Chapter 9 Wychwood conclusion
Shortly after Margaret left with Robert her job was taken over by a girl called Hazel who was a pleasant hardworking divorcee with a young daughter called Anna, who was about five years old, Hazel and I got on very well and she was able to look after the house if I wanted to go away with the boys on holiday, I remember taking the boys down to Cornwall for a fishing holiday and another time Hazel, Anna, Alan and I had a pleasant holiday in Torquay
Hazel and little Anna
We decided that we would go camping in the south of France so we packed everything in the car, Hazel Raymond Alan Anna and I and took the cross channel hovercraft over to Calais, we motored down through France and had a pleasant two weeks by the sea.
All packed into my Austin Allegro, France vie the Hovercraft.
A notable event being when Raymond came running out of the sea looking very comical with his flippers flapping on the sand and shouting "there’s an octopus in there sitting on a rock”
The boys were fishing off the rocks and having found a large plank of driftwood I was carrying it over the rocks when I slipped and in falling down the plank managed to break my right hand index finger, I could bend it a little so I wrapped it up and we carried on.
Alan posing in my MGB with its Bermuda hard top.
When Alan was ten years old I bought him a puppy, an Alsatian cross mongrel he called her Sadie the because the breeder referred to her as baby, Anna and Sadie used to go everywhere together playing in the Cul-de-sack next to the hotel, we were awakened one summer morning by a knock on the door and there stood a neighbour with Anna in her nightshirt, he said “I found her in my garden pulling up my plants at 06:00 this morning”
I have never used corporal punishment on my children but it was decided on this occasion and for her own good, I had better slap her backside for her, she reminded me of it for years to come, but she didn’t go gardening again.
And then we had the first University Graduate in the family.
Janet front row second from the right
I used to drink whiskey and water socially and I have only ever been drunk twice in my life: the first time being when I went with my nephew Miles’s wedding with a small scale reception being held at the house, only two bottles of spirits were provided, a bottle of gin and a bottle of whiskey, I took it upon myself to go round with the bottle of whiskey and top up glasses as required, I don’t remember much about the rest of it but I was taken home by taxi and accused of breaking their toilet seat.
The second occasion was on a visit to the Webbington country club with another nephew John Terrell he was a seasoned drinker, to say the least, and I’m sure that when he went to the bar, which was often, he spiked my drink with more whiskey than lemonade, as a result he had to drive my car home and I woke up at lunchtime the next day with the room was still going around, I have not drunk whiskey since that day.
When my son Raymond was about twenty we visited the Webbington to see a well known hypnotist perform his act: we all sat around the stage in the front row and were instructed to clasped our fingers together for a demonstration, he then said a few magic words and told us now you would not be able to let go of your fingers, Raymond was the only one of our party who said “I can’t let go” much to our amusement.
Whilst I was operating the Wychwood hotel there was a young girl who wanted to work there because she had just had a baby boy, she got along very well with Stella, I finished up in this girls room at twelve midnight having sex for which I paid her the princely sum of two pounds. I ran across her years later in a massage parlour in Bristol.
Uncle Dave and I were enjoying a performance by one of the strippers in the back room of the Arena Club when Uncle Dave produced his camera and attempted to photograph her act and much to his annoyance and embarrassment she stormed up the aisle shouting at him “no photos, no photos”
Dave was working at the time with a young lad called Daren who persuaded Dave to take him to the club despite the fact he was only sixteen, two young to watch and too young to drink: so there we are the three of us stuck in a crowd, glasses in hand when I noticed that stood behind Daren was a big policeman, woops
We also used to visit a little club on Locking road which was a tiny house where they put on strip shows, one Christmas we were there to be entertained by a girl doing a fire eating act unfortunately the room was decorated by the usual paper Christmas trimmings I think we Were all glad when her act was over and relieved that she hadn’t burn the place down.
I also used to visit a club just off Park Street in Bristol and the stripper that was performing this night was a colored girl about twenty years old and a very accomplished gymnast, she performed to the Randy Crawford song “Street Life” which I remember to this day. I was there drinking with one of my nephews when we were approached by this stripper and another young lady with a view to a sexual encounter, that was my first piece of chocolate and very nice too.
On another occasion in that same club there was another girl a beautiful little blond, I took her back to her flat in Clifton, she was very cooperative but unfortunately was suffering from some back complaint and was waiting to go to hospital, but she made up for it in other ways.
In 1976 I was still working for Rolls Royce and had been promoted to the Costs and Plans department my main tasks there were looking after the Pegasus engine that powered the Harrier jump jet and the 199 for the Euro fighter, I was also responsible for trying to forecast the failure rate of the 593 Concorde engine. They had a primitive computer program that I could run but it produced results that were very tedious to decipher: I had to go through about 400 pages of computer output and watch for when a column of zero’s changed to an X, I spent about two months working on a flowchart for a new program.
My eldest daughter Janet had graduated from Bristol university with a B-ED and had decided to go to teach in Australia with her soon to be husband Donald I was working for Rolls Royce engines at Filton and decided the opportunity for a visit to Australia was too good to miss: I didn’t take any holiday in 1976 until December the first and just before I left I said to my immediate boss
Tom “when you put the holiday chart up for next year mark me up for January and I will be back on the first of February”.