The Tales of Flashover House – Off Season

‘What do make of this?” said a G4 smoothing out the leaflet which had just come the letterbox.

“SENIOR CITIZENS. RELIVE THE DAYS OF YOUR CHILDHOOD. EXPERIENCE THE JOYS OF HOLIDAYS THE WAY THEY USED TO BE.

Write to Greysock House P0 Box 2, Cocklesea. for details of our special terms.

“I like the sound of that” said G2, “But my seaside memories are not all good ones. I can remember the night I cried myself to sleep after my old Nanny trod on my sandcastle. Mind you. I felt better about the whole thing after I shoved a jellyfish down her bra!” This started the reminiscences rolling and in no time at all bookings for a trial weekend had been made. Matron declined on the grounds that someone should stay behind to look after the shop. She also added, under her breath, that she would enjoy a couple of days peace and quiet.

In due course, they arrived at Greysock House and had their first sighting of the landlady Mrs. Grimble. She was a formidable woman with exaggerated elbows and a penetrating eye. She greeted them from the doorstep with the news that they were five minutes late for dinner. Punctuality was one of the rules of the house, breakfast was at 0700 sharp. Dinner was at 1600, and the front door was locked at 10pm. and hanky-panky was not permitted in the bedrooms. “Blast!” muttered Weasel “I had that at the top of my list.”

Sharply at 0700 the following morning they paraded for breakfast and Mrs. Gribble summoned the staff. This turned out to be an insipid girl named Mavis. She took up her position behind Angus’s chair.

“Wodger want? “ she enquired “Well” said Angus “Judging by the yellow stains on the table-cloth, egg is on the menu.”

“No.” said Mavis “Egg is Fridays and this ain’t Friday. This is Saturday.”
“Ok,” said Angus, who was already realising that joviality had no place at Greysock House, “What is it on Saturdays then?”
“OK.” Said Angus. “After all we are on holiday at the seaside so I’ll take a couple of kippers”.

He was soon to regret those words, as the plate, when it arrived contained a solitary kipper in an attitude of abject surrender. The other Hams who had been watching Angus carefully, each grabbed a slice of dry toast and fled from the dining room into the lounge. A short time later they were looking through the bay windows watching the rain falling on the deserted esplanade when a police patrol car came to a halt outside the front door. Two constables disembarked and between them was a figure they knew very well.

“Is this Mr Weasel a member of your party?” enquired constable A Yes replied Rees Morgan. “What’s the problem?” “Well” chipped in constable B “I’m afraid he has been exposing himself down by the bandstand. A maiden lady from Frinton-on-sea is in deep shock and its feared that she may need counselling.

‘You fool” said Rees Morgan. “Matron has told you a hundred times to get a new zip for those trousers. Leave him with us officer.”

“If I were you I would find him a large safety-pin. The last thing we want at Cocklesea is a reign of terror, especially when we are just going off duty” said the constable, “We had our share of excitement last Thursday with Uncle Percy the Punch and Judy man. He was doing very nicely knocking hell out of Judy when he lost his footing and he and his booth were swept out to sea. The kids were grief-stricken of course. They had hoped the crocodile would get him. If you are looking for real action you had better go to the slot machine arcade.”

They made their way to this palace of fun which, in no time at all, gobbled up all their pensions. They went in search of top management, a disinterested youth who looked like an advert for dermatitis. “You will have to wait for Arnold to come back. He has the keys.” was his only suggestion. This Arnold, will he be back soon?” asked Rees Morgan. “I shouldn’t think so” replied the youth, “He’s gone to Disneyland.”

With the scent of defeat in their nostrils the Hams left the arcade just as the heavens opened and sprinted into a seaside shelter just across the road. From the next shelter along the promenade came a voice “Don’t sit on that seat, I’ve just painted it”. But it was too late. Angus was forever branded with the sign of the striped posterior.

“Don’t move Angus” shouted an agile G4 “I will run to that ironmongers along the street and get some turpentine. “ He would have done it too – if it hadn’t been early closing day.

At this point it was decided that enough was enough and, like Napoleon before him, G2 marshalled his troops in defeat. They sneaked into their mini-bus and departed from Cocklesea without a backward glance.

Back at Flashover House, Matron was reclining on the sofa with a plate of muffins and a cup of tea. Life, she thought to herself, was pretty good, when her idyll was shattered by the sound of tyres on gravel. Minutes later, she was surrounded by her charges all reciting their tales of woe. “It seems to me, “she said “That you could get these people on the Trade Descriptions Act.

“Not so,” said G2 from over in the corner. “What we have just experienced was exactly what family seaside holidays used to be like. The trouble is that, at our age we don’t remember all that well.”

Return to the index of Vital Spark articles.

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Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

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