About R J Cook

This page is for some of my personal views and images. For the time being it replaces Rambling Robert because lockdown has lost me my job and freedom to ramble. There will be some overlap with other pages because it is my view that life , apart from the challenges of getting very old, is about adjusting to life in an ever tighter Police State- which Brits don’t seem to like or not notice. For more on my personal experience of the British Police State, see the Police State Page Robert Cook

All messages, comments , advertising requests and contributions should be addressed to robertj.cook@btinternet.com The comment facility has been closed due to abuse by advertisers and spammers.

Guitar Playing was once my passion as running had been before I injured my right knee.
Hand Made Wooden Music Stands From £50 e mail apple.dene@btinternet.com

I Used To Believe In Britain May 30th 2020

Robert Cook, working for the government and a young man about Portsmouth in the 1970s

Imagining Tony Blair as the rock star he always wanted to be.

Rock Star Blair Coming off stage, after another fine performance, Kosovo. Bigger venues awaited him and bass player ‘Boy Bush’ in the Middle East, where they literally blew people away, creating a desert storm without end. So he returned with his new band ‘The Middle East Peace Envoys.’

Dis me song in de line o’duty
I’m phoney Bliar lookin’ snooty
Listen up to de true liar
Am gonna set de world on fire

Phoney Bliar rocks again
Phoney Tony I’m insane
Wid me on lead, Boy Bush on bass
We blast de planet into space

Phoney Tony playin’ de lead
Me band we call ‘Total Greed’.
‘Human Rights’ now number one.
Foolin’ de people, havi’n fun

Freed Bosnia Kosovo as well
Turned Middle East into hell
Open de dorrs for refugee
We de band set you free

Freed for de rich not for you
Phoney Tony’s still brand ‘New’
Me not bad, me not good
Me just king o’ de ‘hood’.

War Crimes here, war crimes there
All 4 U , I don’t care
Course I’d do it all ag’ en
Boy Bush and me, we real men

Any chords will do for me,
Phoney Bliar, I’m still free
My guitar hardly used
Not like u not abused

Distortion pedal is full on
Just like me, it’s a con
Never get me Phoney Blair
‘Rock Star’ see my mental stare.

Robert Cook June 30th 2020

Writer of Wrongs a novel by Robert Cook Posted June 24th 2020

Author’s Note Police Morons Stole a lot of my computers wrecking them, downloading my material. One day, in 2008,during my divorce from a top cop’s sister, BT phoned me to ask if it was me who had sent around 300,000 e mails from my account in a couple of hours. Obviously only some sort of intelligence agency which had dumped software could do that. I know there was only one top cop who had been in my house a few weeks before. Paranoia is a label the corrupt like to use as a way of shuting people down.

I suspect this work, an extract here, gave them the profile idea that I would die by misadventure. Their tiny nasty minds work on prejudice. My ex wife, whose brother is a corrupt senipr cop, used to get up early, while I was asleep, to read and download my material. The only way to get her to read any of my work was to tell her not to, or make her think it was hidden.

Robert Cook

Prologue

The doctor knew exactly where to strike the blow.  A human brain was basically a box of neurones , the skull was just a nut shell.  Use a lump hammer, hit hard. Lucky the victim was wearing a hat, it would reduce any spray. Step back, avoid any mess,or fine specks of incriminating blood. The doctor would burn the killing clothes in the garden incinerator just to be on the safe side. The police were thick, previous close contact made that very clear.

The victim fell as planned, twitched a bit, gurgled, moaned and died.  The doctor liked watching death.  Weeks of stalking paid off. The killer had the grave ready in the undergrowth.  It was only shallow, but the body was meant to be discovered, after rotting away for a while. Shame to bury such a nice dress. There were lots of leaves on the ground beneath the trees. The discovery, with all the news, should be a warning to others not to be bad people.

The meeting had been arranged on a Swinging website.  The doctor asked for discretion, being assured it was safe.  No one came before their evening meal. Dog walkers never came at all after four in the afternoon.  Most of them were women and pensioners, having no idea about the night shift. Friday night was best for the killing because the police had other things to do.  The doctor would not be disturbed.

So everything was in place. Then there was an upset with the car coming into the parking area.  The doctor had parked on the other side of the fields, in a pot holed little lane.  Time to run. Dark clothes and balaclava had been a must. The doctor had checked this place out for weeks.  No one came here walking dogs at this time.  The light was going down.  October was coming.  The really weird folk came later.  They had  wives back home, dirty secrets, dirty ways.  They should all be killed.  God wanted that.

I:  2000  Gloria

Paul was a very nice young man. She met him in the charity shop where she worked. Well he was not young exactly, but young looking, slim,not very tall, about five feet and a bit with a thick mop of longish blonde hair, fine features, a soft jaw and piercing big blue eyes.  

He seemed nervous, his eyes flitting all over the place, but always alighting back toward the large range of second hand ladies clothes and shoes.  She noticed his rather small delicate hands and long finger nails.

In that moment she wished the Captain had not prevented them from having a child.  If only, then this one could have been her boy.  Perhaps he was looking for lodgings.  That would be nice.

Gloria Raiment had been without her husband for five years when she had to give up the manor in Hampshire.  It was not just the cost of running the rambling old place that made her leave. There were just too many memories of her late husband Raymond.

When she was young the twenty year age gap between her and the Captain did not seem to matter.  As his secretary while he was seconded to Whitehall, he had swept her off her feet.

Captain Raiment had been 39, then just a Lieutenant Commander. His uniform was of high enough rank to impress young Gloria.  

A Woldingham School education had sufficed to get her a civil service job. Surrey was serene, with nearby Caterham just exciting enough with its little olde worlde cinema. Good old‘Wolditz’was what she affectionately called her alma mater.  

Those were the days before every Tom Dick and Jenny went to what was now crudely called‘uni.’ A levels, with a reference from Wolditz was then a passport to the top of the Civil Service secretarial cum PA tree.  The 1960s were, however, the start of a time for some changes .  

Her husband was a hero during those last days of Empire. The future of the world depended on men like him. Her world was real, not like the drug fuelled fantasies and decline of so called Swinging Britain.  Gloria would have none of that.

Raysebubs as Gloria came to call her beloved, was seduced one spring day in her boss’s office.  His passion had overwhelmed him and her, especially at the sight of her petticoats stockings and suspenders. Men were such silly fetishists, she thought while his lumpy hands probed under her clothing. 

Why clothes did that to a man, she had no idea. Still she had nothing to complain about when he took her virginity so masterfully.  This was a man who knew how to make love to a woman.  She was besotted.

Admittedly Gloria was taken aback when he warned her about not wanting children.  At the time it didn’t seem to matter. She had happily gone with him when he was posted back to Portsmouth, and on to taking the contraceptive pill.  Condoms dulled the pleasure and could easily break Ray told her. No problem.  Gloria was in love. Being so young the thought of children seemed too much of a responsibility.  Maybe later he might change his mind.

There had been years of foreign travel, with several of them spent in Gibraltar. Life with the Captain had been as if she were Royalty. Such wonderful times, beautiful dresses and more. Banquets and cocktail parties were the norm. The Captain never minded young officers flirting with her. There were times, toward the end, with his prostrate problems, when she had been tempted.

Now it was all behind her. No need for all the expensive clothes, fine lingerie or fancy shoes.  Nor did she feel the need to wear much in the way of jewellery.  It had to be kept of course, all part of her illustrious history,  But she determined never to wear any of it again.  She had Debbie the brown poodle, and some very practical clothing.  Her figure had gone to seed anyway.  Fine food and wine was more fun than dressing up like a mannequin.

An old school friend Frieda Milroy used to visit back at the manor, reminding Gloria that she would be foolish to stay there alone.  ‘Come up to Milton Keynes, it is the centre of the country, more so than in town ( meaning London ) .  You can get a nice little flat for a song at the moment, but they won’t half go up in price, so it will be an investment for you.  Alec and I will look after you.  

Alec was a retired solicitor.  Commuting into town until he was 65, by then he had made enough money for a lavish retirement.  His hobby was gardening, with a big shed for his tools and a long boat on the Grand Union Canal.

Gloria’s parents were long dead.  She was an only child just like her Raysebubs, so being close to her friend was the only solution to relieving bleak loneliness.  

During the long years with Raysebubs , he had decided everything.  As a girl she loved her pony and poodle.  Raysebubs did not like animals.  

After he had gone she craved company.  Now in her sixties, making friends was challenging.  Her husband had always taken the lead, deciding who they mixed with.  ‘National Security you know’ he used to say.  ‘Never know what people are up to, or who might be trying to get in with us.’‘Positive vetting is frightfully important in our field of life.’

‘Of course darling’ She had agreed many times. She wondered if her husband was taking matters too far with all his national security business as he grew older. Dementia was a big risk at his age.  He was still going on about it after he retired and they were alone in the manor.

All that was behind her now. There would be no more cloak and dagger stuff.  Still the unarmed combat Raysebubs had taught her might come in handy if the worst happened. Not that Gloria could imagine anything happening in such a bright glittering place as Milton Keynes.  Anyway her flat was not too near the centre.  It was in a nice re developed office block, in a pleasant suburb that had once been a thriving town until the expanding city gobbled it up.

II :  2003  Paula

Today Gloria was going to take ‘Debbie’ for a walk in the countryside.  Paula had been doing that duty after she moved in, but now Gloria was alone again, missing her younger companion almost as much as she did the Captain, perhaps even more so. They had so much more to talk about, woman to woman, mother to daughter.  Paula’s leaving came as such a painful surprise.

Luckily Gloria had been advised by her painter and decorator, a smiling rotund grey haired white man, that there was a special ‘dogging site’ nearby.

“It is specially created by the City Council for people like you to walk their dogs.  They don’t like folk walking their animals in the street because of all the mess.  They encourage people to drive out to the countryside.”

“Is it very far.  Not too keen on long drives at my age. Never really liked driving anyway, not too good at it.  My late husband usually drove me about.”

“No. Only a couple of miles away.  Lots of room for parking.  I often go there at night, after work to take my Fido for a walk.”

If Gloria had been a woman of the wider world she might have spotted her painter man was not smiling, he was smirking.  She could never have imagined that Fido was local parlance for ‘Fucking in dirty orifices.’  He was most detailed in his directions.  Really rather simple.  Just a short drive along the main road, a couple of lefts on roundabouts and she was there in the wooded haven the locals called ‘The Bottle Dump’ which was a reference to the area’s gypsy history.  

When Paula moved in, Gloria told her all about the dogging site, what a charming little spot it was, wondering if she might help her out by taking ‘Debbie’ there each day. Then Gloria could spend a little more time working in the charity shop.”I’ll pay for your petrol of course.”

“No need. The exercise will do me good’ Paula responded very keenly.

Paula had been delightful.  Rather young looking for 45, but  always  keen on exercise. She worked from home as a freelance journalist she had told Gloria. So much of her time was her own.

