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Yesterday morning we went up to a place called Saltburn-by--the--Sea. In this small sea side town is a "Nursing Home" and in it is a friend of mine of long standing. We both worked many years in the R&D division for the same company.

His movement to another job had left a vacancy, and I was recruited  to fill it. This was in the early 50s.

We were both "in digs" in the same house and got on like a house on fire. We were almost like brothers. I  tutored him in the art of driving and passing the test for a car licence.' He taught me the art of drinking beer in sensible quantities.


I was already married at this time and Brian was just coming out of a divorce shambles. In due course I got a house in the village and so did Brian, and in due course I got the job of "best man" at his wedding to a young woman who was, and still is, a very caring and loving wife.

 After some years he left the company and went into the the wines and spirits trade. He followed this by having a pub of their own at Lythe near Whitby. Eventually he went back to being a rep. before retiring.

About seven years ago whilst undergoing open heart surgery he had a seizure (or something). “Thanks” to the patience and skill of the surgeons they got the heart ticking again, and after several weeks of worry, by all who knew of the situation, he finally came out of his “hibernation” and made noises, but was paralysed all down one side. He could hear and understand but he could not reciprocate.

As the years have gone by a number of hand motions and finger motions have developed to mean things and, generally speaking, he is much better than he was, but only a man with the spirit and will of a chap like “my mate” could ever come through what he has suffered (and still is ).

His wife travels by taxi every day from their house in Guisborough to Saltburn and back and scarcely leaves his side. (one can tell the Nursing Home is not NHS. Even visitors get cups of tea.)




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I love your memorable stories, catgate.  There’s always a touch of humour included.


Sounds like you have enjoyed the company of many interesting, caring and dependable friends throughout your life.  yes.gif

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I suppose I have been very lucky.

One thing that I have not been is diligent. If I had been diligent I would have made copies of these tales and a list of their whereabouts.

I sometimes get a mental picture of some past incident and then let it go by, simply because I can not be sure it has not been "released" before.


In the above " In due course I got a house in the village " is hidden the starting of a friendship with one of the local landed Gentry.  One  Sir Mathew Martin Wilson bart. .This friendship lasted several years until he suddenly decided to sell his estate (which was something like a third of the village and his "Hall", which housed a residential boys school ) and go and live in London to be nearer to his brother, the one who was chairman of Southerbys and  lived in London. He had a serious interest in antiquities and he did not like driving. He asked me if I would take him to somewhere or other because the chap who usually did the driving was incapacitated, and my "yes" led to some very interesting expeditions.


Watch this space maybe/

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One day on the return journey from Kendal (to see a man about an antique) Martin said ,"Do you know what that mountain across there is called?"

I said "Yes It is Penyghent". He said, "Is it possible to go up there?". I said "Oh yes, I have been up a couple of times". "Oh ! Will you take me?" said Martin ".  I will get cook to pack something to eat. "  So it was that a couple of weeks later, on  beautiful sunshiny morning, he pulled up out side our house and got out. He was wearing  a black Melton overcoat, a brown trilby and a pair of ex-army boots. I was wearing a pair of flannels  and an ordinary tweed jacket and normal shoes. We got into his car and off we went.

We parked the car at the bottom of the path leading over the fields and up to the mountain. He opened the boot of the car and pulled out a carrier bag, wrapped round in hairy string, and put it under his arm, and we set off up the hill.

It was a very nice day and we eventually got to the top. When we got there we saw patches of snow on the ground  and some of the boulders had a light sprinkling of it. We spotted a boulder with but a small helping of snow, which we swept away by hand. Martin opened his carrier bag and pulled out a towel with which he dusted away the snow residue. He then pulled out an embroidered linen table cloth and spread it over the rock. This was followed by two cut glass goblets and a bottle of white wine, then the sandwiches, Roast Pheasant sandwiches!!!  (What a splendid cook!)

As we looked around we saw that there were a couple of groups of mountain climbers  equipped with the usual high boots,  Arctic clothing and climbing sticks. As they approached they viewed us as oddities, which I suppose was fair because we reciprocated, in silence.


I once came across an article on the web that claimed that Peter Wilson, Martins brother at Southerbys, was the real life spy upon which Bond was based.


So I claim I am the only person in he world to eat pheasant sandwiches (washed down with white wine) with James Bond's brother whilst at the top of Penyghent.



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