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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Goodbye Mustardland

The Archers

Just a word to say that I feel saddened by yesterday's news that the BBC is closing the Archers Messageboard down. It has been much more than just The Archers, it has become a means of help, fellowship, advice, amusement, friendship to many.

My memory goes back to about the year 2000, the background was blue then and my daughter, known as Groovy Pixie, introduced me to this lovely new world where people rarely used their real names, were often more open about problems, worries, doubts than they would be in real life. One of the boards, The Village Hall, was a support service for everything from health, addiction, family problems to cats, whereas The Bull was more lighthearted, one could find views on Remoskas, the right way round to hang loo rolls, Marmite, whether napkins or serviettes along with consumer and car advice. There has been romance, marriages between people who would not have met without ML.

The random acts of kindness of comparative strangers, known only by their posting names is legendary, one was helped to be by the bedside of a dying parent by relative strangers; a cat was transported from the northern regions of our land to East Anglia. Some one volunteered to drive the new owner to meet the cat and its staff way up north at a service station where the handover was made. We found a recommendation for a MOT garage for daughter from someone in Mustardland. The sadness of death of posters have met with help of all kinds, I do wonder how many other people have marigolds in their garden in memory of someone called Marigold who they would never meet in real life?

Meets were organised, my first was in Kew Gardens, the unintended consequences  of which was that Ian and I became Friends of Kew. At that meet, I met a Mum who lives two roads from me, I used to see her taking her son to school some thirty years ago, we discovered she is a friend of a former colleague, another poster at one time which is how I learnt that the company from whom I had been made redundant was being gobbled up by a big international.

A central London meet was organised, on a Saturday in February one may see a crowd of people meeting at noon on the Wobbly Bridge before ambling to Tate Modern or in some years, the Royal Festival Hall, to eat cake, chat and maybe view the art work before scattering to either the Anchor or other watering and eating establishments. One couple come from Flyover country for the meet, just spending a few days in London for this event.

Of course there is a board to Discuss the Archers, given the dire and unbelievable story lines maybe the Beeb cannot take the criticism any more but new unmoderated sites are being established so PixieMum may go there. I may even choose a new moniker, but I like being Groovy Pixie's Mum.


  1. I feel your pain, Madeleine. I'm not a member of the Archers' message board, but I belong to a very few small internet forums and know how close the relationships between members can become and the shock when one of them closes or even threatens to close. I do hope you can find another place where you can meet and feel comfortable.

  2. Ah! So now I understand why you are PixieMum! I hope you find a new unmoderated Mustardland home.