Thursday, 4 July 2013

Where do you store ten dead barons ?

This afternoon I paid a visit to a local supporter. He lives with his wife in a pleasant but by no means grand house down a county lane. Parked on the driveway was a 14 year old Jag and a battered Ford Fiesta. He opened he door and invited me in - showing me his workroom ("it's a complete tip but I can find everything until my wife tidies it up") as we pass.   His wife shouts at him for exposing a visiting guest to the mess, whilst showing me the new dress she had bought for a family wedding - very stylish, but off the peg. Not a hint of pretension. On the dining room table were a set of curtains she was half way through re-hemming.  The chap was wearing a pair old trousers, battered shoes and a short sleeved shirt.

As we walked down the hall we passed a water colour of a lovely chateau. "Somewhere you've visited?" I enquired. "No, we own it", was the reply. Hanging alongside was another painting. I asked if was the same house from another aspect.  "Oh no", he said. "That's another of our French properties, this one has a chapel and beneath the chapel there is an oubliette in which we store ten dead barons."

The reason for my call was to view the local village hall, as I was hoping to hire it for a forthcoming social event, and the man in question (in between tending to his ten dead barons and running a multi-million pound company providing employment for 100 local people) was Chairman of the Trust which ran it. When he's not providing jobs and running the village hall, he's also Treasurer of the village church, works for the local Historical Society, runs the village football pitches and goes out with his shears cutting down tall grass and chopping back bushes, so drivers have improved sight-lines along narrow country lanes.  Did someone say we were the nasty party?

Notice to parliamentary hopefuls. Next time you are walking though a village trying to find your way around, and you pass a slightly eccentric local wearing battered corduroy trousers held up with string, don't look down your nose or sneer. He is likely to be one of your loyalist and most generous members!

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