By Mary Cargill
Copyright 2000 Mary Cargill
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THE MAY FAIR
It was Saturday the thirtieth of April.
Ed Counter presided over a meeting of the entertainment's committee, which was
held in the morning room at the vicarage. They had met to discuss the final
arrangements for the May Fair, to be held on the following Saturday in the
church grounds and halls. Penny Black, the secretary, read the minutes of their
last meeting, and Dr. Germicide, the treasurer, intimated that the accounts were
in a fairly healthy state. The committee, comprising of Avu, Rael, Willie, Ardis
and Husky, debated the number and type of stalls which should be allowed.
cake stall is always popular," suggested Avu, "as is a plant and
vegetable. Everyone seems to make for these stalls as soon as the fair
opens," she added.
others nodded their agreement. Ed asked for other ideas.
a book stall is useful," said Rael, "and maybe we could incorporate
some toys as well. I'm sure that everyone could find something in their attics
about a few games," put in Willie. "Ardis and I could rig up a hoop-la
and bran tub."
sure the folks would enjoy a coconut-shy as well," said Husky.
have a rather large marquee," interrupted the doctor, "we could use it
as a refreshment station."
said Ed. "Melamine would be only too pleased to organize that side of
was kept busy writing all the suggestions into her minute book. She listed all
the stalls, and suggested putting up a few posters around the area, plus an
advertisement in the "Shambles Sentinel."
and Ardis discussed erecting the stalls on the Friday night, so that everybody
could come along with donations, and the committee could lay out the produce.
the way," asked Willie, "who is going to perform the opening
mayoress of Great Shambles," replied Ed. "I approached her some time
ago, and she said that it would be a pleasure to come along."
statement was met with general approval, and the meeting was brought to a close.
An announcement was made in church the next day, and Ed hoped that
everyone would support the event, both by donations of goods, and attendance on
the following week, the women were busy making jams and chutney, cakes and
scones, whilst the men folk
took cuttings of plants and potted them up, or found toys which needed some
attention. Children were encouraged to sort through long forgotten books, and
everything was packed into boxes, ready to transport to the hall, where
committee members waited to receive the gifts.
carefully gathered up large bunches of cut flowers, and put them into buckets of
water. Derry had agreed to collect them with his trailer on Friday night, and,
true to his word, he arrived at Knowe Way at eight o'clock.
Ed and Melamine called at the hall, they were overwhelmed by the generosity of
the people of Bryde's Bay, and forecast a really good fair. By half past nine,
most of the donations had arrived, so the committee decided to lock up and go
home, since they would be having an early start next morning. Outside, Ardis and
Willie put the final touches to the games area, and Dr. Germicide had erected
the marquee. They said goodnight to each other, and hoped for fine weather the
Rael and Teenie breakfasted at
eight o'clock, and were ready to set off by nine. They were to be in charge of
the plant stall, and had spent some time on Friday night cutting up cards so
that they could put the prices of
the different plants at suitable vantage points.
they got into the car, Teenie asked Rael " did you remember the
yes Teenie. I have them safe and sound in my handbag, along with a plastic box
for the money."
teachers arrived at St. Bird's at the same time as Penny. "I hope that this
drizzle goes over soon," said the post mistress, "it could affect the
turnout if it doesn't.
the forecast was quite good this morning," Rael replied, "the sun is
supposed to break through by mid morning."
hope that the met office has got it right for once," laughed Penny, as she
carried a tray of cakes inside.
and Willie were fixing up the platform for the visit of the mayoress.
two, one, two, testing, testing," said Willie, as he made sure that the
microphone was working.
all right to me," said Ardis, and he switched it off again.
placed some flowers and greenery along the front of the stage, then set some
chairs and a table in the centre.
at the tea tent, Melamine, Sian and Cherry were busy slicing rolls in readiness
for the expected crowds. Sausages were cooking slowly in a huge frying pan,
sending out a most appetising smell.
doctor had put up a large notice board outside the marquee, directing customers
towards the refreshments. Trestle tables were arranged around the inside, and
tip-up chairs were neatly stacked at one end.
and Ameron had finished pricing the cakes at their stall. "Such a fine
display of lovely cakes," commented Avu, "the ladies have been
yes," agreed Ameron, "I'm sure we will see a mad dash for them. The
cake stall is usually the first to be sold out."
and Sakov were responsible for the fruit, vel and grocery stall. The Kharis had
arrived with cases of tinned goods, and the two ladies had a hard job to find
room for everything.
and V.C. Tenn set up the toy and book stand. "I'm sure that some of these
model cars are quite valuable Arnie, maybe even collectors items."
replied Arnie, as he handled a model of the coronation coach. "This one
could do with a dab of paint."
arrived in his new minibus, and made straight for the games area. "Mornin'
Willie," he burred, as he carried over a large box of knick-knacks for the
bran tub, and handed it to the sexton.
thanks Husky," said Willie as he accepted the 'disposable nappies' carton
which was filled to the brim with goodies. "Any idea how many items are
'bout an 'undred an' fifty," informed Husky, getting back into his bus.
"I'd better be off now, as I 'as to start collecting folk in about
'alf an hour. Be seein' yer later Willie," and he was gone in his
pride and joy, back to the centre of the village to await his passengers.
old soul Husky," remarked Willie to Ardis, who was setting up coconuts at
the shy. "He's offered to run people up here, free of charge."
Sandy came up to see how things were progressing. He sought out Ed, and
told him that he had put Ringo on traffic duty from one o'clock, until the fair
finished at five. "He can direct traffic as needs be, and also keep an eye
out for any of the known criminal fraternity who might consider the event a good
chance to do a bit of dipping."
Sandy. It's a relief to know that our police consider the fair worth a bit of
attention. Come and have a cup of tea with me over at the marquee. I'm sure
Melamine will be glad to see you."
and Sandy walked over to the refreshment area and disappeared into the tea tent.
Everything was ready. It was a quarter to one, and the village shops would be
closing in fifteen minutes. The mayoral car was due to arrive at one-thirty.
Melamine called all the helpers over for something to eat and a welcome sit
minutes later, Husky arrived with his first load of passengers. He dropped them
off at the car park and went back to the pick-up point for more. Ringo directed
cars into the church grounds, and very soon all the parking spaces were filled
up. Ed waited for the mayoress to arrive, and escorted her to the hall. He
directed her to the platform and switched on the microphone. Raising his hand to
silence the throng, he started on his speech of welcome.
lady mayoress, ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to see so many here today. I
would like to thank the mayoress for graciously consenting to perform the
opening ceremony, and I would also like to thank the band of workers who are
manning the stalls. It really goes without saying that we could not have had the
fair without the generosity the people of Bryde's Bay, and I will call upon her
worship to say a few words. Ladies and gentlemen, the mayoress, Mrs. Lauren
assembled crowd applauded Lauren as she got to her feet and shook hands with Ed.
Then she came forward to the microphone, and, clearing her throat, said:
you Mr. Counter for your warm welcome, and now it gives me great pleasure to
declare the Bryde's Bay May Fair open."
Service, five year old daughter of Philip and Ava, stepped forward and presented
Lauren with a large bouquet. More applause broke out, and then there was a
stampede for the stalls. The money boxes were rapidly filling up, whilst
outside, fathers and children enjoyed the games, then met up with wives and
mothers to make their way to the tea tent.
Annie Wyn Elpus arrived in the minibus with her tribe of children. She
put the baby into the push chair and moved towards the church hall. Ever since
Evan had gone to prison, she had been receiving money every week, and decided to
give the children a rare treat. She gave them each a little money, and sent them
over to the bran tub. "Now don't be going away," she instructed them.
"I'll meet you in ten minutes at the big tent."
Laverne Bacon drove into the parking area and went across to see
Melamine. Laverne was the butcher from Great Shambles, and had supplied sausages
and burgers at cost price, since the profits were going to church funds. The
ladies were glad to see her, as stocks were running low.
had a marvelous turnout Laverne, and people are still arriving," Sian
think we would need another ten pounds of sausages and perhaps one hundred
burgers," said Melamine.
then, I'll go and get them from the van."
Madge and Sadie entered the marquee, heavily laden with purchases. "Youse
grab a coupla chairs Sadie, an' I'll get wer eats. I'm starvin'."
waited for Madge's order.
teas please Sian luv, an' two cheeseburgers." Then Madge spied the fat pork
sausages sizzling in the pan. "Oh, an' two o' them hat dawgs as well, wi' a
good helpin' o' onions. Have yiz gat any o' thon John D mustard? I'll have a dab
or two on each one, an' a wee squirt o' tamata sorce as well. Don't ferget a
leaf o' lettuce an' a slice o' tamata as well."
that be all Madge?" queried Sian. "That comes to five pounds and fifty
six quid. Keep the change," said Madge, slapping the money down on the
carried the tray over to the table and joined Sadie. Tucking into her
cheeseburger, she said "This'll keep us goin' til we get wer dinners. Youse
come til my house an' we'll have a good feed. We can heat up them pork pies we
bought from Ameron. Whaddyethink?"
aye," agreed Sadie, "and we can finish aff wi' thon rhubarb tart. Have
yiz gat any cream Madge?"
Cream? There's whippin' cream, double cream, ice cream, face cream, an' even
cream fer wer fate. Anythin' yiz want Sadie, I've gat it."
O.K. I only asked. I must say Madge, my fate are quite tired ny. I'd love til
get them intil a bucket o' hat watter."
nar Sadie, I toul yiz nat til be wearin' them staccato heels. I jist knew ye'd
be sufferin' by nar, that's why I wore me gutties. When we get til the house,
jist yiz kick aff them high heels an' stick yer fate in a bucket o' salt watter,
then rub a wee bit o' foot cream intil them. They'll be right as rain
finished their 'snack' and took a final walk around the stalls, then got into
Madge's car and went home.
fair was a roaring success, as all who had helped out agreed. The final total
was just short of two thousand pounds.
wonderful!" beamed Ed. "Thank you so much everyone."
last few customers left the church grounds and headed home. Ringo removed his
white gloves and went over to let Ed know that he was returning to the station.
please have something to eat before you go," begged the vicar. "You
have been on duty since one o'clock without a break."
you sir. That would be most welcome," replied the constable.
half past six, everyone had gone. The hall and grounds had been tidied up.
and Sadie were tucking into their pork pies, and the youngest of the Elpus
children were already in bed. It had been an enjoyable day for everyone.
Bay was very quiet. The moon was shining over the water, casting a ribbon of
silver across the boats moored at the jetty. Village cats ran about unhindered,
scavenging for odd scraps of food. Everyone was asleep.
that is, except Madge and Sadie, who sat in "NATDUNROMINYET" making
LETTERS HAS A SPECIAL DELIVERY
Molly Coddle opened the gate of 'Cloak and Dagger' and made her way up to
Mrs. Mole's front door. It was nine o'clock on the tenth of May, a very
auspicious occasion for the grand old lady. Molly entered the kitchen and began
to prepare breakfast for her elderly charge. She had been Mrs. Mole's
housekeeper for ten years. She
heard Mrs. Mole call out
that you Molly?"
crossed the hall and went into the centenarian's bedroom.
morning Mrs. Mole, and a very happy birthday to you. Congratulations. Here is a
little something for you," she twittered, handing Flossie a parcel.
Molly, you shouldn't have bothered, but thank you very much indeed," she
said, as she started to unwrap the gift. Inside was a pale blue cardigan.
lovely!" declared the birthday girl, "and my favourite colour too.
However did you know?"
glad you like it my dear. Now, I'll just put it to one side and bring in your
It was whilst Mrs. Mole was dipping her soldiers into a lightly boiled
egg that the doorbell rang. Molly hurried to answer it, and there stood Arnie
with a huge pile of cards.
in, Arnie. Go on into Mrs. Mole's bedroom. She is just finishing her
went into the room and wished Mrs. Mole many happy returns as he set down the
cards on her bedside table.
me! Such a lot of cards there Arnie. Reach me my glasses please - they are over
there on the dressing table."
reached the spectacles to her and bade her farewell.
probably see you later," he added as he left.
Molly came in to collect the tray, and Mrs. Mole showed her the cards.
"I never imagined that I had so many friends in Bryde's Bay," she
why not?" queried Molly. "You really are very well liked you know.
Now, what would you like to wear today? It would need to be something very
special, because I would guess that you will be having lots of visitors."
me see. I think I'll wear my nice royal blue frock, and that lovely new
then. I'll leave them out for you. Give me a call if you need me, I'll be across
in the lounge giving it a good clean up."
Down at the community hall, the ladies were busy getting ready for the
surprise party. They set out tables and chairs, and decorated the walls with
balloons and streamers. Madge and Sadie were hanging up a huge banner across the
hall with "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MRS. MOLE. ONE HUNDRED TODAY." EMBLAZONED ON
Penny Black was sorting out another pile of cards at the post office when
Arnie arrived on his bicycle.
are just in time," greeted Penny, "Mrs. Mole seems to be the only one
in the village to be receiving any mail today!"
wonder why?" laughed Arnie, looking out of the window. He saw an official
looking car drawing up at the door. A man got out, and Arnie recognised the
Postmaster General from Great Shambles.
what he wants?" said Penny.
Daly came into the sub-office and asked Penny if there was a resident by the
name of Mrs. Flossie Mole living in the village.
yes, and she is one hundred years old today," replied Penny.
good," said Frank, "perhaps you would deliver this telegram to her. It
has come from the palace, and I brought it over straight away."
see to that immediately sir," said Arnie, taking the telegram from Frank.
He left the office and went back to Badger Lane. When he arrived there, he saw
that the door was open, so he went inside and found the old lady surrounded by
flowers and cards.
have some more for you," he said, "but more importantly, this
telegram," as he handed it to her.
Mole opened the telegram immediately and read the greeting. Arnie noticed a
little tear running down her cheek and discreetly moved away.
Ed and Melamine were next to arrive, and Melamine asked Molly to get Mrs.
Mole a suitable coat, as they intended taking her out for a little drive.
how lovely!" said Flossie, whose hearing was still very sharp. "I do
like to see about me. Molly, fetch me my warm jacket and my handbag
few minutes Ed escorted the VIP to his car, and fastened her seat belt.
Melamine, still inside the house told Molly to go down to the hall and inform
the others that Mrs. Mole would be arriving in about twenty minutes. "We'll
take her along to Roller Cove and back, so that should give the 'girls' time to
make the tea," and she was off down the path to join her husband.
soon as the car was out of sight, Molly locked the door and hurried down to the
party. She passed on the message to the ladies who put the kettles on to boil.
In what seemed only a few minutes, the hall was packed to capacity with well
wishers. Rael and Teenie arrived after school had finished, and the traders of
the village had closed early, since this was a very special occasion.
they come now," said Avu.
now everybody, keep very quiet until they come in," instructed Dr. Panacea.
Inside Ed's car, Mrs. Mole wanted to know why they were stopping at the
like you to come in and see the inside. We have had it decorated,"
explained Ed, going round to open the door. He and Melamine helped Flossie to
the door and ushered her inside.
of a sudden, everyone began to cheer and clap, and burst out singing 'Happy
Birthday to You'. Mrs. Mole was visibly moved by all this, and she was led to
the chair of honour at the top table. Tea was served, and when they had
finished, Sacha Torte carried in the biggest cake that anyone had ever seen. It
was beautifully decorated, with one candle in the centre. Mrs. Mole duly obliged
by blowing out the candle and cutting the first slice. All the guests agreed
that it tasted very good indeed. There followed a speech from Ed, who finished
by presenting Mrs. Mole with a new television set, a present from the hamleteers.
The photographer from the 'Sentinel' took several shots of the presentation,
after which Mrs. Mole thanked everyone for their kindness and love.
Ed ran her back home again as she was feeling a little bit tired. Back at
'Cloak and Dagger', Molly tidied up the lounge, and made space for the set which
Ardis was going to deliver fairly soon. When Molly brought Flossie a cup of tea,
she found her fast asleep, clutching that very special telegram.....
