Close to the Surrey/Sussex border there is a picturesque village called, Loxwood, where one can find a superb pub called, 'The Onslow Arms.' During the August Bank Holiday weekend of 1966, two car loads of friends arrived there on the Sunday evening, already in a happy mood after spending the day on the beaches of, West Wittering. Among the group of friends were, Georgie Bushell, Bojey Bowbrick, Speckitt Previtt, Smellie Elliott, Donker Welsh, Maxi McEntee and plain old me, Ken Tuffs. I say, plain old me, for I was the only one there who did not answer to a nickname, which was unusual, in that era of nicknames.
We were quite well known to some of the regulars who greeted us in the pub and I remember Speckitt amusing them, by having great fun with a realistic and frightening, fake hand I had loaned him. Throughout the day this hand had created laughter, as the gnarled and hairy fingers had groped the shoulders of unsuspecting strangers. I mention this because that Sunday evening and all that went with it, came vividly to the forefront of my mind after a recent email from my nephew, Peter Tuffs. In it, he asked if I could still recall two particular events of that long ago time. In the first he recalls when he was just seven years old, visiting our Hullmead home with his dad on what must have been the Bank Holiday Monday. Whilst there, he heard me tell of a argument I'd had with my pals the night before about two words of the Beatles hit song, 'Eleanor Rigby.' Its incredible that Pete can still remembered what happened fifty years ago but his recall was spot on when he stated that the argument questioned whether the song mentioned, a Father McKenzie, or a Father McEntee. The argument occurred in the place described above and during it, half of the patrons of the Onslow Arms got involved. Time and time again we played that song and the majority, led by Maxi McEntee, decided that the Beatles were saying, Father McEntee. Bojey Bowbrick and I said they were clearly singing, Father McKenzie and so the argument raged on with both sides claiming they were right. Of course, years later, any smart phone would have solved the dispute in seconds and if the Onslow Arms juke box had a better sound system, all would have clearly heard they were singing, 'Father McKenzie. But my answer to Peter's email said not only did I recall the event, but only last year John (Maxi) McEntee and I had reminisced fondly about that very evening.
The second event my nephew asked about, I have no recollection of at all, but it obviously happened for it rings so true of my family. He said he recalls me coming into the room, very smartly dressed in readiness for a night out, "How do I look?" I asked my siblings and Bob replied, "The bit above your necks spoiling your appearance." Do you mean my sideburns?" I questioned, "No your head," he replied, cue much laughter! I'm so glad Peter shared that fifty year old memory with me, for it reminds me, yet again, how blessed all the children of Walt and Ruby were. We all shared an upbringing of affectionate leg pulling that ensured laughter could always be heard from our Hullmead home. That's why I decided to once again add another story to my long list of 'Ken's Cosy's' happy memories. The memory collector is back!
It is pleasing to be told that people have enjoyed reading my many memories of times gone by, and I have been asked to write more. This one tells of some memories about me but from another source, that I felt deserved to be immortalised in 'Ken's Cosy.'