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Authors: Terry Ravenscroft

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I haven't got canning facilities of course, but the old salmon tin I have put it in has been thoroughly sterilised in Milton, before re-sealing the tin lid with superglue, so you have nothing to fear on the health front.

 

My family and I plan to visit your Visitor Centre on the 23rd of May, and your factory the following day, all being well. By then you and Ena Baxter will have had the chance to sample Cock-of-Puddings and evaluate it. Indeed I will be very surprised if you're not producing it in vast quantities in one of your huge kettles by then. Whereabouts is you office, I'll drop in on you?

 

Incidentally, the expression 'to die for', which I told you was used by Laura Barker to describe Cock-of-Pudding, proved to be a little unfortunate, as two days later she dropped dead. But I'm quite sure it had nothing to do with the pudding.

 

My regards to you.

 

Yours faithfully

 

T Ravenscroft (Mr)

 

 

 

****

 

BAXTERS

 

9 May

Reference : 20517

Mr Ravenscroft

17 Lingland Road

New Mills

Cheshire

 

Dear Mr Ravenscroft

 

Thank you for your most recent letter about your Cock of Puddings. The sample which you kindly returned to us had deteriorated in the post and I am sure you would appreciate our reluctance to taste it.

 

Finally, I do hope you enjoy your visit to the factory in May. Unfortunately I will be away on holiday in the USA that week, but I am sure that the Visitor Centre staff will ensure your visit is most enjoyable.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Miss M Macpherson

Quality Audit Manager

 

****

 

17 Lingland Road

New Mills

CHESHIRE

 

11th May

Your ref 20517

Miss M Macpherson

Quality Audit Manager

Baxter's of Speyside Ltd

Fochabers

 

Dear Miss Macpherson

 

Coward.

 

Yours faithfully

 

T Ravenscroft (Mr)

 

****

 

17 Lingland Road

New Mills

CHESHIRE

 

31
st
March

 

Spam

Thetford

Norfolk

Dear Spam

About a month ago I at last took the plunge, bought myself a computer, and became a Silver Surfer (actually I am a bald surfer but I believe Silver Surfer is the name that has been conferred upon old age pensioner computer owners).

With the computer and internet connection came email, which I find very handy. One thing I don’t find very handy is all the unsolicited email I am now receiving. Up to fifty messages a day and increasing daily. A younger friend who has been surfing for some time and has experience in these matters tells me that this unwanted mail is called Spam.

Which is the reason I am writing to you. Just what is your game? I can’t for the life of me think why you should want to do this, except to make money. Why can’t you people at Spam be satisfied doing what you are good at, i.e. making excellent chopped pork and ham luncheon meat, and stop sending people messages they don’t want? The other day I had one asking me if I wanted to buy an inflatable rubber woman! Not only was this disgusting but at £11.90 it was very poor value too.

Kindly remove my name of your mailing list at once.

Yours sincerely

T Ravenscroft (Mr)

****

SPAM up for the taste

 

Mr T Ravenscroft

17 Lingland Road

New Mills

CHESHIRE

 

11 April

 

Dear Mr Ravenscroft

 

Thank you for your letter of 31 March regarding Spam. We would like to assure you that we are not responsible for the SPAM mail you have been receiving during your email.

 

Spam mail is defined by the University of Glasgow as:-

 


unsolicited, or ‘junk’ email that is analogous to unwanted circulars that are received in paper mail.”

 

and is in no way linked with our company. If you wish to prevent unsolicited emails there are many different methods available on the internet to prevent such mail that can be found via an internet search.

 

Whilst you are on the internet you may wish to visit our site at
www.spam-uk.com
where you will find lots of real SPAM information, comments and recipes.

 

I hope this information is of use to you and would like to thank you for your interest in our brand.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Stuart Neal

Technical Assistant.

 

****

17 Lingland Road

New Mills

CHESHIRE

 

14
th
April

 

Stuart Neil

Technical Assistant

Spam

Thetford

Dear Stuart Neal

Ref your reply to my letter of 31 March.

Do I feel a fool! Thanks for putting me right. Thanks also for pointing me in the direction of your very interesting and informative website, on which I spent a pleasant half-hour or so this morning (after I had got rid of yesterday’s Spam). I shall certainly be trying your Stinky French Garlic Spam, which sounds like heaven to a garlic lover like me.

In fact your informing me of your website has solved a little problem I had vis-à-vis my other half. Her birthday is coming up very shortly and as usual I didn’t know what to get her. I do now. A pair of your Spam Earrings, price £9.50. I have sent for a pair and can’t wait to see her face when I give them to her.

Yours sincerely

T Ravenscroft (Mr)

 

****

 

17 Lingland Road

New Mills

CHESHIRE

 

28
th
April

 

Stuart Neil

Technical Assistant

Spam

Thetford

 

Dear Stuart Neal

Further to my letter of 14
th
April.

