River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Just Memories

January 2003

Town versus country

I have been having a conversation with a very dear, recently acquired friend of mine. For some strange reason I seem to make friends more easily these days, but then that's the goods news, because I also seem to be losing some as well. It appears that no sooner do I put my newly acquired friends in the top of the bucket so to speak than some of the older ones fall out at the bottom. However, I believe that at the last count I was still very much in surplus. Anyway my dear friend is different to me in that he spent most of his formative years living in a City whereas I spent my time living in Methwold, which no doubt explains quite a lot.

My friend was telling me that when he was a young man he use to go twice a week to ballroom dancing lessons which were held in a room just above Montague Burton's who were and still are men's tailors. What really appealed to him was that if he got fed up with the dance lessons he could go downstairs get measured for a suit and then go back upstairs when and if the mood took him. I had to inform my dear friend that I never did buy a suit from Burton's. I used to get mine from the Fifty Shilling Tailors at King's Lynn. You could in my day buy a suit for fifty shillings, which is £2.50 today. Now you could ask what on earth can you buy today for £2-50? Well you could have bought Albert Fisher, a Company that use to sell vegetables up the Brandon Road at Methwold. If you took in to account your No Claim Bonus you could probably have got them for £1-50.

Sometime ago, I put all my educational skills in one basket, as befits someone like myself who left school at age 13. My dear City friend kindly informed me that he left school at age 18 and then went straight to work in a Bank - you have only to look at his hands, 'pianists hands' I call them, to see that he hasn't done a real days work in his life. Anyway back to Albert Fisher. I purchased £1500 worth of their shares convinced they would soon head north unfortunately for me they went south and I lost the lot. Now my dear friend from the City didn't think that losing £1500 was any big deal but as a Country Boy I had to point out to him that £1500 to me was the same as digging up some 7000 bags of carrots when I spent some happy years working on a Methwold Fen Farm. This loss also meant the equivalent of me taking up about 500 acres of sugar beet by hand another job that thrilled me to bits when I worked on yet another farm, the same farm as it so happened where I experienced the really great pleasure of looking after the Chaff at Threshing Time. How many bags of Chaff does £1500 represents, I just don't know.

I'm sorry but I just can't finish this, I'm so depressed I don't know which way to turn. Can I ask you to put your own finish to this and please make it a happy ending? Mention Albert Fisher, even Ballroom Dancing if you must, but please don't mention the Farms, anything but those bloody Farms.

Les Lawrence

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