IV :  1984  Simeboy

Simon Rich, the young probationary policeman, joined the police in Southern England in 1984. When this unctuous boy first inquired at his local police station, about becoming a police officer, he was asked what he would do if he saw his mother shoplifting.  He answered without hesitation: “I would throw the book at her.”it was obvious that the boy lacked high principles or sentiment.  The interview panle liked the cut of his jib.   

When he got back home to his parents expensively renovated farmhouse on the Cornish moorlands, Rich told his mother Gillykins all about it.  

“Well done Rich my boy, you are going straight to the top.” So proudly had spoken his besotted bulbous beaming bulging menopausal mother, not realising her son would ever misuse his police powers to have anyone jailed for the sake of his career or family. Now the whole family could move back ‘up country’ as the Cornish referred to anywhere north of Plymouth.

Simon Rich’s tranquillised gaunt old looking father Matthew looked up vacantly from a specially adapted armchair, toward his glowing glorious son. He was the family’s future.  His daughter Nicola had been married off to some young office boy, now training to be a teacher.  

Nicola soon won a place at Imperial College, escaping the horrors of nursing training for a more professional approach to her beloved biology.  That was a load off Matthew and Gillykins’s mind.  The young couple had gone to London, coming home to Cornwall every summer.  Gillykins realised there was no more need for husband Paul Nicola must get rid of him.  Up country Nicola would be close by.  Her daughter’s divorce could not come soon enough as far as ‘Gillykins’ was concerned.

Simeboy’s Matthew Rich had never recovered from the murder of his youngest daughter Mary when she was only six years old, beaten over the head with a brick.  That on top of what happened to his brother cracked him up for good.  So they retired down to his wife’s craggy barren homeland of Cornwall, and life with her in- bred relations.

All those child murders on their estate had terrified the nation. Who on earth could have been responsible, what sort of animal was he ? Then tragedy followed them to Cornwall when Simeboy’s girlfriend was found dead at the bottom of that old mine shaft.  By the time they found her body there were only rags, bones, hair and teeth left.  That is why mother Gillykins was excited that her special son was going to join the fight against evil criminals.

Matthew’s only comfort was Nicola, his eldest child. Nicola had been a quiet, secretive and strange little girl. She was his first born, already two years old before sister Mary came in to their perfect domestic world. As she grew up, it became clear that she had inherited her father’s love of science, though he wished she had preferred Physics.

The dead daughter had been named after Matthew’s devout sister Mary. Matthew’s family were extreme in their Catholicism.  His sister Mary was a man hating South London spinster school teacher.  

When Nicola left home, her father missed her, but went along with Gillykins rush to marry her off at 17, cutting their expenses, giving her more time for her son Simon. This decision made the move to Cornwall so much easier.

Simon Rich never really knew his murdered sister, but heard all about the tragedy. He was not tall, though full of muscle. Only 19 when he decided to join the Thames Valley Police, he already had a testosterone powered receding hairline.  This particular boy wonder’s countenance was oily, and plagued with zits. Girls loved his lizard like qualities.

His mother boasted that on first arriving back in Cornwall, people mistook her 14 year old son for mid twenties.  “He is so mature in every way” said proud Gillykins to the hunch backed stooping old lady village shopkeeper.  “Oh e’ do be.  Credit to yee Gilly, just like your old dad, Willy.  Shame what happened to that fellow, only a boy really. Like your Simon, when he went off abroad.  Life was ‘ard back in them days.”

A fellow of stocky body fit from playing local youth rugby until a twisted knee cost him a cartilage, forcing a change to his chosen sport, Simeboy knew how to tell tall stories.  That particular talent was going to help him big time in a new and scurrilous career.

Simon Rich was highly sexed and rather too ambitious for the public good. This would be another advantage toward his rapid advancement.

After training school, Simon Rich was posted to an inner city police station in Oxford.  This was the year of Arthur Scargill, when the Coal miners strike reached a violent peak.  Coppers were sent to the picket line and behaved like an army out to conquer, primed with the offer of overtime hours galore.

This meant leaving only skeleton forces everywhere else.  The Met were the real bully boys, bullying other officers in the billets to get the best beds, easily recognised by the white shirts. In the other forces, only Inspector and above wore white shirts.  The Met set the standard for the new police state.

Simon Rich was one of that skeleton staff remaining at his Oxford police station.  Female officers also stayed local.

They caught Rich’s lecherous eye.  He might have only recently married, coming up from Cornwall in that summer of discontent, but ‘Simeboy’as his mummy liked to call her little hero, was going to continue sowing his wild oats as he had always done since his first time when just 17.

Local girls back home in Cornwall were easily impressed by tough talking wounded rugby players.  That’s how Simeboy charmed 14 year old Molly, when they first met in the Penzance‘Wimpy Bar’.

She was soon bedded down with‘would be hero’ Rich, in one of the many empty rooms in the three star Penzance hotel her parents owned.

But Molly was just for practice.  Molly’s end was terrible, her so young.  But Gillykins was relieved that Paul was not going to marry her.  He didn’t take long to find another, though the proud mother still thought Kathy the young artist was beneath him.  

They married in Newlyn Church. Kathy wore stockings and suspenders for hygiene and economic reasons. If she got a ladder she didn’t have to buy a whole new pair of stockings.  Her sensible reasons didn’t matter, they turned Simon on which was the main thing.  

Here up in Oxford, his new police job, Rich – as Simeboy became known among his tough talking colleagues during his early police career – attracted the attention of an equally sex mad voyeuristic middle aged portly Sergeant Rees.  

Within the first week of Rich’s police service, the short fat sergeant was standing waiting and panting alongside him, for a particularly pretty young blonde WPC to ride back into the station yard on her police issue ladies bicycle.

Rich had no qualms, enjoying his sergeant’s little game of looking up cycling female cops’ skirts to see if they were wearing stockings and suspenders. He had heard that to get on in the policing game, a man needed a sponsor and a woman needed something else.

Though Rich’s shift was over, hanging around for an extra hour had been well worth it for the sight of the young earnest and vulnerable young blonde pedalling in on a delightful sunny day.

So there they were, Rich and the sergeant he was sucking up to.  Sucking up would be the key to Paul Rich’s success.

Already Rich was aiming for promotion where he knew how he would get more pay for less work- and more sex.  In police jargon, it was all about command and control.

IV : 1957 –1966  Cynthia and Big Girl

‘Me go talk to my friends in the garden’ said the serious little girl to her mother Gill Rich.

The dumpy little woman looked up from the vegetables she was preparing on the chopping board and through the window toward the immaculate lawn and the shrubs beyond. For some time her eight year old daughter’s behaviour had worried this woman. The psychiatrist warned there would be long term consequences from what had happened a year ago.  The little girl would never properly recover from such terrible trauma and tragedy. The imaginary friend was obviously a substitute for the missing sister.

There was obviously nobody in the garden on this particular hot summer morning. But her daughter Nicola was making persistent references to her friends Cynthia and Big Girl who lived behind the Azaelia bush.  

Gillian Rich, known to her husband and friends as Gillykins, told her husband about her worry. She didn’t like to mention the matter of her husband’s family’s history of mental illness, especially his brother who had been shut up in a mental hospital since 1947.

Her husband was also a bit odd and so was his entire family. One visit to the gloomy house in Camberwell had been enough for her, with all the crucifixes and religious prints hanging from stark white walls. She had been in such a rush to escape from Cornwall knowing nothing about them really until it was too late. Her future sister in law Mary was tall and thin, like Frank.  She wore a long black coat as black as her very black hair, except during the brief summer months, preferring to be indoors.  

Mary deplored make up, telling Gillykins how badly it would ruin her skin, also that it was only for Jezebels and prostitutes, not God’s thing at all.

When the tall dark stranger, Matthew Rich, knocked on her’ s and  mother’s cottage door to take up temporary lodging, in the spring of 1957, Gill fell in love with what she thought he could do for her.

He was in Cornwall to take part in secret sea trials of a new weapon, just off the Penwith peninsula. Gill and her mother of course only knew he was working with ships. They were not interested in what he did or how he did it.

Ships were commonplace in Cornwall and men’s work was their business as long as they earned enough to provide for their families.  After all of her humiliations, money was all that mattered to this young woman. The tall dark stranger had that ‘moneyed look.’

Then only seventeen, Gill wanted a husband who could provide for her in a way that mother had been unable to. The new lodger talked of his good job with the admiralty. He was there because  they had contacted her mother through an agency they used to get staff temporary lodgings.

Dirt poor because her mother had been abandoned by her new husband for the RAF, and his mistress in Worthing – after a disturbing wedding night in 1936 – grandmother, mother and child depended on income from odd jobs and supplemented by lodgers. It was the only way they could pay all their bills.

Though Gill passed for the grammar school, her mother insisted she leave at 15 to work in a Penzance newsagents. The little family needed every penny. Granny Chrissy was still alive, bedridden in the back room. Matthew was her escape from the grey Cornish windswept and rainy backwater that only saw life when the emmets (Cornish name for tourists, meaning ant) arrived, clogging up every road in summer time.

The tall thin lodger from the Admiralty arrived by taxi from Penzance Station. It was early summer, but the rain was driving, as often was the case down on the Penwith Peninsula. Grey was the colour of Cornwall. Old Bert from the village was his obsequious taxi driver. That taxi was a rumbling old black well polished Austin 10 built long before the war, but well maintained at Bert’s little garage and petrol station.

Fawning and crawling was the way with the locals when they met city folk.  Best way to get a good tip.  The lodger handed over handsomely,  Old Bert – having deposited a heavy suitcase and plump brown brief case on the stone step, in front of a tiny green painted front door designed for past generations of gnome like stunted Cornish tin miners – doffed his cap, exposing his shining dome.  “Thank e’ Sir.  Very kind o’ e.”

Gill saw him coming up the path, rushing to open the sticky old door.  It always swelled with the damp. Heaving it back, wide open, the heat from the little fire rushing past her legs as the cold came in, she was beaming a smile.  “Oh hello. You are Mr err Ri..”  “Yes that’s right said the long faced tall thin man wearing an expensive mac, Gill noticed important details.  His shoes looked expensive too, well polished.  His thick head of hair was protected by a trilby hat, sodden from the downpour.

“Well, come in please.  Let me take your bags.”  she cooed, sounding like a posh pigeon talking her own version of English.  She was a sleek cat of a woman, with busy eyes, and not the sort Matthew had expected in this neck of the woods. Her well fitting A line dress and carefully applied make up was surely not normal. Perhaps she was expecting a boyfriend, he wondered. The perfume teased his nostrils. He could smell hairspray, which he liked.

Matthew smiled awkwardly.  He had always been shy of women.  His parents never liked him seeing them. So he never did. There were none in the Home Guard, and none in the army out in Malaya. Nor were there any as pretty as this young woman at the Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment where he worked nowadays.

“No, no, they are very heavy.”

“Cornish girls are strong me ‘ansome’” said a gruff sort of female voice approaching from the door dividing kitchen from front room in this rather dark drab little low ceilinged Cornish granite cottage.

