30 September 2014

Tripe is safe says TMB chairman

The Tripe Marketing Board has welcomed informal assurances that it would not be classified as an 'extremist' organisation for the purposes of the Government's proposed clampdown on the social media.
Subliminal message

Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party's annual conference in Birmingham earlier this evening, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was pleased that common sense had prevailed.  "I know there are some who think it is extreme to advocate that people should eat the stomach of a cow, but an outright ban of our use of social media to promote tripe would have been a step too far," he told an audience of offal industry analysts. 

Sir Norman promised that the Tripe Marketing Board would be 'toning down' its promotional messages on Twitter and Facebook.  "We've learned a lot over the last seven years, hence our decision to publish a book that has only three references to tripe.  We have high hopes that the latest publication by TMB Books - Tales From the Till - will plant a subliminal message in the minds of readers to give tripe a try," he said.

27 September 2014

Hasty is "not true to tripe" says TMB chair

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today dismissed TMB board member Maurice Hasty's defection to British Spleen as a "publicity stunt".

Maurice Hasty
Speaking at the annual luncheon of the Chorley Womens' League, Sir Norman said: "Maurice has shown his true colours by jumping ship earlier today.  Whatever his motives, he has demonstrated that he is not true to tripe".

Sir Norman stressed that he felt no personal animosity towards Mr Hasty, who was quite entitled to favour spleen over tripe if that was his genuine opinion, but he was "wounded and hurt" at comments made in an interview in this month's Offal Monthly in which Maurice had described tripe as "Yesterday's food".

"We're 'Yesterday's food, today'. That is quite a different thing to spleen, which is 'Yesterday's food, yesterday'," Sir Norman said.

TMB Advisory: Books

The Tripe Marketing Board has issued an advisory notice to book retailers following recent confusion about its publishing strategy.

TMB Books, the publishing division of the TMB, says the advice is urgently needed after many readers of its latest publication complained that Tales From the Till contained only limited references to tripe.

Doreen Gray, head of publishing at TMB Books, said: " We're sorry if any readers have purchased Tales From the Till expecting more tripe.  But we have other books available and we hope our new guide will prevent any confusion".

All TMB Books are available direct from the publisher, or can be ordered via good bookshops or from Amazon. 

World Tripe Day 2014

With less than a month to go, the Tripe Marketing Board has called on tripe lovers across the globe to join together on Friday 24 October 2014 to celebrate tripe on World Tripe Day 2014.

wtd2015World Tripe Day was inaugurated at a special ceremony in the House of Commons last year, when tripe lovers, chefs and a host of minor celebrities gathered to  launch the international observance day.

Speaking at a press conference in Preston yesterday afternoon, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Many supposedly more popular foodstuffs have long had their own 'world day'.  Now that tripe has one, it is important that we celebrate it in style!"  

Sir Norman said he hoped tripe lovers would let the TMB know what they would be doing to mark the day: "We hope people might want to write tripe songs, make models made from tripe and even read one of our tripe books.  But mostly, we're just hoping they'll buy more tripe".

Local celebrations can be notified to the TMB's communications office, which will be pleased to publicise them further.

25 September 2014

Doris Millward (1928-2014)

Doris Millward, the youngest of the popular 1940s singing trio The Tripe Girls, passed away peacefully in her St Annes nursing home yesterday, at the age of 86.

Doris, who appeared under the stage name Mabel C or 'Baby Tripe', had not appeared in public for some years.  The group's manager, Norman Weller, said Lancashire had lost "a beautiful talent", and Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said Doris had made a profound contribution to promoting tripe over the decades.

The Tripe Girls in 1941 and 2012

The Tripe Girls' last public appearance was in 2012 at a Christmas disco in a Bolton residential home.

The group was the focus of continued controversy during their career, with accusations that Winnie Millward ('Blonde Tripe') had supported Adolf Hitler during the second world war.   The accusations resurfaced last year when Winnie was pictured in Wigan on Sunday alongside local UKIP candidate Nigel Farnworth taking tea in a Lytham cafe.

Mr Weller said it was "too early" to say whether he would be looking to recruit a replacement for Doris.

17 September 2014

TMB reveals contingency plans for Scottish independence

The Tripe Marketing Board has acknowledged that it has detailed contingency plans in the event of the Scottish people voting for independence tomorrow.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at a press conference in Carlisle earlier today, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "It should come as no surprise to industry observers that we have been working behind the scenes on proposals to ensure that tripe is properly marketed 'north of the border'.  That's why I'm so pleased to be here in Scotland today".