A TALE OF TWO SISTERS
and Sarah Duff, known to their school friends as 'Hard' and
'Plum', were born and brought up in the tight end of the big smoke, their
house overshadowed by the huge gantries of the nearby shipyard. When they left
school, they acquired jobs in one of the huge mills near the dockyard. Traveling
to and from work by tram, they stayed at their jobs until their respective
marriages. Margaret worked as a sorter, and Sarah was employed in the packing
department, where the finished articles were either sent to local retail
outlets, or packed for export to America, Canada and other such places. When
they received their pay on a Friday afternoon, they looked forward to a shopping
spree on Saturday.
s'pose thon wee insurance man'll be waitin' fer his shillin' as usual,"
said Madge. "Yiz'd think we was goin' til emigrant the way he luks at yiz."
yer right," said Sadie, "an' the Co quarter's next week, so he'll jist
have til wait."
got on to their usual tram on the Friday evening, their clothes reeking of
tobacco, and their hands stained brown. As soon as they reached home, (and paid
the insurance man) they washed and scrubbed themselves, then steeped their
overalls. They felt much better in clean clothes, and had their tea from the
'chippie' round the corner.
came, and they accompanied their mother to the city centre, where they would buy
their foodstuffs for the incoming week. Their mother would go back home, leaving
her daughters to their own bit of personal shopping. On Saturday nights, the
girls would go to a dance, and sometimes bought a new dress for the occasion.
They were both good singers, and were often asked to 'do a turn' during the
interval. It was at the dance on Boxing night one year that Madge met 'big
Shughie' Conda, who was to become her husband. Shughie was a fitter in another
mill, and told Madge that he did not intend staying there for ever.
mean?" asked Madge, "shoor yiz need the dosh til live on. Whaddle yiz
well, I seen a job in the paper, fer fitters in South Americky. The pay's good,
and ye don't pay any tax."
abouts?" demanded Madge.
Rio de Janeiro," came the reply.
de January?" gasped Madge, "an' whaddle I do when yiz are there, may I
we could get married, an' ye could come wi' me."
thon supposed til be a preposition?"
if ye put it like that, I s'pose so," said Shughie.
in that case, yiss," beamed Madge, and hurried over to tell Sadie her news.
family, although flabbergasted, were nonetheless very happy for Madge.
miss yiz when yiz go," said her tearful mother.
miss yiz too, but shoor yiz can come an' visit us," replied Madge.
wedding took place the following Spring, and the newlyweds set off for South
America, courtesy of the Brazilian Glue Company, where Shughie had found his new
job. He stuck to it for twenty years. A small house was waiting for them in Rio,
and Madge and Shughie were extremely happy, because with Shughie's huge wage
increase, they were able to buy whatever they needed to furnish their house.
Madge wrote to Sadie and her mother every week, telling them about the wonderful
life which they were enjoying. She also told them that there would be a new
member of the family in the new year, all being well.
Sadie managed to go and see Madge after the baby arrived, and intended
spending a few weeks with her sister.
her name?" she asked, when she first saw her niece.
began Madge, "when I was in the osbidal, Shughie bought me a lovely
snakeskin hair band when she wus born, so we couldn't call her anything else but
Conda," repeated Sadie, "shoor that's lovely."
the news from home?"
yiz know Shughie's cousin, Alec Smart? I met him at the dance, an' we're gettin'
married next year, Sadie began, "he's the night watchman at the mill where
Shughie worked, an' he's gettin' a pay rise in the Autumn."
smashin'. Mebbe we'll get over til the weddin'," said Madge.
indeed, an' mebbe wee Anna cud be wer flar girl, if she's walkin' by then."
wud be lovely. I'm shoor she'll be up on 'er pins by then," said the proud
Sadie travelled back home again, leaving Madge, Shughie and Anna waving
good-bye at the harbour. By that Christmas, Anna was taking her first steps, and
Madge wrote to Sadie to tell her this. Shughie had managed to get two weeks off
for the wedding, so they would all be arriving in a couple of days before the
ceremony. They had booked a passage on a ship which would be docking at the
wharf near their old home.
was busy making preparations. She had hired a dressmaker, who would make
something suitable for herself and wee Anna. Madge would be matron of honour,
and she was to bring her own outfit. Shughie was to be best man, although he
wasn't very good at public speaking.
Sadie and Alec were married, and went off to Spain on honeymoon. Madge, Shughie
and Anna returned to Rio, and things settled down again until one day Shughie
received a letter from Alec, saying that he had been paid off, and the
likelihood of another job seemed remote. They had, by now, a young son,
Napoleon, who needed so many things, and could Shughie see his way to a little
said Madge. "I s'pose Alec gat our Sadie a battle o' brandy when he wus
Madge. He bought her a half pound o' brandy balls!"
thought for a long time before making his decision. "We'll go back home
Madge," he announced one day, "shoor I've done enough years here til
get a pension when I'm an oul' lad. Whaddye think?"
think that's great. Anna cud do wi' a good schoolin' and she shoor won't get it
here. Youse go til the shippin' agent an' see what he comes up wi'."
The Conda family arrived home again and made straight for Alec's house in
Bryde's Bay. The Smarts had moved there when Alec lost his job, and had obtained
a small house in Knowe Way. Likewise, the Condas were given a similar house in
the same place, as, after a short time living with Alec, they were considered a
priority. Whilst Madge and Sadie were at the beach with the children, Shughie
and Alec discussed their future.
know Shughie, I'm tempted til go back til wer oul' ways," said
Alec."My job prospects aren't looking good."
not be a bad idea," replied his cousin, "but we'll need til case a few
yiz aff fer cash?"
I put away a tidy sum for Madge an' Anna, in case anything shud happen til me.
very same. I didn't want til be dippin' intil the savin's, and that's why I
wrote til yiz."
having anything else to do, they walked along Douglas Street to make mental
notes of anywhere that looked promising. They reached the church at the far end
of the village and stopped. Two men were putting new lead on the church roof,
and the Counters were away for one month's holiday.
it! Looks like we might have struck it lucky chum," whispered Shughie.
"These boys is near finished, an' we could relieve the church of the new
lead when they've gone away. Should make a good price y'know."
work was finished on Saturday, and the men took away the scaffolding. Alec and
Shughie went along on Saturday night to have a look around for ladders, and
spotted two extra long ones at the back of the vicarage.
in luck," said Alec, "how 'bout early tomorrow mornin'. There won't be
said Shughie, "I'll see yiz here at seven o'clock. You can be lookout
whilst I remove the lead. After all, yiz're nat very good at climbin'
so the plans were made.
if we DO get caught?" asked Alec.
wer savin's should be enough til do the girls fer the duration."
Early next morning, two shadowy figures entered the church grounds. Alec
fetched the ladders. Carefully they set them against the wall, and Shughie began
to climb up. He reached the roof and began to remove the lead. Alec kept watch,
just in case anyone should come along. Shughie was just removing the last of the
lead when Alec shouted to him.
up there Shughie, there's a car coming this way. I'm aff."
put the bag over his shoulder and slid down the ladders, straight into the arms
of Sandy Haire! Sandy had been over at Great Shambles, and had spotted Shughie
on his return.
have we here?" "Oh I see. A smart alec in the village, eh? Thought we
would help ourselves to the new lead, did we? Who was the other fella with you?
Run off, did he? Not a very good mate, eh?"
knew when he was beaten. He did not tell about Alec, but went quietly with
Sandy, down to the police station, where he was formally charged with theft.
let Madge tell the story herself......
I'm livin' in a smashin' big house at the end of Douglas Street, but I'll
tell yiz more about that later on.Yiz all know har my Shughie ended up doin'
government service. He wus up before the beak the mornin' after he done the job.
Ach, he luked awful well. I wus real proud o' him. He'd his best pink shirt on
under his dingaroos, his yella hackney jacket, old check duncher and his DM
boots. When yer man passed sentence on him, he tuk it like a man - cried like a
baby! "Nivver min' Shughie" sez I, "I'll be up til see yiz
soon." He luked around at me an' give me a wee wave, then two big wardrobes
tuk him aff. I wus absolutely morticed! I didn't know where til luk when I left
the coorthouse, but I wus jist in time til see him bein' carted aff in a black
tiara. What on earth wus I goin' til do? No man til bring in a wage. Shughie had
done well over the years, especially in Rio de January, where he had stuck til
his job as a foreman in the glue factory for near thirty years.I jist sat down
on one o' them seats an' sung a wee song til meself.
Whaddle I do, ny Shughie's gone away,
Ten years til the day, whaddle I do?
I wonder where he hid thon savin's book
I'll have a luk, that's what I'll do.
What if I'm left wi' only fifteen bob?
A quare bad job it's true -
I'll ring our Sadie when I get back home,
I'll seek a loan, that's what I'll do.
didn't have a car at the time, so I gat the bus back til Bryde's Bay, an' went
til the Regal 'otel fer a good feed.Soup,turkey, sassigis, peas, beans an' mash,
wi' lashin's o' gravy. Yiz wud've thought thon turkey wus takin' swimmin'
lessons! Then I had strawberry Pavarotti and caffee wi' biscuits and Gorbalzola
cheese. That lot soon cheered me up, an' I gat til thinkin' about what til do ny.
I'd be on me own fer ten years, an' I wus detergent that I wus nat goin' til get
mesel' intil a route. I knew that Shughie had prabably stashed away some
spondoolix fer a rainy day, an' right ny it luked as if there was a thunderstorm
comin'. I called intil the Pondicherry on the way home til Knowe Way, an' gat a
cupple o' tralleyloads. Harry Khari said he wud run the goods up til me house,
so I went home and waited. As soon as he had been, I stuck the kettle on an'
opened a wee bax o' cakes, jist fer a wee snack. Whilst I wus drinkin' me tea, I
thought I'd have a gander upstairs fer the bank books. I luked in the back o'
the wardrobe, an' there they were, in an oul' bax. I opened them an' near
fainted! Most of the money had come from the jab in South Americky, but the rest
had obliviously been accumulussed from his more recent jabs. Two million pound!
And that had been lyin' fer near two years wiout bein' marked up fer the
interest. Thank goodness it wus a joint account.
phone started til ring, so I picked up the expansion by the bed. It wus our
Sadie, an' she wus cryin' somethin' shackin'. 'Oh Madge' sez she, in a wee
quivery voice, 'they gat Alec this mornin', an' he's away fer ten years too.'
asked her what happened, an' she said that he'd been knacked down by a Sinclair
C-5, whatever that is - in Great Shambles.
he nat have juked roun' a corner? sez I.
sez she, he wus lyin' on his back at the time, an' he was tuk by the peelers up
til the station. They were goin' til charge him wi' jailwalking, then they
realised who he wus, an' brought him til the beak, and he sent him til Woodworm
fer ten years. If only he cud've shared a cell wi' your Shughie, they'd've been
company fer each other.'
stap yer cryin' Sadie, sez I, yer nat doin' yersel' any good. C'mon down fer yer
tea, an' we'll see what we'll do.
decided til ring Loaded & Co. the estate agent til see if the big house wus
still fer sale, along at the end of the road. They said it wus, an' wud I like
til see it? No, sez I, I know what it's like. I'll put an offer on it, an' I
give them me name an' address.
rang Philip N. Service next, an' toul' him I wanted til buy a car, imminently.
He said that the only thing he had was a Fido, so I sez that'll do, an' cud he
bring it down right away. He wus here in fifteen minnits, an' I give him a
cheque fer it. Boys a dear, it wus great to be mobile again!
arrived soon afterwards, clutchin' a big bax o' 'Sniffles' tissues. Her eyes wus
as red as Rudolf's nose. She come in an' sat on the sofa. 'Whadder we goin' til
Do/ sez I. I'll tell yiz what we're goin' til do Sadie. She luked at me all
put in a bid fer thon big house at the end o' the village, an' I intend havin' a
good time fer the next ten years.
she wailed, an' on come the waterworks again.
thon car outside Sadie? Well, I've jist this minnit bought it from Philip.
gat up an' luked out the windy. 'That's very nice Madge. Did it cost much?'
cares about the cost Sadie? Shughie made sure I'd be well aff at the bank. I
suggest you check your bank books too. Ye might get a wee shack, same as me.
had another wee snack, an' Sadie seemed a bit better.
don't yiz stay the night luv, an' we can decide what we'll do after breakfast.
I'll make some steak an' chips, wi' a few musherooms,peas an' tamatas threw in.
come the tears again. Whadd've I said ny? I asked her.
Alec's favourite meal ' she blubbered.
When yer cryin', when yer cryin'
Yer eyes an' nose turn red;
When yer sighin', when yer sighin'
Yiz give me a sore head;
So come on Sadie, lie back in yer chair
I'll make wer tea whilst you tidy yer hair,
Stap yer cryin' and stap yer sighin',
Shooor we'll be all right ny.
wee rendition soon cheered her up, an' she smiled a bit. That's better, sez I,
ny go til the bathroom an' splash some coul' watter on yer face.
tea, the two of us sat down fer a chat. I suggested that we head aff in Fido
next mornin' fer a wee trip. Sadie agreed, an' asked if I'd mind if she tuk a
nice hat bath. Nat at all Sadie, go on ahead luv, shoor it'll help ye til
relapse. I'll clear up here an' make yiz a cuppa tea when yer ready til put yer
she went an' filled the bath fer a good long soak whilst I wrenched the dishes
an' put the kettle on. I thought I heard her cryin' again, so I went til the
battam o' the stairs, but as I listened, I cud hear her singin':
My wee Alec Smart wus tuk away, Sent up til the Worm his debt til pay,
Ten years he gat jist
Why he had til go we all know he tuk some lead,
I know he done wrong, but he's sarry, so he said;
Madge 'n' me went til visit at oul' Clabbery,
Her big Shughie is in there you see,
Oh what'll we do till they're free?
know, Alec Smart's a kind soul too, jist like Shughie. He luked after our Sadie
quare 'n' well. I don't s'pose they've as much in the bank as us, but our
Sadie's goin' til be o.k. Her house is like pins on paper yiz know. She
scrupulates it every day, an' she has a lovely half-moon at her front door. Roun'
the back they've a wee lean-to where they keep their transport - a motor bike
an' sidecar. I must tell yiz, Alec 'n' Sadie luk great in their flyin' helmets
Sadie yelled down the stairs that she wus near ready til come down, so I
boiled up the kettle an' made a couple o' doorsteps each, an' we made wer plans.
I said that we'd take wer bank books intil the manager in the mornin' til get 'em
marked up. It shudn't take long wi' them combusters, then we can decide what til
do when we come out.
Next mornin', V.C.Tenn arrived at the 'Fly by Night' an' was surprised
til see me waitin' fer him. He bid me good mornin' an' asked if there wus
anythin' he cud do fer me. I jist want til collect some brochures, I toul' him.
Sadie 'n' me wants til go on a really good hallyday, so if yiz wud oblige me wi'
some o' them better class ones, we'll make up wer minds where til go.
were you thinking of going Madge? We have hundreds of brochures here, so if you
could give me a clue as to your preference, I could pick out something
thought fer a few minnits, then toul him that I wud luv til go on a cruise,
maybe around the Carborundum, or somethin' like that.
well", sez he, "but a cruise can be quite expensive you know."
no objection til us, sez I. Yiz know, he irrigated me a bit when he said that.
Anyhar, he handed me about a dozen assorted books, an' I brought 'em home. Sadie
wus waitin' fer me.
were yiz Madge? I thought yiz were away wi'out me, but I seen Fido at the front,
so I knew yiz were'nt far away."
toul' her where I'd been, an' asked her if she wus ready fer the road.
aye," sez she, an' aff we went. Sadie collected her books. an' said that
she had gat a shack when she luked inside. She didn't know that she had so much
money, an' nivver thought til ask Alec.
show, sez I. We'll get over til the bank an' see what wer totals are when they
mark 'em up.
of us was well pleased when we come outa the bank, an' I sez til Sadie that we'd
go roun' til the estate agent til pay fer the house before someone else beat us
til it. We wus well received at Loaded & Co., especially when I toul the
manager, Manny Pounds, that it wus a cash sale, an' I demanded immediate
position. He tuk the cheque an' haunded me the keys. He also agreed til sell the
oul house in Knowe Way. We went til have a luk at the house til see what wus
Madge. It's as big as the Palace!" exclaimed Sadie, her eyes as big as
saucers. I had til agree wi' her, an' said we'd nip roun' til Knowe Way til make
a few phone calls whilst she made wer mid mornin' break.
we had wer caffee, Sadie asked me if I was goin' til give the house a name, an'
I asked her what she wud suggest.
I answered, I've nat done roamin yet. Here! That's what I'll call it -
NATDUNROMINYET. So, the name had been decided, an' I ordered a large wooden sign
to be erected on the gate post, at the end of the big drive.