Matthew jumped in surprise. The plump little woman in a blue floral dress scuttled in to the room.  He had not expected to see the likes of little Dorothy Pearce.  But there she was, looking just over four foot tall, so a good six inches shorter than the young woman who turned out to be the daughter.  That daughter did not hide her annoyance about her mother’s intrusion.  “No need to bother you dear.  You have things to do in the kitchen. Is granny sleeping all right after her little fall ?   Mr Rich will need some supper.”

“O gusson with you.  Granny is spark out.  Gave her some of her pills.”

“Now me ‘ansome.  Did you have a good journey? Be careful you don’t bang yer ‘ead.  We be little folk down ‘ere.  Little houses dwon ‘ere. Them trains can be very slow.  They tell me the steamers have had their day.  Better when them diesels come in.  Not that I ever go on the trains much. St Just is as fur as I go now.  You know these parts do you ?  Young Gill, take the young man’s bags up to his room.  I will make him some tea.”  “Sit down me ‘ansome.  Gill take the nice man’s macintosh. Rains a lot down ‘ere .” Matthew smiled, handing the young woman his coat.  Politely he told the pair of them that his journey had been very good.  

He thought about telling them how much he preferred steam engines , from an engineer’s point of view. He almost mentioned the great Cornish mining engineer and steam pioneer Richard Trevithick. Looking at the pair of them, in the cluttered front room, he saw no signs suggesting that steam engines and trains could possibly interest them. So he didn’t bother.  The girl had politely and carefully taken his mac.  He then made way to the little two seater sofa that faced a small television set in the corner of the room.  “Ere, let me move me lace making out o’ yer way.;  Matthew studied a fat little cushion with pins, thread and tiny fancy sticks  “ Oh that’s what it is.  You are a lace maker.”

“Yes, but don’t be bothering with that, just one o’ me ways o’ gettin’ a few bob.”

Gill was soon back , nipping down the little staircase. Smiling into the room, she said sweetly, cocking her head to one side,  “Mother, leave Mr Rich to me.  I will see he gets all he needs.  Off to bed now.  You have had a long day.”  Gill was getting desperate to be rid of her mother, who had not eaten yet, let alone made food for the guest.  

Matthew studied the girl, wondering what she might look like if her brown hair was released from the rather stern looking French Pleat.  He liked a girl with high cheekbones, thinking them out of place among the Celtic population.  Obviously she had genes from the outside world in her history, which was no bad thing.  Maybe there was a shipwrecked sailor somewhere in her genetic past.  She certainly dressed rather well for a girl from a backwater.  Perhaps she had a job in town.  Her voice and mannerisms suggested some reasonable level of education which he liked. Though she looked rather young, in spite of the make up.  He guessed she had learned more than a little about life outside of school.  That excited and frightened him.  

Dorothy cut in : ‘That’s all right.  I want to watch ‘Take Your Pick’ if you don’t mind.  Do you watch that Mr Rich ? I like Mr Michael Miles. The Quiz Inquisitor he calls himself.  Dunno what that means, but I like him an’ ‘is show.  He is a very nice man. Looks a bit like you me ‘ansome.’  You both have nice black hair, and the Brylcreem  makes it shine.  All the young RAF boys used it,  Very nice I think.”

“Oh do Call me Matt, please.”

“Well I am not sure about that.  I don’t want you callin’ me Dorothy.  You are not family, me dear.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to be impertinent.”

“Mind you, I wouldn’t mind if you were family.  You look a real gent in that blazer and those flannels. Well ironed.  Where’s your wife ?  She back home, where do you live ?  I think they said Portsmouth.”

“Yes, that is so. Portsmouth, near there.’  Then he added, as if ashamed of himself; ‘ I don’t have a wife.”

“You do talk nice, have to say that. Come on sit down ‘ere on the sofa. Gill will sort out a bit o’ food for us.  We yokels down here in Pendeen don’t hear that sort o’ talk me dear..  Not posh like you. You got posh parents ‘ave e; me ‘ansome ?”  

By now in his late thirties, he had given up hope of ever finding a wife, let alone any girl as pretty as Gilly.  In spite of his vast intellect beautiful women scared him. He may have been tall dark and handsome, but had no gift for small talk. He never realised how handsome he was. This tiny Audrey Hepburn look alike left him tongue tied and helpless.

Matthew had grown up with his domineering controlling mother and sister, both powerful forceful characters. His father was very stern police sergeant , but obviously afraid of his wife. Life at home before the war offered Matthew little pleasure outside the house beyond helping his dad on the allotment. Before the war he enjoyed his job working for the GPO and studying electrical engineering at evening college.  He liked technical things.  He knew life was short and wanted to have interesting things to do.  But he never thought of fun.  The word had no meaning or hope for him.  

One day, just before he was old enough for the army, he had been working on the family allotment.  On his way home he ran for a tram.  A laughing old conductor rang the bell so he couldn’t catch it.  A few moments later the tram was hit by what Londoners laughingly called a ‘doodle bug’ .  It was a flying bomb.  Engine used to cut out and down it came.  Blew the tram with its nasty old conductor and all the passengers to smithereens.

“ No wife!  A ‘ansome young fellow like you.  You’re not one o’ them gigolos, or the other sort I hope.”

“Goodness me no,” He sounded shocked, flushing with embarrassment, brushing imaginary dust off his smart creased grey flannels.

“Well mebee you’ll find a wife down here in Kernow.”

“Kernow ! Where’s that ? “

“ ‘ere me ‘ansome.  Kernow’s what we locals call Cornwall.  You could be one of us.

Gilly did not realise just how strange her new in laws were. Her father in law was a South London police sergeant. He and his wife migrated down from Scotland and were very dour. They brought their Catholic religion with them, taking it all very seriously. Matthew mentioned he had a brother who was away working. His name was Peter and he was two years younger. He also had a sister Mary.

Little Nicola Jane was born two years after the her parents wedding. Home was a pleasant semi detached house in a little town called Havant just outside Portsmouth. There were lovely woods close by and lots of new houses being built for the city overspill.  Matthew had a job with the navy, all very hush hush.  He was something of a boffin, high intelligent f…………..

Talking Police and paranoia – June 6th 2020

Amusingly West Mercia Police, in September 2010 offered me me advice on appeals against their 2008 cover up. They took until 2010 to respond to my complaints against their Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman., having forced me into the way of prosecution  by not following procedure in 2008, not investigating my complaint, ignoring me for two years, and driving me to despair.  

The police are continuing in the same vein, with three further spurious prosecutions, more arrests, more lies and fabricated evidence, leading up to a corrupt incompetent DR C R Ramsay endorsing mental health allegations to protect the police from prosecution and justice. Amony others making false allegations against me were Chesterman’s sister, DC Carron Chesterman and Sergeant Rees, all of West Mercia Police Robert Cook

There are 7 documents below, received by me in September 2010, two days after I was arrested for writing negatively on the internet about West Mercia Police – then called West Mercia Constabulary – and Chesterman et al, along with distributing a leaflet which included a picture of my ex brother in law, then ACC Simon Chesterman who was then their third in command.  He was still my brother in law at the time of my first complaint dated October 9th 2008.. Chesterman was later promoted to Deputy Chief Constable and overturned the report that had concluded three officers should face disciplinary proceedings for lying in the Plebgate Affair.

I continued to complain for the next two years before receiving these documents.  The WMP sent them after I had been arrested, detained in Aylesbury police cells for 12 hours, and my home searched- along with confiscation of property.  My eldest son Kieran was also arrested, being accused of writing and helping distribute the leaflet around Chesterman’s home village.  West Mercia Police, their police authority and the IPCC had repeatedly ignored me for two years until, in desperation I created and distributed the leaflet.  It was inferred that the picture I had taken of Chesterman depicted him as if he were impersonating Adolph Hitler.

I never ever mentioned Hitler in any of my correspondence up until September, and did not make that connection in the leaflet.  West Mercia Police did.  Nor did I ever accuse Chesterman or his wife of dogging and swinging.  His eldest daughter’s ex boyfriend Craig Shell did, contacting me as a journalist and the Daily Mail. I did not believe him and told him his material was fake.  I also informed WMP, copying them into all of his correspondence to me. Craig Shell attempted to hang himself at the start of my trial in Birmingham in May 2011.  

He had been accused of sending an inappropriate e mail to an under aged female who contacted him on the internet, according to what a WMP Detective Sergeant told me.  The same police officer informed me that Shell succeeded in hanging himself the following December.  He left a wife and child.

I pleaded guilty to causing the Chestermans alarm and distress, being given a restraining order not to contact any of them or to make malicious unfounded allegations. I had never done either of those things. My lawyer told me that the Chestermans were better people than me, that no jury would believe me, so I would go to a tough Birmingham jail for a very long time.  

The case was heard in Birmingham because I had allegedly committed offences in West Mercia, where I never lived. A better understanding of WMP’s duplicity and evasiveness will be gathered from reading my complaints which they refused to answer.  There is so much to say about this, but here the main thing is to note my key reference to a PNC Criminal Marker being placed on my car along with so called soft intelligence records on October 9th 2008.  I found out about it in 2009 after being chased by countless police cars.  The records ruined myself and Kieran professionally, leaving us struggling to pay bills.  It was not removed until I was charged in December 2010.  I found out via the Criminal Records Bureau, later confirmed by Chief Inspector Tighe of Thames Valley Police.

To this day, West Mercia Police – who only replied to me in September 2008 because they knew I had been arrested following the leaflet- refuse to explain why I was on the receiving end of a ruinous PNC Criminal marker. They do, however, admit that they never investigated anything before or after creating it. These markers are made for people suspected of violence, sex, drugs and arms offences.  They are very serious, with police chases in the past having led to serious accidents and suspects being shot.

I was dragged back to Birmingham Crown Court in 2012, following my request that the police stop my ex wife from persistently contacting my home address.  They refused, so I said that was because of my ex brother in law’s police status.  

Two WMP CID officers travelled down from West Mercia, over 200 miles, to arrest me for breach of restraining order .  I was again locked in police cells prior to interview.  In the subsequent Birmingham Crown Court hearings, West Midlands CPS released previously withheld records, including a 1700 page file of police monitoring activities against me, along with statements alleging that my son Kieran and I had been stalking the Chestermans at their remote Shropshire home over the weekend of October 4th/5th 2008.

It also transpired that another mid ranking WMP Officer Sergeant Rees from Ludlow police station, had lied that he found Kieran and I on a nearby campsite to Chesterman’s home. The PNC Marker was created on October 9th 2008. He alleged threats and fear of violence, as did his family in their statements, adding that he did not want anything investigated .

Because of this new information, I made allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, misconduct in public office and perjury by Chesterman and other members of his family in November 2014.  I was arrested, held on bail for a year, endured 7 terrifying court hearings, again pushed close to bankruptcy.  I was charged with breach of restraining order.  

My first barrister quit because in the absence of evidence to refute my allegations, the judge quite improperly turned the case into one of domestic violence, threatening to jail me if I did not plead guilty.  I got a new barrister.

