30 June 2013

Mr Barry Gibb: A Statement by Sir Norman Wrassle

Sir Norman Wrassle

This morning, I issued what some may have thought was a rather trenchant open letter to Mr Barry Gibb, the popular musical performer,  castigating him for critical remarks he made about tripe during an appearance on the BBC's The One Show.

I should make it clear that my actions were prompted by an intern who had only been working at the TMB for less than a week and that my concern was only ever for the livelihoods of the dozens of men and women across the UK who make their living selling tripe.

My attention has now been drawn to the fact that, using the medium of Twitter, Mr Gibb has already apologised to tripe lovers across the world for his off-the cuff remarks and has undertaken to eat tripe again.  When our solicitors learned of this, I immediately ordered that a first class Tweet be sent out to Mr Gibb expressing my remorse and offering to arrange for him to sample some Lancashire tripe next time he is in the area.

I have also ordered an immediate review of our media monitoring unit with a view to strengthening it so that such an unfortunate occurrence cannot happen again.  I am grateful for additional funding from the East Lancashire Borough Council which will enable this development and our communications department have already advertised the positions.

Mr Barry Gibb

An open letter from Sir Norman Wrassle to Mr Barry Gibb

Dear Mr Gibb

I was disappointed to learn that, in a recent interview on the BBC's flagship evening magazine programme The One Show, you said that you were ‘prepared to eat anything except tripe.’

It’s not easy trying to promote tripe. One of our former chief executives once compared it to “trying to push a heavy goods vehicle up an icy mountainside whilst wearing roller skates.”  While it is true that tripe is not as popular as it once was, we have recently made great strides in restoring its  fortunes by embracing the social media and by our policy of rigorously monitoring the media for negative uses of the word tripe.  

At last, it has begun to appear as if our two key messages – Tripe: It’s Not Just For Dogs and Tripe: It’s Not Just For The Over 85s were starting to get through.   We have introduced a Choose Tripe range of merchandise and only last month we  sold a T-Shirt to a customer who is clearly very happy with his purchase.

In the last few weeks we have seen some real signs of progress being made. Having been stuck on 12 followers for nearly two years on Twitter, we now have more than 1,000 followers (excluding dogs).

To say that your comments on The One Show were a setback would be an understatement. Two people and one dog have already 'unfollowed'  us on Twitter and we are preparing ourselves for more bad news.  We are particularly disappointed by your comments as we understand that you are a good Northern lad originally from Chorlton in Manchester (which is now so upmarket that I doubt whether even you could afford to buy a house there).

What is particularly galling is that my wife has been a great fan of yours for many years.  She is so upset by your comments that I had to do everything in my power to persuade her not to sell her extensive collection of Bee Gees records and memorabilia (including a signed portrait of your good self might I add) at a local car boot sale today.

The fight to restore tripe to the butchers’ blocks of Britain is not yet won.  The Tripe Marketing Board needs all the help it can get in this battle. To compensate us for the damage your comments have done to the UK tripe industry in general and to our work in particular, we are appealing to your good nature by asking you to either take our Tripe Taste Challenge or (and this is my preferred option) to make a substantial donation to the Tripe Marketing Board’s marketing and promotion budget.  

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Norman Wrassle (Sir)

28 June 2013

Tripe and Drink: Survey Results Announced

Earlier this week the Tripe Marketing Board asked tripe lovers to name their favourite drink as an accompaniment to a tasty bowl of tripe. The results are based upon a combination of online, telephone and face to face surveys.

 Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: “We are constantly trying to gather information in order to build a profile of our consumers.  This survey clearly shows that tripe is enjoyed by a wide variety of people and suggests that the typical consumer of tripe is just as likely to be a busy young executive from Islington as an 85 year old woman from Accrington.”

27 June 2013

Dogs and Tripe

Not just for dogs
The Tripe Marketing Board has announced a review of its advertising strategy following the discovery that its Twitter account has recently been ‘followed’ by a significant number of dogs.

Twitter is a social network where short messages can be shared in private with friends and followers.  It has been used by a number of businesses and marketing agencies – including the Tripe Marketing Board – to spread their message to potential consumers.