The plans include:
  • the immediate establishment of a Glasgow office for the TMB, which would be renamed Scottish Tripe
  • the re-branding of Lancashire Calamari as Deep Fried Cow Bars north of the border
  • the appointment of Mr Henry Wrassle as the interim chairman of Scottish Tripe
  • a poster campaign promoting tripe at selected bus stops in Coatbridge
  • the translation of selected TMB books into Gaelic
  • the establishment of an independent Scottish Tripe Twitter account, @ScottishTripe  
Sir Norman's comments came after the TMB's plans were leaked to Offal Monthly by a disenchanted intern, who has since been dismissed. The intern had also sought to undermine the TMB's Twitter Tripe Dog 2014 contest by suggesting that cats could enter the competition.

Mr Henry Wrassle, who has previously held a number of senior positions in the tripe industry, said he was delighted to be appointed as interim chairman of Scottish Tripe. "I have regularly holidayed in Mull, so I feel I have a great affinity with Scotland," he said.

With hours to go before the polls close in the independence vote. Sir Norman said: "Our advice to the people of Scotland is clear.  Vote 'Yes' for independence, and buy more tripe.  If you vote 'No', you should also buy more tripe".

Tripe Sales Finally Rising

A book published by the Tripe Marketing Board's publishing division, TMB Books, has reached No 3 in the 'Business Humour' charts on the internet retailing site, Amazon, surprising industry analysts and booksellers alike.

Tales from the Till reaches No 3 in Business Humour chart
Commenting on the news, head of publishing at TMB Books, Mrs Doreen Gray, said this was a proud day for TMB Books.  "Previously, the best we've been able to manage is No 97 in the Meat-based Humour chart.  Our decision to publish a 'tripe-lite' book has been fully vindicated," she said.

TMB chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle, congratulated author Bill Cawley on the achievement. "There's no doubt that by only mentioning tripe a couple of times, he has improved the chances of people buying his book.  I personally have bought 25 copies from Amazon as Christmas gifts for friends and family," he said.

Stoke Sentinel, 16 September 2014
Tales from the Till - a collection of over 300 wry, witty and moving observations on life from the other side of the supermarket checkout - has been garnering favourable reviews in the media after a successful launch event in Leek, Staffordshire on Sunday, and is also available on Kindle and from all good bookshops or direct from the publisher.

14 September 2014

Visit Leek!

The Tripe Marketing Board will today be visiting Leek, North Staffordshire, for the local launch of writer Bill Cawley's new book Tales from the Till.

The book - part of the TMB's new 'Tripe-Lite' strategy - brings together over 300 witty, wry and sometimes moving observations on life from the other side of the supermarket checkout. 

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Leek is apparently a pretty market town on the edge of the Peak National Park - a place of few pretensions which has seen a transformation over the last 40 years as many of the textile mills on which the town depended have closed. Most of the workforce of the town is reliant on low paid work and for many, life has been difficult in recent years.  I've never been before, so I am looking forward to spreading the word about tripe there later today".

The public launch will be held at 2pm at the Earl Grey pub.  Shortly before that, Mr Cawley can be heard on BBC Radio Stoke at 12 noon, talking about his new book.

"We hope as many people as possible will come along and support Bill - this is the first of what we hope will be many published by the TMB's publishing division, TMB Books," Sir Norman said.

Tales from the Till can be previewed here

12 September 2014

'Tripe-Lite' may be way forward for tripe industry says TMB chairman

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has hailed a new dawn for tripe, after results from the first few days of the TMB's 'tripe-lite' strategy showed an increase in sales.

Tripe-Lite - a new dawn for tripe?
"This is a new departure for us. We've been deliberately not mentioning tripe very much at all over the last few days and it seems to be paying dividends in terms of sales figures," Sir Norman said.  He was speaking at a meeting of the Parbold Ladies' Luncheon Club, ahead of tomorrow's visit by the TMB to Wigan.

Last week, the TMB's publishing arm, TMB Books, launched Tales from the Till by Bill Cawley, which mentions tripe only three times.  Sir Norman said that sales of both the print and Kindle version of the book had been "encouraging" and that it spelled "a new way forward for tripe".

Research by TMB Books suggested that merely mentioning tripe in passing was enough to pique people's interest.  "We don't have to stuff tripe down people's throats - we can let them discover it and savour it in myriad ways," Sir Norman told his audience.

Bill Cawley recently discussed his book on BBC Radio Cumbria, when he dismissed suggestions that his contractual obligation to mention tripe had hindered his writing, and he is due to appear on BBC Radio Stoke over the weekend.  Mr Cawley, who works in a supermarket in Leek, Staffordshire will be signing copies of his book at Wigan tomorrow.

10 September 2014

TMB Appoints Official Comedian

Tripe has taken a step closer to reclaiming the mantle of  Comedy Foodstuff of the Year after the Tripe Marketing Board today appointed its first ever official comedian.

Mr Paul Smith
In announcing the appointment of Merseysider Paul Smith to the honorary position, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said:  "The search for tripe's first Official Comedian was a long and arduous one, but I am pleased to say that we believe we have found a candidate who can help us stake our claim".

