Poor Willie Morris and his pumpkins

Poor Willie Morris had built a beautiful cart display of pumpkins outside of Morris’ Greengrocers here in Sprodlington.  He had chained his cart up outside his shop ready for the main selling day – today Halloween, 31st October 2012.  The lock should have been sufficient –  I know as I sold it to him yesterday. It would have taken a major cutting tool, for instance the 1/2″ Grinding Wheel, Cutoff Wheel, and Flap Disc Assortment for Metal, to remove it – I shouldn’t wonder.

It appears that these hooded vandals took the cart up to the allotment area and smashed them all against the tree earlier this morning.

Shocking news for poor Willie, but at least Templeton’s Hardware have some left for sale today for the otherwise disappointed townsfolk – £4.99 each whilst stocks last.

Just who owns the extra hour?

One of the joys/strains (delete as appropriate) of being a resident celebrity of our market town of Sprodlington is that I am often invited to the townsfolk’ 18th/21st/Engagement/Wedding/ Wake (delete as appropriate)

Last night,  The Cross Keys hosted Amy Whitehall’s 18th Birthday.   I have known the Whitehall family for many many years; her Grandfather “Miggs” (I have never really understood why he is called that) once owned a small Post Office up at the top-end of Dukes Road, until it closed about five years ago.   Since then Miggs has enjoyed his retirement and fishes for most of his day time, and avoids his wife Jean for most of the evenings.  I’m not sure whether Miggs invited me or Amy to be honest – the only time Amy has been in the shop was to buy some tattoo stickers I had on the counter. (I’m always on the hunt for extra impulse purchase opportunities).

The evening was typical enough for an 18th: the mothers and aunts wore make up which once  looked better in the 1985 Avon catalogues from where  they were purchased.  The fumes from the distilled perfume made many an eye water.  Uncles, brothers and  cousins  competed for best Sovereign ring and gel-back look combination.  The only difference between them all was ear-ring combination; left, right or both.  One young lad had holes so big you could poke your fingers right through. I imagine that Father’s Day in this family causes total confusion.

The Cross Keys stays open until 2am on a Friday and Saturday night although most leave at 1:30 for final scraps at the Donar Kebab shop at the bottom end of town.  Last night, or more accurately this morning, there was total confusion.

At 1:55am  the DJ,  Amy’s “Uncle Dave” started to slow things down.  We had done “High Ho Silver-Lining” and a Robin Williams number – the “Entertainment” one.   Dave started to play “New York, New York” by Frank.

“Woah, woah, woah !  We’re not going anywhere yet!” shouted Amy’s brother Lee having grabbed the microphone.  “The clocks have gone back and its only 1am.

The crowd cheered, although I imagine 80 percent had no idea why or for what they were cheering.  Dave pressed the pause button and looked over at the bar for clarification. It was clear that he hadn’t even realised that the clocks were changing.   There was a hush as all eyes fixed on Steve Trimble who was behind the bar.

“We clear out at 2am folks” he said.  “Just before the clocks turn back.”

“Bollocks” said Lee.  “The clocks have already gone back. Google it someone!”

“Lee, we are shutting at 2am and that’s it mate!”  Steve replied, realising that he had no allies in the pub, apart from  the cheap-looking push up bra’d bar girls who looked shattered.  They always did.

“The clocks go back at 2am, Lee”  someone shouted from the back of the room.

“What time is it now?”

“2:01am, I mean 1:01 am.  We’ve got another hour!”  hollered the voice from the back of the room.

“Hang on there now.”  DJ Uncle Dave barked, having grabbed control of his microphone again.  “I don’t know what to play, I’m at the end of my play-list.”

“Just play the last hour again Dave” the voice shouted.  “No one was listening anyway”

“Wanker!” barked DJ Uncle Dave.

Miggs and I gave each other a look .  It was time to leave.

More vandalism in Sprodlington

The Sprodlington Post this morning tells a woeful tale of vandalism along the local beck. Their chief reporter, Dan Woolaton observes that panels of fencing have been flattened and along certain parts of the path – completely removed.

Followers of this blog will realise that this is not the first time our lovely market town has fallen foul to the antics of these hooded yobos.

Bloody hooligans



I employed PC Tucknott at Templeton’s Hardware mainly because he was cheap, but partly because  his part-time inclusion as a Special Constable (prior to the Scout in a headlock incident) would help with security. But the lad is a bloody idiot.

On Friday of last week, Tucknott biked to work and chained his bike to a lamp-post outside “Bitz and Pizzas” – he lost his key.  I offered to sell PCT cutting equipment, suitably docking the amounts from his next six month’s salary, but he said it would be fine.

Yes, in less than two weeks his bike resembles something that would normally be found in Dean and Kylie Smith’s front garden alongside the washing machine, broken garden chair, fag butts and dog shit.

The day of the big knickers.


This morning I am still in recovery from the thrills and spills of last night.

The evening started in the best way possible: my daughter Tracey and her boyfriend Mitch were out for the evening which left Wendy and I alone.  I recommended a little jaunt to “Bitz and Pizzas” our local Italian, but Wendy suggested we went to The Cross Keys instead for a quiet drink.

The pub was remarkably quiet and Wendy took a seat in the corner of the public bar and I ordered a Spritzer and a pint of Feltcher (a new local brew)  together with  two bags of Pork Scratchings.  I sat down and  looked and Wendy – she looked as lovely as she ever had – her new highlights reflecting the flickering lights from the “Who wants to be a Millionaire” machine.

We talked and we talked. Then we talked and we talked.  We talked about the good times and we talked about the difficult times.  We spoke about the past and we chatted about the future.  My eyes moistened as Wendy said she was happy living with me and that moving back was the best thing she had done. It was time for us to go home.

I’m not going to go into detail about what happened for the rest of the night, but let’s just say I awoke with the soft feeling of duck down feathers under my head rather than a cushion.  I woke with a smile.  The smile seemed etched on my face as I climbed out of bed, slightly aching, but with a warm feeling inside.

I glanced at Wendy sleeping peacefully, content with her world and then I glanced at the floor.  I saw what I thought was a small parachute; a tent perhaps, big enough for a small family ?  It was the “big knickers” – I had always wondered when the big knickers would move into Chez Templeton and they had arrived quietly and gently and without a huge statement. “They could stay”  I thought.


Making a real splash !

It would be remiss of me not to mention Beryl Tanner, Christine Pulton and Sue Carter who are attempting 10 continuous lengths at the Gladys Minton Memorial baths today.

Many of you know about the run-in I have had with the ladies next door in the RSPB shop, which culminated in a stand-off when I found myself very close to expanding  and closing them down. You will recall that I suffered a leaflet campaign. I decided to keep my options open and have since considered opening an ice cream parlour or expanding Templeton’s Hardware  into the nearby town of Market Dryston.

There are two reasons why Beryl chose to  raise money in a Swimathon.  Firstly, her husband Clive died earlier in the year after suffering a stroke.  I  was bitterly affected and saddened as he had been an excellent customer over the years.  The second reason, according to The Sprodlington Post is that the Greenish Warbler (which I imagine is a greenish warbing type bird) is proving harder to find in East Yorkshire than ever before. Beryl, Christine and Sue have therefore decided to split their  sponsorship money equally between the local stroke association and the purchase of some hairless caterpillars which are highly sought after by the Geenish Warbler.

So, Good Luck Ladies !


Desperate Housewives


Yesterday, Doreen was helpfully taking money from Jenny Salmon in return for a few plastic clothes pegs.  They were having a right whinge-on.

“You know the problem with this weather is you can never really dry the clothes on the line, Doreen. It’s the damp in the air.”

“I know,” replied Doreen. “Yesterday I hung all the kid’s uniforms out and hoped they’d dry before I got back from work.”

“I’m getting a tumbly at the weekend.” said Jenny smiling. “I’ve been after one for years and it will dry all my clothes.”

“Excuse me !” I interrupted. “This is a sodding hardware store, not a coffee shop.”