TMB chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle, expressed surprise at learning that many Twitter users were dogs.  He said: “I have been persuaded that Twitter has its place in our marketing strategy and have been encouraged that we have gained so many followers in the short time since we embraced the medium.  However, it appears that many of our followers are of a canine variety and this is jeopardising our aim to persuade more people to eat tripe -  particularly the under 85s.”

Speaking at a business lunch in Leyland, Sir Norman suggested that the TMB may have contributed to the recent influx of ‘dog followers’ by choosing to use Brandy, his wife’s West Highland Terrier, in their recent ‘Tripe For Vitality’ campaign.

The TMB has called for an emergency meeting with its creative team at Messrs Bootle Boggle Peggotty to review its current contract and to ensure that the focus of the campaign is clarified.

“I’d like to make it clear that this measure does not mean that the TMB is anti-dog. Dogs have been avid consumers of tripe since time immemorial and we do not wish to alienate them or their owners. My wife has been a patron of the West Fylde branch of Poodles In Distress for many years.  But we do need to emphasise that, contrary to popular belief, tripe isn’t just for dogs,” Sir Norman said.

Sir Norman suggested that the best possible outcome would be for the TMB to set up a separate Twitter account specifically for our canine followers, and tripe retailers were urged to stock up on green tripe, in anticipation.

26 June 2013

Glastonbury 'No' For Tripe Girls

The Best of The Tripe Girls (1941)
Rumours that The Tripe Girls were to appear at this year’s Glastonbury Festival have been scotched by their manager, Norman Weller.

The Tripe Girls - Winnie (90), Doris (85) and Elsie (87) last appeared together in 1948 at the height of the 'Tripe Power' craze and retired to a St Annes residential home in 1986.

“They were asked to appear at 10.30pm on the Pyramid stage but they’re all in bed by 10 so I’m afraid its a non starter,” Mr Weller said.

TMB Welcomes Tripe Taste Breakthrough

Researchers in the department of experimental psychology and home economics at the University of Wigan have found that the weight, type and colour of cutlery can change the way people perceive the taste of food. 

They found that tripe eaten with a silver spoon tastes more expensive and creamier than with plastic and stainless steel cutlery.

Their study also showed that the colour of cutlery can make tripe sweeter, with colours that match food producing the best results. 

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "We are always looking at ways in which tripe can be made more palatable and will explore the implications of this research for our work in due course. But for the time being we are recommending that tripe is eaten only with the most expensive solid silver cutlery, preferably painted white."

25 June 2013

Mr Timothy Flaxton-Buoys

The chief executive of the Tripe Marketing Board today announced his retirement from the post.  Since his appointment at the end of 2012, Mr Timothy Flaxton-Buoys has overseen a dramatic increase in interest in tripe which Sir Norman Wrassle, chairman, has described as 'spectacular'.

Before joining the TMB, Mr Flaxton-Buoys had a successful career as chief executive of the Bolton Opera House. Speaking at a meeting of the Westhoughton Women's Union today, he said: "I won't pretend it has been easy promoting tripe, but I have enjoyed almost every minute of my time here.  There are people who claim tripe is a food of the past.  Well, that's not true. It may not be to everyone's taste, but I firmly believe it will capture the attention of the nation as the government's austerity measures really begin to bite."

Mr Flaxton-Buoys plans to use his newly-acquired passion for tripe by offering a consultancy service to tripe retailers across the north west.  "I'm particularly concerned that people take care in offering a quality product, and I hope they commission me to help them," he said.

In a tribute to Mr Flaxton-Bouys, Sir Norman Wrassle said: "I would like to thank Tim for the work he has done for us. Care, Quality, Commission. It's thanks to people like Tim that these words are already synonymous with tripe."

24 June 2013

Call For More Tripe On TV

Tripe Marketing Board Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has called for more cookery programmes to be shown on television - especially those which feature tripe.

Sir Norman was particularly critical of BBC4, describing it as “a tripe-free zone.”

Speaking at a convention of retired tripe dressers in Bolton on Saturday, he said: “The BBC is doing a great job and is broadcasting far more tripe than it used to but there is always room for improvement.”  He called on broadcasters to consider re-instating the popular Cook Off! annual Cookathon which was broadcast between 1999 and 2007.

