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Go on tell us a story

Frequently when you come into contact with one of our senior citizens, for example at the Day Centre or a coffee morning, you are rewarded with a splendid story or anecdote about life in the Wychwoods and especially the Wychwoods of the past. You resolve to remember it but then forget it before you have had the opportunity to write anything down.

We want to encourage you to preserve such stories and share them with present and future readers. We will publish the best we receive each issue and reward the writers with a prize for each gem. We hope to gather a good number into a book when we have enough in the collection. But what exactly is an anecdote?

It does not have to be side splittingly funny but it should tell us something about the human condition, and is almost certainly amusing. As an example, one of my favourites, which I believe I first heard the late Reverend Ralph Mann of Kingham relate, concerns Squire Langston of Sarsden.

Squire Langston funded the construction of St Jude’s Church in Milton. One day he went over to Milton to inspect progress. As he was finishing his tour, it began to rain heavily. The foreman offered him a rather grubby overcoat, which had seen better days, to protect his clothes. The Squire accepted the offer and, a while later, as he approached his house in Sarsden, was met by a tramp coming the other way. “Don’t try your luck in there Mate”, advised the tramp. “They won’t give you a thing”. Langston replied that he would still have a try and continued up to the house. Once inside, he called his butler and told him to give a guinea to the tramp in the drive. After a few minutes, the Squire ventured out again. He saw the tramp, who now was smiling broadly. “You were right mate. They gave me half a crown!”

Alan Vickers

December 2017 – January 2018