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This page contains most of the content from the main 'story line' characters. It is designed to allow an easy way of keeping up with the story on slow connections (or for reading later). It is, of course, no substitute for the real thing!

Cuppa with Shirley
Simon's e-mail
Emma's Office
Meeting Minutes

Cuppa with Shirley (or Martin)

Come in, come in! It seems like months since I’ve had a chance for a proper natter. And you’re lucky to find me here, you are -- I nearly had to take to my bed in shock. Have you seen the headlines of the Gazette? You must pop ‘round the newsagents and have a look. Changes everything around here…I thought I knew her, but it’s clear that I’ve been mistaken all this time. I hardly know what to think.

As if that weren’t bad enough, I got a letter from Jerry. You know, Jerry Anderson, the bloke they sent to the nick for lifting a few odds and ends from the house. He’s had a lot of time to think, he says. Just my luck. The man hasn’t had a worthwhile thought in his life, and when he finally has time to turn his mind to something, it would have to be meddling in my affairs! He wants to come clean with John, set the record straight. And not just about himself, but about, well… let’s just say past history. I’ll bet that Emma has had something to do with all this.

I gave Vera a ring, and she thinks the best thing for me to do is go down to the blessed jail and talk to him. "He’ll do something stupid, something we’ll all regret, he will," she says to me, and you know, she’s right. "Tell him to mind his peace, Shirley. Use your charm." Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve needed that, but trouble’s trouble and there’s no use hiding from it. I’ll fix him a nice trifle, or a treacle pudding, to sweeten him up a bit, and then try to talk some sense into him.

Speaking of treacle pudding—I’ve a bit left over from the Church social. Would you like some with a cup of tea? I’ve been so out of sorts today since I read the newspaper that I haven’t even had time for a cuppa. There now, sit tight and I’ll put the kettle on.

Simon's e-mail

To Simon:
Blimey! I knew you said we were going to take a little road trip, but Paris! What a laugh, eh? I never really got those chorus lines before, to be honest. On telly it just looks like women kicking, doesn’t it. Couldn’t see the point, but it’s different in the flesh! I don’t know how those costumes stayed on, in fact I don’t know how they got them on! Bit different from a sing-song in the pub, ain’t it.

So you never did tell me what you did for New Year, you sly dog. I was a bit surprised to hear from you. I thought you’d dropped us, after the party. I know you don’t want to talk about it, but I do think it’s a shame about you and Ann. I didn’t talk to her much, but she seemed really nice. Still with your money, and the house, you shouldn’t have any trouble pulling babes! I know it’s none of my business, but are you still seeing Jackie? I mean, I wasn’t sure about what happened after Ann left, and you didn’t mention her so I was just wondering.

Things are a bit frosty here with Caroline, as you can imagine. You said we'd only be gone for a few hours! And I got the wrong duty-free perfume on the train, so now she thinks I have some bit on the side who likes Channel No. 5. I should be so lucky! Actually I never know what perfume she likes. I sometimes say she smells nice, but really, who cares what people smell like unless they’re like a rugby player or something, and I don’t make a habit of smelling them.

Anyway where are we going next? I want to can-can!


Thanks for contacting me about your plans for the house. I appreciate being kept in the loop. Right now I don't really care if you open it to the public or not, as long as you don't compromise the place.  We've been through this all before.  You know--don't do anything destructive (like knocking down walls, cutting down old trees, grading...) and don't add a bunch of grossly modern intrusions (satellite dishes spring to mind, but I'm sure there are other thoughts you've had that are equally inappropriate).  Basically, respect the site.

I still haven't decided when or if I'll sell out my half. For now, please keep me posted about what is happening.  I've written to Chester and asked him to represent me at your meetings.  Try not to bully him.

I've got email access now, as you can see.  A friend of mine said I could use his machine whenever I wanted.  Saves me the hassle of trying to get a connection out to my house.

Send my best to Shirley, Martin and the Rev. Banks.


From Simon:

Not sure when we can get away again. I'm getting really involved in the house and it’s a full time job. Stoney Grove is an amazing place and I think it can become a  big tourist site. I want to really make something of this place and maybe buy Ann out. We’re in the planning stages right now and I’ll let you know what’s happening.

I haven’t seen Jackie for months. I stayed with her for a few days after that terrible party we had last autumn. She had been seeing her boss, who’s married, but she said even though that was over she didn't want to start another relationship. To be honest, I was having second thoughts about whether it was a good idea too. I'd forgotten what Jackie could be like. Anyway the boss man called while I was there and Jackie decided to see him again, which I think was really stupid of her. I’m don’t understand women at all! From now on I don’t care! I’ve decided I really like being single, because you don’t have to compromise and I’m getting really focused on what I want to do now. I think I’ve been given an opportunity and I want to make the most of it. Winning the money was a fluke, I know that, dumb luck. The question is what happens now, what I do with it.  I want to combine my interest in technology and history to create a wonderful old but new tourist site.

You heard it here first.