Pointing to the increased opportunities available with the advent of digital channels, Sir Norman said:  “We believe there is a market for people who want to watch cookery programmes 24 hours a day 7 days a week.”

23 June 2013

TMB To Overhaul Website

The Tripe Marketing Board has announced a radical overhaul of its website following complaints that visitors find it 'confusing', 'impenetrable' and  'difficult to navigate'.

The complaints were collated by internet analysts from the Office of Tripe Consumption in Brussels over a four week period from 20 May to 20 June 2013.

Tripe Marketing Board website visitors (Source: Office of Tripe Consumption)

Acting TMB Chief Executive, Henry Wrassle, said: "We are taking these complaints seriously.  I've had a look myself and have been surprised just how confusing the site is."

He gave the example of Tripe Adviser, which lists stockists of tripe from across the UK and Tripe Advisor, which was the TMB's attempt to garner tripe lovers' views on tripe TV programmes they had seen or tripe books they had read.  Mr Wrassle said that the latter facility had caused particular confusion for people searching the internet for recommendations for their 2013 holidays. 

"To allay concern and to re-assure tripe lovers everywhere, as a matter of urgency I have asked our communications department to change the focus of Tripe Advisor towards our customer service department, so that people have a safe place to go should they have any concerns or queries about tripe.  Tripe Adviser will continue its useful function of pointing people to places where they can purchase tripe," Mr Wrassle said.

The move co-incides with a strengthening of the TMB's customer service department, through the planned recruitment of a number of new staff and the installation of a TripeLine telephone service.

Mr Wrassle said: "I hope the public is re-assured".

Meanwhile, tripe lovers wishing to register their views about tripe TV programmes can make their views known here.

22 June 2013

The TMB and the Arts

The Tripe Marketing Board is an independent body which receives no subsidy from the UK Government.  Apart from a brief period in the 1980s, it has never been sponsored by any commercial interest. The TMB's only source of funding is a small grant from the European Office of Tripe Consumption, income from our publishing and product division and the occasional legacy from a deceased tripe dresser. 

In response to criticism that it is 'in the pocket' of various meat producers and abattoirs, the TMB will shortly be making its accounts publicly available so that people can make their own judgement.

Nevertheless, the TMB (and its predecessor organisations) has a proud record of sponsoring the arts. In the past, we have supported musicians and film-makers as varied as The Tripe Girls and the Hollinwood studios of 20th Century Spatchcock.   The annual Beefstock Festival is a key date in the TMB's diary and we are naturally hoping for better weather this year.

We are frequently asked whether the TMB is in any way associated with the popular North American  musical ensemble Humble Tripe.  The answer is no - although they are a fine set of musicians  and we applaud their decision to incorporate our product in their band's title.  We know how difficult it can be to promote tripe and it can't be easy taking to the stage under the banner of tripe.  But we can heartily recommend you take a listen.

Love life. Love tripe. Share the love.

April 2013 Tripe Sales

UK tripe sales values were down by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis in the 12 months from April 2012, when they were down 0.4% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.3%, against a 1.25% rise in April  2012.

Sir Norman Wrassle, Chairman of the Tripe Marketing Board, expressed cautious optimism at the figures.  He said:  "Tripe sales values are continuing to decrease at a lower rate than for many years.  Although it is too early to state with any certainty, it's possible we have turned the corner."  

Sir Norman attributed the slower rate of decline to the Tripe Marketing Board's recent aggressive campaign using cutting edge marketing techniques such as social networking, cold calling and putting stickers on lamp posts and traffic lights late at night. 

21 June 2013

TMB Statement: Mr Timothy Flaxton-Buoys

Tripe Marketing Board chief executive, Timothy Flaxton-Buoys has been suspended on full pay pending an investigation following claims in Lancashire Livestock magazine that he told a friend: “Tripe is disgusting. It’s not fit to be consumed by dogs let alone humans".  The magazine claims the statement was made in an unguarded moment during a break at a seminar held by the Lancashire Meat Marketing Bureau last week.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: “It's quite possible that Mr Flaxton-Buoys has been misquoted.  I want to assure tripe lovers everywhere that we will conduct a full investigation and, if necessary, heads will roll."  

