A Little Light Reading

Moggie Moo

Well-Known Member
Whilst watching the stone worm Episode a couple of the lines of the narrative got my mind working on a little story.

Mrs Murgletroyde ambled up the cobbles with her brown paper carrier bag. She'd met her husband Joe, during the war. She had been some thing big in the ATS, stationed, luckily enough, near her Mothers farm in Rodley. Joe was in the Home Guard Rodley Bridge Platoon when they were detailed to guard the POW camp up in Calverley Woods. Joe hated this guard duty lark, the only thing he had ever guarded was against german measels and other childhood ailments. Now he had his hands full with Italians from Libya or Germans from Normandy. They were a friendley bunch but didn't like each other so when they took them out to work on local farms the axis had to be kept apart. They used to blame each other for their present predicaments with taunts and jokes. As Alice ambled up the street she thought back to those days and how they had met when Joe brought the Italians down to her mothers farm to help get the Rhubarb harvest in and pull and tray up the radishes. Alice was in a search light party and Joe had seen her a time or two going or coming off duty. Living on the Farm, or she would say a small holding, they did not starve and both her and her mother were of larger proportions and little treats were often available to their close friends. The odd link of sausage, a couple of eggs for a romantic breakfast, even a nice piece of cheese for a toasted cheese supper. Joe could get the odd bottle of Mackeson from his mate at the brewery so Alice would be a wonderful prospect if he dare ask her out.That day was his lucky day as Alice had seen the POW's marching down the Hough Road so she hung about outside waitng for them to arrive. Joe and his corporal halted the POW's in the yard whilst Alice's mother gave them instructions. Joe approached Alice who was leaning on the fence and asked her if she would go to the pictures with him tonight. "Whats on" she said laughingly in anticipation." The Great Lie, Bette Davis I think" stuttered Joe." I was going to wash my hair but if it's Bette Davis then your on. I'll be at Perry's shop at 7.30pm, 'ave to go we got the light to fix, oops! careless talk, see you then" she turned and hurried off. Six months later they were on a bus to Harrogate for their honeymoon.
Alice transfered the carrier bag to her other hand, feeling the strain as she came up the hill. Out of the small holding yard her son Tony skulked hiding an old army kitbag. " What are you up to lad" she inquired." were going to play war up at the old search light platform and prison camp" " what you got there then?"" just some jam sandwiches and a bottle of water, oh and I have got dads old gas masks out of the cupboard" Tony replied quitely. " well just you think on and look after them, me and yer dad had to be in a war to get them" then with out hestitating she said " I want you back here for three, You can help me in the cellar" "Aw mam flipping ek! it's one-ish now" grovelled Tony. " Yer dad said he heard stone worm down the cellar this morning, so I've been down to Kellets to get two bottles of strong vinegar and some garlic salt. You can bring the gas masks and help me to put on the mixture before yer dad comes home." " Mother, you know I hate stone worming, I always stink like a gherkin for ages, and my mates call me the gherkin urchin" " Enough my lad, three o'clock don't forget." " right mam". Sulked Tony. With that Alice went into her house and put the kettle on.
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