No. 203

OSB Logo The Old St Beghian
  July 2023


George Robson (FN 57-64) has submitted the following:


“In 1962 Mr and Mrs Brown (known to we boys as T.A. and Snips) secured a tenancy of the Priory’s vicarage - a large Georgian edifice with a walled garden at the rear.

In those days we Foundation boys had to fill in a chart displayed on the Foundation corridor’s notice board to keep a record of sporting activities. RU stood for Rugby, C for cricket, R for a run, WS for Work Squad.

On a red hot day in June I filled in WS, for Snips had asked me at the end of one of her lessons to come over to the vicarage and put straw onto her strawberry patch to keep the clusters of berries above the soil. It was a large strawberry patch and with it being a hot day the temptation to help myself to strawberries grew as the afternoon wore on. The trouble was Snips kept glancing out of a window and so I felt I must resist the temptation. After almost two hours the job was complete, so I knocked on the side door and reported to Snips. She thanked me and as a reward for my efforts gave me a sizeable brown bag, which I assumed contained strawberries. Halfway down the driveway leading back to school I succumbed to temptation and put my hand in the bag. Lo and behold - no strawberries but new potatoes! Next to the strawberry patch potatoes were being grown. I just couldn’t imagine how Snips thought potatoes would be of any use to me! I was so aghast that I threw the potatoes into a bin that was placed at the end of the driveway. I later wondered what Snips or T.A. thought when they next opened the lid of the bin and saw the potatoes. But the die was cast and I heard nothing more from the Browns.

A week or two later Snips asked me if I would mow the lawn.

Ever willing I went to the vicarage in the afternoon and found the lawnmower in place on the edge of the lawn. But there was something else on the lawn! Lying on a blanket in the very centre of the lawn was T.A. - sunbathing and wearing only a skimpy swimming costume. He seemed to be asleep so I felt there was no alternative but to commence mowing and assumed the noise of the mower would awaken him. But it didn’t. So, I stuck to the edges of the lawn and completed a full circuit. Even though the mower was not a quiet one there was no movement from T.A.. So, I looked more carefully and could not see his chest moving up and down. After a few circuits I began to think maybe he was dead! Each circuit brought me nearer to the centre of the lawn and to T.A.. But still no sign of life.

Having completed the mowing apart from the patch T.A. was lying on, I had no alternative but to return the mower to where I had found it and go back to school. I thought what a shock awaited Snips - finding her husband dead!

Naturally I reported the matter to those in my dayroom and of course the rumour soon spread around the House that T.A. was dead.

So, the next morning a goodly number of us hastened to the science room in the New Block to see if T.A. was there.

And so he was - busily laying out apparatus for the first lesson of the day.

T.A. was not dead and I felt foolish!”



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