and is considering organising an airlift of tripe supplies should the situation worsen.