I have never been violent to anyone. the police have never interviewed me regarding domestic violence allegations, but my ex wife admitted to police that she hit me on four occasions she could remember, once attacking me with a broken wine glass. Clearly the police and CPS had lied to the judge with the intention to pervert the course of justice and cover for institutional police corruption. My new barrister won the case under my advice.  

Two years later, the police came back with allegations that I had breached my restraining order by sending letters, a sex video of myself which they later said di not exist and fake sexual images to my ex brother in law, ex wife, their bosses and others, signing with a false name and accusing myself of being a gay escort.  

They confiscated vital equipment.  They admitted that they had done no forensics to see if I had handled the offending material, only that they had watched my house for three months because I allegedly had told them that escorts were working there for Kieran. They refused to investigate the ex partner who had clearly fabricated material and had been stalking me.

Three months later I asked for an update as the police were causing me alarm distress and had nobbled my lawyer again.  I was ignored twice, so I left another message using swear words.  I was arrested for harassment.  I refused a caution and so ended up in Crown Court defending myself because I have run out of money.  I won. Around this time, a TVP officer, PC Grainger rang to tell me ‘This job’s going nowhere. When do you want you property returned.’

So in 2018, the police, from Reading Police Station, advised my GP that I am mentally ill, presumably because the Chestermans say I am, and a psychiatrist came round, with a heavy weight male nurse and medical student.  After three meetings, following on me having done long lorry driving night shifts,

I was judged to have a paranoid personality disorder, needing a multi agency approach to my condition. Consider the wisdom of a psychiatrist telling someone he thinks paranoid, that they must not see what is written about them ! It beggars belief. I am also allegedly an alcoholic because my ex wife told the GP I am.  That GP , who has gone on record backing this opinion, regularly signed me off during HGV medicals as having no mental health issues or alcoholism.  

Neither the police or anyone in the NHS have responded to my questions on these matters. There are motives behind all of this, and more information on this site. According to the psychiatrists report. I must not see their records as it would upset me. And I am ‘more likely to die by misadventure than suicide.’  I am 70 in 6 months, but there is no mention of old age combined with stress and possible homelessness because of them, as a potential cause of death.  I have written information that the police have done their best to block job applications by me- and inevitably Kieran, a brilliant graduate who’s potential legal career has been destroyed by all this.

My in laws motives are money and revenge because I am politically their opposite. It should be a salutary lesson to any open minded reader, that the police are corrupt, act as one body, look after their own, and abuse their power.  I do not think they are racist.  They will abuse anyone if they can get away with it, again and again.  

They are institutionally corrupt.  In my case, WMP’s Chief Constable Paul West who was Chestermans friend from their TVP days abused his position to create the marker, based on lies that I was terrifying his family over the weekend of October 4th/5th 2008, when Kieran and I could have proven we were hundreds of miles away. West did not do his job properly, committing a crime in the process of not doing it.  He perverted the course of justice.  I was, with Kieran and around 200 miles away at the time of the alleged stalking offence- which I never knew I had allegedly committed during the 2 years of complaining to West Mercia Police. Nor was I ever made aware of domestic violence allegations through the police, or during my divorce hearings. I almost died of an overdoes in the wake of my 2016 hearings, having to be taken to hospital. The stress and despair has been appalling. The police have been terrifying and always bullying – and sneering.

But as WMP admitted in the documents below, they did not investigate any allegations against me, just going to the most extreme measures, ruining mine and Kieran’s lives, leading to such stress that I began with mild exposes on the internet, finally cracking and producing the leaflet.  

At the time of Chesterman’s allegations, which he seems to have repeated and exaggerated to get enhanced security in December 2008, my youngest vulnerable son was shut up in Chesterman’s house, and my ex wife was later to claim extra money to care for him.  Neither myself or Kieran has seen him since early 2008.  Kieran, my mother ( who died because of all of this ) and I were told in 2008 that we could never see Edward again. He was 20 at the time but never allowed to speak for himself. At the 2012-13 hearings I was told that Edward was too ill to speak to the police.

Given the state Edward was in when my ex wife cancelled his NHS care, I accuse the NHS and police of criminal negligence, holding them reponsible for any harm done. My ex wife was saying I needed help, while she had Edward shut in his bedroom all day – in just underpants with play station, bottle of water, cling wrapped sandwiches, with no one allowed to see him until his mother came home ( this was still going on until she took him away aged 20 ) we cannot be sure he is still alive.  He frequently talked of suicide, even producing a contract for his mother to sign to help him do it. When she came home from work, even when he was 20, my ex wife was taking Edward to the toilet and washing him.

During this current Covid19 and related riots, the police will play the ‘hero’ card.  The reality is that they are a corrupt self serving wasteful organisation, worse than the U.S which has a much better system of accountability. The real problem is with senior, command and control ranks, who only promote those like themselves.  Even the CC of The Police College came to this conclusion. He also lamented that lower ranks had no operational freedom – perfect targets for scapegoating. It is an old boy game. It is not a system conducive to justice or efficiency.

In my case, the British Police are clearly using my restraining order as a gagging order with the intention of perverting the course of justice to protect themselves. Robert Cook

I will be commenting at length later this weekend. I am aware that I have only one regular site reader from U.K, THE POLICE. They should not be surprised, especially in this COVID19 situation, that I have been pushed to the limit by their latest interference in my life.

I saw the letter they sent to my GP’s surgery alleging that I am mentally ill, now assessed as having abnormal psychology and a paranoid personality disorder. Evidence is not an issue when protecting the police is involved.

This comes after me winning two court cases against them and them trying to fit me up as a gay escort on the basis of malicious communications from a party known to them, alleging that I wrote them and shopped myself and son Kieran as sex workers. They found a dopey unscrupulous psychiatrist to back them up.

That psychiatrist refuses to talk to me, so if I am nuts, WHY WAS I EVER PROSECUTED AND WHY AREN’T THEY EXPLAINING WHY THEY THINK I AM PARANOID AND WHAT ABOUT EXACTLY ? Robert Cook
My two sons in happier days. My ex mother in law believed that Edward, right, needed institutional care. he had OCD. I called in outside help for his deteriorating condition. My ex wife cancelled it, insisting I had the problem.
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC
The truck I was driving, delivering and installing electrical domestic appliances on the December day in 2017 when I allegedly posted material designed to expose myself as a gay prostitute and my son Kieran as my pimp.
The allegations led me back into Crown Court with more jail threats and police lies in 2018. The police are worse than racist, they are institutionally corrupt . Whenever they lose a case against someone they have lied about and fitted up, they add it to their nasty secret records called ‘soft intelligence’ then wortk hard to come back again with new charges and so called ‘new evidence.’ Unfortunately it doesn’t work the other way round if their victim confronts them with real evidence of their lies and endemic corruption.
From their perspective, they only ever lose, as they are prone to say, because there is ‘lack of evidence’ when they actually never had any. They act on prejudice which they call profiling, and pick on the vulnerabe, black or white.
The black lives matter campaign is missing the point. Two black Ugandan media men are in trouble for wearing Tee Shirts with the slogan ‘All Lives Matter.’ They posted a picture on social media.
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC

My Difficult Life June 3rd 2020

Robert Cook North Wales 1998 Image Appledene Photographics
My late mother, ex wife Nicola Chesterman and me, North Wales Summer 1998. According to statements witheld from me until my second series of court cases re Chesterman lies, my ex wife only stayed with myself, my mother and children to protect them from my alleged 20 years of ongoing violence and mental health problems.
During that period she took £20,000 of my eldest son’s hard earned savings toward buying a house in Norwich, allegedly as a student home for him, wihere he paid the mortgage.
By this time she had a high powered job with Bucks County Council as Governor and Young Peopls Services Manage, and had told all my freinds and sister’s family that I was a mentally ill violent alcoholic.She locked my son Kieran out of his h along with all of his stuff, having locked him out three montsh before his finals as punishment for coming back to live with me.
She had, I discovered from West Midlands CPS, made these allegations, backed up by her brother who admitted he didn’t know me but always thought me odd, his wife and mother in 2008.

Her brother then 3rd in command at West Mercia Police took these allegations to his friend and mentor Chief Constable Paul West, who like Chesterman had been a senior officer with my local force Thames Valley who have also a history of seious corruption and malpractice like West Mercia .

A PNC Criminal Marker was placed on my car, along with records alleging violence on the part of mysef and son Kieran, along with stalking the Chesterman family – when I was hundreds of miles away. Chesterman told his police chief not to investigate, because I was allegedly mad and it was a family matter. t

It took me nearly a year to find out what had been done. Then I was hitting my head against a West Mercia Police brick wall for a year before resorting to the internet and a leaflet to get them to release their records. They still won’t do this because they have to keep their lies and conpiracy secret. Cover ups are what the police do best, along with falsifying, hiding and inventing evidence.

They wrote to my GP Roger Dickson of Norden House Winslow Bucks who colluded with them over mental health issues, and the need to force me to have anti psychotic drugs, with mental hospital a sometime necessity. Apparently I am more likely to die by misadvenure. The police have told him that I am some kind of depraved sex mad lunatic paranoid telling them that I am mentally ill and alcoholic.

I have been a long distance truck driver for the last 12 years, until the Covid Lockdown, and my local GP signed my medcal reports agreeing that I have no mental health problems– not sure about that now after all the stress and financial problems, including repeated threats to jail me- and that I am not a drink or drug abuser. Obviously Dickson is either a liar or incompetent willingly taking my £100 time and again for the medical and putting the public at risk

Clearly there has been high level police corruption here to shut my vulnerable son Edward away and get the Chestermans more money from my divorce along with substantial benefits because they have labelled him as having learning difficulties and as someone who will never be able to work. My eldest son was prevented from pursuing a legal career, working for six years sorting City Link Parcels on a ten hour low paid dirty cold night shift until made redundant. Because my in laws have given him a criminal record for trying to see his brother, he cannot get another job. Obviously I have leared just how vile self interested and corrupt the police are.

My youngest son frequently threatened suicide, with my ex wife signing a contract, which is in my possession and will soon be posted on here. Kieran and I haven’t seen him for over 12 years, with Simon Chestermans Police cronies arguing that he is too ill to be interviewed by the police. One wonders if he is still alive. If he is, my ex in laws will no doubt have had him drugged, possibly institutionalised because they frequently, led by the mother in law, that Edward had inherited Simon Chesterman’s uncle Peter’s mental health prtoblems- problems so serious that Peter was put in an asylum aged 18. He died in Bodmin Asylum in 1977.

The corrupt police’s answer to all of this is to use what they think is a gagging order, with repeated efforts to use their so called bad character file against me. I won my last two cases aginst them which is why I suffered a seven officer raid, being taken to the cells for another 12 hours while they ransacked my house looking for evidence that I was working for Kieran as a whore in his brothel. They took two lap tops, memory sticks, two I phones, my debit driving licence, CPC and driver’s digi card .

After three months waiting for them back, I left a polite message asking what progres they had made regarding the anonymous letters and weird images, including a porn video that never exixted,, sent to top police and publci servants, They said I sent it all to shop myself as a way of getting at Kieran. The pictures were allegedly of my wife and i, and of a personal and private nature.