The Spam earrings arrived just in time for my wife’s birthday, and very nice they were too. She said that she liked them as much as she likes Spam, which is quite a lot, but thanks all the same but she didn’t want them as she has several friends who are vegetarians and if she were to wear the Spam earrings in their company it wouldn’t be in very good taste.

I was therefore left with a pair of Spam earrings on my hands. However, so that they wouldn’t be a complete waste of money I decided to open them and have the Spam on a sandwich. Imagine my surprise when on opening up the little tins I found them to be more or less solid metal with not a trace of Spam inside!

This is quite beyond the pale. I realise they are only earrings but they are Spam earrings and as such should contain Spam in them. And now they can’t even be used as earrings as I ruined them beyond repair trying to get the non-existent Spam out.

I would be interested in your observations and my money back.

Yours sincerely

T Ravenscroft (Mr)

 

NO REPLY!

 

****

 

17 Lingland Road

New Mills

CHESHIRE

 

19th March

 

McVities

Admail 827

Fakenham

Norfolk

 

Dear McVities

 

I'm afraid that I have a rather serious complaint to make about one of your vegetarian products. I’m a vegetarian and yesterday I purchased a packet of your Linda McCartney Deep Country Pies from my local supermarket, and later heated them up for supper along with some oven chips, for my three children and myself. I have to report that in at least one of the pies, the pie eaten by me, was a quantity of meat. It is difficult to believe that with a pie whose ingredients already include water, wheatflour, vegetable oil, onion, rehydrated soya protein concentrate, vegetarian seasoning, modified starch, wheat protein, soya flour, salt, malt extract and sodium, that there would be any room left in it for meat, but meat in it there was. There could very well have been meat in the other three pies as well, but unfortunately my children had eaten them before I had the chance to check. (The speed with which my children dispatched the pies would suggest that they did indeed contain meat, since they are reluctant vegetarians at best, and anything put before them with meat in it tends to go down their throats without touching the sides.)

 

Needless to say I am very disappointed in your 'vegetarian' pies and certainly won't be buying any more.

 

I would like your comments on this as I may decide to take the matter further with the appropriate authorities.

 

Yours faithfully

 

T Ravenscroft (Mr)

 

****

 

McVities

 

 

Our Ref: CW0064

 

8 April

Mr Ravenscroft

17 Lingland Road

New Mills

Cheshire

 

Dear Mr Ravenscroft

 

I write further to your letter dated the 1st April, regarding your complaint of a recent purchase of our Linda McCartney Deep Country Pies, which you believe contained meat. On behalf of the Company I would like to apologise for the upset and the inconvenience that you have been caused.

 

I would like to assure you that the products in our range are produced in a factory in Norfolk, which is totally dedicated to the Linda McCartney range and no other products are made there. The factory is totally meat free and the staff canteen is also totally vegetarian as no meat is allowed on site. This new factory took in a number of environmentally friendly issues during building, eg, uses ozone-friendly ammonia refrigerants, catalytic converters and natural gas.

 

A number of our products including the Deep Country Pies contain Textured Vegetable Protein which, not only looks like meat, but also has a similar taste. This is a meat substitute, ideal for Vegetarians, who, whilst liking the taste and texture of meat, are against the slaughter of animals.

 

The factory Technical Manager at the production unit concerned has assured me that controls within the factory are very strict: and the staff are fully aware on the handling of vegetarian products.

 

I hope I have allayed your fears, as all of our vegetarian customers are very important to us. We would have liked the opportunity to discuss this matter further with you over the telephone and are sorry that you feel you are unable to phone us, however if you would like someone to phone on your behalf we will gladly discuss this matter with them for you. It would also be useful to know if there is any remaining product available so that we can have it analysed to help put your mind at ease.

 

Once again I would like to thank you for the time and trouble you have taken to contact us about your complaint and I look forward to hearing from you, a stamped addressed envelope is enclosed for your convenience.

 

Assuring you of our best attention at all times.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mrs Angie Wilding

Customer Care Department

 

****

 

17 Lingland Road

New Mills

CHESHIRE

 

10th April

Your ref CW0064

 

Angie Wilding

McVitie's Prepared Foods

Ross House

Grimsby

 

Dear Angie Wilding

 

Thank you for your very informative letter of 8th April. Having read it I feel that I could almost start up a vegetarian products factory myself! You are to be congratulated on making textured vegetable protein both resemble and taste like meat. It would fool Desperate Dan himself. It certainly fooled me!

 

On reflection I think I may have been guilty of pre-judging your Linda McCartney Deep Country Pies. Before I became a veggie I was convinced that most people benefited from a bit of meat inside them now and again, as my wife would concur, but I am now convinced that Linda's pies are a more than adequate substitute. They certainly must have benefited Paul McCartney – would he have been able to pen such a classic as ‘The Frog Chorus’ if he was still a meat eater? I doubt it very much.

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