Saturday, 31 January 2009

Canoe story...



When we cleared out the Elder Scrobs' 'Turrets' in Rye, Sussex, there was a huge heap of memorabilia stacked in the roof, and Mrs S, Lovely Sister S and Scrobs (himself - in charge of bottle opener and corkscrew on several (many) occasions)) spent days doing the big bin-bag shuffle.

This happened years ago, but just recently, owing to a need to reduce the severe weight on the ceiling joists upstairs, (The Turrets was in danger of collapse from accumulated stuff from years gone by), this exquisite book reappeared.

Kit Carson was my hero then (I was nine), and so were David Livingstone (The Eagle), and Roy of the Rovers, (Tiger) and we all collected those spinning cardboard wheels which you attached to a loop of string and eventually whizzed them to a frenzy. They could cut through a whole school desk, or even the legs of the Latin master... after which you were beaten senseless by the powers that were.

Cut to a few years ago...

When we all went on hols to Brantome (somewhere in France; several bottles away) some years ago, we hired a couple of canoes and went down-river to Bordeilles for some sort of water/alcohol experience. Elder Daught came with me and Younger Daught with Mrs S.

The water was pathetic. The summer drought had reduced the flow from maximum Victoria Falls to Thames Water Lewisham dribble, and we had to work pretty hard to get anywhere - even paddling downstream!

When we were encalmed at one particular spot, I yelled at ED 'Dig Carson, and dig deep', which was overheard by the other two on our watch...

Which explains why we all collapsed with excess mirth when they discovered why I'd screamed these simple words...

They're buggers, families - aren't they...?

32 comments:

fleetofworlds said...

I love these old comic books. I have had great pleasure since Christmas savouring the Eagle Annual of the Cutaways - lots of the best cutaway pictures from the Eagle of the 50s and 60s!

Scrobs said...

Hey now Fleeters - we're both up... - you're pretty damn quick. How do'ya do it...?

The Eagle was a masterpiece of technology for budding boys!

Nobody mentions the Swift, or the Robin now...

Was there a fourth magazine - I then there was...

Scrobs said...

Fleeters - I meant there was a fourth magazine in the clutch...

What the hell was it...?

mutleythedog said...

I have a Billy the Kid annual dated 1959 - which was five years before I was born.

Scrobs said...

Mutters, that will be a prize for the 'Bean bag on head' race, or a present froma favourite aunt with a huge lap...

rvi said...

Scrobs: My similar reading at the time (late 1950s) was the "Wizard" (and, occasionally "Adventure"). I think I was the only one in my class who took it. The Wiz had a hero character called Wilson the Greatest Athlete - bit like Roy but on the athletics track rather than the footy field.

Now, some 50 years later, I think it is safe to confess that for a 5th form end of year English exam free-choice essay I virtually re-wrote one of their stories about a weekend cricket match that had been in the Wiz a few weeks before and which was so well written and exciting that I was able to recall it almost word for word. Not for me to boast or anything, but I got 98% for it and staked my claim as top of the class for English for the third year running.

Who said cheats never prosper?

PS: Do you still, like Dan Dare on Radio Lux, have your nightly Horlicks to counter night starvation?

Daisy said...

scroblene...i still have comic books from my day as well...but i was more into "little lulu" which is what i named my first dog...lol...

fleetofworlds said...

Scrobs - I think NetNewsWire happened to refresh at just the right moment!

I am sure there was a fourth mag too. I can't recall the name either, but I bet my Dad will know. I will ask him later, when he comes down from the roof (really - he's fiddling with his TV aerial at the age of 70)

On a tangent - I have been reading my elder daughter the My Naughty Little Sister and the Milly-Molly-Mandy stories for bedtimes. They both evoke their respective eras (50s and 20s respectively) remarkably well.

electro-kevin said...

Chuckles.

I expect you got your portaging techniques up to scratch on that trip though !

idle said...

I'm way too young for Kit Carson, but I do have a Zane Grey Western annual from the early 70s.

What I really wanted to read most of the time was Commando Picture Library.

"Have an egg for breakfast, Nip" (lobbing a grenade at the yellow peril)

"Munch on THAT, sausage-nosher" (punching a kraut in the jaw)

etc

Worked for me, I was at Sandhurst within the decade.

lilith said...

I missed out on all this adventure too...probably why I wouldn't dream of getting into a canoe. Explains your sense of daring-do thought Scrobs.

lilith said...

That should be though not thought

Scrobs said...

Reevers; Wizard was a great mag, I think the cardboard circular saw which cut things, came free with the relaunch in the fifties...

Great yarn about the essay though, luckily, masters never read things like that!

Scrobs said...

Daisers, that has yet to appear on our shelves over here!

Try Googling it and you'll probably get an avalanche of stuff!