My third and final message to the lead officer contained swearing, insults and delivered in a loud voice. I was taken to court and threatened with a long jail sentence for alarming and distressing a police officer. I was found not guilty, so they came back with reports and records that I have been mad and violent fr the last 32 years. I am Istill not allowed to know the status of the so called ongoing investigation trick that they use to keep the press at bay. All the police command and control care about is image. They are very nasty people, paid large amounts of money from taxes, and rather risk averse. Most of them are bullying career mad control freak bullies. They are good liars, covering their crap quicker than a cat on a cold day.Robert Cook

Climate Change A Painting by Robert Cook June 1st 2020

We are being told to conserve water because there hasn’t been enough rain. There will be more problems in the coming years, but it has nothing to do with global economies, rampant oil grabbing fake wars for democracy ( sic ) or African women having 15 babies each. This is my painting of Horn Street Winslow by Robert Cook 2020..

The painting is about the wonderful weather, the quaint old houses which only rich folk can afford, the hypocritical St Laurence Church, built on the orders of and consecrated by a Norman Tyrant Bishop de Cravesende.

The house in the centre was the home of my Great Great Uncle Thomas Cripps, then a pub called the Plough in his day, where his builders’ yard was out the back. Now it is a twee home, called ‘Plough Cottage’ for people who have a mighty fortune and good prospects to afford the resale price.

My picture above, depicting odd weather signs, is called ‘Climate Change,’ Robert Cook
My eldest son Kieran and me, in the old house 1991. From the day he was born we were inseperable. I was devastated when the incompetent NHS diagnosed him with cancer when he was 11, giving him dangerous and unnecessary radiation tretament. All he had was a hip injury from football- an interest I had encouraged, having qualified as a PE teacher among other things..

We used to make up songs and create little picture book stories together. I was always in favour of encouraging imgaination and a questioning attitude to the wider world and political structure.

Kieran was an outstanding student until his mother and her family gave him a criminal record for wanting to see his brother and for coming back to live with me. His mother also took his savings of £20,000 to buy a house she said would be an investment for him to live in when he was a student at UEA. She locked him out three months before his finals, selling off all of his stiff as punishment for prerferring to live with me. and told him he could never see his brother again.
Image Appledene Photographics/NGC.

Edward and the Police Chief May 31st 2020

Promoted to Chief Constable in 2019, the ma – Simon Chesterman, my ex brother in law- who lied along with other members of his family and other offiicers, that my eldest son and I were stalking him and his family over the weekend of October 4th/5th 2008.

His then police force, West Mercia admitted in writing to me that they never investigated before making my son and I subject to a PNC Criminal Marker and so called soft intelligence records of violence.

In every prosecution I have endured and suffered, overdosing over this in 2016, the police and CPS withheld evidence for my defence, lying to the judge and my lawyers to such an extent that my first barrister quit in 2016.

The criminally corrupt police still refuse to investigate and have actioned four prosecutions to have me jailed for complaining about it and how it has ruined ourlives. they have added more lies now trying to have me sectioned as paranoid.

In this conetext, I feel obliged to piint out that Simon Chestermsan’s Uncle Peter spent his entire adult life in a mental hospital where he died and his father had to take early retirement on mental health grounds.

Back in 2008, Chesterman was interferring in my divorce for his family’s financial gain and had locked my youngest son in his house, claiming he had mental health problems and they needed money from me to help keep him that way.

With futrther lies, they blamed my ekdest son and I for the mental health problems my ex wife and her family had caused him That son frequently threatened sucide and may be dead for all I know. This Chief Constable is reponsible for Britain’s Firearms policinng problems and he is a criminal liar. The Laughing, or should one say smirking, police man.
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC

I am begining this story with some photos of my youngest son Edward, at home- who I have not seen since 2008. His brother has been criminalised by the Chestermans and their police cronies because he wanted to see his very vulnerable brother during my divorce.

His mother signed a contract with Edward, agreeing to help Edward commit suicide if his life got any worse. i will publish a copy of that contract later today. No doubt I will be arrested again for talking about this on the web because Edward’s uncle is lying Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman and this vile story has gone on for the last 12 plus years, with two police forces connected to my ex brother in law making regular efforts to have me jailed on the basis of lies which they will not explain, now having me diagnosed by a corrupt psychiatrist Dr C R Ramsay, as having a paranoid personality disorder. I wonder if he was new to malractice when he was sent tp see me, following police allegations that I am mentaly ill.

A rather rambling unedited account of my history with the Chestermans is also on this site. More will follow later, though I am likely to be arrested and the site closed down in police state Britain, the police are judge and jury. They withold, fabricate and corrupt evidnece given to lawyers and their CPS lackeys.

As in 2008-10, the police refuse to answer any of my questions, especially the reason why they placed a dammning PNC Criminl Marker on my car on October 9th 2008, leading to countless car chases, searches and criminalisation. Nor will they explain what it is they have to say about me being a wife, mother and child abuser, that all goes on the secret bad character file for the judge and lawyers eyes only and for the purposes of perverting the course of justice. They feel very confident becauae they have two trusted sources in my ex brother in law Depiuty Chief Constable Simon Chesterman and his police officer wife, because , as Brian Paddick wrote in his police memoirs, ‘Two police witnesses count for the truth against whatever a member of the public has to say.’

Robert Cook

Edward Cook enjoying a travelling holiday,Cheddar Gorge 1998 Image Appldene Photographics/RJC
My youngest son Edward, then 10 years old, ex wife and mother August 1998 Image Appldene Photographics/RJC
Edward Cook was always imaginative and creative Image Appledene Photographics/RJC
Robert Cook’s mother with her beloved grandson Edward. His mother refused to let Robert’s mother see Edward when she was dying. Edward had been shut away in his police chief’s remote rural home with an order from his mother that he would never see his brother or father again. Simon Chesterman admitted in a courts statement ‘Edward is vulnerable to maniulation and control.’
He was being used, exploiting his OCD issues and magnifying them into more serious mental health issues, to gain more money for Chestermans from the ongoing divorce. Chesterman;s top police cronies and lackeys, like Chief Constable Paul West (who was refused an extension to his CC’s Police contract shortly after my first court case involving WMP and lying Chestermans) and Sergeant Rees of WMP, have consistently lied conspiring to pervert the course of justice in this vile and hideous story – how the Police State conspired to destroy my sons.
Image Appldene Photographics/RJC

Edward Cook loved his birthdays. Image Appledene Photographics/RJC
Edward and Robert Cook relaxing summer 1994.
Edward Cook having fun 1995 Image Appledene Photographics/RJC
Edward mowing our field 1997 Image Appledene Photographics/RJC
Edward Cook having fun on a disused rail line, 1998 Image Appldene Photographics/RJC
Edward with his mother in 2004. A competent psychiatrist would see an awful lot to worry about in this image. But this is the age of mummy knows best, especially when mummy’s brother is a top cop. Image Appldene Photographics/RJC
Edward Cook, left, flying a light aircraft around Penwith Peninsula. I was amazed how natural he was in the pilot’s seat. The year was 2006, summertime. Image Appledene Photographics/RJC
A painting by Edward Cook, 2004
Deputy Chief Constable Simon Paul Chesterman Image Appldene Photographics/RJC
My son loved animals and is pictured here with a pidgeon he found in the garden. He fed and watered it until it was ready to fly away some days later.Pidgeons have a tendency to come home to roost.

The British police are among the most corrupt in the world, which is why the got away with Hillsborough Britain is a very corrupt elitist divisive country, which is how it built an empire on the cheap. It needs a corrupt police force to keep the population down. .
DCC Chesterman is typical. Apart from all the lies about Kieran and I stalking him etc- backed up by corrupt police cronies including CC Paul West who gave him the job- Chesterman has traded on the lie that I blamed him for my divorce.
I must say that thought never occured to me, so it is interesting he seems to think that I have that view. He is a revolting liar.
Any harm that has come to my son Edward will be down to him and his family who backed up his disgusting lies ruining Kieran and my life, also doing much to kill my mother. The police are out of control in this country, overtly telling government what to do, and with slick expensive PR Departments.
Robert Cook, Image Appledene Photographics/RJC.

The Painter On His Way To Work

Van Gogh himself shared the sense of idyllic happiness that the painting expresses. He could indeed very well be the painter on the canvas.

“Painter on His Way to Work” also shows some of Van Gogh’s characteristic deep visible brush strokes, especially in the depiction of the cobbles on which the artist travels. These are golden in the rays of the sun, and lead the artist on to the next great things.

Destroyed during World War II

The painting is believed to have been destroyed by fire after an air raid during the second world war. At the time it was situated in the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum of Magdeburg, Germany.

This is my copy of Van Gogh’s painting, painted in oils on a piece of hardboard by me in 1965, from a small image found in an encyclopedia,

“IN MY DAY- Revolution- the road to where we are now.” May 18th 2020

In my day, as old folk in England, used to say, some of us were hard working and privileged enough to go to universities. There were also some excellent polytechnics.

This was before the evil money grabbing Margaret Thatcher and her political Mafia decided they would help their rich voting base with cronies like Lord Hanson ( see ‘Bucks Bricks’ by Robert Cook ) and media friends asset strip British Industry, and privatise the best of private sector.  

Robert Cook, in blue shirt, holding court with friends at the University of East Anglia, after a very pleasant dinner in the divine old city of Norwich, 2005. Appledene Photographics/Archive

Universities were renamed by the new invading vulgar dumbed down masses as ‘unis’.  There were lots of courses with short words, like PR, to keep the masses off the dole queues, with new student loans, more burdens for the masses, more profit for the banks. The masses fell for it, like lemmings off a cliff.

It was the 1980s, boom time for the City of London and death of the country’s coal, iron and steel industries. Shipbuilding was already dead, farming was being strangled by the EU and the motor industry was in terminal decline.  The State airline and wonderfully comprehensive National Bus Company were flogged off cheap making billionaires out of the likes of Brian and Anne Souter ( Stagecoach ) and the Cowie family ( Arriva ).  The railways were flogged off a bit later by John Major ( Disaster ) who will only be remembered for his affair with sleek cabinet member Edwina Currie and dull wife Norma.

Rebuilding the Oxford Cambridge Line April 2020 Appledene Photographics/RJC

Not to worry, this was the age of high technology – hi tech as they called it back then. Back in the dark days of world war two, there was a fast direct railway line between Oxford and Cambridge, linking the top two universities. The boffins from both elite centres met half way along at a town called Bletchley where there was a big estate commandeered for secret war work.  It was called ‘Bletchley Park’.  Here they helped Alan Turing build a giant computer called Collosus and crack the Enigma Code  used by German High Command.

World War Two Enigma Code Cracker Alan Turing was hounded to suicide by the British Police State he had worked hard to defend during World War Two. His crime was being homosexual. Now his name and face adorns a pub on a new housing development south east of the Bletchley Park Code breaking complex, just off the by pass.

