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One Scoop Or Two?

In a wholly unexpected scoop, can reveal that the much-anticipated Sydling St Nicholas Sun's Minterne Magna Mountaineering Society scoop has been scooped by rival paper - The Mappowder Mirror. The Sydling St Nicholas-based Sun had announced yesterday that it would be publishing a number of recently re-discovered Cecile Threadbone Photographic Studios photographs of the ill-fated 1926 assault on Lewesdon Hill [279 metres (915 ft)]. The special pull-out supplement to the paper's Monday edition was designed to boost sales which have fallen significantly following the CONTRIK-69-related disappearance of its normal Monday Sports Special. However, editor Ron Nasty woke this morning to find that The Mappowder Mirror had beaten him to it. "We thought we had an exclusive", Mr Nasty said, "but those bastards at the West Bexington Folk Museum have double-crossed us".

Today's Mappowder Mirror has scooped a scoop from under the noses of rival The Sydling St Nicholas Sun.

Following the recent CONTRIK-69 related closure of West Bexington-based Threadisnaps [formerly The Cecile Threadbone Photographic Studios est.1896], the company's historic archive of local portraits and landscape photographs was acquired by the West Bexington-based Museum which is desperately seeking funding to pay for the refurbishment of its crumbling premises and in particular the two rooms in which the precious photographic records are to be housed and, eventually, exhibited. It is believed that Museum staff encouraged a bidding war between the two newspapers in an attempt to extract the maximum fee.

Expert photographic fee negotiator Onli-Wan Koppie says that, despite "the incalculable and frankly inexplicable impact of CONTRIK-69 on photographic fees", the value of the Minterne Magna Mountaineering Society [MMMS] photographs is likely to have increased significantly once it was realised [a] that one of the images provides evidence that at least one member of the party may have made it to the top - an assertion contrary to the hitherto established historical record and [b] that at least one member of the party attempted the ascent completely naked. Though the identity of the two men in question is as yet unconfirmed it is suggested that Minterne Magna Mountaineering Society Chairman Launceston Thrupiece [great uncle to the missing presumed disappeared Professor Brian Thrupiece] may have been the man who made it to the top but omitted to plant any flag, whilst the naked climber may have been well known Dorset naturist and intrepid climber Ivor Bigge-Todger.

Members of the 1926 climbing group captured shortly before leaving base camp. They are [LEFT to RIGHT] Unknown [possibly Iris Entwhistle, Launceston Thrupiece and the well-loaded Ivor Bigge-Todger

Mr Bigge-Todger "on another occasion". "He was always at it - half way up, half way down, it was all the same to him".

Current Minterne Magna Mountaineering Society [MMMC] Chair, Dorothea Fell-Walker, declined to be drawn on the veracity of today's Mappowder Mirror exclusive but confirmed that Mr Bigge-Todger was famous in the Society's history as a man who "liked to let it all hang out". She went on to express some surprise, however, that there might be an image in existence which proved that Launceston Thrupiece had made it to the top. "Not only were conditions treacherous on that bright, still and warm summer morning", she said, "making it unlikely that anyone as experienced as Launceston would even contemplate a final assault; but he was notorious for forgetting to put film in his camera. Even when he did, he often achieved very poor results and, in his anxiety to get them off to the chemist's for development, often wasted whatever was left on the roll on non-mountaineering subjects - frequently close-ups of Mr Bigge-Todger. We have quite a few of those in our own archive, but not many of mountains and even fewer taken from on top".

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