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Newton Abbot, Devon in 1953
written by Kenneth Williams



You reach eighteen years of age and are at last considered to be OF AGE, and can now drink alcohol legally, oh how we had waited for that day.

The date was New Years eve 1953, and I was at the Royal Signals HQ at Newton Abbot, Devon awaiting posting to Egypt so myself and a few friends decided that it was worth celebrating so off we trotted to explore the local hostelries.

Lacking the sense I was born with I imbibed Scrumpy at eightpence a pint with black and tan chasers until it was time to catch the bus to a place called Kingsteignton.

I felt fine until I fell off the two inch high pub's step, and the rest was total amnesia, my next actions were explained with glee by those who I thought were my mates.

Apparently we caught the bus to Kingsteignton and climbed to the upper deck talking about the girls we might meet at the village dance we were going to and were interrupted by the bus conductor who had come to collect the fares.

A great feeling of generosity took me over and I wanted to pay for everyone on the bus, spilling my money all over the upper deck, my kind offer rejected by the conductor; and my friends restored my wealth.

Arriving at our destination I was about to launch myself down the stairs when someone grabbed my collar to stop me from being a gooy mess on the platform, then I saw the conductor, "I wanna pay for everyone on the bus," and again I showered the floor with my cash, and yet again my friends restored my cash to me, I expect they were getting a little fed up with me by now.

At the dance venue I walked straight in and was promptly turned round and guided to the paying in desk, then, after sitting on a form for a little while I announced to anyone who wished to hear that I was going to the lavatory, or whatever slang word came to mind.

The others didn't see me again that night, the next sighting was of myself lying face down outside our billet, and I awoke next morning in bed with my clothes hung very neatly on hangers, a dead give away that one had imbibed unwisely.

The question is, how the heck did I get back to camp from a place I had never been to when the last bus had gone, and more importantly, how the hell did we remain upright on parade the next morning? write your answers on a brick wall please and send to U.R Barmy, 1, Weigh Street, Blackpuddingburn, thank you




click here to email Kenneth Williams about this Campaign/Arena

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