Mr Flaxton-Buoys (formerly the chief executive of the Bolton Opera House) was appointed to the post in November 2012 and  has been put on indefinite gardening leave until the outcome of the investigation is known. 

20 June 2013

TMB Apology: Mr Daniel Ross MP

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has apologised unreservedly to Mr Danny Ross, MP for Bury and Tottington, for continually referring to him as Diana at the annual general meeting of the South Lancashire Chamber Of Commerce yesterday.

Sir Norman said: "I am sorry for any offence caused to Mr Ross, but I had been listening to a Supremes' Greatest Hits CD en route to the meeting."

TMB Celebrates 'Tripegate' Victory In Style!

The Tripe Marketing Board has unveiled a range of time-limited offers to capitalise on its recent success in persuading a top UK Parliamentarian to use the word tripe responsibly.

In a statement issued today, TMB Chief Executive Mr Timothy Flaxton-Buoys said: "The tide is turning for tripe. Not only has Mr Andrew Percy, MP agreed to help us promote our product, but we yesterday achieved our stage one marketing target of reaching 1000 'followers' on Twitter nearly three years ahead of schedule."

The 1000th Twitter follower signed up at approximately 20.45pm (GMT) yesterday, which Mr Flaxton-Buoys attributed to the unexpected media interest in what is already being termed 'Tripegate'.

To mark the event, TMB Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has sanctioned a special offer for tripe lovers everywhere.

"For the next 48 hours, TMB Books is offering Dr Derek Ripley's  Forgotten Lancashire & Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral absolutely free on Kindle.  This is the book which single-handedly revived the Lancashire tripe industry when it was published last year," Mr Flaxton-Buoys said.

For people who prefer more traditional mediums, the book (normally £9.99) is also available in printed form here at the special offer price of £7.99 including free UK post and packing.

Lancashire Life, August 2013
Dr Ripley's follow-up book has also been made available at a special offer price to celebrate the TMB's success.  The Lost Films of 20th Century Spatchcock (normally £9.99) is now just £7.99 including free UK post and packing.   Celebrated broadcaster, Andy Kershaw has said "Anyone who has managed to get through From Here To Maternity or Wendy Does Wigan will want - and need - this book."

The offers come on the day that the work of the Tripe Marketing Board was profiled in Lancashire Life magazine, where Dr Ripley has a regular column.

Mr Flaxton-Buoys warned that the price of tripe can go up as well as down and advised potential purchasers to act fast.  "I want to applaud Sir Norman for making this gesture. This really is a stand-out day for the Tripe Marketing Board. Tripe's making a comeback and our publishing arm has taken the lead!" he said.

19 June 2013

Tripe Marketing Board Welcomes MP's Tripe Concession

The Tripe Marketing Board has welcomed the decision of Mr Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg & Goole in Humberside, to accept Sir Norman Wrassle's challenge to pose for a photo shoot whilst eating tripe.

Speaking at a hastily-arranged press conference in Bury this lunchtime, Sir Norman (Chairman of the TMB) said: "This is a magnanimous gesture on the part of Mr Percy.  We will arrange for a supply of tripe to be made available to him at an early opportunity and I have no doubt this will help our cause in promoting tripe - something which his earlier comments risked setting back decades."

Sir Norman had suggested the challenge following Mr Percy's negative comparison of tripe with comments made by Kenneth Clarke, MP about Europe.  Following a fulsome apology, Mr Percy agreed to undertake the challenge so long as it did not involve him having to travel to Lancashire to do so.

Sir Norman went on to say:"I can understand Mr Percy's reluctance to face the people of our county given his earlier remarks. Although we would much have preferred the tripe sample to be Lancashire tripe (which is the whitest), Post Office regulations prohibit the posting of fresh offal, so we will instead arrange for him to receive some Yorkshire tripe, which is almost as good."

The TMB will be contacting Mr Percy's constituency office to set the challenge in train.