First call I made wus til Lynn O'Leum, who has a big carpet shap at
Roller Cove, an' she wud make curtains till match if yiz want. She said she wud
call next mornin' an' bring a few samples wi' her. Next call wus til Matt
Finnish, the painter. He toul me he had a wee jab til do, but it wud only take
him about an hour.I arranged wi' him til come next mornin' too, so's he cud get
paint 'n' paper til match the carpets. That bein' most of the mornin's business
done, I rang Ivor Vacancy til book a table fer wer dinners. I sez til Sadie that
we cud luk at them brochures an' book somethin' wi V.C. later on.
else did yiz have in mind?" queried Sadie, so I sez til her that I thought
that wus enough fer one day, an' we cud sort out wer clothes after we had been
til the 'Fly by Night.'
wus whilst we were on wer second puddin' that I spied the 'Cruise of a Lifetime'
headline in one o' the books. I near choked on me surprise bomb, an' Sadie
reached over an' lifted the book. After she had a quick scan, she said that she
wud really fancy the cruise. We paid wer bill an' left fer Knowe Way, where we
had a longer luk at the details. We had two months til get ready, an' that
suited well as I would have 'NATDUNROMINYET'
all fixed up the way I wanted.
said she wud go home an' sort out a few things. She wanted til do a bit o'
shappin' next day, an' then she'd call over in the afternoon.
Lynn O'Leum went through the house like a whipped cat, makin' notes o'
this 'n' that, an' said she'd be ready til hang the grapes next week. She
thought she'd be finished in about two days, once she got started. Matt started
the decoratin' right away, an' done the house from tap til battam. I seen Sadie
comin' up the drive in her new red astronaut, an' cud see her face was like a
wet weekend. As soon as she come in, I asked her what wus wrong, an' she
The Cove is alive wi' the sound of gassip
Each time I go out, they all stand and stare;
I go til the shaps an' I hear them whisper,
And I sez til myself Sadie you don't care;
But I tell you its hard til smile when you know that they
Are all talkin' about yer man,
I feel like packin' an' runnin' away
Til the Isle of Man;
It isn't my fault, so I don't know why
They are treating me thus-
I walk out the door
And get on the Great Shambles bus, 'cos
The Cove is alive wi' the sound of gassip,
They stand on the streets an' along the shore,
I'll sell up my house an' go somewhere diff'rent
And get peace once more.
goodness sake Sadie, pull yerself tilgether, sez I. Shoor we're goin' away soon,
so ferget them oul eejits in Roller Cove. Put yer house up fer sale an' move in
wi' me here. Whaddye think o' the deecor? "Vary nice, I like the colour o'
aye, I agreed, but it was ever so hard til get puce paint. Matt had til get it
mixed special. Ny, away an' make us some tea whilst I fix up the furniture.
wud yiz like Madge? What have yiz gat?"
Sadie, jist have a rummage through me drawers an' yiz'll find somethin' that'll
do. I'll eat anything as yiz well know, so jist surprise me.
I like bread an' butter,
I like eggs 'n' ham,
I like fish 'n' chips
An' on a Sunday, some roast lamb;
Oh I like fresh cream trifle
I like lemon mouse,
If yiz come til visit me
Yiz'll see these at my house;
I like tasted sody,
An' fresh made taty fadge,
Wi' butter runnin' down me chin
I'm known as greasy Madge;
Oh I like fresh cream trifle,
An' I like lemon mouse,
If yiz come til visit me
Yiz'll see these at my house.
I fair enjoyed Sadie's feed, then we gat out the cruise books an' had another
gander at 'em. This is the very thing, sez I, a theee week cruise wi' the Nesta
Line's new boat, the 'Pollyanna', sailin' to the eyesores, the Canaries, Flarida
an' South Americky, wi' a two day stop at the Windies in the Carborundum. Let's
book the marra Sadie.
Madge. How much is it?"
cares? Shoor we haveit. We'll book one o' them pinthouse suits an' do it in
Money, money, money,
Lats o' money
Has been stashed away;
Ny that we've gat money
Things luk sunny
Fer wer hallyday;
We'll go away til sea,
Jist our Sadie 'n' me,
Wi' wer purses stuffed wi' money
We'll go roun' the world.
Sadie, I'm lukin' forward til it already. I can show yiz roun' Rio when we get
there. The boat is stappin' at Caracas, where we can but maracas, then on til
Rio fer two days before sailin' on past Essential Island.
Cruisin' past Madeero
On a sunny summer day,
Whilst yiz an' me
Are sippin' tea
Sendin' cards til the Bay;
The crew will take wer orders
An' the band will start til play
Cruisin' past Madeero
On a sunny summer day.
booked up wi' V.C next day, an' paid wer money. We decided til fly til London a
coupla days previous, as we had til be in Southampton at eleven-thirty on the
fifth o' June. Wer passepartouts were in order, an' we bought a lat o' rigouts.
Well, yiz can't go swannin' aff in yer oul duds ny, can yiz? Whilst we wus out
shappin', we called intil the card shap til buy some o' them amputation cards
fer wer housewarmin' party which we decided til have when we gat home from wer
cruise. Sadie spatted some wi' arsvips on 'em. Them's handy, sez I, so we bought
five baxes, as we intended havin' a real good blowout. When we came home, I went
til make us a wee bite, an' I rang a new firm of caterers, called Horse Doovers,
in Great Shambles, the owner being called Smorges Bord. He said he would call
over that afternoon wi' his assistant Patty Cake, an' bring a few suggestives wi'
wus palishing the windies inside, when Sadie sez 'Here Madge, what's thon Nesta
Line boat doin' sailin' past Bryde's Bay? I thought it went from Port Ability
Sadie, it used til, but nat ny.....
The Nesta Line
Sails by my windy,
The Nesta Line
All blue an' white;
I see the smoke from her two funnels
Six times a day, and twice at night;
Since I came back home
A month ago
I feel so sad when
I hear her blow;
As she disappears past Racky's lighthouse
I feel the tears start til fall.
it fair makes me depressed when I see it goin' past on her way til Scatland.
Sadie 'n' me always enjoy goin' fer a wee sail on 'er. That's why we're goin' on
wer cruise. Anyhar, we seen them cooks comin' up til the door, an' Sadie let 'em
in. We all sat down, an' yer man tuk a sheaf o' papers outa his detatched case.
sort of catering did you have in mind madam? A finger buffet perhaps?"
seen red, an' said there'll be no fish fingers at any party o' mine. Jist put on
yer best hat an' coul runnin' buffet, wi' some o' them arsenic foods fer wer
farreners, Indian an' Chinese. A few pompadours wi' curry, an' pummled granite
pie til fally, fer the Indians, an' what about some o' them perspiring rolls,
fried prongs wi' nodules, an' leeches fer the Chinese?
granite?" said Smorges.
think she means pomegranate," explained Patty, trying til keep a straight
what on earth does she want for her Chinese guests?"
rolls, prawns with noodles and Lychees."
about drinks, Mrs. Conda?"
the usual, sez I, an' mebbe yiz cud get some o' that sarky wine. I like my
guests til feel welcome. Plenty o' gattux as well, wi' lashin's o' fresh cream
an' fruit salad.
then," said Smorges, "we'll be off again. You can let us know nearer
the time how many guests will be attending."
gat the baxes o' cards out, an' we started til address 'em. It tuk us near two
hours til get through 'em, an' I wus fair jiggered. I toul Sadie that I wus goin'
til have one o' them radar baths til ease me joints.
Madge, I'll make the tea. Whaddya fancy?'
All I want is a nice long soak,
Two eclairs an' a drink o' coke,
An' one enormous poke
Oh wouldn't it be loverly?
Lats o' chips an' a great big fish
Piled wi' ketchup upon me dish -
This is me latest wish,
Oh wouldn't it be loverly.....
wer tea, which I must say was really good, we decided til go til the
ex-services. Sadie 'n' me've been members there fer years, an' we always enjoy
wersels. Vic March wus there as usual, an' a whole lotta the locals as well. We
sat wi' Derry an' Avu Herd, well, we'd nothin' too confidence til say, an' the
Letters. Sakov's the Russian wumman yiz know like. Then Sian Tung arrived wi'
Cherry Bunn. We told 'em all about wer party, an' said they'd be gettin' there
cards in a day or two. They was all keen til come, an' Avu says that she'd luk
forward til seein' the new house - I'll say! Steffi Scope came roun' the tables
til see who'd be attendin' the May Day dinner Dance, so we put wer names on the
list. I toul' Sadie that we'd need a few new fracks fer these dos, so we went
til Great Shambles next day.
Oh I went downtown fer til buy a gown
But it wus the hardest thing I had til do;
Fer the sizes all seemed til be too small
An' I wanted shackin' pink or powder blue;
On the rail
Half price sale
I saw one I thought luked gran' -
It wus red an' black
But it had no back
An I sure don't like the feel of Vic's bare haun.
I will nat be beat, I went down the street
Where I gat a length of clorth an' brought it here;
Gat the Singer out, an' wi'out a doubt
I created the sensation o' the year!
Yards o' lace
Beads in place
Sure it sparkled like a candle on a tree;
I'd enough stuff left
I wus nat bereft
I made a little hat wot suited me.
Mayday arrived, an' after wer brekkie we went til have wer hairs done at
Robin Pomades. The weather wus nice, so we strolled over til Cherry's fer wer
mornin' teas. Sandy Haire wus there wi' Ringo Steele. We sat down at their table
an' asked 'em if they wus goin' til the do that night. Sandy said that he wud be
there, but poor Ringo wus on duty, an' cudn't go. Hard luck son, sez I, but
mebbe yiz'll get til the next one.
Ringo's only left school a coupla years, an' went straight intil the
polis. He's a nice lad yiz know, an' well mannered. Sandy's a differnt kettle o'
fish. Been a bachelor all his life, an' he near forty-two! He'd make a quare
catch fer someone - does all his own cookin' 'n' cleanin'.
two o' 'em gat up til go. "See yiz later" said the sergeant. Sadie
paid wer bill, an' we went back home fer wer lunch. I suggested til have it in
the new conservative. It'll be nice there, an' wer good hairs won't be blew
about in the breeze. We spent the afternoon in there, readin' up some more about
wer cruise. I come across a coupla pages o' typical menus, an' I toul our Sadie:
'n' chips, fancy dips
stummicks will be achin';
'n' ham, legs o' lamb
tart 'n' custard,
we'll be okay on wer hallyday
hope they've gat mustard.)
'n' me'll go through
stap til we're done, all right?
Madge, yiz're makin' me feel hungry," sez Sadie. Me too, sez I, an' it's only four o'clack. Wez'll nat
get wer dinners til seven the night. My stummick's rumblin'. Whaddabout a ham
sammich an' a drop o' tea? I went til make it an' Sadie went til get wer fracks
out ontil wer beds, ready fer us til get intil when the time came.
Sadie done up me face fer me - she's vary good at that sort o' thing, an'
we gat ready fer the aff. We had til be at the Regal at half six fer a wee
cacktail. I asked Sadie what she wus goin' til have. "Oh I don't know Madge,
I think I'll have one o' them Bermuda Blackbusters. jist til get intil the mood
fer wer cruise.
idea," replied Sadie. "I'll have a Flarida Facelifter."
easy on them ones, sez I, or yiz'll be dancin' roun' all night wi' a siurprised
luk on yer face!
had a good feed, an' sat wi' Jerry 'n' Racky. Everyone headed aff til the club
fer the dancin', which wus startin' at neni. Sadie 'n' me tuk wer time, an'
arrived after the first jig. The members' lounge wus packed til the gills, an'
we had til sit wi' Clinker again, but we didn't mind, an' bought a round o'
drinks. Sian Tung came down til tell us about the surprise party she wus havin'
fer Flassie Mole's one hundredth birthday, so I toul her til call up at the
house an' let us know what she wanted us til do. Husky Carter joined us an'
partook of an orange juice, he being teetotal. Sadie 'n' me arranged wi' him til
take us til the new airport when it wus time til go, an' also if he could
transport the guests til wer party, so he agreed til wer request an' said he'd
be glad til attend.
Wer hallyday wus jist theee weeks away, an' Sadie wus busy openin' the
arsvips. Everyone that we'd asked wus comin', an' I rang the Horse Doovers til
give 'em the final destructions. Yiz can count on about a hunderd an' twenty
people, I toul' Smorges, is everythin' okay?
said that the only thing that wus provin' difficult wus the leeches - he cudn't
get none. I said I'd see what I cud do, an' rang Bitsu Tung fer help. He said
he'd call intil the 'Pingpong' chinese grocers next time he wus in Wit's End,
an' get a few tins.
Indian food wus til be provided by the 'Calcutta Carryout', who would deliver
the items til Smorges on the day of the party.
asked Sadie if there wus anythin' else, an' she suggested some outdoor lights
an' a few flars fer the patio an' conservative, so I rang Watt Voltage til ask
him about the lighting. He said he'd call on his way home til see what we
wanted. Sadie rang Gypsy Phelia til order the flars while I wet the tea.
Everythin' seemed til be fallin' intil place, which wus jist as well, 'cos the
party wus four days after we come back.
called that evenin' an' joined us in the back garden. She asked us til be at the
communion hall at eleven o'clack next day, til decorate the place fer Flossie's
do. She had a wee glass o' Armadillo sherry wi' us, an' wished us both a good
hallyday. Thon's a quare nice girl, sez I til Sadie, after Sian had went. I hope
Will looks after her all right when they get married in September.
I'm shoor he will Madge. He's a nice young fella an' he's doin' all right in his
gat good prostrates anyhar, sez I. Them civic servants does well. D'yiz mind the
time we worked in thon ciggy factory Sadie? Nine an' eleven a week wus our first
wages, an' we had til queue up fer it every Friday.
aye Madge, an' thon wee insurance man wus always on wer doorstep, waitin' fer
his tanner from each o' us, an' the coalman had til get his half crown
our Sadie, I used til dread the Co quarter, 'cos our Ma had til square up the
accounts, an' we lived like workhouse inmates fer a week! No Sunday joint that
weekend. Many's a Friday we had til walk til the fact'ry, 'cos we didn't have a
panny fer the tram, but at least we wus able til go til the dance in the
Rosewood on Saturdays. Y'know, I used til luk forward til the outin' every year.
too Madge. D'yiz mind the mystery tours?"
like misery tours Sadie. I wonder whatever happened til thon oul' boy what driv
us in the cherrybang?
mean Tarzan Madge? Yer man that swung from one side o' the road til the
very one Sadie. Whaddabout them teas we used til get? A leaf o' lettice an' one
measly slice o' tamata, an' the ham wus cut wi' a razor blade! Still, we had
some quare good times, an' we fair enjoyed the big poke on wer way home.
We packed wer cases an' set 'em at the front door. Husky wus callin' fer
us at nine in the mornin', an' wer plane wus leavin' at half ten. Here Sadie,
sez I, did yiz get me them pills fer the back door trat from Takis Directed when
yiz went down til the shaps?
Madge. Here yar. I gat a couple o' them tubes o' sin cream too, an' stuck 'em in
fer yiz Sadie. Smart thinkin', ha ,ha, ha. I don't think we've fergat nathin',
but I'll jist check wer list. Husky arrived an' stuck wer luggage in the boot.
When we gat til the airport, he put 'em on one o' them tralleys, an' said he'd
pick us up when we gat back. I paid him his fare, an' give him a wee tip too,
then he waved goodbye, an' wus gone. Ye know Sadie, he's a good sort, an' his
fare wasn't a bit absorbent.
Before we knew it, we wus aff fer London, an' we had a wee snack on
board. I wus starvin' again, 'cos we only had time fer a coupla scrambled eggs
fer wer brekkie. London wus great, an' we went til thon Dreary Lane theatre.
When we gat back til our 'otel, we asked yer wumman on the deception desk til
send up wer suppers, an' also ordered wer brekkies fer eight next mornin', an'
would she obligate us by orderin' a taxi til get us til the station fer wer
train til Southampton.
nice young man - I think he wus called the persil - welcomed our Sadie 'n' me
aboard the 'Pollyanna.' He showed us til wer state rooms. Right Sadie, sez I ,
when we wus on wer own, let's enjoy wersels til the full, an' that's exactly
what we done. Sadie near fell aff her seat when the horn blew, it wus that loud,
then we luked out the windy an' seen that we wus on wer way. Someone pronounced through the radio that lunch would be
served in half an hour, in the freakout restyerant, so we left wer room an' went
til find it. We gat wer wee paper tellin' us where we'd be at certain times, an'
also informin' us of the on board entertainment each day. There wus quite a few
shaps on the boat, includin' Frizzie Lizzies, the hairdresser. Later on that
afternoon, we gat a wee note stuck under wer door, askin' us til join the
captain's table that night. I toul' our Sadie that I wus joinin' nathin'; youse
nivver know where yiz might end up!
be daft Madge. It means that the captain wants us til have wer dinners with
right, sez I. I'll luk out my wee orange number til wear.
wus shown til the table at seven thirty,n an' wus intervened til the
others.Captain Abel Dealer would've charmed the birds aff the trees. Sadie wus
sittin' next til him, an' there wus an oul' boy between Sadie 'n' me. He kept
fallin' asleep, an' I had til dig him wi' me elbow, so's he'd eat up his dinner.
The captain noticed this and toul' me nat til worry about Sir Cularity, as he
wus inclined til be a bit absent-minded, an' wus also mutton jeff. The Pretty
Officer wud take him til his cabin an' see he wus all right.
asked us if we wus satisfied wi' our stateroom.
it's vary nice," answered our Sadie, "jist like home from home."
where is home?"
Bay, Norn Iron."
eyebrows fair shat up aroun' the table, an' one wumman near choked on her clart.
When wer meal wus done, we said goodnight til Abel an' the others, an' went til
the games room fer a wee roun' o' bingo.
did yiz think o' that, Madge"
but a lat o' stuffed shirts Sadie, but wer dinner wus good.
The weather wus gettin' better every day, an' we lay about in deckchairs
durin' the day, an' enjoyed the entertainment at night. Sometimes there would be
a variety show, or we'd go til the
me decided til go along fer the fun, an' we put on wer comfie sandals, so's wer
feet wud be cool.
put wer hats on too Madge, an' don't ferget yer shades."
gat on til the wee curtsy boat an' went ashore. Yer man said til be back at the
pier in four
wus the same at Caracas, except we didn't get any maracas, an' the next stap wus
hours, so aff we went til exploit the place. We gatta whole latta memorials til
bring back home wi' us.
went til a caff fer a wee cuppa caffee, an' when we wuz makin' wer way there, we
saw an oul' man sittin' on the groun', wi' his cow standin' in front o' him.
Sadie went over til him til ask the time o' day, as we didn't want til be late
goin' til see wer friends. He touched the cow's udder an' said it wuz half ten.
We had about an hour til spend, so we jist sat at the table an' watched the
world go by.
Sadie, let's see whit time it is ny."
asked the oul' boy again, and once more, he felt the cow's udder, an' toul us it
was a quarter past eleven.
on earth can yiz tell the time by feelin' the cow's udder?" Sadie asked
verry simple dear ladies - I am lifting the cow's udder out of the way of the
town hall clock!"
knew Sadie - these fareigners are up til all the tricks!"
Sadie til see wer oul' house, an' met wer oul' neighbours, Juan Momento an' his
wife Una. They give us wer lunch, then left us back til the boat. His cousin,
Carlos Adjuster came wi' us as well. It wus good til see them all.
days had passed by now, an' we wus headin' fer home again. We tuk some photies
o' Essential Island as we passed. Next mornin' we were toul' that we wus passin'
Sarah Lee One, an' I sez til our Sadie that mebbe that wus where them cakes come
stapped at Casablanca, an' we went ashore again, mainly til see if we wud bump
intil Humpy Beauregard, but we wus informed that he had long since gone.
he gat an earlier boat," sez Sadie.
six more days til go, an' we gat a few items at wer next port o' call -
Gibberalter- where we seen them barberous apes.
til pack up again Madge," sez Sadie. "I've really enjoyed wer
too, I agreed. We'll have til think about goin' on another one, mebbe next year.
wus at the airport til meet us as promised, an' said we wus lukin' well.
vary much I'm shoor Husky. Anythin' strange or sparklin' til report?
toul' us that things were as normal(!) as they ever could be in Bryde's Bay.
is lukin' forward til the get tilgether at yer house Madge," he added, an'
believe it or nat, I caught the trace o' a smile when he said it!
til parridge Husky. We'll be busy gettin' ready fer the do. Madge 'n' me want
til put on a good show fer wer friends."
shoor yiz'll do that Sadie. Well, here we are, home again," an' he drew up
at the front door an' gat wer cases outa the boot.
Husky, sez I, handin' him his money. I toul' him til keep the change. Yiz've
been vary good til us, an' so defendable. Cheerio ny, see ya at wer do..
turned the key in the door, an' such a loada junk mail wus lyin' behind it,
along wi' a coupla bills, an' one late arsvip from Willie Doitt.
like empyin' wer cases jist yet."
I Let's have some tea first," said Sadie, goin' intil the kitchen till put
the keddle on, "I don't feel much agreed. We cud do that after a while, an'
stick the washin' machine on
well. It wus about theee o'clack, so I turned on the telly til see the racin'
from Royal Askit. The two o' us had a quare laugh at some o' the fashions.
we've gat far nicer Madge," sez Sadie.
roused wersels up, an' gat on wi' the jab in haun.When we hung up wer things, we
put on the washin' an' had a gleek in the freezer fer somethin' fer wer tea. I
spatted a big bax o' marconi cheese, so we decided til have that wi' some
tamatas an' a few baps which we gat in Southampton on wer way til the airport.
Sian had left a cartoon o' milk fer us at the back door, where it wus
shaded from the sun.
mornin', I rung Horse Doovers til ask Smorges what time he'd be comin' over til
prepare things on the day. He said he'd be at the house about four, as wer
guests wasn't expectin' til seven, an' that wud be time enough til set things
Phelia wus comin' over jist after wer dinner til derange the flars, an' Vin
Blanco wus deliverin' the wine ion the mornin' so's it cud be well chilled. Watt
Voltage come an' put strings o' fairy lights up the driveway, whilst Alec
Tronics, his apprenticed, laid out lanterns in the back garden, ready fer Watt
til connect up. Watt's partner, Ossie Lator, wus helpin' til fix up the lights
at the front o' the house. It luked smashin', an' Sadie made them a drappa tea
when we wus havin' wer own. They had the jab done by mid-day.
hoovered the house from tap til battam, an' I done the windies, jiffed the
bathrooms, flashed the kitchen an' swep the conservative. Cutwith Longmuir had
did the grass the day before we come home, an' everything luked grand.
had made apartments at Robin Pomade's fer the two o' us, an' we had til be there
fer half theee, so aff we went. I gat a wash 'n' bob, an' Sadie gat a henna
wrench an' an urgent cut wi' a bang.
tuk a luk through wer wardrobe til see what we wud wear. Sadie picked out her
lime green shift, an' I decided til wear the lame number in gold, which I gat in
wus up wi' the larks next day, til receive the callers, an' we wus glad til see
the sun shinin'. Vin come wi' the wine an' stuck it in the fridge. Bitsu wus
next wi' a coupla tins o' leeches. He said he wus lukin' forward til a rubbery
the time Smorges an' Patty arrived, Sadie 'n' me wus up til wer axters in flars.
We left them til it, an' by six o' clack they wus all set up. They had put some
food intil the oven til heat up, an' the buffet wus spread out in the kitchen
an' dinin' room. Horse Doovers had presided everything - even the plates, cups,
saucers an' cutlery. Wer mouths was waterin', so we had a wee simple, then went
til get wer finery on.
Arch Way, the door stopper, arrived first. He had been enjoyed by Smorges
fer the evenin', along wi' a few garkons.Husky arrived on the dot o' seven, an'
drapped aff wer first guests - the Standings, Jerry 'n' Racky, Pearl Rowe an'
Geronimo, Mo's uncle - all from the Roller Cove area, then he went til pick up
some more from outlandish districts - the Counters, Tungs, Tells, Vic 'n' Dawn
an' the Services, who had gat houl o' Molly Coddle til do a spat o'
lat o' the locals jist dandruffed along from their own houses, an' by a quarter
past seven, they wus all here. They wus all gobsmacked when they seen the house,
an' the wimmin demented a conductored tour.
yiz really need two bathrooms an' theee W.C's? asked Avu Herd, after all there's
only the two o' yiz livin' here."
sez I, a wee bit irrigated by her remarks, if I'm soakin' in a Radar bath, an'
our Sadie here needs til spend two d, there's no prablem, or if we're out
shappin' an' get a soakin', then we can both have a good hot bath when we get
right Madge" sez Ameron, an' how cud yiz've held this lovely party wi'out
the full felicities?" She give me a wink when she spoke, an' I nodded back
gone til a lat o' trouble Madge," sez Rael, sippin' at her dry merino.
it's no bather at all," sez Sadie, "we enjoy havin' yiz all
'n' me tuk the wimmin through the conservative til the garden, where some o' the
men wus helpin' Big Dipper til set up the band on the patio. Cherry an' Penny
had a walk around, exterminatin' the plants.
o' Smorge's waiters wus buzzin' aroun', servin' out the apparentives, an'
tellin' everyone that the meal wud be ready at eight. Sadie nudged me, near
knackin' me sprinter outa me haun, an' said that when we wus showin' them wimmin
roun' wer house, she nivver seen so many surprised luks since she stuck a woopee
cushion under the vicar's seat one Sunday mornin', when it wus April the First!
Sadie, sez I, there's nat much happenin' jist ny. I'll fix 'em up once an' fer
all, an' went across til Big Dipper, an' whispered in his ear. He gat the band
ready, an' they struck up the music, an' I picked up the microscope an' began:
Dum dum di dum dum dum,
Dum dum di dum dum dum_
The minnit yiz walked in me house
Yiz cud tell that I'm a girl o' extinction
A reel big spender -
Hard lukin', well defined,
Say wudnt yiz like til know whit's goin' on in my min'?
So let me get right til the point _
I'm goin' til the kitchen for til make wer teas -
Lats o' baps an'
Half a poun' o' mousetrap cheese.
Then I'll make a few chips, chips, chips
Howzabout a big steak? steak?
I cud murder a gatchew
One as big as a platchew;
The minnit yiz luked at me frame
An' give me a squeeze?)
Jist let me get back til the point -
I don't hold back when there's luvly grub til see -
Chicken drumrolls; loadsa champ an', fresh cream gatchew -
(DON'T FERGET THE MOUSETRAP CHEEEEEEEEESE
clapped an' cheered, an' I knew that the ice wus broke.
They defended on the food like Vulcans, an' Patty wus kept busy
refuellin' the dishes. We switched on the lanterns, an' Big Dipper started the
music.Teenie, her cheeks a wee bit flashed
by a couple o' Armadillo Sherries, wus doin' the lumbago wi' Jerry.
"I don't s'pose she's had as much fun fer a long time," sez Sadie.
came an' foun' us about ten o' clack, an' sez that he 'n' Patty wus leavin'.
They'd cleared up everything, an' stuck a few leftovers in the freezer. He said
they wud take the rest o' the staff home, if that wus o.k.
sez I, we's can manage all right wersels ny, an' thanks very much. Yiz can send
me the bill when yiz've tattered it up.
began til run the guests home about half eleven. Sadie 'n' me sat in the
conservative, chattin' til Dawn an' Mo. Dawn said she hoped that Avu hadn't
upset me wi' her remarks about the bathrooms.
no, sez I, shoor she's a bit narcotic about houses.
I'm sure we have enjoyed ourselves at your party in your beautiful home Madge.
Victor and I must be heading back to 'Rangoon' now. You know, Victor gets very
tired, and needs to get to bed by twelve o' clock at the latest."
gat up, an' the two o' us went out wi' them til the minibus.
Madge and Sadie. Great bash," sez Vic as he left. Harry an' Cashun, along
wi' Singh Tapps, also tuk their leave. They had come in Singh's Ford Sari, as he
only drank Indian Tonic.
had gone, so Sadie made us a wee cuppa tea, afore we went til wer beds.
success Madge," sez she, sippin' her brew.
indeed Sadie, I agreed. I think they all apprehended the meal.
Doovers is a quare good firm Sadie. They cleaned up the whole place fer us, an'
we have a few tit-bits in the fridge fer the marra.
started til yawn, an' sez til Sadie that I wus goin' til hit the oul'
four-poster. - I wus
AUTUMN LEAVES FALL AND WINTER DRAWS ON
You know, Ameron, I'm seriously thinking of retiring, and putting the cafe on
feel that it is becoming a chore, rather than a pleasure," said Cherry.
"The cafe is getting to be too much for me. I used to look forward to
opening up each morning, but I'm beginning to dread the cold, wet winter days.
Of course, I shan't be selling my house, as I intend staying in the Bay."
it's worth considering," said her friend. "After all, you have worked
hard for many years, and you ought to be looking forward to an enjoyable
retirement. You certainly won't be lonely
know what you mean," replied Ameron. "I don't think that it will be
long before Ardis is harbouring thoughts about laying down his hammer for
are so right," agreed Cherry. "That's just the bit of encouragement I
needed. I'll ring the estate agent in the morning. Who knows? I might have it
sold pretty quickly".
The ladies had reached Jetty Road, and walked into the gardens for a
sit-down. " Did you hear the latest news yet?" asked Ameron.
dear, what is it?"
was told that Sian and Will are expecting a baby next year."
That's wonderful," said Cherry. "I must get the needles out and knit a
little something when I return."
too," said Ameron. "I'm sure Mo would leave us over some wool. I'll
probably see her at the club. If not, I can always give her a ring. I suppose
white would be best?"
yes," agreed Cherry, "and don't forget some small buttons."
is over at her shop today, fixing up a new sign. He made it himself, and painted
on the new name. Stands to reason, doesn't it?"
got up from their seats, and made their way along Douglas Street, where they
parted company outside Cherry's house.
and good luck dear," said Ameron, as she crossed the road and entered Knowe
Way, just opposite.
Cherry rang Loaded & Co. next morning, and asked if someone could
come over to value the property.
Mrs. Bunn," said the receptionist. "Our Mr. Des Rezz will be glad to
call with you this morning."
slipped on her warm cardigan and went across to the cafe. There was a distinct
chill in the air, and she was glad to reach the building. As soon as she had
switched on the high-speed boilers and coffee machine, she gave the place a
quick tidy up. In the little office, she checked the filing cabinet to make sure
that her accounts were up to date, as the agent would probably want to inspect
Rezz called at ten-thirty. He noticed that the cafe was very busy, and Cherry
poured him a cup of coffee whilst he had a look around. She could see that he
was enthusiastic about the sale,
he told her that he had two clients in mind, whom he felt sure would show a
be along later to put up a For Sale sign," he informed her, "but I
don't think it will be up for long. This is a very nice building, and in good
repair. I can see that you have been very meticulous as regards your
shook hands, and Des left the cafe. Cherry felt as though a great weight had
been lifted from her shoulders. She thought back over the thirty years that she
had owned the business. It had been o n the market for some time when she , and
her late husband Eyst, had returned from India, where they had spent
the first few years of their marriage. Eyst had been in the Imperial
Civil Service, and was promoted through the ranks, until he was head of his
department, a post which he held until his death some ten years ago. Cherry had
been left a substantial sum of money by her parents, and was able to buy the
cafe outright. She worked very hard, and soon recouped her initial outlay.
Yearly profits were small to begin with, but as each year passed, the profits
increased, so that she was able to purchase the small house nearby. Her bank
balance was in a very healthy state now, and she felt that she deserved a good
holiday - something which she hadn't been able to take since she acquired the
business. She was jolted out of her reverie by the sound of the telephone bell.
It was Des, who asked if he could bring a client over to view the cafe that
soon?" remarked Cherry.
yes indeed," replied the agent. "I contacted a client when I returned
to my office, and she positively jumped at the chance of a good buy. What time
would suit you, Mrs. Bunn?"
you could leave it until about three o'clock, that should give me time to clear
up after lunch," said Cherry, and replaced the phone.
she thought, "things are moving very quickly, and I only thought about
retiring last night!"