I am sure he would have felt honoured by this very British accolade -or should I say New Zealand because it is part of the Weatherspoon Chnage created by Tim Martin and packed with other bits and pieces of local hstory, including photographs. I coud say a lot of nice things about Tim Martin, including that he quit a career as a young barrister in our corrupt police(ill)egal system and created a good value for money food and drink empire, with pubs always offering a bit of the local history in which they are situated. My local used to be the ‘Admiral Byng’ in Potters Bar, another fascinating story you can read if you visit. The model ships are amazing
Robert Cook Appledene Photographics/RJC

Alas the only code that really matters in this country is the secret money one used by the rich elite who run it. A millionaire crook and road builder, among other things, called Ernest Marples, was the Minister of Transport who hired his friend Dr Beeching , to close the key Oxford Cambridge line. Beeching argued, so he was sacked.  It was left to Labour’s self important over promoted prototype feminist Minister of Transport Barbara Castle, to sign the closure order to kill the line.  She couldn’t even drive a car.  It was the year work started on building Milton Keynes, through which area the old Oxford Cambridge line made junction with the West Coast mainline at Bletchley.

The point of the story so far is arguing that politicians have been bad for this country and are getting no better.  The police are a vile corrupt disgusting excuse for law and order, promoted on TV for driving dangerously in TV documentaries, chasing low class desperadoes, speeding drivers and recipients of Tony Blair’s PNC Criminal Marker.  

Thanks to my lying corrupt ex brother in law,a toadying Deputy Chief Constable, I am a recipient of such a marker, thus knowing what it is like to have these repulsive bully boys in hot pursuit of me.  We can thank Thatcher and Blair for turning the police into storm troopers for the rich, powerful and their own self interests.

At the time of writing, I am aware that the British police are looking for a lorry driver reported for sex assault because he gratefully kissed a 70 year old woman on the cheek for controlling traffic whilst he manoeuvred his truck away from a low bridge.  Apparently he raped her by kissing her on the cheek.  Brave boys our cops.  Weirdo blokes watch the high speed police chases and want to be one of them, weirdo women have always had a thing about men in uniform it’s the damsel in distress and guardians of safe spaces thing.  Another sort of woman wants to be one of the boys too.  She wants her own truncheon.

More to come. Robert Cook

New World Orders May 15th 2020

New World War by Robert Cook

Nubar Gulbenkian – literally ‘Goldbanking’- in the 1960s. Appledene Photographics Archive

A British Government Committee has said that girls should be encouraged to play boys’ games so that they can have a better chance of jobs in the top professions.  At the moment the best that the best can hope for is teaching and other caring professions.  Compared to the law, these are poorly paid.

I was a teacher so I know the last statement is true, even if the rest is rubbish.  

The home I grew up in was what the snobbish British would call ‘poor working class.’  I find it hard to write the truth about my childhood.  My ex soldier, truck driving dad was poorly paid. When a stack of bricks fell on his chest, his upper middle class doctor told him he had bruised ribs and sent him back to work, driving a big truck.  

British trucks didn’t have power steering in the early 1960s. The effort of driving, especially on rough building sites, worked a broken rib into his lung.  The lung had to be removed and an infection- they didn’t call it MRSA in those days, did the rest of the job of killing him.

I was eleven when he died. Had he known he had had a life threatening accident, he might have reported it.  He was just another piece of British working class rubbish who had been lucky enough to survive wounds in World War Two.  He grew up on the mean streets of Islington North London in the 1920s.  You wouldn’t recognise that area now.  Many of the working classes fled its bomb sites after World War Two.  

By the 1960s, most had been pushed out, into tower blocks by high rents. The upper middle classes moved in.  New Labour’s Tony Blair had a pad there. This Oxford educated public school boy had a brief spell as a barrister before moving into the manipulative upper middle class domain of British politics- that world is little better in the U.S.A.

Robert Cook c1964 Appledene Photographics Archive

Blair was a leading light in Britain’s New Labour political revolution.  Leaving aside the mess they have made of the British Economy and their contribution to the ‘New World War’ an ongoing process that has not just taken place on the battlefields of Eastern Europe, Afghanistan and Middle East- their most serious work is in the field of social engineering.

British universities were very elitist in my day.  Still I managed to gain access to the predominantly upper middle class University of East Anglia and a London University College.  Why mention that?  I feel it necessary to demonstrate that I know what I am talking about and that I am not motivated by failure or sour grapes.  I never write about things that I have not experienced or taken the time to research.  Politicians are not bothered by such details.  They either convert prejudices into law or rely on posh researchers to find and distort facts to fit their controlling and self interested desires.

New Labour’s expense fiddling Dr Ian Gibson was a radical young lecturer at UEA when I was there.  I have met him at several social gatherings, at the House of Commons and at UEA.  On those occasions, he was always surrounded by sycophantic l well to do UEA alumina.  After a few such events, he began avoiding me.  Once, in 2005, he boomed out: ‘He’s here, the last radical.’ On another occasion, he shouted: ‘For God’s sake don’t argue with me.’  His best response to me was when I asked him how he could support a leader who was about to join the U.S.A in an insane attack on Iraq.  In his languid way, he tossed back his head and replied, ‘Oh the boy is learning.’

It’s people like Gibson who make up Government Committees with so called experts like corrupt power mad senior police officers.  Gibson used to chair one. Thus it is no surprise that the Women and Work Commission have reported: ‘Often, without thinking about it, young girls can use role play at being teachers, for example, while boys might choose builders.  This segregation is ingrained in our culture and has had significant implications for the career choices that young men and women make and in the longer term for their future earnings.

‘Challenging these outdated ideas about jobs for girls is the key to breaking down the gender segregation in the workplace and changing our culture for future generations.’

Their concern is based on a 23 per cent pay gap between men and women.  The government blames this on ‘expectations and stereotypes ingrained in our culture.  Equality Guru Harriet Harman, Lord Longford’s niece, set up the committee. The closest she got to the working classes was to marry a trade union official.  It is joked that he sometimes calls himself Jack Harman so that important folk know who he is.

Harman’s pedigree is aristocratic and she went to the elitist St Paul’s School before university and training as a barrister. It is the greatest irony of New Labour that they endlessly preach the necessity of equality, but very few are ever going to be equal to them, unless they a re born into it.  They don’t need to do joined up thinking because the British population are subjected to an appalling actuation system dominated by female teachers and prone to alienating boys.  Britain has to major ills, in my opinion :  Snobbery and deference.  That is why lockdown has worked here for so long and so much better than the government expected.  Thank feminism and manginas for that.

It’s interesting that the New Labour Government has a majority of upper middle class trained lawyers and that they have passed an incredible number of new laws to keep their former colleagues- and relatives in the case of Blair- busy.  This has had no discernible effect on dealing with the sort of things British people thought of as serious crime before New Labour came to power- you would be lucky to get the cops round if you house was burgled or a member of your family subjected to non sexual assault.  When I was attacked outside a Miklton Keynes pub in 2011, I was told I asked for it and that my attacker had a good job.  When I was robbed of £2,500 equipment and had criminal damage to my property in 2019, they sent around to PCSOs who told me that there was nothing they could do.  When an aggrieved expartner sent anonymous letters to several key members of police and Bucks County Council, the accused me of sending them.  The letters and images of strangers, along with a video they later admitted did not exist, alleged that I was working for my son as a gay escort from my home which was apparently a brothel. I was raided and locked up for 7 hours while my house was searched and vital tech equipment, phones and driving documents were confiscated.  

When. 3 months later,  I swore at the officer who led the 7 person raid, I ended up in Aylesbury Crown Court, once again getting several hearings and jail threats if I did not plead guilty to causing that officer alarm and distress.  Britain’s masses are taught how not to think. Thus the government’s previous report on how the top professions, even journalism, are dominated by the upper and upper middle classes.  Britain’s police are very dangerous and crucial evidence that we live in a highly sophisticated police state.  The police officer who killed innocent -caught on several cameras- Ian Tomlinson got away with it.  When a student protester dropped a fire extinguisher  off a roof, with it landing 300 yards from a group of police officers, he got 3 years.

The feminist ranting and hysteria is a smokescreen for serious social engineering which protects the class structure – which was established by the Normans in the wake of 1066. Having a friend or relative in a key job is at least as important as qualifications.

It would not be in Harman’s interest to recognise findings by her governments Department for Children, Schools and families.  This report shows that boys are falling behind in basic English and maths by the age of five.  The results came from teacher and nursery observations in England of 230,000 children. Thirty per cent of boys had trouble reciting the alphabet compared to 23% of girls.  Perhaps doing what comes naturally, 74% o five year old girls had no trouble writing a simple shopping list compared to 54% of boys. Seventy eight per cent of girls could hold a pencil compared to 62% of boys.  Twenty six per cent of boys could not write their own names, compared to 15% of girls.  If

British people ever start thinking about the governments lies and contradictions or their miserable lives, they can’t do anything about it and turn to drink, drugs or comfort eating, consumerism and debt.

I can’t believe Harman ever worked on any building site.  I had too, during my total 20 weeks a year university vacations, during every year of study. I am not heavily built, but as a serious schoolboy athlete, I was used to hard physical effort and lifted weights. Even so, at the age of 19, I found it very hard work lifting up a nine inch glazed sewer pipe and throwing it onto my shoulder.  The site was peopled mainly by Irishmen.  

None of my colleagues knew I was a student.  My sister’s husband is an Irish building worker.  He told the section foreman that I was his brother in law.  Being Irish was an important way into the job.  It was well paid and dangerous. I ended up laying 29 inch sewer pipes in 17 foot trenches.  Heavy clay was stacked up by the massive digger along the line of the trench and there was no shuttering to stop it collapsing.  Health and safety did not exist.  When a Euclid earth mover thundered by, empty, a great lump of clay came down from the heaps above us.  It nearly hit me on my young head and I suggested to the ganger, Cassidy, that we should be wearing helmets.  He and our other colleague laughed.

Health and safety on the buildings have improved, but it is still dangerous- especially as so many desperate and obliging East Europeans have moved in to take on the role of cheap labour that the Irish used to fill.  The industry is also prone to serious down turns- as at present.  For lots of reasons, I cannot imagine many girls playing at building pipe lines in their back garden.  

With so many serious problems at every level of our education system, it is sinister to know that Harriet Harman wants infants to ‘think’ about what they are playing and its consequences for the world of future employment. Honest psychologists will concur with me that if the linguistic area of the brain is not fed by the age of 7, it will never develop.  

Therefore, there is no evidence that infants can do constructive social and economically orientated thinking by the age of five.  What they will do will be closely associated with animal instinct and what comes naturally.  There is every reason to believe that boys are inclined to copy their fathers role model and girls their mother.  The importance of natural role models is ignored in favour of social engineering.

The connection is not widely made between this fact and the numbers of feral youth and unmarried working class mothers.  The upper and upper middle ruling class have no worries about this.  They have their nannies and public schools.

I was, influenced by my father’s occupation at the local brick works. By the time I was eight, I was digging holes in dad’s potato patch, extracting surface clay, shaping it into little bricks and baking them in the sunshine.  Then I stacked them on the back of my soap box cart and drove around- my friend was the truck’s engine- delivering bricks into peoples front gardens.  

