Getting into the swing for New Year

WHO would have believed it? Baldock, of all places. It used to be known for its weekly market and the annual fair in October, held shortly before the funfair people with their bronzed faces from being out in the sun all summer packed up for a winter s res

WHO would have believed it? Baldock, of all places.

It used to be known for its weekly market and the annual fair in October, held shortly before the funfair people with their bronzed faces from being out in the sun all summer packed up for a winter's rest.

And then there was the one big thing which kept Baldock from being a quiet little backwater of a town - all that traffic thundering through it.

The problem went on for many years, of course, and diverting the A1 traffic from the town centre onto a bypass helped ease it for a while.


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But the number of cars and lorries still trundling through soon built up the problem to its previous proportions.

Then came the northern bypass taking away all those vehicles going to and from the east coast and the A1(M). And so quietness returned.

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But now we learn that traffic of a different kind has been brightening up the life of the town.

And not many people knew - or admitted to knowing - what was going on.

I'm sure that it will come as a surprise to most inhabitants of Comet country that a swingers' club has been meeting in Baldock for around three years.

All sorts of naked cavorting goes on there, apparently. These sessions are open to non-members but all those attending must be pre-registered and be on the attendance list. So there is a measure of control.

The club meets in a naturists' health spa for members only. So still not much reason for public concern.

But the spa also offers a massage service which is open to non-members.

And now the spa owner wants to have a licence to sell alcohol on the premises, a move opposed by the police because they think it could make the place a magnet for males out on stag nights and pub crawls.

I have a feeling that - whether or not there is booze available on the premises - it could well become a big draw for likely lads now that word has got out.

Talking about energetic pursuits, I note that the I'm-going-to-get-fit mood which engulfs the country at the start of every new year is in full swing.

Yes, everyone is joining the gym. Well, not everyone. I've plumped up the cushions in my favourite armchair, opened a nice bottle of wine and flipped on the TV while I wait to see just how many of those people who made resolutions so zealously on January 1 are still feeling the burn by the end of March.

Talking about pumping, have official excuses not reached a new depth in Hitchin where owners are complaining about their shops being flooded regularly in Bridge Street.

It is at the bottom of the steep Hitchin Hill which has many trees and the drains have become blocked.

Why not just unblock them? The county council acknowledge the problem, and say it was going to order a jetting machine to do the job.

But then it counted the number of its future pennies and decided there would not be enough in the budget to buy the machine. But it will do "at the earliest opportunity".

Any entrepreneur out there who fancies opening a wellies shop?

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