Two weeks later, Frances collected the keys of the cafe and invited
Cherry to pop over for coffee. Cherry thanked her and returned to her own
kitchen, where she sat down to make a list of
weeks later, Frances collected the keys of the cafe and invited Cherry to pop
over for coffee. Cherry thanked her and returned to her own kitchen, where she
sat down to make a list of
the things that she had to do. First of all though, she rang Ameron to tell her
the news. Ameron was both delighted and amazed at the speed of events.
going over to see V.C. later on, to seek his advice about a suitable
holiday," Cherry told her. "Why don't you call down after lunchtime,
and I can let you know the outcome," she added.
said Ameron. "Ardis is working over at Roller Cove, so I don't expect him
back until about five o'clock, so we can have a good long natter."
put forward several proposals to Cherry, and she finally decided on a ten day
coach tour to the Continent. Whilst she was writing out a cheque, V.C. prepared
her tickets, and told her that the coach would be leaving London on the seventh
of the month. He also made out a return ticket for her flights to London, and
arranged an overnight stay in a five star hotel. He handed her all the
documents, and wished her a happy holiday.
next call was to the Pondicherry, where she bought the local paper, and some
teabags. Harry and Cashun smiled at her and wished her a long retirement. She
thanked them, and Harry said "Ees good to see you putting up your feet
missus. You have been a hard worker. Time to let someone else do the donkey
bits." He held the door
open for Cherry, and bowed as she left.
sat down and read her paper while she waited for her visitor. She noticed an
advertisement in the 'Sits. Vacant' column. - 'Wanted, head chef and assistant
for cafe in Bryde's Bay.'
she thought. "Frances must be intending to expand the business. She never
let on about this when I was over this morning. However, it is not my concern
folded the paper when she heard Ameron coming up the path. They had a good long
chat over a cup of tea.
conversation turned to the cafe, and Cherry showed Ameron the paper.
say!" exclaimed the lady. "She certainly isn't letting the grass grow
under her feet. And to think that you ran that cafe single-handed for thirty odd
The following week, Sakov met her sister Ima as usual. They were in the
'Cock a Snook' tea rooms, when Ima said that she was thinking of applying for
one of the jobs at the cafe in Bryde's Bay.
why not, Ima? After all, you haff hatt trainink at the Polyteknikov in Moscow,
near Rett Square."
agreed Ima, "ant I wass awarted the greesy spoon for my Russian salat. I
will rink the owner tonight."
Frances held interviews one Tuesday morning, and after seeing a dozen
applicants, offered the job of head chef to Fred Rice, and Ima was employed as
commis chef. Frances also offered a part-time job to Annie Wyn, as cleaner and
dishwasher. Annie's children were all at school now, so she was able to work
from nine until two.
and Fred made out new menus, and Frances ordered new equipment. Trade picked up
quite quickly, and several business people called in at lunchtime, to partake of
Fred's specials. Ima was responsible for salads and sweets, whilst Frances baked
scones and cakes.
the end of November, they introduced Christmas fayre to the menu, which proved
to be very popular. Frances was able to take bookings for small parties, and
stayed open late on Fridays, to cope with the demand.
returned from her holiday looking tanned and well rested. She invited Ameron,
Rael and Teenie down for supper on Saturday night, and the ladies told her about
the changes in the cafe.
seems a very go ahead person," said Rael. "Teenie and I booked a table
last night, and we were most pleasantly surprised with our meal. There must have
been about two dozen diners there. Isn't that right, Teenie?"
actually, Rael, including ourselves."
and I were there last week," Ameron intervened, sensing an 'atmosphere'
between the teachers. "Fred and Frances seem well able to cope with the
extra workload. Phil Delightful appears to be a regular customer. He is there
most days, and it is my guess that he has set his cap at Frances."
that so?" said Cherry, "well, we must observe the liaison closely.
Perhaps something will come of it."
never know," remarked Rael, as she picked up her handbag. "Come on,
Teenie, it's half past ten, and we want to attend Matins tomorrow. Thank you for
a most enjoyable evening Cherry. You and Ameron must come up to the schoolhouse
soon. What about next Friday.
will suit me all right," replied Cherry, "and I should have my holiday
snaps by then. I'll bring them with me."
teachers got into Rael's car and returned home.
must be going too," said Ameron. "I have enjoyed myself tonight
Cherry. I'm glad you had a good holiday, it has certainly agreed with you."
closed the front door again when Ameron left, and started to wash the dishes.
"I hope that girl hasn't taken on too much," she thought to herself,
as she switched off the lights and went to bed.
The weather turned much colder during December. Arnie's postbag was much
heavier than usual, with Christmas cards and gifts being sent to friends in
Bryde's Bay. He noticed all
the festive decorations in the houses, and the council workmen were
erecting a huge tree in the public gardens. Mrs. Mole had been invited by the
council to perform the switching on ceremony, and she felt rather excited about
it. Molly fetched out the thermals, along with a warm woolen suit and heavy
don't want you getting cold dear," she said, as she helped the old lady
with the different layers.
time is it now, Molly?"
o'clock," came the reply, "and I see your transport drawing up
outside. Are you all set?"
Mole glanced in the mirror, and adjusted her hat. "All ready Molly,"
and took her arm as she went out to the car.
made sure that Flossie Mole was comfortable, and then instructed the chauffeuse
to take them to the gardens. Joy Ryder pulled smoothly away from 'Cloak and
Dagger', and brought the ladies to the bandstand. Lauren helped Flossie up the
steps, and showed her where the switch was situated. Mrs. Mole duly turned on
the lights, and there followed a programme of carols by the primary school
choir. Flossie was taken to the town hall, where a splendid tea was waiting. She
was presented with a plaque as a memento of the occasion. Joy drove her home,
where Molly was waiting to hear all the news.
Phil Delightful had asked Frances to a concert at the Lesser Shambles
Operatic Society that evening, and he called for her at six o'clock. They drove
past the gardens and admired the decorations before heading for Roller Cove,
where they had a meal at the 'Whang-Ho', before proceeding to the concert.
look tired Frances," remarked Phil, "I hope you aren't overdoing
at all," replied the proprietress. "We were extra busy today, but it
will soon be Christmas, and I'll be able to rest for a day or two. What about
you? What are your plans?"
special," he sighed. "I expect I'll spend the day on my own as usual.
I don't really mind, as I enjoy reading, and I bought a couple of books
don't you come and have dinner with me?" suggested Frances. "We might
as well keep each other company."
then, thank you for the invitation. It seems like a good idea," said Phil,
warming to the idea of spending a whole day with this beautiful girl.
over about one," she advised him. "We can eat when we feel like
enjoyed the concert, and when they were driving back to Great Shambles, Frances
thanked Phil for the treat. "It's
to have a meal made for you," she said.
pleasure. Well, here we are. I'll give you a ring on Sunday to make sure that
you still want me over on Christmas Day." There was a noticeable glint in
his eye as Frances closed the car door and went into her flat.
Phil is a chartered accountant. He lives in a large detached house,
willed to him by his grandfather, in a suburb of Great Shambles, known as Wits
End. Phil attended university, reading Maths and Economics, and gained a
first-class honours degree. He went into partnership with Reggie Stirr, setting
up an accountancy firm in the High Street. Business flourished, and eventually,
Phil felt that it was time to seek a partner in the marriage stakes. He was very
pleased with his progress at the cafe in Bryde's Bay, where he went for lunch
each working day, and Saturday as well, when he wasn't playing golf. Frances was
a well educated lady, and would
an asset to him, should they become engaged. He made up his mind to approach the
subject over Christmas Dinner, and, in anticipation, bought a beautiful antique
Christmas Day arrived, and Phil woke up feeling very lighthearted. He
took a shower, and after putting on his good suit, put the presentation box into
his pocket and set off for Frances' flat, a mere ten minute drive away. Frances
greeted him as she opened the door and took him into her lounge which overlooked
the sea front. Pouring him a drink, she handed him a present. It was no bigger
than the box containing the ring, and when he opened it, there was a pair of
gold cufflinks inside.
are lovely," he murmured, as he reached into his pocket. "This is for
you Frances. I was going to keep it until later, but you might as well have it
now. When you open it, I hope that you will understand its meaning."
took the present and opened it.
Phil, how beautiful," she whispered, and, as the meaning of it suddenly
on her, she said "Does this mean...?"
the ring from her, he nodded. "Yes my dear, it means that I am asking you
to marry me," and he slipped the ring onto her finger. "Frances
Faraway," he went on, "I want you to become Frances Delightful."
Reggie was pleased with the news when they resumed work in the New Year.
done Phil!" he enthused. "Come round and have a meal with Cass and
do, thanks Reggie. I'll be seeing Frances tonight, and I'll let you know when it
suits us both."
Reggie arrived home that evening, he told Cass about Phil and Frances.
see," replied Cass. "Oh well, there's plenty of turkey and ham in the
freezer. I'll be able to rustle up a nice meal for them."
New Year brought a heavy fall of snow, and the youngsters made snowmen,
and took sleds up to the school playing fields, where they had lots of fun
sliding down the hill.
Mole caught pneumonia, and was rushed into the cottage hospital. When she
returned home some three weeks' later, she was very weak, and Molly stayed with
her night and day. Dr. Panacea called three times a week, and told Molly that he
was rather anxious about her condition.
she doesn't improve soon Molly, we'll have to think about getting her into the
Gumshoe Residential Home for retired agents."
continued the kindly doctor, "don't hesitate to ring me if Mrs. Mole gets
and patting her arm, he left.
entered the bedroom, and Mrs. Mole was very flushed looking.
you like a drink?" Molly asked, straightening the bedclothes.
nodded, and took a few sips of lemon barley water. Then she lay back on her
pillows and closed her eyes.
made herself some tea and toast, and sat in the lounge reading the papers. At
seven o'clock she re-entered the bedroom, and thought that Mrs. Mole was having
difficulty breathing, so she went and telephoned the doctor.
he said, "I'll phone the ambulance first, then I'll come straight up."
arrived about ten minutes later and went into the bedroom. He gave Flossie an
injection, then turned to Molly.
a few things for her please Molly. The ambulance will be here shortly. We'll
to hospital. I'm afraid that she won't be back to her little house again. I'll
ring the matron at the home and arrange for her to go there from hospital."
nodded, and dabbed her eyes. "She's such a dear old lady you know,
Panacea looked at Molly - "And you have been a very good friend to her. She
wouldn't have lasted this long without your ministrations, Molly. She has had a
very good life, and I'm sure she wouldn't change one minute of it. Oh, before we
go to the hospital, perhaps you would ring Ed Counter, and let him know the
was very sorry to hear the news, and asked if there was anything he could do.
thank you," replied Molly, "the doctor and I will accompany Mrs. Mole
to the hospital."
let me know what is happening Molly," and he hung up.
"Yes doctor, we have a single room available," the matron
informed Dr. Panacea next morning.
he replied, "I'll let you know when she is coming to you. Probably next
spent the time between 'Cloak and Dagger' and her own house. Every afternoon she
visited her old friend, and phoned Ed at teatime.
Mrs. Mole never went to Gumshoe House. She passed away peacefully, a week
after she had been taken back into hospital. The funeral service was held at St.
Bird's, and the church was filled to capacity, proof indeed of the esteem in
which Mrs. Mole was held.
was the main beneficiary, and St. Bird's received a handsome bequest.
appeared in several gardens, and little shoots poked their heads up to greet the
first rays of sunshine. Winter was on its way out at last, and new life was
springing from the earth.
A SPRING IN THEIR STEP
Will and Sian looked forward to the imminent birth. Dr. Germicide, the
gynaecologist at the health centre, had informed Sian that she would have to
double up on layettes, as there was no doubt that she would be having twins.
my dear!" exclaimed Catty, "how wonderful. Do you hear that
Her husband came over and hugged his daughter. "Trury wonderfu, my
was elated when Sian told him. "Gosh!" he said. "Just think Sian,
we'll have a double helping of everything!"
she laughed, "you make me feel like Madge at the supper dance! We'd better
start thinking of names. We don't want to be choosing any old names at the last
friends were delighted when they heard, and hurried to knit extra garments. Mo
kept them all supplied with wool, and set aside two cot blankets which she had
in stock. Even Annie Wyn got in on the act - she went to the shops in Great
Shambles and boughta second teething ring!
Up at the vicarage, Ed and Melamine were preparing to welcome a new
curate, who was coming to assist in the parish. Ed had found his work load was
ever increasing, and asked the Synod if he could be provided
with some help. The bishop rang Ed and informed him that a curate would
be arriving at the end of March. Ed and Melamine were to provide him with bed
and board, and Ed was expected to give him further instruction on Church
O'Lution was qualified to conduct Sunday services, but, as the bishop said, he
was a bit of a greenhorn when it came to special services. He would be staying
at St. Bird's for a year, after which he would be fully qualified, and would
probably get his own Parish somewhere in the country If everything went
according to plan, a new assistant would be sent to Bryde's Bay, and so the
arrangements would stand for the foreseeable future. Ed thanked the bishop and
went to find Melamine, who was in the kitchen making their afternoon tea. She
was interested to hear the news, and was glad that at last Ed would have some
looks so tired," she thought, "he really needed to put his foot down
so that he could have
chance to put his feet up!"
Sandy happened to be off duty over the coming Easter weekend, and he and
Mo were going to spend the holiday with St. John and Mousie. Uncle and nephew
were fond of fishing, and intended going to the local river for a day's sport.
Mo and Mousie had decided to attend the point-to-point races on Easter Monday.
Mousie's nephew trained several horses, and had entered two in the big race,
thus giving the ladies an added interest.
Sandy put their cases in the car, and he and he and Mo set off after
breakfast on Saturday, as they were expected at Atholl Point for lunch. Atholl
point, about three hours drive away, was a small fishing village on the
North-West coast. The air was very bracing there, and they enjoyed walking along
the grassy tracks which led to the strand. Although it was a fine day, the
temperature was not very high. They were glad that they had brought some extra
warm jumpers. St.John's dog Bruno, a three year old boxer, accompanied the
sergeant on these walks. St. John stayed at the house and pottered about in the
garden whilst Mo and Mousie had a game of golf at the nearby links. After tea,
the four of them had a game or two of scrabble, then spent the rest of the
awoke on Easter Sunday to a light covering of snow, but by the time they were
going to St. Egbert's, most of it had melted away.
The weekend absolutely flew in, and soon the younger Haires were waving
goodbye, and setting off for Bryde's Bay.
"What a lovely holiday," sighed Mo.
husband agreed, and said that he always enjoyed his visits to Atholl Point.
"We must come up in the summertime", he suggested.
Sian called to Will - "I think you'd better take me in to the
who was downstairs in the kitchen preparing their tea, dropped what he was doing
and rushed upstairs. He picked up the small suitcase which Sian had packed some
time ago, and helped his wife out to the car. The journey to the maternity unit
seemed to take twice as long as usual. Will looked nervously at Sian, and tried
to keep calm. Sian, on the other hand, was quite unruffled. As soon as the
nurses had taken over, Will went to telephone their parents, who wished them
well, and asked him to ring as soon as there was any news.
Will left the kiosk and bought a cup of coffee from the machine. After
what seemed like hours, a nurse came over to him and said that Sian had had her
twins, a boy and a girl, and he could see them shortly.
he entered the little side ward, Sian was sitting up in bed, with the babies in
their cots at either side. Will and Sian hugged each other, and cried tears of
happiness, then Will went over to look at his little family. They were sound
asleep, and Will felt very proud. He could see that Sian was tired, so he told
her to have a good rest, promising to call next day.
was almost midnight, but before he left the hospital, he rang the grandparents
as promised, and said that they could visit next afternoon. When he returned
home, he went straight to bed.
morning, he rang all their friends, who were delighted to hear that all three
were doing well.
and Uel Tell had an early lunch, then set off to see their new grandchildren.
They arrived at the same time as Catty and Bitsu Tung, and they entered the ward
together. Will was already there, and said "Hello everyone. Come and see
and Gwen sat beside Sian, and asked her what names they had chosen.
started Sian, "we decided to call them after our grandparents. Our daughter
will have the names Maybee Houcan, and our son will be called Willie Goan. We
hope that you all approve."
Tungs and Tells nodded enthusiastically.
you very much my dear," said Gwen. "I'm sure that your grandparents
will be thrilled when they hear that you have chosen their names."
Will collected Sian and the twins four days' later, and took them home to
a houseful of gifts. In the middle of their lounge stood a new twin pram, a gift
from the Tungs, and upstairs were two cots from Will's parents. Will held the
children whilst Sian prepared the pram, and he laid them in it, carefully
tucking the blankets round them. He turned
to Sian and said "Thank you so much my darling for these two
beautiful children," and held her tight
for several minutes.
went into the kitchen and prepared several bottles for the twins, after which
she made some lunch for Will and herself.
and see all the presents which have been arriving since the twins were
born," called Will. "We certainly won't have to buy any clothes for a
laughed as she opened the parcels.
Sian, even the Kharis have sent something," said Will, as he unwrapped a
giant carton of 'Bull and Fence' dried milk.
kind of everyone Will," said Sian. "Look at the lovely babygro suits
must write to everyone and thank them," said Will. "We'll have
writer's cramp by the time we have finished."
and Willie slept until five o'clock, then started yelling. Will picked them up
and Sian heated their bottles. After they were comfortable again, Will said
"I'm glad that I'm on holiday this week. You'll need a hand until they are
into a routine."
nodded and yawned. "Help me get them upstairs Will, and then I'll have a
nice warm bath."
jumped up from his chair." I'll make some supper for us, then you can slip
on up to bed. You look quite tired."