Machines and trucks fascinated me.  Meanwhile my brighter sister played with dolls in a  dolls pram.  When my father died, she became very interested in boys.  Her and her friend became fixated with two young building workers who came to build a bungalow in the paddock opposite our houses.  My sister was 14 at the time and at grammar school.  She quickly lost interest in her studies and became pregnant in the sixth form- by the Irish building worker.  He was married to someone else at the time, with two young children and another on the way..  

My mother was beside herself with worry.  A bright girl, she was the fifth child of her family. Her mother died in an Islington slum, two weeks after giving birth in 1924. My mother’s Irish Irish father could not cope with a baby and she was sent to her maternal grandparents home in Winslow, Bucks.  

Winslow was and still is a snob ridden place with a defined social hierarchy.

These days farming is pretty dead and it is a combination of ossified forelock tugging yokels, pretentious commuters and old order grandees.

None of what I have observed and written ever comes into the calculations when our rulers bond in their committees to utter patronising rubbish about what we should and should not do.   The issue of gender role differences, what comes naturally and what goes wrong, has fascinated me ever since I did teacher training. I was indoctrinated into the mission of fighting sexism and racism in London schools.  I recall a pretentious female teacher  colleague telling a meeting that her friends said she should have been black  because she was a woman and knew what it was like to suffer.  

When I focussed on writing, I wrote the meticulously researched novel ‘Man, Maid, Woman’ ( by R.J Cook.).  It is about a young man. It is about a young man deluded by society, and its abuses, into changing sex.   I got the prospect of turning it into a film, but my ideas had moved on.  Therefore I started a new project on the same subject.

The vicissitudes of researching the death of a transsexual in modern Britain would make a book in itself. Hopefully I will find a publisher for the whole story, but once again, our friends in the upper and upper middle class, female dominated world of publishing might make that a little difficult.  It is a point worth noting that only 3% of the British population goes into book shops and the average novel sells around 2000 copies.  

If publishers were car makers, with such poor sales, then they would realise they were building the wrong cars and few people would be drivers. Thus if publishers publicised the right books then there would not be such high levels of illiteracy in Britain- particularly in respect of boys. A few years ago a pathetic attempt, redolent of British snobbery, was made to produce books that  barely literate adults could use to improve their minds. A select band of established authors, like posh Joanna Trollope, were contracted at great expense, to produce patronising and dumbed down books. The social remoteness of these authors guaranteed that the project didn’t work, but the authors got even richer.

The deliberately overlooked reality of life in modern Britain is that pay gaps between men and women are massively distorted by the fact that top professions, officers posts in the military, business and banking are dominated by the upper and upper middle classes.  These roles are often filled by men, married to social equals who have no pressing need to join the labour market.  The reality in Britain is that most people, regardless of sex, face lives in horrible boring jobs on the minimum wage, too poor to buy a house in a market out to exploit their weaknesses.  It is a moot point as to whether the alternative of life without hope of improvement, and living on the dole, would be better or worse. Life for the lower orders now as ever is locked out, as well as in lockdown.  Robert Cook

It is all too easy to romanticise and distort the past. Robert Cook

Notes from a Small ( Minded and Big Mouthed ) Island. Posted May 12th 2020

I am currently reading this book and will be quoting and commenting on it very soon. Robert Cook

How the NHS helped kill My Hard Working Mother by Robert Cook February 10th 2009

The following story was originally published on my ScribD site in 2009, before the police took legal action to shut it down. My late mother and father were married on VE Day. He was still in the army and a Dunkirk veteran who rarely mentioned the war. He joined the army during the poverty stricken depressed 1930s. His native London was soon to be blitzed .

How the NHS helped kill My Hard Working Mother by Robert Cook February 10th 2009

My mother died in August 2008.  Due to family problems leading to my wife preventing her or my other son from seeing my youngest son, she became depressed and stopped eating.  The details are sub judice for now.  However, because she wasn’t eating she became run down and caught pneumonia.  She was 83 and nearly died twice in the ambulance.

It was the first time I had ever been in Milton Keynes Hospital and I was impressed by the staff’s initial efforts to save my beloved mother’s life.  However, it was an insight into what appalling problems an emergency unit designed to cope with 16,500 patients a year has when it comes to dealing with 65,000 a year.

This is in a world where New Labour’s Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, gets away with fraudulently claiming £116,000 expenses for a second home in London that she doesn’t have- she lodges with her sister.  Crime has always been easy for the elite.  ‘It’s the rich what gets the pleasure and the poor what gets the blame’ as the song goes.

Inevitably, as an OAP, who’s life at the bottom of the pile- and having done her bit making munitions during the war, followed by a succession of low paid jobs before losing her ex wartime soldier husband in an industrial accident, in 1962, struggling on a pittance to bring two kids up- she was low priority for one of the few beds that were expected to become vacant in the next ten hours.

To add insult to this injury, we had to pay for car parking.  While waiting in the busy resuscitation room, I overheard what sounded like a couple of foreign accents.  Immediately I fumed at how our overburdened NHS can’t cope with the natives, let alone all the foreigners.  As a journalist, I have been taught to be nosy.

It didn’t take long to discover that the screaming patient was a Portuguese drug addict with his equally spaced out girlfriend.  The whole unit was teeming with avoidable situations, were Britain really a civilised country.

When my poor frightened mother eventually got allocated a bed, it was in a mixed sex ward.  She was given antibiotics and kept there for three weeks.  During this period, surrounded by some alarming sights- including a 90-year-old skeletal woman who kept calling out for her long lost daughter- my mother developed chronic diarrhoea.  This did not seem to worry the doctors and she was sent home without any advice to me, about her condition.

Over the next three weeks her condition deteriorated.  Some weeks later, the GP appeared having only just been notified that she was suspected of having cancer of the ovaries.  He did his best, but it was many weeks and cancelled appointments before she got to visit Stoke Mandeville.  Here she was told that she hadn’t got cancer of the ovaries.

She was then told that she might have cancer of the bowel.  More time passed before she received notice of an appointment at High Wycombe hospital for a scan.in a few weeks. Transport was not going to be provided.  A few days before the scan was due, my mother got a letter to say the appointment was cancelled.  By this time her diarrhoea was a serious problem.

The terrible family circumstances that saw my eldest son evicted from the house his mother owned and he had largely paid for had meant that my son had to do his finals late.  I couldn’t leave my mother alone and she wanted to see him through his exams.  At least the NHS had provided a wheel chair.

I had to rent rooms in Norwich for all three of us.  During the next three days my mother’s bowel problem worsened.  She couldn’t control herself.  It was a humiliating experience for her.  On the way home, I realised that she was dying, rather than just falling asleep.  Thus I drove straight to the surgery.

From here she was admitted to Stoke Mandeville.  It took a long time before she was allocated a bed on a mixed sex ward.  As soon as she was in the bed, the screens were pulled around her and various drips attached to her emaciated body. Machines were whisked in behind the curtains and they started monitoring her heart rate.  My eldest son and I were asked to wait in the corridor.  

While I was waiting there, a strange emaciated angry eyed young man walked towards us.  He was fixing my gaze and I carried on staring back at him.  I realise that I should have looked away, but he seemed threatening. Then a young dirty looking fellow came up close to ask what I was staring at.  I said nothing.  He said that he knew who I was.  Next moment he handed me a £20 note.  He said: ‘Here’s the money, now get out of here.’  He added that he wanted no more to do with me..

As I looked at his barely covered arms, I saw lots of scars, like pin pricks, and drew my own conclusions.  After several attempts to return his money and hearing more angry words from him to the effect that I didn’t scare him and that I should just take the money, I let him go.  

He walked into my mother’s ward and climbed onto a vacant bed.  It was obviously his bed because members of staff paid no attention to what he was doing.  Once I was sure he was no longer looking at me, but casting his angry eyes in the direction of my mother’s curtained bed, I handed the £20 note to a busy nurse.  She seemed nonplussed by what I told her and in a hurry to be elsewhere.

Then I returned my attention to worrying about what was happening to my mother.

I could hear a man speaking to her in foreign accent.  His tone fell little short of shouting at her.  My mother was barely conscious.  The interchange lasted for some time before I asked a nurse what on earth was going on.  He was repeatedly asking her how long she had had problems controlling her bowels.  I complained to a nurse that everyone in the ward could hear of my mother’s embarrassing problem.  My complaint had no effect.

After a very long wait, my son and I were allowed to go and see my mother.  She was skin and bones and not really with it.  We stayed as long as we were allowed.  We went home satisfied that my mother was just de hydrated.  Because of all the stress that my mother, eldest son and myself had suffered, we decided to leave her in peace to recover in hospital the next day.  I spoke to her on the phone and she sounded OK.

It was a Saturday. I spoke to a member off staff who assured me there was no reason to worry.  Early the next Sunday morning we were telephoned and told that she had surprised them by dying.

On the death certificate, it was written that she had died of c difficile.  An explanation followed that she had caught this bug in Milton Keynes dirty hospital

As far as the NHS is concerned this is a normal situation.  This is due to heavy workload, poor cleaning standards and the wide variety of unwashed individuals who go freely in and out. C difficle actually causes more deaths than MRSA.  Like the latter, it is so normal now that it is taken for granted.  It is especially likely to kill the elderly.  The system doesn’t care.  Like so many of the horrible things about living in Britain today, it is normal and gets shrugged of by all.

Obviously I am still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy and so much of the background circumstances.  She died heartbroken that my wife had not allowed her to see my nearly 21 year old son.  My last thought on the subject for now is, why does the Inland Revenue have the audacity to chase me for the slightest shortfall in my income taxes?  This insult is not just about appalling services run by self-serving bureaucrats.  It is the context of overpaid- Jaqui Smith; the incompetent Home Secretary earns £300,000 before she starts fiddling her expenses- deceitful, lying and incompetent politicians.

Mother & I Great Yarmouth Oct 2006. My ex wife lied that she had protected mother from my violence for 20 years.
My corrupt ex brother in law, then ACC Simon Chesterman of WMP, had this recorded as fact as further support for stalking lies and a PNC Criminal Marker plus records, which the police continue to cover up and lie that they ever investigated anything Image Appeldene Photographics/RJC

A Winslow Boy By Robert Cook

Winslow Plus Part One Boxes by R.J Cook with Charles Close

Copyright R.J Cook and Charles Close May 2019

An old painting of Sheep Street Winslow by Robert Cook.

Introduction.

The burial of local historian Norman Alfred Saving May 2019, St Laurence Church.  My hard working exploited loving late mother was married at this church on VE Day 1945. She is now buried here with my father who died in 1962. The burial ground is a history book for those of us who know the town and its past.

Before saying anything else, I do not profess to be a local historian.  I write what I feel and what I think. As a former local reporter and senior town councillor, I made many bad decisions and enemies. For the sake of community and history, I originally joined the council to save the town’s new burial ground site which councillors wanted to sell off for development.

That may have been right to do, but my lack of vision was to freeze the town in its past, which I romanticised . Now I understand no one can stop decay, new growth and change.

