Chertsey Tales Part Seventeen.

Chertsey Tales Part Seventeen.

I had never seen Rosy in such a hurry, she normally moves very carefully but now she is all of a quiver, everything’s wobbling.

There had been a big rumpus in Goosepool—a group of houses nearby—around a small pond where several Italian families lived.

 She leaned forward, her eyes were gleaming and after taking a big drag on her Woodbine, she started. 

‘You know whatshisname, the tall good looking one..he sells ice cream from that old horse and cart, well his wife found him with a young girl in the Barker Road air-raid shelter’.

He told his wife that he was just showing her how to do the Fandango, that new dance’.

At this, even my mum leaned forward, in case she missed something.

Rosy went on, still with the gum talk but this time with more words, 

‘She didn’t believe him though and chased him all round Chertsey with a bread knife saying she was going to cut off his doodaa’.

They both started laughing at the thought of it all, Rosy said, 

‘Of course, It’s only a rumour, but you know how passionate they all are in Goosepool’.

My mum then said something that made them both laugh so loud I thought someone was going to explode.

 ‘It may only be a rumour’. she said, with tears running down her cheeks, ‘But it’s really just a Cock and Ball story’.

Off they went again, Rosy slapping her big thighs and rocking back in the old chair— no wonder it had lost some of its castors.

 I had never seen my mum laugh so much as that day.

Suddenly, mum was holding my old jersey up to me, and they were both working out what was the best way to make my ‘cozzy’. They cut the body and the sleeves to fit me and then stitched it all together in no time, they even stitched my brother Don’s Boys Brigade belt around the top as it was a bit loose around the waist. I tried it on, and it looked fine. The jersey sleeves were still a bit on the long side and nearly reached my knees but were a nice tight fit around my legs. Rosy said.

 ‘You will be the only one there with a cable stitched costume’. 

Off they went again, but I didn’t mind, I was out of the door like a Whippet.

I tried to run, but there was a large knob of wool from the neck of the jersey between my legs. After a while I managed to pull the knob up so that I could hold it in front of me.

At last I was at the river bank, I saw my mate Alex, with a very fancy ‘cozzy’ it even had his initials on the front. he gave me a wave and pointed at my ‘cozzy’. I suppose the knob of wool in the front did look a bit odd, but all I wanted to do was to jump in the water.

The river was full of swimmers and by that time very muddy, but lovely and cool, I had a good splash about, as I couldn’t swim properly.

The first time I noticed that something was amiss, was when the belt had somehow appeared around my chest, I reached down to find the top of the ‘cozzy’, and to put the belt back on, but there was nothing there, the water was so muddy I couldn’t see a thing.

The woollen ‘cozzy’ had started to unravel and had become twice the size, there were strands of wool floating near the surface, it looked like a jelly fish, I managed to gather enough of it to hold in front of me, so that I could leave the river and sort it all out, but as I left the waist deep water, the cozzy, was now floating around my knees.

 I moved back into the river and waded down to the banks where it was quieter. I found a gap in the rushes and climbed up the bank, there were just a pair of courting couples, so I thought they were too busy to notice me putting my ‘cozzy’ back together.

One of the girls looked up and saw me, it was my sister Iris, she started laughing. I must have been a funny sight, the ‘cozzy’ had grown so much that I could only keep some of it together, the rest was hanging by the tight jersey sleeves down my legs.

The two couples then started laughing even more. I started to cry, my sister came over and said.

 ‘Alan, we’re not laughing at you, we are laughing with you’.

‘But’. I said, ‘I’m not laughing Iris’.

She gathered my towel and clothes, and I got dressed and started for home, but before I left, I laid the ‘cozzy’ on the bank to dry in case someone else needed it.

As I passed the pavilion, I saw Alex Lees coming out of the river, he was looking a bit sheepish, his woollen ‘cozzy’ had also doubled in size and was hanging down to his knees, like a pair of old lady’s bloomers and full of water.

 I didn’t feel so bad now. 

Author: madeinchertsey

Born in 1932, this is a collection of stories of my childhood growing up in Chertsey, and some stories of my later life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: