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.”

Doreen Baldock joins Templeton’s Hardware

Doreen Baldock joins Templeton’s Hardware

Official Press Release


Derek Templeton, Managing Director or Templeton’s Hardware, Sprodlington, East Yorkshire is delighted to announce that he has appointed Doreen Baldock to the role of part-time Sales Executive.

Templeton’s is a thriving Hardware store in the expanding market-town of Sprodlington and as a result of Derek Templeton’s entrepreneurship, sales have driven forward strongly and the new role of part-time Sales Executive has been introduced.

Derek Templeton welcomes Doreen to his team. She bring a wealth of experience from Customer Service team leader at Jobson’s Woodchips, and more recently as Administrator at Sprodlington library. Doreen joins PC Tucknott who’s hours have been reduced to enable him to complete his Community Service Order, following his much publicised altercation with one of the local scouts – he maintains his innocence.


Thinking of Audrey


Earlier this week I shared the news that Audrey Bishop was going to hospital for some lady work. It’s not an area about which I claim to have any expertise, but she’s had something removed.  When the item  removed was explained to me in greater detail, it sounded like a sort of inner handbag, but for carrying children.

Anyway, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about Audrey to help empathise better with her during her recovery – the good news from the hospital is that it all went well and her husband  Dennis has already been to visit with her favourite treat – half a pound of Strawberry Bon Bons. She likes those and Pontefract Cakes.

Audrey runs the Audrey Bishop School of Music here in Sprodlington. She’s always keen to point our that its not a music shop selling intruments like tubas, clarinets and the such, but a School of Music where she teaches singing and the playing of instruments.  Audrey has expertise in classical and pop singing and piano, violin (and the bigger violin type instruments), traditional squeeze box and tambourine.

Audrey’s successes are first class.  Katie Pumford, for example, has passed her Grade 8 pop singing and the Sprodlington Post was quick to applaud Audrey on Katie’s achievement.  It doesn’t seem six months ago that Katie, who suffers an appalling stammer and could hardly speak without choking on her words,  failed to even get started on her favourite song by The Police – De Do Do Do.  But, as Audrey said to Katie, “Look how well Roger Daltry did with his stammer when he was talking about his G, G, G, G, Generation”.

So, get well soon Audrey.  We hope to see you back home really soon and we’ll make sure Dennis learns how to boil the kettle to make you tea.

Christ, It’s Barry Wardhup !

Barry Wardhup walked into my shop today with a swagger and a little skip. (I thought the skip looked stupid, but I was so amazed to see Barry after all these months that I neither commented or laughed.

“Barry, where have you been?” I said.

It had  been 5 months since Barry had closed “Barry’s Bits and Bobs” and scampered off without telling a soul where he was going.

“Del-boy, My Man!” he belted “How’s it hanging?”

Barry has never called me Del-boy and has never asked me and how things are hanging –  ever.

“Barry, stop being a twat and tell me where you’ve been,” I continued, trying to get to the point. I was trying to keep  one eye on Dave Threadwell who was  eyeing up a small pot of varnish in the corner and was wearing his big coat.  I had my suspicions but without PC Tucknott’s extra eyes these days, I have to watch my own stock.

“Dez, I’ve been meeting the real me,” he said.  “I’ve been exploring the deeper inner  motivations behind my key life choices.”

“You’ve been talking bollocks more like,” I coughed, wiping the coffee decorating my chin. “What deeper inner motivations did you find ? The one that reminded you that you didn’t want to pay your bills ?”

“Del – Breath.  Take a chill pill.  Push back those waves and smell the arabica beans,” he said  “Let’s just  . . .”

“Barry, are you buying something today ?” I interrupted. “I’ve just realised that I haven’t missed you one little bit !”

“And , Threadwell – don’t even think about it !”


Christmas time and the drinks flow (and flow)


“I’ve got a great idea on how to boost the number of customers we get through the door Jason.”  I said to PC Tucknott as we talked through the leisurely pace of takings in the store this week.

Jason appeared keen to learn.

” We’re going to spread a little Christmas cheer through Sprodlington.”  I continued.  “We’ll get festive and share the goodwill of Templeton’s Hardware to our loyal and new customers.”

Jason wondered whether that included the scatty old dears from the RSPB next door, but with plans to close them down and extend Templeton’s square footage, I thought they were best left alone.

