In My Father’s Words



In My Father’s Words


03/07/1938 – 18/10/2018


Looking Back


The congregation stood in silence as the iconic tones of Frank Sinatra drifted over the church.  Those present were mostly male, dressed largely in black overcoats. Frank drifted away, his ‘My Way’ summing up what most believed represented the deceased to a tee.

“Are you going on to the reception, or wake or whatever it is called?” The question brought Paul abruptly back to the present time and the cold wind that swept across the churchyard.

“Well, Roger, my old mate, I don’t really want a drink, but I do want to pay my respects to Marjorie.  She has been a bloody saint over the last few years with Peter being so ill.”

“I agree. I don’t think you know this part of London, do you?  It is in the Fox, about 100 yards down the road.”  The two men joined the slow almost silent procession out of the churchyard, nodding occasionally at other mourners they knew.

They settled at a table in the private function room of the Fox.  Roger spoke first.  He lifted his glass.  “Here’s to Peter, God bless him.”

“Yes, God bless him and Marjorie as well.”

“Did you know him well, Roger?”

“Well enough until we left Hackney.  As we all did, we went our separate ways.  I went into Special Branch and Pete joined the CID. And where the hell did you go, Paul?”

Paul laughed.  “I joined the police in Southern Rhodesia, the BSAP.  Pretty hairy that was at times.  The country became independent in 1980 and I stayed just long enough to get my pension. I couldn’t see that Mad Bob Mugabe and I would get on well together.”

 “So, it’s about 25 years since we met last?”

 “Yes, it must be all of that. But I remember the old days at Hackney as if it was yesterday.”

Roger raised his glass again.  “Here’s to the good old days.”

Paul smiled wryly.  “Yeah, here’s to them. Do you remember Peter’s bike?”

“What, his Triumph 650?”

“No, not his motor bike, I mean his push bike.”

“No, what about it?”

“Well you remember when we were on nights and having a break in the canteen, and there was a shout?  We all poured out of the canteen, down the stairs like Battle of Britain pilots and grab the first means of transport available to get to the shout.  Well once I grabbed Pete’s bike and nearly broke my neck.  It had a fixed wheel and when I tried to free wheel, it threw me off.”

“No, I never knew that.”

”But Roger, old son, I seemed to remember you had a bit of a problem with Peter at one stage.”

“Yes, I did.”

“What happened?”

“Well, old Peter was in uniform, walking past Woolworths, when the Store Detective came rushing out chasing a girl, wearing a red hat.  He told Pete that she had stolen something from the store and demanded that Pete arrest her and he did. So Pete phones the nick for a car and I was sent.  When I get there Pete has this young bird by the arm I couldn’t miss her with that bright red hat. When I got to Woolies there was a bit of a crowd gathered round.  So we agree that I take her back to the station with the evidence while Pete sorts out the punters.”

“What did she steal?”

“Well, bloody strange that.  It was a teapot.  Any way I get her back to the station and she gets there OK but there is no sign of the bloody teapot.”

“What happened to it?”

“No bloody idea, mate, not a clue.”

“So, Peter wasn’t best pleased with you, was he?”

“Not half, he accused me of fancying her and binning the teapot.”

“Blimey, what a story.  What happened to the girl?”

“Well, without the evidence we couldn’t charge her.  She went straight after that.  She got married and had four kids.”

How the hell do you know all that, Roger?”

Roger laughed and took another pull at his beer.  “Because I married her mate, and she is a brilliant wife, mother and grandmother.”

Paul stared across the table. “You old bastard! What did Pete think about that?”

“Peter was a good bloke.  He forgave me eventually.”

“Was there much to forgive?”

“Well you could ask Pete about it but it’s probably a bit late for that now.”

Written by my Father B.M

4 thoughts on “In My Father’s Words

      1. It’s such a shame it wasn’t something you could really connect over.
        Reading his writings must be strange and shows how differing our perspectives can be, which is where so much hurt can stem.
        I’m adjusting to life without Nita and things are up and down but something positive to gain from every experience if we can open our minds 😊

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