Sir Norman pleaded for tolerance after it was suggested that Mr Percy may be subjected to abuse from Lancastrians for his unguarded remarks: "We are not about to sanction such activity. We are happy that Mr Percy has agreed to taste some tripe and, just so long as he doesn't do anything silly -  such as grimace - that will be the end of the matter as far as we are concerned."

MP Challenged to Eat Tripe

Tripe Marketing Board Chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle, last night challenged Mr Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg & Goole, to take the 'Tripe Taste Challenge'.

Yesterday, Mr Percy was widely quoted in the Yorkshire media describing comments by a  Conservative colleague, Kenneth Clarke MP, as "utter tripe".  Sir Norman immediately called for Mr Percy's resignation.

Mr Percy has since responded to the call with a personal message to Sir Norman on Twitter.  Mr Percy said: “My sincere apologies for my comparison between tripe and Clarke. Any damage done to (your) product I will recompense.”

Sir Norman has accepted Mr Percy's apology. Speaking at a meeting of the Leyland Soroptomists last night, Sir Norman said: "Unlike our colleagues across the Pennines, Lancashire folk are gracious and forgiving, so I accept Mr Percy’s fulsome apology wholeheartedly."

For his part, Mr Percy has demanded that Sir Norman either apologise or resign for calling him a 'southern MP'.   Sir Norman  last night acknowledged that Mr Percy is not a typical southern MP, although he argued that "From where I stand tonight, in strict terms it is true.  I am nevertheless  happy to apologise for any offence caused".  Sir Norman confirmed he would not be resigning from a post he has held since 1989.

In his speech, he pointed to the sterling example set by  Conservative Peer, Lord Deben (John Gummer) who rallied to the beef industry during the BSE crisis of 1990, and he issued a challenge to Mr Percy:  "We'd like Mr Percy to appear in public for a photo shoot, like Mr Gummer.  However, we'll make sure it's a plate of the finest Lancashire tripe and we are not callous so will not require him to appear with any family members."


18 June 2013

Call For Resignation of Andrew Percy, MP

Tripe Marketing Board Chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle has called on Andrew Percy, MP to resign after making what Sir Norman termed 'disgraceful' comparisons between comments made by Minister Without Portfolio, Kenneth Clarke and tripe.

Mr Clarke's view that Britain leaving the European Union "would mean curtains for our ability to have any leadership role" across the world was described by  Mr Percy, Conservative MP for Brigg & Goole, as "utter tripe".

Speaking at a business luncheon in Chorley today, Sir Norman said: "Mr Percy and others like him should think long and hard before comparing the views of their fellow Conservatives to tripe.  Our media monitoring strategy means we are ready to challenge and counter any derogatory and negative associations between our fine product and anything else."

Sir Norman said that the TMB's Media Monitoring Unit had so far taken a relaxed view toward use of such comparisons in the social media:  "We simply haven't got the resources to counter every negative use of the word tripe on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, where people regularly compare TV programmes like Big Brother, Birds of a Feather and The Voice to our product.  But a member of parliament quoted in the national media is another matter."

Sir Norman promised he would be writing to David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party and asking him to demand the resignation of Mr Percy.  He would also be sending Mr Percy a thesaurus, in the hope that in future he might use words such as rubbish, twaddle, garbage, drivel, nonsense and claptrap in place of tripe.

"We have a difficult enough job promoting tripe as it is, without the unthinking comments of southern MPs," Sir Norman said.


17 June 2013

TMB Statement

Tripe Marketing Board Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today denied claims that he assaulted his wife Lady Cheryl in an exclusive Wigan restaurant at the weekend.

Pictures in Wigan On Sunday yesterday purported to show Sir Norman with both hands around his wife's neck.

Sir Norman said: "Lady Cheryl was eating some sea bass when a fish bone stuck in her throat. I was simply trying to dislodge it."

In response to another photo which appeared to show him kicking Lady Cheryl in the head outside the restaurant, Sir Norman said that he was merely re-enacting Wigan's goal in the FA Cup Final against Manchester City for the amusement of passers by.

Lady Cheryl will be continuing her diary of engagements for the week, which includes a brief holiday in the Seychelles and a shopping trip to New York.

