Anorak News | Gin The Tonic

Gin The Tonic

by | 10th, April 2006

‘LONDON has bridges. Melton Mowbray has pork pies. Cellardyke has bird flu. And Slough? Slough, that soulless part of Berkshire, is memorable for its smell.


And now we know what the stench is, or at least what makes up one of its constituent parts. The Telegraph says between 2001 and 2005, more than 994 tons of hand-rolling tobacco and 8.3 billion cigarettes have been burnt in an industrial incinerator in the town.

And this is, apparently, a big secret. Or it was. The Telegraph begins its expose on what happens to the tobacco and drink seized by Customs by telling us that this is “one of the country’s best-kept secrets”.

A tanker rolls up to Stourhead House, Wiltshire, and the writer invites the reader to wonder about its contents. Is it “illicit nuclear or chemical waste”?

What about a consignment of Chinese immigrants? Or is it a sinister new twist on those CIA ghost planes, which allegedly spirit suspected terrorists in and out of Blighty?

No. It’s booze. The container the Telegraph watches arrive holds 5,500 gallons of cider. And there is a lot more of it. Over the aforesaid period, Customs turned more than 3.7 million gallons of beer, wine and spirits into pig feed and fertiliser.

Rob Bolton, a spokesman from Bale, which oversees the booze-to-fertiliser scheme, explains: ‘We blend the waste to create a cocktail of the right nutrients and then match this to the requirements of a particular crop.”

He continues: “In this field the crop is maize, and the cider waste is particularly good for maize because it is high in nitrogen and potassium.” And then there are the peas.

But why not go further and give the booze to gardeners facing up to the hosepipe ban? Not to drink, but to water the plants with.

The grass might still die off, but with sufficient lashings of creme de menthe, it will at least retain its green colour…’

Posted: 10th, April 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink