20 April 2018

Stuart Wrassle could be next TMB chairman says TMB chairman

Sir Norman Wrassle
Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has appealed to board members to appoint his son, Stuart Wrassle, to succeed him as their head.

Speaking at a meeting of tripe industry leaders earlier today, he said it was his "sincere wish" that Stuart takes over "one day", as he unveiled plans for a Summer of Sun & Tripe campaign to promote al fresco tripe dining.

The role of chairman is not hereditary and will not pass automatically to his son on Sir Norman's death, and there had been some suggestions that the position should be rotated around board members.

Sir Norman stressed that he had "no immediate plans" to step down and that a recent health check had thrown up no surprises, but he pointed to Stuart's impeccable credentials for the role.

"He has for a number of years been a senior stock controller for a wholefood retail chain. I am sure that with luck, perseverance and family connections he will one day prove a worthy successor," he said.

9 April 2018

UK tripe is "best in world" says TMB chairman

The Tripe Marketing Board has called on industry leaders to intensify their focus on exports to safeguard the industry in the years ahead.

Sir Norman Wrassle
In a keynote speech delivered to a meeting of tripe producers and processors in Blackburn earlier today, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said that previous hopes of increased dog ownership in the UK being the industry's saviour were misplaced. "It is increasingly apparent that we'll never reach the per capita target of 3.4 dogs per household that is needed to sustain the UK tripe industry," he said, adding "and the rate of decline in human consumption - whilst it has slowed dramatically - has not yet turned the corner."

Sir Norman said an 'Export or Die' strategy was the best way forward for tripe.  "Here in the UK we can be proud to produce some of the best quality tripe in the world. In fact, we're renowned for it," he said, citing his recent fact finding visit to Montenegro where there had been "a lot of interest" in British tripe. 

Responding to media questions, Sir Norman defended his recent programme of visits to Portugal and the Balkans. "Who else is going to put the case for British tripe?" he said, pointing to the way the UK fish industry had successfully persuaded many countries in Europe to purchase stock which consumers here found unattractive. "This kind of work can't be done behind a desk in Barnsley or Preston," he added.  When asked to elaborate on facts he had discovered about tripe in Montenegro, he said he had been surprised how inexpensive it was. "It can be purchased there for as little as £3.79 per kilo, which is about 60% of the cost here in the UK. That's why we have to trade on the quality of our product and guard against cheap foreign imports," he said.

Sir Norman said he had no plans for further fact finding visits beyond those to Valencia, Sardinia and Sophia which had already been announced, but he did not rule out further travel if the right invitation came along.

30 March 2018

TMB apologises after intern tweeted 'wrong image'.

The Tripe Marketing Board has apologised after tweeting an image which was interpreted by a number of people as suggesting that UK Prime Minister Theresa May had been chosen as a 'poster girl' by the TMB.

The error occured after an intern covering the
Mistaken cow image
TMB's Twitter account over the Bank Holiday weekend mistook an instruction to post an image of a cow which had appeared next to the PM on her recent pre-election photo opportunity tour of the UK.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was deeply sorry for any confusion his instruction had caused, saying "I spotted a particularly attractive cow during the TV coverage of Mrs May's visit to Northern Ireland on Thursday and said it would make the perfect poster girl for tripe, but it appears as though my comments were misinterpreted."

Sir Norman said that efforts were being made to contact the farmer in the hope that the cow could be signed up for promotional events for tripe, adding "In the meantime, I would like to apologise for any distress that might have been caused to either Mrs May or to the cow."

15 March 2018

TMB to block 23 Vegan social media followers

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today confirmed that the TMB would be 'blocking' 23 of its Twitter followers who have been identified as Vegan sympathisers.

Sir Norman Wrassle
The move follows a series of incidents at the weekend in which culinary-grade tofu was found smeared on door knockers at the homes of three prominent UK tripe industry representatives.

Speaking at a hastily-convened press conference in Leyland earlier today, Sir Norman dismissed suggestions that the blocking was an over-reaction. "We have known about these people for some time and have to some extent tolerated their activity, but it is important that we publicly demonstrate that these latest actions are a step too far," he said.

Sir Norman said that, while the TMB had no evidence that the 23 individuals concerned had been involved in the tofu smearing activities, he had no doubt that this would emerge at some point in the future. "Until then, people are just going to have to trust us - this is a time for blind faith, not questions," he said.

In the meantime, he called upon the people of Britain to buy more tripe. "That's really the best way to respond to the Vegans," he said.

1 March 2018

TMB denies product placement allegations

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today moved to deny suggestions that the TMB has received secret payments from the Italian Federation of Tomato Processors (FIPP) in return for promoting tripe recipes that include copious amounts of tomatoes or tomato-based products.

Trippa alla Romana
The allegation, which came via an editorial in the March issue of Offal Monthly, was based on what the magazine termed 'detailed analysis of the TMB's Twitter feed over the last four months'.

Speaking earlier today from his Lytham home, Sir Norman described the assertion as baseless, adding "It's true that we may have mentioned Trippa alla Romana once or twice - and that this is a dish that requires plenty of tomatoes to make it a success - but we have certainly never said they should be Italian tomatoes."

Sir Norman went on to say that the dish had become a personal favourite after he sampled it in a backstreet restaurant in Rome whilst attending World Tripe Day celebrations in the city in 2017, but he denied that he had ever knowingly received clandestine payments from FIPP. "The idea that the Tripe Marketing Board is somehow in the pocket of 'Big Tomato' is just ridiculous," he said, adding that he would be cancelling his subscription to Offal Monthly with immediate effect and that he would be recommending that tripe lovers across the UK do the same.

7 February 2018

TMB denies match-fixing allegation

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has moved swiftly to deny allegations in the social media that the TMB was involved in fixing the result of the FA Cup 4th round replay between Swansea City and Notts County last night.

The allegations came after Swansea unexpectedly routed Notts County 8-1, with suggestions being made that the Notts County team had been bribed to lose the game convincingly following threats that the team would be forced to eat tripe if they won.

"We take these accusations extremely seriously, so I have myself fully investigated them just now and I can confirm that they are nonsense," Sir Norman said. 

Confusion may have arisen because the TMB had previously advised tripe lovers to watch the match live on BBC1, in an attempt to persuade them not to watch a BBC2 show being broadcast at the same time.

Sir Norman said the episode demonstrated the old adage that there was no such thing as bad publicity, adding "In the event, we had nothing to worry about with the Back in Time For Tea programme. It seems to have piqued a lot of people's interest in tripe, which is always a good thing."

The allegations are a bizarre echo of an incident also involving Notts County and a team of looky-likeys that were first covered in the TMB Books publication, Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral.

3 February 2018

BBC accused of 'blatant anti-tripe bias'

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has today condemned the BBC for what he called "blatant and outrageous anti-tripe bias".

BBC2: Back in Time For Tea
His comments came after staff in the TMB's media monitoring unit viewed a clip from Back in Time For Tea, a documentary showing how Britain might look once Brexit is fully implemented, which is due to air on BBC2 at 8pm on Tuesday 6 February.

Speaking earlier this morning, Sir Norman described the programme - which shows a family attempting to eat a meal of Yorkshire tripe - as "at best unhelpful, at worst downright defamatory" towards tripe. "This is not the image we expect broadcasters to give of tripe," he said, pointing in particular to one scene where a young teenager leaves the table and approaches what appears to be a bucket.

Although the youngster appeared unharmed and in good spirits afterwards, it was implied that he had regurgitated his meal. Sir Norman confirmed that the TMB would be taking legal advice to see if it was possible to have the show pulled from the schedules.

"Thankfully, this show will be broadcast on a Tuesday night, traditionally a dead night for TV, and is on a channel which only a minority of people watch. I am sure that more people will prefer to watch the FA Cup fourth round replay between Swansea City and Notts County on BBC1 than a young lad vomiting into a bucket," Sir Norman said.

1 February 2018

TMB denies 'low profile' strategy

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today rejected claims that the TMB was keeping a deliberately low profile to disguise the success of its sales strategy.

The claims, made in the February issue of Offal Monthly, were dismissed by Sir Norman as "reductive nonsense," and he pointed to preliminary sales figures for January which showed a sharp drop in sales of tripe across all regions in the country.

The article, by chief offal correspondant Daniel Hodge, claimed that the TMB had reduced its social media activity on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn while sales of tripe had 'gone through the roof'.

Responding to the claims, Sir Norman said: "January is traditionally a slow time for tripe sales. Added to this, we believe that Dry January is starting to have an impact as a lot of people say they won't eat tripe without an alcoholic drink to accompany it."

Sir Norman also denied claims that the TMB decision to outsource its social media activity had been a mistake. "We are reviewing our contract with Marple Syrah Media as we didn't recognise that the package we had selected restricted us to only 130 tweets per month. We know that to promote tripe effectively we need to up this by a factor of ten, so we will be examining our promotion budgets accordingly," he said.

31 January 2018

TMB to get rid of Tripe Girls before conventions in response to darts ban

The Tripe Marketing Board has announced that it will no longer use Tripe Girls as the practice of having scantily clad women standing in front of tripe stalls "does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms."

The Tripe Girls
A statement issued by the TMB on Wednesday read: "The TMB will end the long-standing practice of using walk-on Tripe Girls, commencing with the start of the 2018 Offal Processors Convention in Burnley later this year."

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said "We consider the time spent by tripe retailers at the convention as one of celebration, where guests and various performers can add to the glamour and spectacle of the event, enabling promoters and partners to showcase their countries and products." 

The decision comes just days after the Professional Darts Corporation announced it will no longer use walk-on girls to accompany players on their way to the stage, although this has since been revealed as a ruling made by television broadcasters.

Sir Norman paid tribute to the work of the current group of Tripe Girls over the last two decades, but said they were now something of an anachronism adding "In any case, the individuals involved had expressed a desire to spend more time with their grandchildren." 

16 January 2018

Tripe industry 'must learn lessons' of Carillion collapse says chairman

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has called on those working in the tripe industry to learn the lessons of the collapse of the multinational facilities management giant Carillion.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at a hastily-convened press conference in Barnsley this lunchtime, Sir Norman said it was important that all managers looked carefully at what had happened with Carillion to ensure that the same would not happen with tripe.

"I am pleased to say that Carillion are not involved with the tripe supply chain, so our customers won't be affected at all," he said.  Nevertheless, it was beholden on the industry to examine the collapse of Carillion so that a similar fate could not befall tripe.

"One of the key lessons is that, well before the company went down the pan, senior executives at Carillion were able to properly secure and protect their bonuses, salary increases and pensions," Sir Norman said, adding "that's why I have today asked our financial team to prepare similar protections for our senior managers."

Sir Norman, who had interrupted his January fact-finding visit to Antigua to return to the UK to brief senior staff, said he felt sure that tripe producers and consumers would support his approach to corporate responsibility. "2018 promises to be a fantastic year for tripe," he said.

4 December 2017

Forgotten Yorkshire Book Launch goes off without disruption

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has welcomed the news that yesterday's public launch in Ossett by TMB Books of Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside went ahead without disruption.

Pic courtesy of @OssettObserver
"I was delighted to learn that the event went off without any of the demonstrations that had been threatened by militant vegans," Sir Norman said, adding "I am only sorry that I was unable to attend myself, as planned."

Brisk sales of the book yesterday mean that the lead researcher is now able to fulfill his pledge of donating the first £100 of his share of royalties from the book to the TMB's #MSisOffal campaign.

"This is a fantastic gesture by Adrian Littlejohn, for which the TMB is hugely grateful. We did ask the author Dr Eric K Shipley if he was interested in doing the same, but he declined, as he is saving his own share towards the cost of a camping holiday in 2018," Sir Norman said.

2 December 2017

Militant vegans attempt to disrupt book launch

Militant members of the Lancashire-based Vegans Against Tripe group have been blamed for graffiti which appeared overnight on the wall outside a venue where the Tripe Marketing Board is due to host a book launch tomorrow.

The event, which takes place at 3pm on Sunday 3rd December at Ossett War Memorial Community Centre, is expected to draw a mix of tripe lovers, people interested in the history of Yorkshire and anyone generally at a loose end in Ossett on a Sunday afternoon.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he wanted to reassure anyone planning to attend that there would be added security to prevent any unpleasant incidents, and that plans were in hand to ensure the offending graffiti was removed.

"We have a team of retired tripe dressers on hand for occasions like this, and they are well-used to working with bleach," Sir Norman said. 


1 December 2017

Destination Ossett!

Final preparations were made today for what is only the Tripe Marketing Board's second ever public event in Yorkshire.*

Ossett Community Centre
The event - the launch of TMB Books' Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside - is to be opened by the Lady Mayoress of Ossett and will see TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle introduce author Dr Eric K Shipley, who will give brief readings from his work.  There will also be an opportunity to hear a short presentation on the work of the TMB and to purchase a copy of Dr Shipley's book as well as tripe-based gifts and mementos and other books by the TMB.

Speaking of the event (which takes place at 3pm on 3 December at Ossett War Memorial Community Centre) Sir Norman said "I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to visiting Ossett," adding "I've read a lot about it and the surrounding area in Dr Shipley's book, so it will be interesting to see if it lives up to its reputation."

Representatives of the local tourist agency Visit Wakefield will also be on hand to promote the delights of Ossett's near neighbour. "They do sterling work highlighting the attractions of Wakefield, so it's good to have them on board," Sir Norman said.

Interested tripe lovers who are unable to attend the event on Sunday can purchase the book either from Amazon or direct from the TMB, along with a free TMB Pen, by visiting this page

* Full details of the first visit, in 2013, can be found here.

Tripe and Blancmange: A Marriage Made in Hebden

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has expressed his sadness on hearing the news yesterday of the closure of Yorkshire Blancmange, the country's foremost blancmange marketing agency.

The closure comes after the death of Mr Josiah Bickerstaffe, the Honorary President of the League of Blancmangiers, based in Hebden.

Speaking late last night, Sir Norman said "It is always sad when a fellow food marketing agency has to close its doors, particularly one which is promoting a product that divides the nation."

Sir Norman said that the TMB had previously collaborated with Yorkshire Blancmange by providing copywriting expertise for its popular 'Blancmange is a dish best served cold' slogan.

"On a more positive note, we have agreed to help sell a number of redundant promotional t-shirts that Yorkshire Blancmange had left when they closed, and these are available on our website now," he added.

£1 from the sale of each t-shirt will go towards the TMB's #MSisOffal campaign for the UK Multiple Sclerosis Society.

27 November 2017

World Tripe Day 2018

The Tripe Marketing Board is pleased to confirm that the focus for its World Tripe Day celebrations in 2018 will be Sofia in Bulgaria.

Shkembe Chorba
The city fought off stiff competition from Porto, Kingstown and Wakefield to receive the accolade.

Sofia is famed for its Shkembe Chorba, a traditional Bulgarian soup made with beef tripe, paprika and milk usually served with a garlic sauce.  Per capita consumption of tripe there is one of the highest of any European conurbation, apart from Florence and Wigan.

Speaking after the city was named, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "We'll be delighted to join our colleagues from offal marketing agencies all across Europe next October to celebrate what is only the 5th ever World Tripe Day."

Sir Norman said he looked forward to the day being marked all across the globe.  The announcement came as the TMB confirmed its programme of fact finding visits for the next 12 months. 

"After the launch of Forgotten Yorkshire in Ossett on Sunday 3 December, we'll be making preparations for a hectic schedule that takes in Lisbon, Valencia and Sardinia. Tripe is truly going global, and 2018 looks set to be the Year of Tripe," Sir Norman said. 

A New Dawn For Tripe - Hello, Yorkshire!

The Tripe Marketing Board is delighted to announce that its new offices in Barnsley have been formally opened this morning.

Barnsley - a new home for tripe
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Monday 27 November 2017 marks a new stage in the resurgence of interest in tripe that has intrigued the nation ever since the launch of World Tripe Day in 2013.  Now, from our base in West Yorkshire, we can develop new markets for tripe."