15 June 2013

TMB Celebrates Social Media Success

The Tripe Marketing Board is set to almost double its investment in the social media following a successful campaign to promote tripe using Twitter, Facebook and unsolicited mailshots.

The move comes after the Office of Offal Regulation (OffOffal) cleared the TMB of trying to garner an unexpectedly large market share by working outside the industry code of practice.

Announcing the move at a conference of social marketeers held in Bolton yesterday, TMB Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "I must admit that I was not initially convinced that Twitter and Facebook were for us.  But we are an industry with a long pedigree of promoting tripe in various innovative ways, so I am delighted that we now have over 200 members in our We Love Tripe! group on Facebook and over 900 'followers' on Twitter."

Sir Norman contrasted the TMB's position with that of the Scottish Haggis Council*, which has no presence in the social media and does not even have a website. "Today's consumers expect to be able to interact with brands and products in ways our grandfathers barely imagined," he said.

Sir Norman has set the TMB's Communication Department the ambitious target of achieving 1000 Twitter followers by the spring of 2016, and Chief Executive Mr Timothy Flaxton-Buoys has authorised the Department to engage a second intern to help achieve this objective.

Sir Norman's speech to the  conference was accompanied by a showing of the TMB's promotional video demonstrating the unique ways in which tripe has been promoted over the past century.

* Formerly the Association for the Marketing of Sheep's Pluck

12 June 2013

TMB Wins Award For Media Monitoring

The Tripe Marketing Board last night received a prestigious award from the North West Association of Food and Beverage Marketing Agencies (NWAFBMA) for its media monitoring campaign, launched last year.

The TMB beat off stiff competition from our colleagues in the Dandelion and Burdock Marketing Agency to win the Harold Spellman Award for the agency which had done most to challenge negative views about its product.

TMB Chief Executive, Mr Timothy Flaxton-Buoys (right), said he was delighted to accept the award on behalf of Sir Norman Wrassle and everyone at the TMB's communication department: "This is tangible evidence that we are winning the war against the poor esteem in which tripe is - quite wrongly - sometimes held," he told reporters afterwards.

Presenting the award, Association president Mr Brendan Moorcock drew particular attention to the sterling work done by Sir Norman Wrassle during his many media appearances over the last 12 months.  He drew particular attention to Sir Norman's appearance on the Elliot Webb show on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester earlier this year and commended him for tackling a difficult subject with aplomb and courtesy.

10 June 2013

TMB Issues Tax Statement

The Tripe Marketing Board has issued a detailed statement of its tax affairs in response to critics who have accused it of 'blatant tax avoidance'. 

At a press conference in Preston today, TMB Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle countered claims by Harold Spatchcock, Chairman of the offal industry watchdog Offoffal, who said the tax-reducing corporate structures of some offal processing companies were "morally questionable".

The Tripe Marketing Board has paid no corporation tax this financial year or for any of the preceding financial years since 1948.  Sir Norman said: "The government's tax system allows us to delay, not avoid, payment of tax based on how much we invest."

He quoted figures to show that, although the UK tripe industry increased its turnover to almost £200,000 in 2012, the operating costs far exceeded this.  Moreover, the TMB had invested heavily in social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as undertaking a "much needed" overhaul of its website.

"We have always been open and transparent about our finances.  Sales of tripe have declined year on year for the last five decades - although we are hopeful that our recent investments will reverse this trend," Sir Norman said.

In an article in yesterday's Lancashire Gazette, Offoffal's Chairman had said: "Tax policy is not for an economic regulator and these structures may be legal and common in private equity.  But some aspects are morally questionable in a vital public service." 

Sir Norman challenged Mr Spatchcock to a public debate of the subject which could be televised if there was sufficient interest, but Offoffal have so far declined to comment.

7 June 2013

Good News For Tripe As Austerity Expected To Last For Years

BBC Business News, 7 June 2013
Tripe Marketing Board Chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle, today expressed 'cautious delight' at predictions by two influential think tanks that the UK faces years more austerity.

"We know that, in times when people's spending is limited, they turn to tripe - so this has got to be good news for tripe retailers all over the United Kingdom," said Sir Norman.  He appealed to butchers and tripe sellers to capitalise on the situation, arguing there would never be a better time to promote tripe.