Scrobs said...

Fleeters - time to Google...

Milly Molly Mandy books were a favourite of Mrs S too!

Don't readthem stories about the political Mandy though; they'll get nightmares!

Scrobs said...

We were in dire need of several beers after all that Elecs!

At one stage I fell arse over head trying to push the bloody boat across a shoal and cut my knee...

It hurt almost as badly as it does now, as I tripped up while walking JRT last week and went flying into the ditch!

Blood all over the place and the best pair of ripped jeans I've ever owned!

Scrobs said...

Did you take a course on those sorts of statement Iders?

I'd have thought that just the mention of those tales would have you handling the Sword at passing out in no time at all...

Scrobs said...

It was actually quite fun Lils!

We'd packed a sensible picnic, you know, a bottle of wine each, several beers and an occasional small sandwich, and took off about 11.30 am.

By 12.00 we were parked up and on the second bottle...

As you know, I wouldn't insult anyone here, but there was a German family who almost set up a bow wave and were out of sight downriver in about thirty seconds. It was the best example of precision canoeing we'd ever seen, especially as we were going round in circles, swearing a lot, and wondering when we could stop for lunch...

Trubes said...

Splendid yarn Scrobbers; My father who was a Master Printer used to print The Eagle and Dan Dare also books about Dick Barton.
I used to get free copies of The Girl Comic and Bunty and of course my brother used to get The Eagle etc.

Di.xx

Trubes said...

P.S. More news about our new baby on Trubies site Scrobbers.

Hope you're not snowed in, we've had great fun with grandaughter Olivia, building a snowman.

Di.xx

Philipa said...

Fab find, Scrobs and great story, thanks :-) I loved reading those old stories - I used to read my dad's Roy of the Rovers stories and.. I don't know.. stories then seemed so much more interesting. Nowadays the authors seem to want their stories to deal with and explain stuff they guess that children will be stressing about; divorce, sex.

Back then we ignored whatever we were stressing about and got on with the serious business of being an ace reporter, footballer, princess, pony or knight errant in our heads. There were no boats on bannermere and I drank a lot of ginger beer without any passing my lips. I understood the feel of a leather ball against my foot without kicking one and had the Beano delivered every thursday.

Fireball XL5 was all the rage and the cars started to have big fins on the back wings after we stayed up to watch the moon landing. The difference between a Ford Pilot and a Ford Zodiac was a generational shift in attitude. Then came Vesta Curry and the rest is history.

The Old Tarf said...

We down sized to a smaller place but still have a lot of collectable stuff. Great Comic that one. I used to watch Kit carson on the Tv right after roy Rodgers.

Philipa said...

Does anyone remember watching Flash Gordon with Buster Crabbe?

idle said...

Scrobs, old stick - Philipa has asked me to ask you for her blog email address so that I can gain access.

You can do it silently via ao@vodafone.net

Sayonara
idle

The Old Tarf said...

Phillipa- I remember Flesh Gorden.

Actually the original Flash Gorden was on the Space Channel the other night. I still have a Flash Gorden decorder ring.

Scrobs said...

Morning Iders - no probs at all - check your inbox (maybe spam even if you have one of those James Bond decoders which explode on impulse...)

MKT etc...

Scrobs said...

Trubes - that's great to hear!

Can you recall the fouth magazine in the group? Eagle, Robin, Swift and I'm sure there was another...

Scrobs said...

Pips - your post here should really be typed in gold and lent to the world as 'A pocket History of The universe - by someone who was there'!

It's true Vesta Curry was the start of the downfall of the British race. It's not well known that Gordon Brown visited the factory to start the rot all those years ago...

He's still trying...

Scrobs said...

Tarfers - I used to have nightmares about 'Lost in space' (radio version)...

Scrobs said...

Pips - Just...but only just. Was it 'that' Buster Crabbe?

Philipa said...

Yes it was. Sorry about the long comment *blushing cringe*

Trubes said...

Scrobs:
The four comics of the series were The Eagle, The Girl Robin and Swift.
I think there also was a spin off from the Eagle, The Dan Dare comic, which came a bit later.
We used to get all those comics hot off the press, I can still smell the printing ink.
Sadly my Father died of a brain tumour, as did several of his
colleagues.
This was attributed to the chemicals in the ink, in the days before the compensation culture, re industrial injuries etc.

I liked Pippy's analogy....clever and so true!
My first 'home made' curry was Vesta, which I added mushrooms and more curry powder to spice it up..
There was a boy I worked with in Lloyds Bank who came round for supper and I cooked this.

I really fancied him, sadly the feeling were not reciprocated and he went off with my best friend...
Must have been the curry!
He wouldn't ditch me now if he could taste my real home made curry.
Tough....He had his chance! Ha!

Di.xxx



Hmm... golden days