Sir Norman, who was unable to be present for the official opening due to a prior engagement with the TMB's accountants, said he was looking forward to the post-Brexit challenges of marketing tripe. 

"Our long-standing commitment to Yorkshire, which has often been described as the Capital County of Tripe, dates back over many decades. Here, we'll be facing the continent head-on - in fact, it's just to the right of us now - ready to take tripe to our European neighbours," he said, adding "We may be going through a divorce, but that doesn't mean we won't talking!" 

It's Lancashire Day!

The Tripe Marketing Board would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers in Lancashire the happiest of Lancashire Days.

Our long-standing commitment to Lancashire, which has often been described as the Capital County of Tripe, dates back over many decades.  Our predecessor organisations chose to make their base in Preston precisely because Lancashire was the historical home of tripe - from Wigan to Chorley and Bury to Bolton, tripe was always readily available for local consumers to enjoy.

We are proud of our Lancashire roots - and we are proud of tripe!

Whatever you are doing today, we hope you have a grand time of it.

25 November 2017

TMB Chairman issues clarification after radio interview

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has today clarified remarks made by BBC Cumbria presenter Gordon Swindlehurst following an interview with Sir Norman on his 20 November lunchtime show.

Sir Norman
In a wide-ranging chat, Sir Norman discussed World Tripe Day, the publication by TMB Books of Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside and his favourite recipe for cooking tripe, which he had been served whilst visiting Rome for the 2017 World Tripe Day celebrations.

After Sir Norman had left the studio, Mr Swindlehurst made reference on air to "something Sir Norman had picked up in the back streets of Rome".

Speaking earlier today, Sir Norman said: "Unfortunately, my wife did not hear my interview as she was having her hair done at Simons Hair Shop in Carlisle when it was broadcast, but she did hear Gordon's subsequent comments, which made for rather a frosty journey back to Lytham.  I am happy to make it clear that these comments referred to a recipe, and not to either a sexually transmitted disease or a prostitute."

23 November 2017

'Tripe Friday' set to break all records

Tripe retailers across the country have been preparing for their first ever 'Tripe Friday' tomorrow - the annual day of the year when most tripe is sold.

First initiated by the Tripe Marketing Board in 1979 as 'Tripe Thursday', the idea was quickly dropped when it failed to stimulate sales.  However, the success for many retailers of 'Black Friday' later convinced the TMB that the time was ripe to re-launch the initiative and 'Tripe Tuesday' was born.  After two years of mediocre results, the board has agreed to link the marketing push with other retailers, starting tomorrow.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said that Tripe Friday was just what the industry needed in the run-up to Christmas.  Speaking at a media conference at Leeds earlier today, Sir Norman said: "We've taken the precaution of asking tripe retailers to stock up to avoid disappointed customers - these prices can't last forever!" 

22 November 2017

New Face at the Tripe Marketing Board

The Tripe Marketing Board is pleased to announce the appointment of a new board member.

Michael Hargreave Mawson, who was born in the North Riding of Yorkshire, brings to the board a wide experience of marketing in many other areas of economic activity which are unpopular with the general public, including the nuclear industry, the defence industry, the tobacco industry, and, of course, biological research and development.  

Michael Hargreave Mawson
More recently, he has devoted his considerable talents to history, particularly that of the Victorian era, which led to a passionate interest in tripe.  As a vegetarian for over thirty years, Mr Hargreave Mawson freely admits that he has never tasted tripe.  Speaking after his appointment, he said: “You don't have to be drunk to flog Scotch, and, in fact, I am told it can often be a hindrance. It's the same with tripe.” 

In filling the role of Director of Customer Experience and Global Head of Aftersales, Mr Hargreave Mawson is responsible for ensuring that each and every one of our customers is completely delighted with our product. 

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was delighted to welcome Mr Hargreave Mawson to the board, adding:  "Michael is just the sort of fresh, young face we need to stir up our work - I'm looking forward to seeing the contribution he will make to the work of the TMB in the months and years ahead."

Board members are hand-selected for their skills, knowledge and family connections, as well as for their love of tripe.