Mr Smith is a resident compere at the Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool.  During his tenure, he has promised to be an ambassador for tripe, and it is expected to feature prominently during his first solo appearance later this month.

Sir Norman also said it was time bananas looked to their laurels.  "Tripe has a history of being funny.  I was mortified when bananas beat us at last year's awards ceremony.  I'm looking to comedians like Paul to put us back on top!"

7 September 2014

TMB hails success of "weekend of tripe"

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman today hailed a weekend of tripe in the UK's media as a huge success after popular TV chef Gino D'Acampo sampled the historic Italian speciality of lampredotto on his Gino's Italian Escape: A Taste of the Sun programme shown on ITV on Friday and  BBC Radio 4's Food Programme featured an homage to tripe in Yorkshire, earlier today. 

Lampredotto is a popular Florentine street food made from cow's stomach, and Gino appeared to enjoy his tasting, despite his initial apprehension.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Sir Norman said: "Gino is an attractive TV personality and it will have done tripe no harm at all for the public to witness him relishing the dish."  But he warned against an impression created in the Food Programme that tripe sales were flourishing:  "It would be quite wrong to suggest that the modest success we've had in recent years means we should take our foot from the throttle.  Here at the TMB we will be redoubling our efforts to promote tripe," he said. 

Sir Norman said he was "mildly encouraged" by the reception given to the TMB's new book, Tales from the Till by Bill Cawley, which will be formally launched next weekend.  "Our publishing arm has previously focused almost exclusively on publishing books that mention tripe quite a lot," he said, "but focus groups have demonstrated that this may not be our best tactic."  Pre-launch sales of Tales from the Till showed that people had an appetite for reading books that only subliminally reference tripe, and the TMB would be studying tripe sales carefully to see what impact the new book might have.

Responding to critics who have accused the TMB of trying to force people to eat tripe,  Sir Norman said: "We're not saying everyone should be eating tripe every day - that would be ridiculous.  Once a week would be enough to stimulate sales".

5 September 2014

History of Tripe on Radio 4

Tripe lovers across Britain and the world are being advised to tune into BBC Radio 4 on Sunday to learn more about the part tripe has played in the cultural and food history of the UK.

Presenter Dan Saladino sets out to re-trace the footsteps of the legendary Derek Cooper who first charted the role tripe played in the development of the Yorkshire psyche in 1974.

The programme will be broadcast at 12.30pm on Sunday 7 September and is repeated on Monday 8 September at 3.30pm as a concession to those who dislike tripe and might otherwise be put off their Sunday lunch.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Tripe Marketing Board chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle, said: "I want to commend this programme to all those who love tripe.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to hear a preview, but I hope it brings the story bang up-to-date and that listeners aren't left with the impression that tripe sales are declining.  It is important to stress that they are not but, if they are, they are declining at a much slower rate than they would otherwise be without the work of agencies such as ours.  The last thing we want is some politician in Westminster thinking we're a prime candidate to be culled as part of some misguided 'efficiency savings' exercise".

Sir Norman said it was unfortunate that Dr Derek J Ripley's seminal work on the history of tripe, A Brief History of Tripe, was not yet ready for publication, as this would have aided Mr Saladino in his research.  "I understand from Dr Ripley that it is not far off being ready, but he is just checking some of the facts before presenting it to the board for their consideration," Sir Norman said.

Correction and Apology

In a previous post, we made reference to the fact that the Tripe Marketing Board's new Tripe Poet Laureate was 73 years old.

We are happy to acknowledge that this was an error and that Mr Jonathan Humble is not 73.  He is, however, the youngest person ever to hold the office of Tripe Poet Laureate.

4 September 2014

TMB appoints new Tripe Poet Laureate

The Tripe Marketing Board today appointed Mr Jonathan Humble as its new Tripe Poet Laureate.

Mr Jonathan Humble
The appointment follows the recent retirement of Nataya Ripley, who has been increasingly unwell and unable to attend engagements.

Mr Humble, who is 73, is an accomplished poet who performs his works regularly across the north west and elsewhere.  He is best-known for his seminal work The Tripe Hound Of Little Ormstonmere, which is reproduced by kind permission below.

An ex-lettuce picker and itinerant beard grower, he lists his hobbies as including beard growing and keeping the international coffee industry afloat with his patronage.

In making the appointment, TMB Sir Norman Wrassle said:  "Tripe has always played a key role in literature and the arts, including cinema, opera and West End musicals.  In Jonathan, we have someone who we are confident will wear the mantle of Tripe Poet Laureate with pride and distinction, and we look forward to many more tripe-based poems during his tenure."

Jonathan's first appearance in his new role will be on 13 September at Sprint Mill in Cumbria as part of C-Art, a festival of visual arts.  