Emma's Office

Dear Emma,

Great news! I’ve found Fanny—she died here, on Nevis, in the summer of 1814. I don’t know how, or why, because she's supposed to be at the bottom of the lake outside your window, but here she is.

Not only that, but she was James Rawlins’ SISTER, which means that the painting we found in the attic may have been her brother too.  It is all beginning to make more sense, although why Fanny isn’t in the genealogy we have, and how exactly the two Stoney Groves relate is still puzzling.   It never really made sense to me that she was still so grief-stricken two decades after her husband's death that she drowned herself.   Especially given the  rumors of her killing him, which doesn't  fit with the grieving widow picture either. But if she did kill him, why fake her death so many years later? Questions, questions.

I’ve enclosed copies of the newspaper announcements. Can you go back to Essex and hunt around some more in the Rawlins family papers and see what turns up? Maybe you can try following James to see if there’s any record of him coming here…Sorry, I don’t need to tell you your job!

How are things going otherwise? You haven’t mentioned him, but I hope that you and Frank are on the mend. You seemed really happy with him. Don’t know why you split up, it’s none of my business (and who am I to give advice on love?), but Frank is a really sweet guy.  You should give him another chance. Maybe you already have!

I’m beginning to feel settled here. I just moved into a new house that I’ve signed a six month lease on-- I figured I’d give myself some time to see what’s next. Nothing happens quickly here, and I really like that. My "landlord" Doug is an ex-pat from New Jersey who’s been living on Nevis for ten years. He’s a lot of fun, and has already started to teach me to sail. Maybe I’ll buy a boat! I’ve been over to visit Amy and James lately as well, and they are both fine, and anxiously awaiting the baby.

Send my best to Shirley and Martin, and if you see Chester or Nigel Banks, tell them I’m working on letters for them. Hope all is well. Oh, can you tell Simon I have email access through Doug now so I’ll send him a message about the bills? I appreciate it.

Let me know what you find in Essex. Thanks!

Meeting Minutes

Stoney Grove Steering Committee January 21, 2000

Meeting 1: Attending Simon Tinsley, Frank Churchill, Shirley Johnson, Martin Johnson, Mr. Tinsley Snr., Evelyn Prosser, Emma Knytleigh.

Simon: I’d like to welcome everyone to the first meeting of the Stoney Grove Steering committee. I know I haven't been around much for the last three months, but I’m here to tell you that I'll be working full time at the house from now on.

Emma: What do you mean working?

Simon: This place is a national treasure. I don’t think it’s right that only certain people should enjoy it. I want Stoney Grove to be a success. I plan to open the house to the public, to develop it  into a major tourist destination.

Shirley: What! I don’t want a bunch of tourists gawking through my kitchen and spreading dirt everywhere. It’s our home, isn’t it?

Martin: They’ll play hell with me vegetables.

Emma: This isn’t something you can do lightly. Have you talked to Ann about this? We're still working out the history of the house.

Simon: I sent her a letter  a while ago and am waiting for a reply. But I have thought about this, I’ve thought about this a lot. That’s why I've called you together. We're going to meet twice a month and discuss how we're going to do this and what needs to be done. Everyone’s ideas will be treated the same. We’ll vote on what’s to be done, though I’ll have the deciding vote. Our goal is to make Stoney Grove the destination of choice for the discerning heritage visitor.

Mr. Tinsley Snr.: Who’ll want to come to a dump like this? It's really draughty.

Evelyn: I know I’m new here, but how will this affect my project?

Simon: Your archaeological research will be part of the interpretation. Right now I see Emma preparing the tourist material, brochures etc. What you’ve done is fine, but we need to brighten it up a bit for the tourists. Nothing too complicated. Remember it’s not history, it’s entertainment. Shirley and Martin will be in charge of the house and grounds at the moment, keeping things in order. I was thinking about a tea room and shop as well, but as I said we’ll meet and discuss all this. I think you’ll need some more help Shirley, and I want you to prepare a budget for me of the estimated costs. Frank, you can earn your keep as head guide... you did such a nice job at the party. We’ll try to get some volunteers from the village to help you out on tours.

Frank: So I’ll need to work very closely with Emma?

Simon: Absolutely. We’ll all work together. Now I just want this to be a quick meeting today, but I want you to be thinking for the next one about what we can do to make this a place where people feel they must come. I want to open in the Spring. Remember, anything is possible at this point. Think big and think bold! Golf courses, Wild West theme parks, elephants and lions, racing cars and steam engines, multi-plex cinemas. We’ll bring in dancing girls from Vegas if we need to, but this place will be a success!

[Door Slams]

Emma: Is he gone?

Shirley: Gone off his head I reckon. Dancing girls indeed!

Martin: And I’m not having any elephants in my garden, I’ll tell you that now. Great big smelly beasts.

Emma: I think we need to get in touch with Ann and perhaps even Chester. I’ll see what I can do.

Mr. Tinsley Sr.: Sometimes he's just like his mother...