Hi OLD Mother Benson Merry Christmas to one and all,and all that jazz! Hope you and yours are well and enjoying the festivities. Quite happy although on my own, when the eating is over one gets into reflecting on things past; and I have a little anecdote to tell that may or not be of interest to consumers of the Blog. However
if you think it is too far removed from the venerable game then just read and then throw into the dustbin.

Back in the days when still serving in Germany, on one UK leave I met and danced with a marvellous piece of femininity at the Mecca, in the upstairs room where Ray Ellington played. Between dances I discovered she came from Featherstone, and upon mentioning that a lad in the army with me played on the wing for
Featherstone Rovers, by the name of Albany Longley (who later became a scrap metal dealer in Post Office Road and also played for Yorkshire), the young lady, whose name was Margaret Clamp, then told me her brother Michael also played
as a forward for Featherstone. (and sometime later also for Yorkshire)

Margaret usually came with two friends, and after a further meeting at the Mecca, we went to Featherstone with them on the last bus, heaven knows why, and missed the return bus to Leeds. We were huddled in the telephone box near the level crossing gates in Post Office Road, when a local man asked what we were doing. After we explained, he said :“Come with me lads you are not staying there
all night.” And the kind soul put us up for the night and gave us a full breakfast
the following day. Then they say Yorkshiremen are tight. But this man, a local miner, proved the rumour to be totally false; so we gave him what we hoped would cover the cost of the breakfast, although he didn’t ask., thanked him and left.

I wrote to Margaret from time to time and probably met and danced with her on other leaves. But as is often the case our correspondence diminished and failed by the time I had left the army. But sometime in the late 50s while working for Shell BP and delivering petrol to Cadman’s garage in nearby Purston, on the
Pontefract Road, a woman pushing a pram, who I immediately recognised as Margaret, passed by on the pavement. Obviously we were both surprised to meet
in such an unexpected manner. However, she stopped the pram looked at me and said:” You never wrote”! Leaving my ‘gob smacked’ and speechless, as she walked away.

Garage owner Cadman looked at me saying: “You must know Margaret then.” When I replied that I did, his response was to say “ Don’t mess with her lad, her husband’s built like a brick shit..use”. Married myself by then, I assured him I had
no intention of doing so. Which brings me to the conclusion that truth is indeed often stranger than fiction? But she was a ‘smasher‘. And one cannot help but wonder what might have happened had fate decreed otherwise.

OLD MOTHER BENSON COMMENTS – It is Strange that Ernest stopped writing to this Lovely Featherstone Lass because he has become a Prolific scribe – his letters to the YEP appearing at least 3 times a-week- Perhaps he had run out of lead in his pencil?