Welcome to Totnes Monster

Nobody endorses anyone, regardless, here’s his thoughts: Chris Mockridge


Everyday sexism, but rare on Drive Thru

Just had the MOST astonishing conversation with Daniel on Mc Donalds drive through. He asked me whether the happy meal was for a boy, or a girl.

picture of mc donalds hot wheels racer

His and hers?

I wondered why?
He told me it was because they have toys for boys and toys for girls.
I told him my child’s gender was irrelevant and asked what toys they had.
He asked again after a heavy sigh, via the intercom, IS IT FOR A BOY OR A GIRL?
He wasn’t going to budge on this one.
At the next window, he told me that children need to have gender ‘strongly enforced’.
I told him that you don’t need a penis to appreciate cars, and sometimes my boy likes to wear pink dresses.
He told me that I was pushing a gay agenda, but that he is simply acting in accordance with God’s Will as taught to mankind via the Bible.

I asked him if he was working in accordance with the Mc Donalds policy.
He told me that the managers had spoken to him about this issue, and he grinned from ear to ear ‘they aren’t going to sack me’.
He told me that children need to be raised as sexual beings with strong gender roles. I told him that HE was pursuing an agenda. If you need specific genitals in order to play properly with these toys, I reasoned, then they are not children’s toys.
His manager saw things my way, Daniel was in the office before I even reached the front counter.
The incident has got me pondering Mc Donalds position on this. On the one hand they cannot be caught making a religious employee behave against their religion. On the other, they cannot be seen to tolerate Daniel’s bigotry, everyone loves to hate Mc Donalds, how will they respond?

While I ponder this, has anyone got a copy of the gay agenda? I must have missed the meeting.

Mat Price on Growing up Gay

Mat Price – Proud2Be – gender stereotyping, growing up, sexual abuse by Christopher Mockridge on Mixcloud

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this programme

you might like to visit the Proud2Be website.

Civic Hall packed to hear of Duke’s plans

Nearly three hundred people gathered yesterday to hear how the Duke of Somerset’s building ambitions will close the last remaining dairy farm in Totnes.

The Duke was welcomed, but in his absence only Friends of Great Court Farm gave a presentation, in which we outlined concerns about Totnes traffic, which is set to increase already. The notorious True Street Corner was a focus of attention, as well the ‘rat run effect’ of motorists avoiding Brdgetown Hill, all of which must pass St John Primary school. Traffic from the proposed estate can only add.

You can listen again to the presentation, download it as a podcast or watch it on the video below

YouTube Preview Image

Find out why this meeting was more significant than the Duke’s own consultation here. Follow the Friends of Great Court Farm on Facebook and Twitter.

Full disclosure: I am a member of Friends of Great Court Farm


The extraordinary life of photographer Robert Davidson

Most famous for photographing Frank Zappa on the toilet, Robert Davidson talks openly about the horrors of war, how he’ll follow a woman anywhere and why he isn’t rich yet.


The Life and Photographs of Robert Davidson by Christopher Mockridge on Mixcloud

The Duke’s A Hazard

He counted the bats and missed the people.

When the Duke of Somerset hired PCL Planning to get permission for a lucrative housing estate, he may well have been impressed by the boxes they ticked. Bat count, Check! Archaeologist Report, Check! Public Consultation, Check!

berry pomeroy turning totnes duke a hazard

Click image to view junction in Google Maps

Fair enough they set to work counting bats and have produced a plan featuring a ‘Bat Corridor’, they have even produced a plan for closing access to certain roads to minimise accidents. All very sensible stuff. They even held a ‘public consultation exercise’ for all of 52 people and produced graphs and charts to help us understand the responses they received. One of their displays can be seen below. It is significant because it contains one fatal error. PCL missed several road accidents but the omission of Mark Chapman’s death in 2012 is not only deeply insensitive, it tells us more about the Duke. He isn’t in touch with local issues but he is relying on out-of-date information.

The PCL website is down. So let’s look at the timing.

Two years ago the ‘Batman’ arrived outside my home, naturally it was dusk. He warned me that on this particular night there would be a Bat Watcher right outside my bathroom window. It was a good job I met him, because within hours I was stood naked taking a pee in front of the bathroom window. I nearly died of fright to see a man sat looking right at me, taking notes.

And then I thought isn’t that nice! A Bat Count! They’re out there doing something nice for bats…

It wasn’t until the Duke made his plan public that I realised the Batmen were gathering evidence for his case: The housing estate ‘Great Court Farm‘. His plan is to build on land currently taken up with farm buildings on a fourth generation Totnes dairy. In fact his plan involves only building on the infrastructure of the farm, nowhere else on the whole 450 acres. Indeed, nowhere else on his reported 5500 acres. Just on the dairy, cowsheds and nursery paddock of Great Court Farm. He likes bats but is clearly lactose intolerant.

Herein lies the heart of the matter. He isn’t attempting to evict the farmers. He’s evicting the cows. No sheds, no parlour, equals no cows. Without cows, or barns for storing grain, the farmers will surely leave. They won’t be the last to go… Without the slurry produced by the herd, and the insects it attracts, the bats will leave too. There will be nothing to use the special bat corridor. Alas, there will be plenty using the rat runs…


Road deaths berry pomeroy turning

See those two green ‘stars’ on the left? The Duke has omitted five green stars and sadly one red one.

The collection of stars on the right of the picture is what locals call ‘THE Berry Pomeroy Turning‘, it is the turning that leads to Berry Pomeroy, centre of one of the Duke’s two English estates. The junction is an accident black spot owing to the speed of traffic flowing on the A358 Totnes to Paignton, and the volume of traffic coming through Berry Pomeroy, joining the A358 from a standing start. The only thing the Berry drivers share with the fast flowing traffic they join is limited visibility. It’s a sharp, blind, fast corner junction right next to the proposed estate. It needs no more traffic, yet more traffic is already on the way.

Totnes Traffic at standstill berry pomeroy duke of somerset


Four housing estates have planning permission within a couple of miles of Great Court Farm (1234). None have yet been built.

I’m not calling for the proposed housing estate to be scrapped. I’m not even calling for any changes to the proposed Bat Corridor (even if it’s a red herring). I’m calling for a risk assessment after the other four estates have been built.

You counted the bats, Duke, but you missed the cars. Horribly, you also missed the people. It’s time to pause, only then can we count the traffic.