At six next morning, the twins woke up. Sian felt much better, and told
Will to stay in bed. "I'll bring you up a cup of tea when I've seen to the
babies," she said.
me a shout if you need me," replied Will. Then he turned over, and promptly
went back to sleep!
Myles O'Lution arrived at St. Bird's as arranged, and soon got into the
swing of things. Melamine had prepared a room for him in the east wing of the
vicarage. A comfortably furnished room, it caught the early morning sun. Myles
could see Bryde's Bay from his window, and thought that Derry Herd's cows made a
very peaceful scene in the top field. It was in this room that he prepared
sermons for the services which he was invited to conduct. The Counters made him
feel very much at home, and he conveyed this fact to his parents in his weekly
letter home. Ed took him along to visit the parishioners in their homes, or, if
necessary, in the cottage hospital. Myles proved to be a very conscientious
assistant, with the result that Ed was able to delegate quite a few tasks his
way, thus allowing the Counters some valuable free time. He invited Myles to
assist at the christening service for the Tell twins, which was to be held on
the first Sunday in
As soon as Sian and Will heard this, they invited him to the party afterwards,
to be held at the Tung's house. Ed encouraged him to go, and Melamine readily
agreed, saying that he would be able to get
to know the people who would be there.
stood beside Ed, and accepted the twins in turn, before putting them into Ed's
arms to be baptised. Maybee Houcan and Willie Goan were duly named and blessed.
Mrs. Faux-Bourdon, the regular organist, played the Aaronic blessing, after
which Will and Sian left the church, acknowledging the smiles of their many
friends in the congregation.
they arrived home, they put the twins into their pram and wheeled them out into
the garden, leaving the pram under the shade of a sycamore tree, since the sun
was becoming very warm.
suppose we should leave for your parents' house about half twelve,"
replied Sian, gathering up all the requisites and putting them into a the large
holdall. "I think I'll change into a cotton dress, as it seems to be
ahead. I'll just put these things into the car, along with the carry cots and
wheels," said Will, as he opened the front door. He had a large estate car,
which was proving very useful for transporting his family from place to place,
and he put all the essentials into the back. The rear sat was able to
accommodate the two carry cots comfortably, and when they were ready, Will put
Maybee and Willie into the cots. Sian sat in the front seat. They arrived at the
Tungs, where Luce was waiting on the garden seat. She hugged her sister and
brother-in-law, and helped get the twins out of the car. The other guests
arrived, and the celebrations began. Myles was glad that he had accepted the
invitation. He circulated amongst the people, and got to know them all quite
well. He was talking to Norman Covers, Luce's fiancÚ, and found out that he was
a university lecturer in civil engineering. Norman was in digs at Wit's End, and
travelled by train to the university each day. During the long summer holidays,
he liked to go touring with his little caravan, picking out the more remote
spots to stay. He liked the tranquillity of these places, and he and Luce would
follow their hobby of photography, sometimes waiting for hours, just to get the
perfect scene. They both enjoyed swimming and tennis, and at night, would seek
out a quiet restaurant for dinner.
asked him about their wedding plans, and was told that the planned date was the
first of August.
The guests began to leave, and said goodbye to each other. Catty and
Bitsu invited Myles to stay for tea. "We are just having a barbecue,"
Catty told him.
you Catty, but I have to take evening service."
said that he would have plenty of
time, and she and Ed were staying as well.
five o'clock, the food was ready, and the remaining guests sat around the large
"I suppose your wedding will be next," remarked Ed, who was
sitting beside Norman and Luce.
yes," replied the new aunt. "We are starting to get very busy. My
cousins, Compis Mentis and Coma Tose are flying over from Tokyo to be
bridesmaids. They are spending a month with us. Norman's brother Matt will be
interesting," said the vicar. "It doesn't seem like five years since
your sister's wedding."
know. She was going to be Matron of Honour, but along came the twins, and that
came around with assorted meats and salad. Nobody was very hungry after the
party, but they all took a little something. Myles left them all at six-fifteen,
and went to St. Bird's. He had really enjoyed being part of the celebrations,
and secretly hoped that he would be going to
wedding in August.
and Will took their leave, and brought the twins home. As they approached their
car, parked at the side of the house, Catty remarked to Gwen - "Look Gwen,
those two have a definite spring in their step!"Gwen followed Catty's line
of sight, and had to agree.
Summer time in Bryde's Bay is really no different from any other seaside
village. Holidaymakers come and go, and village life continues at ita usual
pace. The Regal Hotel was fully booked, and Cherry employed some casual staff to
help with the increased trade, brought about by the good weather and programme
of events which made Bryde's Bay so popular with the visitors.
Ed Counter had received a letter at the beginning of June. It was from
Dame Henrietta Tortellini, who asked him to invite aspiring singers to attend
her summer school, to be held in the community centre during July. Dame
Henrietta was well known in operatic circles, and her wealth of experience would
ensure a good response. Sam and Janet Evening were most enthusiastic, and put up
notices in the rehearsal rooms of the Lesser Shambles Operatic Society.
School finished at the end of June, and the pupils looked forward to nine
weeks' holiday. Several of them were going camping with the guides and scouts,
and they were busy packing their rucksacks. Each child had been given a list if
items to bring with them, and they assembled in the car park on the first Monday
in July, to await transport to the camp. They were all very excited and the
guide leader, Belle Tent, along with the scout master, Singh Tapps, had a
difficult job keeping them all in order. Eventually the coach arrived, and with
much waving to parents who had escorted them to the car park, they were off.
was a lovely night - one of those balmy nights when everything was still, with
not a breeze to disturb the leaves, and the sun, a huge orange ball, dipping
down beneath the sea, tingeing the clouds pink, promising another fine day. A
night when it didn't really get dark, the sea
as calm as a millpond. Ardis walked his dog along the sea front, and
stopped to admire the scene. He loved to lean against the jetty wall and gaze
across the sea to the twinkling lights of ships going past. Jerry Bilt was tying
up his little dinghy and greeted Ardis as he walked up the slip way. The two men
chatted whilst Towser lay at his master's feet. After a while, they saw two men
leaving the hotel and watched them walking down Jetty Road towards them.
recognise those two all right," said Jerry, "they come down here every
year - have done for the past ten years or more."
yes," agreed Ardis, "the one on the left is Al Fresco, the chap who
likes to go back packing, isn't it?"
it is, and the other one is Oliver Goosegrease, the long-distance swimmer. I
s'pose he's coming down to see me about supplying a boat to accompany him on his
next attempt at
the channel," informed Jerry, as he straightened up to welcome the
four men shook hands.
did you arrive?" asked Ardis.
five o'clock," replied Oliver. "We happened to arrive about the same
time, and had our evening meal together. Then we decided to take a stroll to see
who was about."
long are you staying?" inquired Jerry, as he lit his pipe.
I've booked in for about a week," answered Al. "I want to do a bit of
walking around the local beauty spots as usual, and Oliver is going to make
another attempt at the channel, weather permitting, so perhaps I could come
along in the boat to give him a bit of support?"
don't see why not," replied Jerry. "When are you hoping to set off,
do a couple of training swims, and perhaps have a go on Thursday or Friday. I
hope the sea stays calm as it will make things a bit easier."
on Towser, time to get back home," said Ardis, pulling gently on the dog's
lead. Towser got to his feet and stretched, his tail wagging when Jerry leaned
down to pat his head, and give him a scratch behind his ears.
a good old boy Towser," he said. "What age is he now, Ardis?"
coming up to his fourteenth birthday, and it only seems like yesterday when he
was a little bundle of fur which just about filled the palm of my hand. Come on
boy, time we were away. Goodnight boys, I'm sure I'll bump into you soon. Enjoy
your holiday with us, and good luck with your swim Oliver," and he
disappeared into the gloom, with Towser walking obediently at his heel.
Jerry bid the visitors goodnight as well, and went to lock up the pier
house before going home. He lived in a little cottage
which was situated between Gull Creek and Roller Cove. Rocky Outcrops
lived in the one nearest the lighthouse, and the third one was unoccupied at
present. It was used as a summer residence, and the owner, Dr. Germicide, had
informed Jerry that this year's tenant would be arriving during the second week
in July. Art Decaugh, a well known artist intended staying for six weeks, or
longer if possible. He hoped to paint several local scenes during his stay.
Dame Henrietta had arrived in Bryde's Bay, and duly set up her summer
school in the community centre. She had brought Pia Nissimo, her accompanist
with her, and passersby were treated to the sounds of the pupils being taken
through the initial stages of scales and arpeggios.
like that oul' tom cat's there as well," remarked Madge, when she rang
Sadie about their holiday arrangements. They had decided to go for a tour in the
car, and were leaving for the overnight ferry that very evening. "I'll call
fer ye about five," informed Madge. "We can have wer tea on the way up
til the dacks."
said Sadie, "I'll be ready Madge. I've gat me suitcase packed 'n'
all," she added.
show, our Sadie. Here, I hear one o' them holocausts flyin' about. It sounds
looked out of her window, and saw the air-sea rescue helicopter hovering over
must be summat up," she told Sadie, "it's hooverin' aroun' the Bay.
I'll ring ye later."
pair of binoculars sat on Madge's coffee table. She lifted them and looked
across towards the sea. The helicopter was circling round, and the Roller Cove
lifeboat was making its way towards Gull Creek. One of the dinghies from the
holiday park had overturned, and Madge could see someone clinging to the side.
The lifeboat arrived and took the casualty on board. As soon as they had
attached a line to the dinghy, they made their way back to the Cove, where
Howard Standing was waiting to take the camper round to the health centre for a
on earth happened Pete?" asked Howard, when Pete Moss, a landscape
gardener, reappeared from the surgery, having received an anti tetanus from
Nurse Jab, and a clean bill of health from the doctor.
don't really know," replied Pete, rubbing his arm. "One minute I was
enjoying the sail, and the next, I was in the water. I must have caught a sudden
gust. By-the-way, does that nurse play darts for the local team?"
laughed as he turned the van into the park. "Go and get out of those wet
clothes Pete, then come up to the bungalow for a 'reviver'" he invited.
will, thanks Howard," said Pete, opening the door of his caravan and
Oliver trained hard, and was ready for the attempt. Jerry Rocky and Al
met up at the boathouse, and Jerry went inside to collect the large jar of
grease which he applied to Oliver's body. A large crowd had gathered to cheer
Oliver on his way. Even the singers had appeared, having postponed their morning
session. Dame Henrietta and Pia joined them at the water's edge.
was prepared. He pulled on his goggles and walked down the slip way. Turning to
the crowd, he waved before entering the water.
luck," shouted everyone, and watched as he swam out into the bay. Jerry
started up the engine and followed after. Flasks of hot soup, tea, sandwiches
and chocolate had been brought on board, along with blankets and a small flask
of brandy. Jerry had informed the coast guards about the swim, so that they
could alert any shipping in the immediate area. Oliver was out of sight now, so
the spectators dispersed, mostly to Cherry's cafe for their elevenses.
After lunchtime, a chill wind sprang up, and clouds rolled in from the
west. Some of the holiday makers played tennis on the courts adjacent to the
pool. Because the pool was heated, children swam and played with beach balls,
oblivious to the large drops of rain which had started to fall. Parents sat in
the cafe for shelter, where they could keep an eye on their offspring. Tennis
matches were abandoned, and the players headed for the hotel, where they had
afternoon tea, whilst watching sport on the television. Some of them had entered
for the local tennis tournament, which was to be held in August, under the
auspices of the local council.
The guides and scouts were preparing to strike camp. Singh Tapps
instructed the boys in folding tents, and these were duly loaded onto the coach,
which had arrived to transport the children back home. Belle Tent made sure that
the cooking utensils were sparkling clean, and before they left, they formed a
chain across the field and walked the length of it to clear up any litter that
was lying about. As they boarded the coach, there was a rumble of thunder, and
some of the younger children were a bit frightened, so the two leaders got
everyone to sing the camp songs which they had learned during the week. By the
time they reached Bryde's Bay, it was raining heavily, and the children, having
collected their rucksacks from the back of the coach, scampered over to their
waiting parents and returned home. Belle and Singh put the tents into the
community hall which was used for the weekly meetings, and bidding each other
goodbye, also returned home.
Out at sea, Oliver had stopped for a short break. Rocky passed him a
carton of soup and a cheese sandwich. "How are you feeling?" he asked.
fine," came the reply, "although I hope the sea doesn't get any more
choppy, or it will make progress much more difficult."
said Jerry, "according to the radio, there's quite a storm brewing up. We'd
better keep a sharp lookout."
said Oliver, passing the empty carton back to Rocky. "Let's get going
again. If it gets too bad, I'll call off the attempt, and try again when the
weather is better."
set off again, and Jerry kept the radio tuned to the coast guard frequency, as
they called him up at regular intervals for progress reports. They were about
halfway across when there was a tremendous flash of lightning, followed
immediately by a deafening clap of thunder. Jerry carefully steered the boat
past Oliver, and signaled for him to stop.
not take any chances Olly. We don't want you to be hit by lightning," he
shouted over the roar of the storm.
gave him the thumbs up sign, and swam over to the boat, where he was helped
aboard by Rocky and Al.
bad, chum," said Rocky, as he wrapped a blanket round Oliver, "but I
think that Jerry is right."
indeed," agreed a disappointed Oliver. "Oh well, we can have another
go sometime soon. I felt that I was going well, and I would have succeeded if it
hadn't been for this dratted storm."
have a cup of coffee," offered Al. "I've put a wee tot of brandy in it
to warm you up."
Al," said Olly, accepting the carton and taking a sip. "Ah. That's
better. I hadn't realised how cold the water had become."
steered the boat back to the jetty. Nobody was about because it was seven
o'clock at night, when most of them would be sitting down to their evening meal.
up to the hotel and have dinner with me," offered Oliver
. "It's the least I can do to thank you all for your help."
having a quick shower, he joined his friends downstairs and they went into the
dining room. The other guests sympathized with him on his failed attempt, and
hoped he would have better luck next time.
Decaugh had lit the fire in his holiday cottage. The logs crackled and sent
showers of sparks up the chimney. Art sat in the comfortable armchair and viewed
his work. He was very pleased with the results, and had entered several of them
in a local exhibition. He spent the evening sorting out the best ones, and made
frames for them, before setting them in the corner, ready for transportation to
Lesser Shambles Art Gallery next day. The storm lasted most of the evening, and
the artist read the 'Cove Courier' before retiring for the night.
Jerry and Rocky arrived home about midnight. They had had a very
convivial evening with several residents of the hamlet. Oliver, tired out, had
gone to bed early, so Rocky, Jerry and Al had gone to the ex-services club for a
couple of hours. Quite a few members were there, and they listened eagerly to
Jerry's account of the swim. "Dashed bad luck that thunderstorm,
what?" commented Victor, "but perhaps it will bring good weather in
are probably right," agreed Jerry. "The wind is coming from a
different art now - a sure sign of fair weather."
enough, the sun was shining from a cloudless sky next morning. Everything looked
and smelled fresh. The sea was calm.
Jim Nastics, the recreation officer for the area, was in his office,
organising the concert for Friday night. He contacted all the performers to make
sure that they were aware of the final arrangements, and knew the 'batting'
order. The concert was to be held in the public gardens beside the car park,
weather permitting. A large crowd was expected to attend this popular annual
event, and seating was arranged by council workmen. Husky's minibus would be
kept busy, ferrying caravanners from Gull Creek. Should the weather be
inclement, alternative arrangements had been made to use the community hall.
night turned out sunny and warm. The audience began to arrive at seven o'clock,
and waited for Jim to introduce the artistes. At seven-thirty, he stepped on to
the bandstand to start the proceedings.
loud applause, the pipes and drums of the Bootleg Bay Lifeguards opened the
entertainment, playing several reels, strathspeys and marches, setting the
listeners' feet tapping. Florrie Tutu, who ran a ballet school in Great
Shambles, gave a most moving performance of 'The Dying Swan,' ably accompanied
by Pia, who remained on stage for the next item. Henrietta had awarded
certificates to the pupils, who, in her estimation, had progressed most during
her master classes. Sam and Janet Evening, winners in the duet class, sang a
selection of popular songs from the shows. They were greeted with thunderous
applause, and proved to everyone that their high commendation was well deserved.
announced the next act - The Boer War Veterans Silver Band, who played several
Sousa marches. Their conductor, Brigadier Johannes Berg, was very proud of them
all in their red tunics and black trousers. As an encore, they played the theme
from the film 'Out of Africa'. When they had finished, they joined the rest of
the audience to watch the other performers.
