Review:Improved Relations between Mrs Conner and Mrs Franks (at the expense of Relations with Mrs Foster)

Pictured: Mrs Franks and Mrs Conner are just living their lives, irregardless of what anyone else says.

What’s being tested?

The ramifications of the increasingly cordial relationship between one Mrs Eileen Conner of 32 Shoesbank Road,  and one Mrs Beatrice ‘Bea’ Franks of 47 Camberwick Lane, with the impact of said union on the relationship between the aforementioned parties and one Mrs Norma Paula Foster of 46 Shoesbank Road also on test.

What we found

Pros: Mrs Conner and Mrs Franks are figureheads of two of the largest preserve production committees on the east side of the village of Thimblin, Yorkshire. Tensions between these two groups have been especially high of late, with a technically illegal Elderberry pick on the outskirts of the community hall bringing things to a knife edge. If this new alliance were to be successful, our testers believe that violent disturbances would decrease by as much as 12% in the area, and preserve production would see an increase, in the long term, of almost three times the regular amount. It would also serve to increase the pressure on Mrs Foster’s once dominant Community Preserve Alliance, which has seen a reduction in membership as a result of stringent production levies, as well as enforced standardisations of sugar content and packaging clipart and typefaces.

Our testers also found that the relationship between Mrs Franks and Mrs Foster had become stagnant and repetitive, with both ladies already coming to know what to expect from one another, both in terms of local information and the informed social commentary that such information generates.  Additionally, Mrs Conner knows how to use the internet, and would be glad to show Mrs Franks how to use it too, unlike Mrs Conner, who always makes such a big deal about how much she paid to go on that Adult Learning IT course last November.


Cons: The act of creating a larger Preserve Committee from smaller existing ones is well documented as a recipe for trouble. Significant degrees of chatting and informal networking (usually through the shared knowledge of popular community anecdotes, lubricated by charity coffee mornings) are necessary before the new Committee can efficiently operate. This influx in new members increases the desire for whimsical distractions, such as largely inaccurate biblical re-enactments performed by reluctant local schoolchildren, fish supper evenings, and daylight coach-trip raids on other more picturesque villages. Preserve production is known to drop off significantly as a result of these distractions, at least in the short term.

We also found that the alliance between Mrs Conner and Mrs Franks was still very much in its infancy, with only 27 days of the usual 6 week settling in period having been effectively served. As such, Mrs Conner still remains largely unaware of Mrs Franks’ starkly outmoded opinions on individuals from other countries, as well as her alleged affair with a travelling piano tuner from a village in the neighbouring county.

The isolation of Mrs Foster will also make this summer’s Rainbow Colours flower pageant almost unbearably tense, and Shoesbank Road is effectively untraversable, what with Mrs Foster always obviously being behind her curtains despite her best efforts to make it look like she isn’t. Our testers also noted that the market demand for Raspberry scones in Thimblin will suffer as a result of the collapse in relations between Mrs Franks and Mrs Foster, what with both women having enjoyed them every Tuesday and Friday mornings together since they were only so high.


We found that enough precendents exist to show how this situation will most likely resolve itself – as in the cases of Mrs’ Fletcher, Fletcher, Bowson and Hightower (1979), Mrs’ Berwick and Irons (1983), Mrs’ Parsons, Bailey and Sniplett (1985), and Mrs’ Pollyworth, Sadler and Brown (1996), things will sort themselves out eventually. Our testers felt that, on balance, this will all blow over, and is, in effect, a lot of silly old nonsense. However, they felt it best to mention that, if the current shift in relationships between the featured women were to continue, both the village’s preserve production and its famed community fundraising calendar could experience lows not seen since the local Inn, The Cat’s Arms, closed for refurbishment for a fortnight in 1991.