WHILE the chances of USA President Barack Obama visiting the tiny Cambridgeshire village of Stapleford – according to news reports, his family’s newly discovered ancestral home – maybe slimmer than an RBS clerk’s career prospects, the good people of the quiet backwater village should be prepared for an invasion of unfamiliar faces.
Right now, this very minute, there are high-level discussions taking place in newsrooms in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago about which reporter will be dispatched to Stapleford, four miles South of Cambridge city, to dig up a story or two on the new Pres.
Stapleford, I guarantee you, will not know what has hit it.
Expect interviews on CNN with Percy, the local plasterer whose great, great, great grandad once danced with the ex-girlfriend of Obama’s ancestral grandfather.
Expect revelations that , shock horror, one of Barack’s ancestor’s spent the night in the local police station cell after drinking himself into a stupor and being discovered unconscious and dressed in nothing but a pink silk basque outside the village pub.
Or, for readers of those two fine American tabloid tomes – The National Enquirer and the New York Post – expect headlines proclaiming ‘Ely Obama – The Truth About the Cambridge Werewolf!’.
God only knows what our Yankee cousins will make of the Wandlebury Ring. It is, in fact, an Iron Age hill fort, originally built in the third century B.C., but rebuilt with a double bank in the first century A.D.
It’s gold dust for the American tabloid journos though.
The Werewolf of Wandlebury Ring – it will star Jamie Foxx as Ely Obama and Alan Rickman as the evil lord who refuses to let him marry the local vicar’s daughter –played, of course, by Kate Winslet. There’ll also be an ensemble cast featuring assorted American actresses with the best plumby English accents.
Stapleford is home to three pubs; The Rose, The Longbow and The Tree, St Andrews church, a primary school, several garages, two hairdressers, allotments, a Sunday League football team and several farms.
It’s got a pub called the Longbow – so Robin Hood must have been a regular guest, or at least that’s what the Americans will be telling the world.
What is about to befall Stapleford happened a few years ago to a tiny village in the Scottish Highlands called Dornoch.
Dornochians were very happy with their two pubs, local church and village shop and the laid back pace of their everyday lives.
Then Madonna decided to get married to Brit director Guy Ritchie at their church. All hell broke loose.
Half of America booked into the area’s two hotels and, seemingly, every house in the village became a B&B overnight to accommodate the growing list of top American media commentators desperate to comment on the showbiz wedding of the year.
The local general store made a killing – they ordered in a huge run of aluminium ladders and sold out as photographers paid ridiculous prices to get the best viewpoint for the moment when the newly married Mr & Mrs Madonna left the church.
Will life in Stapleford, Cambridgeshire, ever be quite the same again?
By Adam Moss, News Editor