Post Office male voice choir was followed by the Rocket jazz band. Just before
the finale, the winner of the solo certificate stepped onto the stage. Hayley
Strung sang 'Whenever I feel Afraid.'
male voice choir returned to sing the final number - 'It's good to talk', ably
assisted by the lifeguards. Jim gave this piece his stamp of approval, and
thanked all those who had taken part.
For many of the visitors, this was the last night of their holiday, and
everyone agreed that
was a most enjoyable occasion. They bid each other goodbye, and looked forward
to next year, when they hoped to return.
The residents of Bryde's Bay carried on with their daily lives as usual.
They were accustomed to seeing new faces throughout the summer season, and
joined in the fun whenever possible.
July gave way to August, and a new influx of trippers. August was regatta
month, and several well known yachtsmen were seen in the village, including
Howard Aport, the world champion, who had travelled from British West
Hartlepools for the event. Locally owned yachts were bedecked with flags to
welcome the competitors. One or two Galway hookers were seen about the jetty,
but Sandy Haire sent Ringo down to tell the ladies to clear off!
can jolly well take their trade elsewhere," he told the constable.
Art sold many of his paintings, and was busy on some landscapes, and a
seascape of Roller Cove, which included the lighthouse. He was just adding a few
seagulls when he noticed several army trucks entering a nearby field. "Of
course," he thought, "the T.A.is setting up their annual camp
was indeed the T.A. arriving, under the command of Captain Luke Lively. Luke was
to occupy a small ridge tent which had been erected by the advance party, along
with some marquees in which the men
would be sleeping. The quartermaster, Major Blowout, was busy setting up his
camp kitchen, and checking supplies. The men would be receiving instruction in
the use of firearms at the rifle range. Lieutenant Lewis Gunner and Sergeant Lee
Enfield, who had both won honours at Bisley, shared this responsibility.
Art watched the activity with interest. He was sitting at a good vantage
point, and could see the hustle and bustle without leaving his little canvas
seat. Rocky spotted him as he was polishing the glass louvres of the lighthouse,
and waved to him. Art raised a hand in greeting, then returned to his painting.
Jim Nastics arrived at his office to meet with the sports committee.
Their task was to make the draw for the tennis tournament, which was starting
the following Monday. They had received a large entry, including some overseas
players who were holidaying in Bryde's Bay.
Tender and Mrs. Vi Tality were already seated when Jim came in. He looked at his
watch, and saw that it was ten o'clock. "Sorry
to keep you waiting, but I had some council business to attend to first,"
all right", said Con, "Vi and I were a bit early anyway."
door opened, and Dick Taytor came
in. He was the third member of the sub committee, and always liked to make his
presence felt. He sat down rather noisily, and the meeting began. The draw was
made, and after a break for tea, Jim said that he would
display the draw on the notice board at
the pavilion in Bryde's Bay.
about finals day?" asked Vi, "are we going to have the usual dance to
end off the week?"
thought of that," replied Jim, "we could ask Big Dipper along to
provide the music."
and nonsense!" interjected Dick. "Let's have a barbecue and square
dance for a change."
thought the chairman. "What do you two think that?" he addressed Con
I don't know about that," responded Vi.
"The players always look forward to the dancing after the trophies have
true," agreed Con. "After all, the mens' and ladies' champions always lead off."
and Vi nodded, but Dick was positively fuming. He was used to getting his own
way, and did not like his ideas challenged.
look here," he said, his face getting red, " we have been running a
dance for the past twenty years. It's time we offered something different for
the players and spectators." He thumped the table as he spoke, and poor old
Vi cowered in her chair.
need to lose your temper," uttered Jim.
NOT LOSING MY TEMPER!" bellowed Dick, "BUT I ABSOLUTELY INSIST
ON HAVING A BARBECUE AND SQUARE DANCE."
He slammed his briefcase shut, and stormed out of Jim's office, banging
the door for extra effect.
an obnoxious man!" exclaimed Vi. "Thank goodness this is his last year
on the committee."
need for him to use that tone of voice," remarked Con, patting Vi's hand to
calm her down.
"What will we do Jim?"
I suppose we could have a barbecue and square dance. It would be a novelty for
the holiday makers."
other two nodded their assent, and as they had no other business, they left .
phoned the printers and asked if the posters were ready.
Jim. Bea Literate here. Yes, your posters are ready for collection, and we will
have the others ready for you next Tuesday, as requested."
on, Bea. I have to ask you to change the wording on those other posters. We are
having a barbecue and square dance instead of the usual supper dance. Have I
allowed you enough time for the alterations?"
Just let me make a note of the wording which you want, and I'll pass it on to
the printing room."
Bea. I'll call for the others in about an hour."
Jim, see you soon."
dialled another number, and waited for a reply.
Shambles, two-fourteen," said a voice.
Dozy. Jim Nastics here. Would you and your group be free next Saturday evening? We would like you to play for
our close of tournament square dance."
said Dozy. "I thought you always had Big Dipper in attendance."
You know Dick Taytor? He nearly exploded this morning when he thought we were
going to throw out his proposal for a barbecue and square dance. Actually, if he
hadn't stormed out, he would have seen that we agreed with him! What do you say?
You'll get your usual fee of course, plus your supper."
grand ,Jim. As it happens, we are free that night. We find that square dancing
is more popular during the winter. What time do you want us to turn up?"
eight o'clock, if that suits you, and thanks very much Dozy, you have been a
Jim collected the posters and took them, along with the draw, to the
tennis courts. Quite a few people were practicing for the event, and came over
to read the notices which Jim had put up.
left Bryde's Bay, and had one more task to complete
before lunch. Lauren Order was in her office and smiled as Jim entered.
Jim. Is everything ready for Monday morning?"
is indeed, Lauren. If you could be there for ten o'clock, we would be able to
get the competition under way."
I'm looking forward to it," said Lauren.
Dozy Doe contacted Vi Lynn and Mary Tinkler, and suggested that they meet
at her home to discuss the programme for Saturday.
I'll be along at seven, and I'll bring my fiddle," said Vi.
morning was sunny and warm, with a slight sea breeze causing the bunting to
flutter gently. Spectators and players had gathered for the opening ceremony,
and as soon as Lauren had served twice, Senator Court mounted the umpire's chair
and took command of the proceedings. Play progressed satisfactorily throughout
the week, with only two short breaks whilst light rain fell. By Saturday, the
crowd had doubled in size to watch the two finals. The ladies were first, and
Senator Court accompanied them out to the arena, tossed a coin, and play began.
Lottie Lobs, the Swedish champion played magnificently and defeated the reigning
champion, Nita Restring, by two sets to one.
After a twenty minute break, the men came out for their final. Walter
Goodshott was victorious over the Dutch player Wilf Ootfault.
Jim announced to the crowd that the presentation of prizes would take
place that evening at the barbecue, after which there would be a square dance.
Everybody was invited to the celebrations.
Doe and the Promenaders arrived. Vi Lynn tuned her fiddle whilst Mary Tinkler
played a few tunes on her piano accordion.
Outside, Vi, Con and Dick, their argument forgotten, got the barbecue
going. Soon the air was filled with the smell of steak, chicken and sausages.
They agreed that the week had been a great success.
The final event of the holiday season was the mayoress' show, followed by
a grand fireworks display. Ardis
and Willie were busy in the shed at the back of the Nails' house. They were
constructing a chariot for the Bryde's Bay float, which was depicting 'Britain
through the Ages.' The ladies were
sewing costumes, and those who were to be on the float
on their garments at various stages of their manufacture. Madge and Sadie were
to be at the front of the float, as they would be representing the earliest
"Ye know Sadie," said Madge when she telephoned her sister to
let her know what was happening, because Sadie was unable to be at the first
meeting at which decisions were made as to who would play the various roles,
"you, Penny, Sakov and Cherry have til dress up as my worriers."
who will you be?" came the obvious question.
Sadie, I have til dress up as Bodice, the queen of the I seen ya tribe."
should be a sight fer sore eyes Madge," commented Sadie, with just a hint
of sarcasm. "Who else will be on the float?"
is Britannic, an' Rael is Elizabeth the one. Vic will be Lord Kitchen along wi'
Perry, who'll be Lord Half-Nelson."
went on to tell Sadie that the Bryde's Bay Buglers would be leading the float.
fer the phone call Madge. When's the next fittin'?"
marra night. See ye there. Cheerio ny."
Willie and Ardis, using an old set of pram wheels, donated by Annie Wyn
Elpus, made a magnificent chariot, suitably strengthened, and sprayed with gold
should be strong enough to carry two Madges," laughed Ardis. "We'll
keep it in the shed until the day of the parade. Thanks for all your help
mention it Ardis. I enjoyed myself, and it is quite a good chariot, even though
I say it myself," replied the caretaker.
Gray skies greeted the day of the show, and Lauren waited at the town
hall in Great Shambles. She was to judge the floats before the parade, then lead
them off, riding in an open carriage, provided the rain kept away. Sadly, this
wasn't the case, so Lauren's official car was
a pity," she said to the other councillors, "I was so looking forward
to the carriage ride."
floats began to arrive outside the town hall, and the mayoress, under the
shelter of a large golf umbrella, commenced the judging.
Great Shambles float was covered with flowers, and had a seat for the show
queen, who would be chosen just before departure round the town.
Cove had made a cardboard lighthouse, with a battery-powered light flashing on
top. Rocky stood beside the edifice, and Art, complete with canvas and easel,
sat at the back.
Bay won second prize for their mockup of a pirate ship, complete with jolly
roger and fierce looking pirates brandishing cutlasses.
Creek had a smallish float, covered with imitation grass, on which was set a
large tent and a dinghy.
on the Dodge" was the theme of the Lesser Shambles effort, constructed by
the operatic society. They won the highly commended prize.
of the perpetual challenge cup was, of course, Bryde's Bay. Madge stood in the
chariot, dressed in a flimsy leotard, with a Viking helmet atop a blonde wig.
Her trusty warriors knelt around the chariot whilst the judging took place.
Teenie sat erect in her chair, holding her trident and shield. Rael struck a
regal pose as Good Queen Bess. Bringing up the rear were Victor and Perry. They
considered themselves very lucky to be dressed in uniform, as they were
comfortably warm, whilst the others were frozen stiff!
debentures is chatterin'," complained Madge, "I'm absolutely
The show queen was chosen and crowned, and Marina Parke took her place on
the leading float. The mayoral car left the town hall and the floats followed
on. Considering the poor weather,
quite a large crowd had assembled to see the parade. They cheered the floats as
each one went past, and Ardis and Willie were delighted to see the cup on
display at the front of the tableau.
When the parade was over, the floats returned to their respective areas
and were eventually dismantled. Those who had taken part hurried home, no doubt
to a warm drink and heavier clothing!
That Saturday night, just about everyone gathered at the back of the
community hall to watch the fireworks. Hamleteers stood shoulder to shoulder
with the holiday makers, and the mobile chip van did a roaring trade all night.
At ten-thirty, the first rockets soared into the night sky. "Ooohs"
and " aahs" emanated from the audience, and children were
enthralled as the display moved towards its culmination.
returned home, and visitors went back to the hotel to prepare for the exodus on
the following day. The holiday season was ending, and Bryde's Bay would soon
return to normal. School was starting the next week, and Rael and Teenie were
quite looking forward to the new term.
had cut and dried the hay, and intended moving it into the barn before the
weather would break.
Standings said goodbye to the last of the summer visitors. A few
week-enders would be there
during September, but, on the whole, Gull Creek would be quieter than of late.
Counters were busy at the vicarage, arranging winter activities at St. Bird's.
helped yacht owners to remove their craft from the water, and bought some
varnish for his own boat. Husky arranged to have his minibus brought in to
Philip's garage for an overhaul. He had had a busy season, and was already
booked for different functions to be held during the winter, especially at
gave, what he hoped, was the last cut of the year to the grass at St. Bird's,
and tidied up the flower beds, removing weeds and dead flowers.
Khari brothers did a stock take after their summer trading. They had kept Gull
Creek supplied, as well as their own emporium, with the result that Harry had to
make a very long list of necessities, which he took to the wholesalers, whilst
Cashun attended to their customers.
had prospered during the holiday time. Now they could all relax and enjoy the
late September sunshine before embarking on their winter hobbies.
Evan had seen the light.
So had Madge and Sadie.
It happened one cold, crisp January night, when the frost sparkled in the
bright moonlight. Evan was walking
along the promenade, alone as usual. He was thinking about the cruel way which
life had treated him, and the fact that high finance had always seemed to be
just out of his reach.
he said aloud, as he kicked a stone onto the sand, "why do these things
always happen to me? Why do other blokes get away with it, and I end up doing
leaned against the harbour wall and lit a cigarette. His latest stretch - six
months for petty larceny - had finished that day. He had been released early in
the morning, and when he arrived home, the house was empty. Annie Wyn was at
work in Frances Delightful's cafe, and the children were at school. He made
himself a pot of tea and toasted the heel of a loaf, spreading it liberally with
butter and cream cheese. He still had some money in his pocket, given to him by
the governor, so he pondered whether to put it on a horse, or go along to the
Wolfit Inn, on the off-chance that he might get a part-time job, or, better
still, meeting one or two of his cronies who might just be discussing an easier
way of obtaining some cash. He decided on the latter and left home at eleven
o'clock to dander along to the pub.
Avu Herd was just coming out of the post office as he was passing, and when she
saw him, she darted back in to tell Penny that Evan was out again.
lor! I'd better get back home and tell Derry to keep an eye on the
chickens!" By the time Avu reached the farm, most of Bryde's Bay had been
told the news!
Slippy Skinner was seated in a corner of the pub with Dipper Nolan, and
another man whom Elpus hadn't seen before. Evan bought a glass of beer and
joined the others.
you've done your porridge," remarked Slippy in a sneering voice, "you
should have been more careful Evan."
well the look out didn't give me no warning," grumbled Evan. "I hadn't
a chance, not a single chance."
noticed Evan looking at the man sitting beside Dipper.
haven't met Oops Mistigan yet. Oops is an expert safecracker. He's going to give
us the benefit of his expertise on our next job."
picked up his glass and waited for Slippy to continue.
boys, this is going to be the big one this time."
like I got out just in time Slippy," said Evan, pound signs floating before
just the problem," continued Skinner, "we've all the arrangements
made, and you're not included boyo."
c'mon now Slippy, we've been mates for years now. You can't do this to me!"
can, and what's more, we have," sniggered Slippy. "We couldn't be sure
that you'd get out today, so Dipper 'ere was called on to take your place. We
can count you in on the next one, if all goes well this time."
Evan was furious.
He finished his drink and stormed out.
don't think he's a happy man," remarked Oops.
it's his own fault for being stupid enough to get caught," explained
Slippy. "Honestly lads, Elpus hasn't the brains he was born with. Anyway,
you both know the score. We'll meet up later as planned."
left the pub and went their separate ways, each one knowing what was expected of
Madge and Sadie had spent the day taking down their Christmas
decorations, and dutifully put the holly in a box, to keep it for burning on
Shrove Tuesday, as tradition decreed. Sadie put the decorations away in the roof
space, then the two of them hoovered and dusted until it was time for tea. Sadie
remarked to Madge that their stock of bread was almost nil.
all right luv, I'll stick a couple o' them wee wheaten bullocks in the oven
later on. That'll do us till we get til the shaps the marra."
give ye a wee haun," said Sadie. "I always feel that it's a bit of an
anti climax when Christmas is over."
I agree wi' ye there our Sadie, an' this always seems til be such a long
oul' month. I feel very laxadaisy until the spring comes roun'. Mebbe we
should arrange a wee get tilgether fer February. Whaddya say?"
wud brighten up the winter, Madge, an' I'm shoor everyone wud like a wee night
said Madge, getting up from her chair, "we'll attend til that matter later.
Let's go an' make wer bread ny," and the sisters went into the kitchen to
start their baking.
Evan finished his cigarette and stood up straight as he went to turn for
home. He looked out at the darkness over the sea, and it was then that he saw
it. - He wasn't sure at first - it looked like a star twinkling in the distance,
but there it was again. A definite light, flashing on and off. He knew that it
couldn't be the lighthouse at Roller Cove, so, intrigued, he watched and waited.
He reckoned that it must be a small boat, signalling to someone. Looking around,
he couldn't see any other boats around. All he could see was the darkness - no
red or green lights showing at all. Then
he looked to his right, and there it was - a torch being held by someone
standing just beyond the pier house, signalling back to the boat.
