A few years before her Fragrancy, the Lady Mrs Scrobs appeared on the horizon, and she was still some way off with chums and other blokes, Scrobs had started to develop a close friendship with a family, with whom he spent many happy hours watching rugby, visiting pubs, drinking pints of beer and generally enjoying life in the middle nineteen-sixties
These friends were all larger than life characters, and Mr D had two daughters, one of whom began to accept and reciprocate the shine of a young, yelping Scrobs. All this didn’t go unnoticed by Mr and Mrs D, and the whole scenario was starting to look quite interesting for all.
Mr D was a senior partner in an accountants in Chancery Lane and drove a huge Bentley. They all lived in an enormous house in one of the nicer, leafier districts of Hastings (oh yes, there are some, but you have to know where they are), and we had many a day of jollity, most of which was endearingly funded by Mr D, because he was a generous man, and liked to see people getting on in life, and likewise his wife.
Scrobs was living in a flat (and relative poverty), in London at the time, and returned home each weekend to see these friends and of course, several others. On one occasion, during the week, when I was looking at a lettuce or something for supper, Mr D, with a twinkle in his eye, suggested that we go out for a few beers in London, because he had an early meeting the next day, and was staying up that night.
Of course, Scrobs agreed, and on arrival at Chancery Lane, (‘Ask for the Law Courts, you’ll find us halfway up on the left’, were the instructions). From there we repaired to ‘The Red Lion’ (‘we’ll just go in here for a couple of pints, and then we’ll go to the Spanish Club in Cavendish Square; dinner’s on me tonight’), for what turned out to be five pints of Bass and a crack at the sixpenny fruit machine!
The evening wore on and dinner was great fun, because everyone seemed to know Mr D, and he seemed to know everyone as well. I remember a sweet course of a candied orange... Which was a good thing, as Scrobs realised in the realms of Rioja, that he was being ‘vetted’ as a suitor for the particular shining daughter! There was much more jollity, and about half-nine, a huge handshake and a big thank you, followed by a somewhat varied route back to the flat, where I can still remember seeing one of my flatmates, and telling her that I’d just had a splendid evening, and she laughed and said it looked like it!
It is an abiding memory Mr D, and I still recall just about everything we discussed and laughed about, and I’m sorry the mutual shine didn’t happen, but glad that the various daughters went on and made a success in life, and I hope you all carried on to a ripe old age as well.
And why the reference to The London School of Useful Idiots? Well, the pub was at the end of Red Lion Street, off High Holborn, where in the sixties, the LSE had a noisy presence and were all regarded as a crowd of empty-headed wasters, easily ignored by real people who actually created the wealth they spurned so much. So no change there.
Funny ending to a post, but that's what happens really...