“Listen Jason” I dictated, showing the assertiveness of a leader of a “high performing team” (something I read on the DIYweek website!)  I’m going to bring in Colin for half a day to help you and whilst I’m off fishing, I want you to be creative.”

I thought Colin deserved a chance.  His recent trouser antics with his elephant impressions (he turns out his trouser pockets for the ears – I don’t need to go on) has seen him barred from most shops and all the pubs in the town.  I thought he would repay me for putting him up at my house for a couple of days with some honest labour.

When I returned from three hours of my best endeavors to  attract some Bream to my Templeton dinner table I found Colin sitting on his arse behind the tills singing “Do they know its Christmas.”

“Where’s Tucknott you retard?” I snapped. “I can’t believe I trusted you.”

He pointed to the staff room and belched.

And there he was. Slouched on the table dressed as Santa.

“We did Festive drinks” he said.

“You’re a twat” I grunted. “Now sod off”



We’re open ! Read all about it !

At 8am on Saturday 29th October, Templeton’s Hardware Store officially re opened it’s doors to the residents and well wishers of the East Yorkshire town of Sprodlington.  Recent unforeseen circumstances had meant that the store needed to be refit and the range and merchandise changed.

Many readers of my ramblings will know how difficult times have been for me recently, both in the business world and personally,  and I was very touched to see so many people queuing for the re opening this morning.

Sadly, our intended ribbon-cutting  celebrity Stevie Culshaw, (2007 X Factor contestant who managed to get through to the  judge’s houses before narrowly being beaten for a place in the final) was unable to come. He sent a text saying he had been called in for an early breakfast shift at Primrose Valley Holiday Camp. But a quick re adjustment, and I gave the scissors to Mayor Beryl Frampton who said some lovely words before letting in the vast queue who were eager for their early glass of Matteus Rose.

I expected a very busy day and I have not been disappointed by those who wanted to share in the start of this new chapter in the life of Templeton’s Hardware. As I take these few minutes to share the opening with you I wanted to mention Sue Winkton who had traveled all the way from East Cottingwith near Hull to share this special day. Sue said that there was no early morning bus and so she traveled up last night and had to sleep in the bus shelter on account of both of the rooms at The Cross Keys being taken. Thank you Sue.

The only sad note this morning was that the whole opening was a little too much for Jason Tucknott,  our local Special Constable who had agreed to help me on his day off from special constable duties (not that I am sure what they are).  I had explained to Jason how the new tills worked and also the bar-code scanner, but he was quickly flustered when a customer changed their mind and opted for round-head screws rather than flat-head screws.  He fell to the floor and needed the expert assistance  from Cyril Tewster who insisted on getting his fluorescent jacket from the car first.

Jason made a quick recovery and is back on the tills now. In a funny way, the little commotion brought in an extra little crowd.

Thank you all again for your support on this special day.

The day my world nearly ended

There’s two generations of hard, hard graft and effort behind the successful establishment that is Templetons Hardware, but yesterday’s atrocities nearly broke my world.

I remember the lines from an English lesson many years ago “Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.” And yet, in truth nothing could have prepared me for a real life Tsunami leashed upon me from  the revenge of a woman whose advances I’d declined.

My father said to me many years ago when we sat and had tea on an old packing case. “Derek, nothing will take this away from us. Nothing!” And as I looked at him, I promised that I would stand tall against recessions, hardships and difficult periods in life. “Nothing will take this away from us.”

Yet, as I picked up the broken glass and the buckled shelves bent double by the vented spleen of a woman so enraged with  venom, I stood in silence and  listened once again to the voice of my father. The voice that pleaded with me to  keep his name and his  hard work serving the community for a few more years.

And I know that I have no one to pass this store to. I know I have no memory to recall of a time spent sitting on tea-chest with my own son and a shared promise between two. I know that one day Templetons Hardware will be no more.

But for my Father’s sake I will not let this woman close me before my time. Not before I am ready will I lock the door for the final turn. Not until I have thanked every customer who has graced these floorboards will I rest.

You my friends are what keeps me alive. You are my friends; my people; the people I can trust and on whose support I know will always prevail. You my friends will stand with me and say “We beat this wicked woman. We stood together for what is right and what is good. We supported Derek back on his feet and let him stand proud once more. We were the people who made the donations to pay for the new flooring he wanted and the new till and the in store kitchen area with microwave and Dolce Gusto coffee machine. It was us, US, Derek’s friends who lifted his soul.”

Lloyds TSB. Sort code 99-99-93 account number 09746536672.

Thank you my friends.