"Sadly, I will not be able to see this performance myself as I am scheduled to be in Wigan that day for the Wigan Digger's Festival, but I wish Mr Humble every success.  What with our publication of Bill Cawley's new book, Tales from the Till and the performance later this month in Royston of Bill Tidy's Fosdyke Saga, this is shaping up to be an autumn of tripe and literature the like of which we've never seen before!" Sir Norman said.

The Tripe Hound Of Little Ormstonmere

Amongst the dark foreboding hills of ancient Lancashire,
The eerie howls rolled down the moors o'er misty peatland bogs,
To echo round the cobbled streets of Little Ormstonmere
And cause the good folk there to stare and shudder in their clogs.

For knew they well this howl from Hell and what it did portend,
And how great loss was wreaked upon the town in times long past,
When from the realms of Lucifer, the beast's leash did extend,
And Tripe Hound ran amok, to leave all mournful and aghast.

With sadness and reluctance moved the townsfolk to the square,
Each citizen a-burdened with a tribute to the feast,
Which lovingly they lay upon a table by the Mayor,
Who checked its weight would satisfy and sate the evil beast.

Then from the hills emerged the brute with eyes aflame and cruel,
As townsfolk scuttled off to hide behind their bolted doors
And leave a trough of tripe o'er which the Tripe Hound could now drool,
And scoff the lot, before it disappeared amongst the moors.

No morsel left for Little Ormstonmerians to eat,
The town would have to live on offal served up in a skin.
With tripe now gone, and plans postponed for all to be replete,
Black Pudding topped the carte de jour and stopped them getting thin.

Amongst the dark foreboding hills of ancient Lancashire,
Satanic howls can still be heard o'er misty peatland bogs,
And there behind locked doors the folk of Little Ormstonmere
Have cause enough to hide their tripe and shiver in their clogs.

3 September 2014

TMB publishes 99% tripe-free book

Tales from the Till
The Tripe Marketing Board has taken the unusual step of publishing its first relatively tripe-free book.

Tales from the Till brings together over 300 wry observations, witty anecdotes and social comments penned by supermarket checkout operator Bill Cawley.  Described as a 'one-man Mass Observation survey', it offers a unique insight into life in Britain in the early 21st century.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "I know there will be many in the tripe industry who are surprised at this move, but we have it on good authority that books which only mention tripe two or three times can stimulate sales of our product.

Bill Cawley
"It seems that people only have to see the word 'tripe' and it unlocks something in their subconscious."

Welcoming Bill Cawley to the stable of TMB books, Sir Norman said: "Bill has an impressive and engaging style.  Even though he barely mentions tripe, I commend this book to you."

Tales from the Till is also available on Kindle for people who don't like books or who would prefer to pay only £2.99.  It will be launched at the Wigan Diggers Festival on 13 September.

2 September 2014

TMB commissions independent inquiry

Sir Norman Wrassle
The Tripe Marketing Board has commissioned an independent inquiry into allegations that it was involved in price-fixing of the wholesale tripe market in 2011.  The allegations, which first surfaced in Offal Monthly last year, have always been strenuously denied by the board.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Despite the ludicrous nature of these allegations, it is important that we restore confidence in tripe at a time when there are encouraging signs that sales are improving.  We need to bring an outside perspective to bear on the matter, so I have asked Mr Timothy Flaxton-Buoys to lead the review."

Mr Flaxton-Buoys is an independent tripe consultant who formerly held senior roles in management in tripe and at the Bolton Opera House.

"It is imperative that we are seen to be doing something and by commissioning this inquiry now it will hopefully take the spotlight off us for a while and there will be no need for any other similar investigations by outside bodies," Sir Norman said.

1 September 2014

TMB denies claims of doubling in sales

The Tripe Marketing Board has moved swiftly to deny media reports that sales of tripe have more than doubled during the summer.

The unattributed claims were published in the September issue of  Offal Monthly, which also ran an editorial suggesting that the Tripe Marketing Board was deliberately keeping a low profile amid fears that it could be abolished if it was seen to have been too successful.
Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at a meeting of the Westhaughton Ladies Circle on Saturday, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle dismissed the reports as "speculative nonsense", and told the gathering: "While there is some indication that tripe is becoming more popular, we have no evidence of a huge rise in sales and it would be quite wrong to claim such an increase at this stage."

Responding to the Offal Monthly article, Sir Norman said: "It's quite wrong to suggest we are worried we might go the way of our colleagues in the Milk Marketing Board. Tripe and milk are two very different products - despite the fact that they come from the same animal.  Even in our heyday, we were never able to arrange daily deliveries of tripe to households all across Britain."

Interim sales figures for the summer period have not yet been collated, but Sir Norman said he was "mildly encouraged" by the success of recent marketing initiatives.  "I'm not giving away any secrets when I say that our 'Autumn of Tripe and Literature' is designed to build on our advances," he said.