Mark Andrews on Saturday: Plastic ice cream, inclusive lager, hooligan cyclists, and the killjoys stealing our summer

Read the latest column from Mark Andrews.

No more sitting by the river outside the Mug House at Bewdley
No more sitting by the river outside the Mug House at Bewdley

Bosses at Dutch lager brand Grolsch are incandescent after adverts for its rather unlovely product appeared on the populist new television news station GB News.

A spokesman for the brand said he would 'do whatever he could' to ensure that the adverts never appeared on the station.

“Grolsch is a brand that prides itself on core values of inclusion and openness to all people," he added rather priggishly.

Hmmm. I'm not entirely convinced 'inclusion' and 'openness' are the 'core values' of the average Grolsch drinker. Particularly after 14 bottles, when their team has lost due to a dubious VAR decision.

Boffins at Edinburgh University have devised a process of turning waste plastic bottles into vanilla flavouring. According to The Guardian, it will 'make recycling more attractive'.

It will probably cut obesity, too. After all, who is going to want a 99, knowing it might taste of recycled milk bottles?

One of the great joys of summer in the West Midlands is whiling away sunny days by the River Severn with a pint of real ale. Or maybe a refreshing glass of white wine, if you're feeling cosmopolitan.

It is a pleasure that has been enjoyed by thousands outside the delightful Mug House pub in Bewdley over the past 20 years, and as far as I recall, entirely without incident.

Until now. This summer, council officials have banned seating outside the Mug House on safety grounds, lest a slow-moving taxi ploughs into the punters, or maybe the dustcart turns the area into a disaster movie while emptying the bins.

These people really know how to brighten up our lives, don't they?

On the other hand, one waterside 'nanny state' measure that I totally approve of is the plan to introduce an 8mph speed limit for cyclists along canal towpaths.

Having spent the past few weeks walking along our waterways as part of my recovery from a heart attack, I have lost count of the number of times I have been forced to move out the way for some would-be Lance Armstrong treating the towpath like his personal velodrome.

Usually wearing a wedge-shaped hat and strange reflective sunglasses making them look like a giant hornet, the closest these people ever come to courtesy is to aggressively ring their bell in a 'move out the way, I'm more important than you' sort of manner.

Something clearly needs to be done about these hooligans. But the problem with an 8mph speed limit is how do you enforce it? Knowing the way the authorities in this country operate, I suppose they'll probably paint little white lines along the towpath, and install speed cameras on every bridge to dish out the fines. And if that doesn't work, the police could hide in narrowboats with blacked-out windows, cunningly concealed behind the trees.

Having thought about this for, well about 30 seconds, I've got a better idea – speed-activated stingers. Imagine, one minute the Lycra louts are bombing along the towpath without a thought for anyone, the next they are doing an Evel Knievel straight into the drink. What's not to like?

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