He retreated into the shadows in case he would be spotted, and watched
with interest as the boat came closer to the jetty. It must have been a dark
coloured boat, as he could only see the light flashing, but eventually he made
out the outline of the masts. Three dark figures emerged from the shadows and
ran down the jetty. They carried a large box from the boat, and took it over to
the sand as the boat slipped away, disappearing into the night. Several minutes
later - Evan didn't know exactly how long - the three men withdrew from the box
and hid behind some rocks. There followed a muffled explosion, after which the
group returned and started filling plastic bags with the booty. When they had
finished, they ran up the beach, and, looking round to make sure that nobody was
there, climbed up onto the promenade. At this point, Evan stepped into their
path, causing Slippy, Dipper and Oops to gasp.
there Evan," said Slippy when he had recovered his composure, "what
are you doing down here?"
might ask you the same question," replied Evan, "and Sandy Haire would
be mighty interested to know as well."
c'mon now pal, you wouldn't grass on your mates."
indeed! From what I know, mates stick together and do things together as
I told you this morning that I couldn't be sure you would turn up, and we had
the arrangements made."
that's your hard luck - unless we come to an amicable arrangement."
mean, amicable arrangement Elpus?"
I seen everything from start to finish, and unless you give me my share that
I'd've gat if you'd included me in your scheme, I'll not be responsible for my
turned to Skinner and said "fer dear sake Slippy, give him a couple o' wads
o' them big notes, and let's get on our way before the fuzz arrives an' nicks us
reached into one of the bags and pulled out some cash which he handed to Evan,
than he ran over to a car which had been parked beside the swimming pool
earlier, and before Evan could say 'Easy Street', they were gone.
Meanwhile, Madge and Sadie busied themselves in their kitchen.
a wee juke at them bullocks in the oven luv, whilst I turn these sody farls
over," said Madge as she tended the bread on the griddle.
few minutes should do 'em Madge. Will I stick the keddle on ny?"
ahead Sadie. These farls'll be cooled enough by the time the tea's ready."
carried the cooling trays over to the window, which she opened to allow the cool
breeze to blow in. She glanced out and saw the flashing light.
Sadie, I wonder who's flashing out there?"
ran across to the window, half expecting to see a man in a dirty raincoat! She
followed Madge's line of sight and also saw the light.
it isn't Racky's lighthouse, yiz can see it further away. I hope it isn't one o'
them depressed ships."
prabably a wee fishin' boat signallin' til another one," offered Sadie,
pouring the tea.
sisters enjoyed the warm buttered bread, and thought no more about the incident.
morning, the morning paper was delivered as usual, and Madge collected it from
gasped as she read the headlines. "Here Sadie, wait'll ye hear this -
'Bootleg Bay Bank Burgled By Buccaneers - full story page five.
go on Madge, read it out," said Sadie, finishing off her fry.
read out the report about the bank raid, and the small night safe being taken
away by boat.
I never!" she declared, "I must ring Sandy an' tell him about thon
flashin' light we seen. I betcha it had somethin' til do wi' it. It sez here
that they gat away wi' an undisguised sum o' money, thought til be in the region
o' one hundred thousand quid.!"
A small crowd had gathered near the jetty as Evan went to collect his
morning paper. Ringo Steele was keeping the people off the beach whilst Sandy
and Ian Terrogator inspected what was left of the safe.
like a 'jelly' job Sandy. Whoever blew it up knew exactly what they were doing.
Anyone you know of who's had experience with explosives?"
from Bryde's Bay," answered the sergeant, "but I'll ring the CRO
later, and see if they can come up with anything,"
then," said Ian, brushing the sand off his hands. "Let's get a cup of
tea first, I'm frozen stiff."
two men went back to the station after instructing the constable to keep
spectators away from the evidence until they could arrange to have it brought up
to the barracks for forensic examination. Looking across at the crowd, the
detective inspector said to Sandy - "isn't that Elpus over there? When did
he get out?"
yesterday Ian. Do you think he might know something?"
maybe, but we won't bring him in just yet. We don't want him to think we're
suspicious of him. Just keep your eyes and ears open, you never know what a spot
of earwigging might turn up!"
returned home. He boiled the
kettle and made some coffee. Whilst sitting at the table, he turned to page five
in his newspaper to read the report about the robbery. When he saw the reckoned
amount he was furious.
"What?" he yelled, " a hundred thousand smackeroonies, and
all I got was a measly pair of monkeys! That settles it. I'll go and see Haire.
Maybe I'll get a reward for informing."
finished his drink and walked down to the barracks - after he had hidden the
money in the back of the coal house in the yard. Ringo was at the desk when Evan
do you want?" asked the constable.
demanded to see the sergeant.
busy at the moment," came the reply.
wait then. Be sure to tell him I'm here."
could be quite a while. Could I help you at all?"
I came to see Sandy Haire, nobody else," said Evan in a loud voice.
in the interview room with Madge and Sadie, heard the rumpus and came out to see
what was going on. When Evan saw him, he jumped from his seat and said
"it's about time. I've come to see you, and I don't like being kept
down again," ordered Sandy, "and kindly keep your voice down. I'll see
you when I've finished taking statements from the witnesses."
somewhat perturbed in case he had been seen, sat down again. He wondered who the
witnesses were. He hadn't noticed anyone else about the pier house or the
Sandy opened the door for Madge and Sadie, and escorted them to the exit
at the other end of the station. "Thank you very much for coming, ladies,
you have been most helpful."
hearing this, Evan got up and tried to leave the barracks, but Sandy caught him
by the arm, saying, "not so fast lad. You wanted to see me. Well, I want to
see you!" He took Evan into the interview room and closed the door.
Madge and Sadie, their mouths like two round 'O's' hurried across the
street to Frances' cafe for a much-needed cup of coffee.
ye hear thon Elpus one, an' good oul' Sandy tellin' him nat til be so
agreed that she had heard the furore, and wondered if Evan had been involved.
The sisters sat by the window, and Sadie ordered two coffees and some scones.
hope he doesn't come roun' til the house til take his review on us Sadie - he
can be quite nasty if the mood takes him."
if he does, Madge, we can send fer Sandy, an' he'll fix 'im up good and
"Right then laughing boy, you wanted to see me?"
sat down at his desk, facing Evan. The latter felt most uncomfortable, and
wasn't so sure that this had been a good idea.
on then Elpus, I haven't got all day. Do you know something about last night's
nodded. He told Sandy
that he wanted to turn Queen's Evidence. "I'll do it so long as you go easy
on me sergeant," he muttered.
can't promise anything, but go ahead and tell me what you know."
spilled the beans.
Sandy, writing out the statement asked him a few questions as the tale
unfolded. When they were finished, Evan put his mark to the statement, and Sandy
said he could go. "Don't be
sneaking off anywhere. DI Terrogator will want to speak to you."
wanted to find a better hiding place for his money, before the police came
snooping around. He would have to hide it away from the house, because the
detectives already knew all his hidey holes from previous searches.
He took the money out of the coal house, and placed it in a plastic bag.
Then he found a piece of oilskin, and wrapped it round the bag before putting
the parcel into a biscuit tin. He wondered what he would do next, so he went
into his old lean-to shed for inspiration. The shed was full of garden waste.
"That's it!" he cried to himself, and set the biscuit tin into a rusty
wheelbarrow before covering it with rubbish. He wheeled the barrow down the
garden path and along the lane way which led to Badger Lane. He had brought a
spade with him, so that if anyone saw him digging a hole, he could tell them
that he was just burying some rubbish in the field.
When he got to the field, he searched for a suitable spot to dig. He
counted the paces from the lane way, and found a place at forty-three - just his
age - easy to remember! Looking around to make sure that he was alone, he began
his task. It took him about half an hour to complete, and he was well satisfied
with his efforts. No-one could tell from looking at the spot that there was a
real treasure store hidden there! He returned home and found Annie Wyn preparing
dinner for the family.
have you been?" she demanded. "Here I am, working my fingers to the
bone, and you can't even have a cup of tea ready for me when I get home from the
told her that he had been busy clearing out rubbish from the shed.
well, that's something I suppose. You can put some coal onto the fire. It's
going to be a cold night."
went out to the yard and fetched in a bucket of coal. When he had fed the fire,
he was just about to sit down when there was a loud knocking at the door. He
went to answer it and found Ringo there.
heart went down to his boots.
want you down at the station," the constable informed him.
be down when I get me dinner," said Evan.
shouted from the kitchen, "who's there?"
shouted back, "I've to go to the cop shop. Keep me dinner warm. I won't be
long," and he slammed the door.
Terrogator and DC Gus Tapo interviewed Evan for about two hours, then told him
to appear the following Monday at Great Shambles Petty Sessions, as a witness
for the prosecution.
didn't particularly enjoy his dinner that night. Annie Wyn nagged him all
evening, wanting to know what he had done. He told her what he had seen the
previous night, and the police needed him as a witness.
paced the floor.
it came his turn to give evidence, he told the magistrate his side of things.
The magistrate asked Sandy if Elpus was a reliable witness, and Sandy said that
although he had quite a bad record, the witness had, on this occasion, proved
very helpful, and the three prisoners had been arrested quite quickly. The
magistrate nodded, and made a few notes.
Skinner was livid, and when he was being cross-examined, said that Elpus had had
share in the robbery as well.
was recalled to the witness box, and the defending lawyer asked him if the
statement was true.
was bribed, to keep quiet," muttered Evan, looking uncomfortable.
When it came to passing sentence, the magistrate said that Slippy
Skinner, being the obvious ringleader, should serve three years. Oops Mistigan
also got three years for robbery and possession of explosives. Dipper Nolan was
put away for two years.
said the beak, "Evan Elpus, because you turned Queen's Evidence, you should
get a suspended sentence, but, because
you failed to state, on oath, that you received part of the haul, you will go to
prison for twelve months. Next case
The four convicts were taken away to serve their sentences. Evan was
first to be released, and left the prison early one morning. On his way back to
Bryde's Bay, he thought he would take a walk up Badger Lane, to make sure that
things were just as he left them. Imagine his horror when he discovered a new
housing development right over his biscuit tin! Yes, Ferret Park had been built
whilst he was inside.
INTRODUCING THE LADY HAMLETEERS
from Muckle Flugga at the Northernmost tip of the Shetland Islands, met Derry
Herd when he was helping to run the 'Shetland Bus' - a shipping service during
WW 2, from the Shetlands to Norway.
was employed as a fish filleter at Yell, and she delivered the herrings to
various outposts, using her father's horse and cart. Derry and Avu became
engaged, and later married after the war had finished. They settled in Bryde's
Bay, when Derry inherited the farm at the top of Badger Lane. Avu is known as
the village gossip, but she has a kind heart, and means well. They have no
children, but a nephew, Angus from Aberdeen, who lives with them and helps Derry
with the livestock. Avu now raises and sells turkeys as a hobby.
is the younger sister of the late Eyst, therefore is sister-in-law to Cherry,
owner of the cafe. She worked as a receptionist in a car showroom in Great
Shambles, where she met Philip N. Service. They married in 1968, and have one
daughter, Sylvie. Philip and Ava now run a service station in Bryde's Bay.
Wyn worked as a cleaner in a local bookmaker's shop, where Evan Elpus was one of
their best customers. Annie and Evan got married when it was discovered that
triplets were on the way! She
has suffered hardship ever since, as she receives no financial help whatsoever
from her husband, who has turned to crime. They now have twelve children, and
Annie receives charitable donations from her neighbours, in the form of clothing
and food for the children. However, since Evan's frequent incarcerations, she
receives benefits from the government, and is fairly well off, financially.
(STEFFI) GRAZ, now Scope.
joined the Wrens, where she was an operational assistant. She hails from
Switzerland, and met Perry when he was a young sub-lieutenant on H.M.S
COMFIT, a torpedo boat. He was made up to Admiral in 1955, and he and
Steffi got married soon afterwards. They came to live in Bryde's Bay, and became
close friends of the Marches.
was from Lesser Shambles. Her father had served in the first world war, and in
1939, Dawn joined the WRACS as a driver, and got to know Victor E. March when
she was driving Brigadier FFanshawe around the various army barracks. Victor, a
regimental sergeant major, was acting batman to the brigadier and travelled
everywhere with him. When he
was promoted to Captain, he was transferred to the First Foot and Mouth
regiment, serving in North Africa. After three long and arduous years, he
returned to the war office, and Dawn had the pleasure of driving him to and fro.
He invited her to the annual reunion dinner, and love soon blossomed.
They travelled over to Lesser Shambles when they arranged some leave
together. He loved the area, and promised to retire to it when the time came.
Dawn's parents were delighted to meet her handsome young (now) Colonel, and did
not hesitate to agree to their engagement. They got married at St. Bird's a year
later, and Victor arranged to have a bungalow built between Bryde's Bay and Gull
Creek. They named the bungalow 'Rangoon', and have lived there ever since.
Mole was a very popular resident. She lived at 'Cloak and Dagger' in Badger
Lane. She was a widow - nobody had known her late husband, 'Digger', a man whom
she met whilst on an assignment in Australia.
had been an agent with M.I.5, and on her retirement, took a holiday cottage at
Roller Cove, (now occupied by Rocky Outcrops), whereupon she decided to stay in
the area, and subsequently bought the bungalow in Bryde's Bay. Upon joining the
congregation at St. Bird's, she was soon appointed Rector's Glebe warden, and
served in this capacity until her advancing years forced her to give up. Her
great friend and house keeper, Molly Coddle, looked after her until her death,
at the grand age of one hundred years.
lived in Bryde's Bay. She had a Welsh mother and an Asian father. When her
parents went east on business, Sian stayed on in their home, and continued her
job running the nursery school on the outskirts of the village. She was engaged
to Will Tell, and they hoped to be married in the early autumn, when Catty and
Bitsu Tung would be home for good, as Bitsu was retiring in August.
FORTUNE AND MISS CHANCE.
and Teenie were the schoolteachers at the primary school, Rael being the
headmistress, and Teenie, her lifelong friend, was in charge of the infants'
classes. They lived together in the school house, overlooking Derry Herd's top
field. They enjoyed fairly good health, and often went on outings in Rael's car,
appreciating local beauty spots and garden centres, sometimes buying plants for
their garden, where they took tea quite often. Willie Doitt, the sexton of St.
Bird's, came and cut the grass for them during the growing season, also weeding
the flower beds and replanting cuttings which had been taken from some of the
CONDA AND SADIE SMART
and Sadie were sisters. They had been brought up in the city, and after working
hard in one of the factories, where they met their husbands - 'big Shughie'
Conda, and Alec Smart -went their separate ways for a time. Madge and Shughie
went to South America, where their only child, Anna, was born. Sadie and Alec
were married about two years after Madge, and it was when they were home for the
wedding, the Condas decided to stay. Shughie and Alec had also been hard
workers, but, when Alec was made redundant. he turned to Shughie for help. The
two men turned to petty larceny to 'eke' out their savings, which, unknown to
Madge and Sadie, were very substantial.
Of Course, Shughie and Alec were caught by the police, and both were sent
to prison. It was whilst the men were 'doing time', that Madge and Sadie
discovered the savings books, and, because they were now 'in the money', bought
houses near each other. Madge in Bryde's Bay, and Sadie in Roller Cove.
They went on frequent holidays together, and ran several parties for
their many friends. Both members of the ex-services club, they enjoyed many
nights of entertainment there.
were always at the forefront of any activities run by the council or the church.
mistress at Bryde's Bay, Penny was well known by the residents. She had come to
the village from Lesser Shambles, after having successfully completing her post
Cherry, Avu and Ameron were good friends, and enjoyed visiting each other in the
evenings. During the winter months, they would play whist, scrabble or Monopoly.
Penny remained in Bryde's Bay and saw many changes. She eventually married a
Polish pilot, Lef Indesl˛t, whom she met when going to Prague for a short
had left school at the age of seventeen, having passed her examinations with
distinction. She had entered her father's business, that of builders' suppliers,
and worked alongside him in the large office. She was there to oversee the
installation of a computer, and enjoyed its advantages in the daily running of
the trade, especially when it came to the weekly wages of the employees.
Nails was a regular customer, and chatted up Ameron on each occasion, inviting
her to the ex-services club for the Christmas dinner-dance. They married shortly
after Easter, and moved into a newly built house in Knowe Way, Bryde's Bay.
Ardis carried on his business as builder, Ameron helping him with the 'books'.
of Bishop Veneer of Great Shambles, Melamine was educated at a finishing school
for the daughters of gentlefolk, learning the niceties of socialising with the
'gentry'. Rev. Counter became a curate in her father's parish, and when he
became rector of St. Bird-in-the-Hand, Bryde's Bay, asked Melamine if she would
become his wife. Melamine agreed, and enjoyed several years in Bryde's Bay
before Ed was moved on to a larger parish.
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