"When George Osborne became Chancellor of the Exchequer, few could have predicted that this would mark a revival in the fortunes of a foodstuff that has long languished on the butchers' slabs of Britain.  Mark my words - tripe's ripe for a comeback!" Sir Norman told a meeting of the Chorley Womens Institute today.

Office of Tripe Consumption official data 2012
Although tripe consumption has been falling for many years, there are tentative signs that the rate of decline has slowed dramatically.   Yet figures released by the European Union earlier this month illustrate that there is still room for improvement here in Britain.

Responding to questions from his audience, Sir Norman underlined his confidence in the TMB's strategy to promote tripe.  "Our move into book production was not universally popular amongst those working in the industry, but I am sure this diversification will pay off in due course," Sir Norman said.

"We've mapped out a ten year strategy for tripe.  After austerity comes utility, and we have a team of researchers working on practical applications for tripe that will astound the world," he said.

There was natural interest amongst the Chorley WI at the recent development of tripe handbags, and Sir Norman promised a whole range of utility tripe fashion garments were in the offing.  Warming to his theme, he concluded with a rallying cry, reminding his audience that 2013 was designated as The Year Of Tripe and that it was the job of the TMB to ensure that this aspiration was realised.

Lancashire Risks Losing Tripe Jump Crown

How Prensa Latina broke the news
Sports managers in Lancashire are reeling at the news that a Central American athlete has stolen a march on their plans to retain the world championship title in the prestigious tripe jump.

Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo jumped 17.69m of tripe at the Pan American Stadium in Havana on 5 June -  the best in the world so far this season and threatening the world record of 17.70m set by Duncan Brighthouse at the 2012 Lancashire Games held in Preston.

Tripe Marketing Board chief executive, Mr Timothy Flaxton-Buoys, expressed alarm that the title might leave Lancashire:  "There is a long and proud tradition in the county of folk excelling at the tripe jump. We have sponsored the Lancashire games for a number of years now and we would hate to see the title being lost.  I have asked our chairman to consider whether the TMB could fund a Tripe Academy of some kind, where the best in the county could gather and be coached in tripe jumping."

Albert Grimshaw at the 1956 Burnley Games
The Lancashire Games featured in an article by TMB resident historian Dr Derek J Ripley in Lancashire Life magazine and were the subject of a short promotional video issued by the TMB last year.

5 June 2013

60 Glorious Years of Tripe

The Tripe Marketing Board this week celebrated the Queen's diamond jubilee with a special meeting held at the Preston Travelodge followed by a dinner at a local pub.

Chairman of the TMB, Sir Norman Wrassle, said: "These are austere times and we judged it important not to fritter away our reserves in the posh restaurants of Preston on this occasion."

Mr Barry Card (right).

Sir Norman used the event to announce the winner of the TMB's recent competition for a copy of The Lost Films of 20th Century Spatchcock - Mr Barry Card, of London.   Mr Card won the competition by wearing a TMB t-shirt furthest away from our HQ in Preston.

Sir Norman also commented on a recent decision by internet giant Amazon to offer the TMB's recent publication at the ridiculously low-price of £8.72.   "This is good news for anyone concerned at Amazon's alleged attempts to reduce their UK tax bill, as it self-evidently means there will be less tax for them to avoid paying."

2 June 2013

Interns Suspended After Lobbying Claims

Two interns employed by the Tripe Marketing Board to promote tripe have been suspended following allegations that they tried to bribe members of the House of Lords to support a bill guaranteeing free tripe for the over 85s.

TMB Chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle, rushed to reassure the trade in an announcement issued this afternoon.  He said:  "Last year, we established a small budget - certainly only three figures - to undertake lobbying activity in connection with our campaign to make tripe free for anyone over the age of 85.  It appears that two interns recently employed by the TMB have misunderstood the nature of the lobbying we had in mind.  They used the budget to treat two prominent peers to a lunch of Tripe Proven├žal at a flashy Covent Garden restaurant.  This is clearly unacceptable, and they have been suspended pending their imminent dismissal."

Sir Norman went on to state that the Tripe Marketing Board had referred itself to the appropriate authorities.