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Volume XXXI, No. 27

Saturday, August 23, 1999             50p.

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Cuppa with Shirley
Ann's Letters
Simon's E-mail
House and Grounds
Site Map
Letters to the Editor
To Catch a Thief
In a trial that brought many members of Puckering's "high society"to the witness stand, Gerald Anderson of Jerry's Antiques was found guilty of burglary and breaking and entering on 18 August at the Magistrate's Court in Hove.  Appearing for the prosecution were Mrs. N. Archer Winston, proprietress of Silken Treasures and cousin to the thirteenth Earl of Sussex, Colonel Nigel Bratherton, Mr. Nigel Morcombe, Esquire and Lady Imogene Studley-Smythe. Simon Tinsley and Ann Simmons of Stoney Grove were also called to the stand.  All testified to the disappearance of prized belongings following a visit by Mr. Anderson, or first-hand knowledge of goods in his shop that later were found to be stolen.

The defense rallied, presenting testimony by Mrs. Lydia Stenhouse who taught the defendant's fifth form mathematics class, and Mrs. Shirley Johnson whose daughter Elizabeth was a long-time friend of Mr. Anderson.  Mrs. Johnson has herself dealt in the occasional antique.  "Jerry's a good bloke," she argued, "he never meant anyone any harm."

Upon taking the stand, Mr. Anderson explained what had lead to his life of crime.  "I never thought I was really stealing," he claimed, "I just couldn't bear the thought that people owned things and they didn't know what they were.  In some cases, they didn't even know they had 'em.  Well, I knew.  I love old things.  I just wanted them to find a home where they could be appreciated."

The magistrates took a dim view of such sentimentalism, sentencing Mr. Anderson to a year and a day behind bars at Brixton. 

"Justice has been served," said Sergeant Archer, the arresting officer on the case.  "I hate to see Jerry put away, but you can't go around knicking people's stuff.  If he's a good lad, he'll be out soon enough."--Nigel Twicks


Lindfield Best Village?

The results of the best village competition bought disappointment for Puckering this week when it was announced that Lindfield was this year's winner. The judges noted its lack of litter, fine high street and well kept pond. "And the Public Lavatories were spotless," opined the prize committee. Colonel Bratherton was sanguine about the result. "I think we did our best but the story about the rat in the toilet (Gazette Volume XXVII, No. 19) got out and I think that hurt us. Next year, with hard work and a little bit of luck, we should win out."--Nigel Twicks


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Puckering Profiles:  More Can Be Less
The Morcombes, stalwart village citizens for these last forty years, have nothing to hide. At the forefront of village politics, Nigel takes an active role in village affairs and also serves as the captain of the Puckering Irregulars. Honoria Morcombe can readily be seen around the village taking part in church fund raising and helping at the infant school. Some would argue that she can be more readily seen pursing the couple's weekend hobby.  The Morcombes are Nudists, spending their holidays in resorts with like-minded people and going to a local club for a break.

Their idea of a relaxing weekend may not be everyone's cup of tea. "People think it's all about orgies and sex," said Mrs. Morcombe, "but that couldn't be further from the truth. Nigel likes to potter in the allotment that he has at the club, and I sit by the pool and knit.  Nudism is quite ordinary. There has even been an issue of Gardeners' Question Time from the naturalist garden club in Kent, though I thought they were very focused on the dangers of cacti, roses and brambles. I always wear gloves."

For this article, Nigel Morcombe shied away from such exposure, wanting to talk about traditional values and local pride. "What disappoints me today," he complained, "is that young people have no commitment to the village way of life. Team sports are somehow seen as anti-individual or some such poppycock. We are in danger of losing the things that made this country great. I don't know what will become of us all." When challenged to define naturalism's role in traditional village life, Morcombe sees no contradiction.  "English life is about more than tweed and mackintoshes," he claims, "Certainly we should keep abreast of change, but not pursue it willy-nilly.  Instead, we should stand firm in support of what's important:  God and country." --Nigel Twicks


Cricket at Stoney Grove Again!

In a wonderful return to tradition the last game of the season for the Puckering Irregulars was played at Stoney Grove. For captain Nigel Morcombe it was a marvelous moment of history. "Cricket is our national game," he enthused. "It's steeped in tradition and our sportsmen today with their griping over money would do well to remember their village cricket roots. This is where the real game is played. Those losing whiners on the national team would do well to remember the bulldog spirit and never say die attitude that we have. We had lost every game this season but we never quit. They should have let us compete in the World Cup!" --Lumpy Gaites

For a full report of the game see Puckering Sport.


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