One should be concerned only to help improve on what is and what was. We are at best links in a chain. Memories and history are places to go if we want the past to remain with us.

While I was writing this little booklet my old local history guide and mentor Norman Saving died, aged 83. On April 26th this year I visited his widow Ann who had been our next door neighbour from 1958 until we moved in 1993.

It was a moving experience once again, standing in front of ‘Penny Cottage’; which was in very close proximity to my old family home. So many memories came flooding back.

The Saving family’s history in Winslow goes back to the 16th century and Norman was a man with many memories, an instinct for local history and a man I often argued with but always respected. Without his wisdom and knowledge my first book on the town would never have happened. Norman was a wonderful sceptic who knew more than he, and many on the Town Council ever realised or appreciated.

When I was working on my original ‘The Book of Winslow’ I spent much time talking and walking the boundaries and back ways of the tiny town with Norman. He warned me never to trust the memories of the old folk. In spite of our differences, Norman and I shared a distrust of authorities and self serving unccountable remote careerist bureaucracy.

The day before Norman’s funeral. my property was robbed by travellers.  The police told me there was nothing they could do about it. I lost over £1000 worth of property and can expect more of the same regardless of all the taxes I pay. The police have other priorities for their computerised PC remote careerist bureaucracy.  

That is the world I must now live in until it is my turn to go.  In the meantime, who knows what is coming next in a very perplexing and uncertain world.

Like my mentor Norman Saving, I have always been one of the awkward squad, not an easy way to be. As Shakespeare put it: ‘To be or not to be, that is the question, whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles.’

Ann Saving at ‘Penny Cottage’ closing her gate in April 2019.  Her and Norman were both assaulted and robbed on this path, after being followed home from the post office on pension day.  The robbers were not pursued, so not caught.  My old house and birthplace is on the right of ‘Penny Cottage.’  When I was a poor boy, few folk could afford to go away on holiday.  So when asked where they were going, they never said Margate, they said Ourgate! We never locked our doors because we had nothing worth stealing.

Chapter One Innocence

Robert Cook standing, with Michael Sellar on sledge during the very deep snow of January 1962, Tennis Lane Winslow

I remember looking up out from my green framed pushchair toward Winslow’s grandly named High Street, for the first memorable time, realising that I existed.  The year must have been 1954, the springtime sun shining, but weather was cold enough for me to be wearing what was called a siren suit, after Prime Minister’s Churchill’s predilection for the one piece he wore ready to take cover when the air raid siren went off.

It was a bewildering defining moment. I have been confused ever since, trying to make sense of things, often going against the grain of allegedly normal life.

Seeing things, hearing smelling life for the first time was an overwhelming experience.  I was just over three years old.

As time passed, the little North Bucks market town of Winslow made stronger and more vivid impressions on me.  I began to make out the detail inside the vast chamber of Hawley’s grocery shop- now ‘One Stop’.

The front of the tall building was covered in ivy. The bricks were thus out of sight, so it looked as if the whole building had grown out of the soil. Within this joyous big cave, there was a strong aroma of tea.  

This pleasantness escaped from big plywood tea chests when the silver foil membrane had been cut open so that tea could be scooped up, put into blue paper bags, then weighed out by the ounce on the big white painted scales set upon the high wooden counter. Cheese was also personally measured, cut with cheese wire, weighed, then wrapped in greaseproof paper for sale.

All about the place, on its wooden floor, men and women wearing white coats with long aprons were noisily moving boxes, packets, bottles and tins. They had a rival from a similar enterprise, the Co-op, on the market square, but Hawley’s had class.  

Young Peter Hawley had been an RAF bomber pilot, cut down in his prime, but not forgotten in the churchyard.  Bob Holmes, meantime rose to be the cheeky chappie who managed the Co-op. When I was pre school, he gave me sweets for reciting naughty ditties taught to me by my sisters girl friends in the street.

Busily Hawley’s customers, mainly women, but also some crusty old farmers from surrounding villages, wearing dirty coats coarse shirts and baggy dusty old chord trousers held up by lengths of string or braces, their battered moth eaten hats and caps askew, waddled in for supplies, here and at Midgeley’s ironmongers across the market square. Smokers were commonplace amongst them. Tipped cigarettes were for wimps. The cancer link was then unknown.

These people came and went. Most were bulbous women in drab coats, green, black, brown or blue. Dresses were cheap and worn way below knees, fat varicose veined legs covered by thick stockings. Head scarves were worn like turbans. They were hiding piles of hair in curlers. Honest sweat was the natural odour without gender bias in summer, the season of flies and rural fragrances from the fields.

These were the days long before the boom in hairdressers,  Home perms were about as exotic as it got for most people. Ladies with perfume and make up on were scarce and better off in money matters.

There was a lot of head nodding and talking between these mainly plump red faced women. They had much to say to each other, ‘ooing and ahhing’ faces moving in judgement laughter or shock, depending on the gossip.

Of course I didn’t realise what gossip was, only that these people knew each other and liked talking. At my age then, I knew very few words, so the sound was a song like blur. They might just as well have been birds chattering.

Next shop for us was the Co-op butchers, a pokey little place at the top of the street, on the other side from Hawley’s.  There were no zebra crossings in those days, but traffic was not so heavy as now.

A lot of the floor was covered with saw dust, Men with steel choppers were hacking at bones covered in animal flesh on bloodstained benches. The bespectacled man in charge was Bert Goodman, a man I later learned, while working for him, was too fond of beer.

Half sides of pigs hung head down from hooks stuck into them, attached to sturdy chrome plated steel rails connected to the ceiling.

The lumps of meat being hacked at were not obviously once live creatures, but these half sides of pork were such remnants. They looked like the animals that paddled about in the mud in the little paddock opposite our tiny house, number 21 Sheep Street. They represented the difference between life and death.

Of course I didn’t then know what meat was. I remember seeing it all, looking back I understand. But I was still on baby food, not interested in what grown ups ate.  Didn’t even know the bigger people were grown ups, didn’t know I would become one. As far as I knew Winslow and me would always be the same.

On the way to the butchers we had passed the post office to collect the family allowance.  By this time I learned that I was a boy and girls were different. They were so mysteriously different that when my sister, who was three years older than me, had her weekly wash in our tin bath, in front of the living room fire- we had no running hot water, so it was all boiled once a week in kettle and sacepans on the gas stove- I had to be kept out of the way.  

In contrast, when it was my turn to be bathed, anyone was allowed into the room, including neighbours. Girls’ clothes were different too, so many clothes, colours. patterns and elaborate.  I wondered why.

So it was slightly disturbing when a curly haired lady behind the high wooden post office counter, who I later knew as Doreen Tofield, looked down at me in my little pale blue hooded siren suit, asking in a singing warbling sort of voice: ‘Is it a little girl, she is so pretty, she must be.’  At the time, all my blonde curls were peeking out from under my hood, like the halo of a saint, a picture of proverbial innocence.

Chapter Two ‘A Country Bumpkin.’

The author and angst ridden thinker Robert Cook, summer 1964, Sheep Street back garden. This garden had been my playgound, a wonderland full of imaginary cowboys and indians, Germans, World War battles, space stations and so much more.  I buried toys in that garden to keep them safe. Obviously I was very insecure.  That garden seemed such a very big place back then. A year used to be such a long time when I was a child. My favourite day was Christmas. After my father died, my mother did her best to keep the presents and happiness going. Cold made it warmer somehow as we clustered together.

My family background is eccentric. Winslow was, and still is, the English class system in microcosm. Mother was from the comfortably off Walker and Cripps building families.  Her Great Uncle Harry Cripps was the County Highways engineer who drew up plans for council houses and by passes in the twenties and thirties..

His big house in then posh Buckingham Road, where he lived with wife Ruby, was called ‘Gubblesgore’. The garden was so big it was sold off for housing in recent years. I remember Harry’s childless fur coat wearing widow, Aunt Ruby parking her black Ford Pilot car outside our house to deliver strawberries.

Mother’s father was a wandering Southern Irishman, coming to town during the harsh post World War One years to work, as many Irish did, to hated England, for employment as a groom at one of the big houses during the 1920s. So much for the luck of the Irish.  

World Trade Depression followed soon after him. So off he went for menial work in North London. He is buried with his wife in Finchley Cemetery.  

My mother was his fifth born- Catholics take the bible too seriously- with my maternal grandmother dying from what they used to call milk fever two weeks later. The year was 1924.  So she was brought back to her Winslow grandparents to be raised.

The woman she had thought was her mother died fourteen years later.  Then my mother was sent out to work as a cleaner for the post master’s wife.  War came in 1939 to broaden her horizons.   

The RAF moved into Winslow Hall in Sheep Steet, commanding local airfields as HQ to 92 OTU ( Operational Training Unit). Mother got a cleaning job there. RAF bomber crew survivor Sergeant Dickie Dyson married local girl Mavis Byford. Her father was on the ship that fired the last shot in World War One.  Dickie told me: ‘When I was based at RAF Little Horwood, the CO told us that the Bell Hotel was for officers only.  Phil and Bill Neal, who owned it replied to this with a message, we decide who drinks at The Bell. ‘  One has to ask what working people thought they were fighting for?

The local airfield was built on flat farmland between Little Horwood and Great Horwood Roads. So arrived with the RAF, 17 year old Bill, the love of my mother’s life who came up to speak to the woman he called ‘blondie’ on Winslow Market Square.  Being from the North East, my late mother had trouble understanding him.

She had just washed and was drying her long blonde hair by the town’s main pump. He was a rear gunner on a bomber.  Aircrew had a one in three chance of dying, So it wasn’t long before she was alone again. Crews were training.  

Their first sorties, out on Wellington bombers, were propaganda leaflet raids. Night training was dangerous.  My mother saw two Wellingtons collide over the North Marston Granborough sky. She told me that all the little pieces of aeroplane were like stardust floating down to earth.

The worst disaster killed many just behind the High Street.  The young pilot lost his bearings during night training, thinking the High Street was the airfield runway.  Only young Sergeant Harrington survived.

Soon after this happened, mother left her cleaning job at RAF HQ, Winslow Hall, to work as a lathe operator at the Firs bomb making factory in Whitchurch, a place affectionately known as Churchill’s Toy Shop.  My free thinking mother did not like Churchill, referring to him as a war monger. No doubt the death of her brother with the London Irish Rifles coloured her judgement, along with the loss of her sweetheart.

She met my military police man father when he was on guard duty at the gate outside her workplace . Edward John Cook the first had been a regular soldier wounded at Dunkirk in 1940.  He was a hard man from the grim back streets of Islington North London, close to where my mother had been born. Transferred to the Military Police, he trained Alsatian dogs.  

So it was his ambition to own an Alsatian of his own. That’s how dad came home from work one March Saturday, his birthday in 1957, unleashing the starving beast one of his dog breeding workmates sold him cheap.  ‘Prince of Winslow’ was five months old and had been returned to the breeder as untrainable.  

Dad thought he could tame him, nearly losing an arm in the process. His threats to have ‘Prince ‘ put down roused me to one of my few moments of rebellion.  ‘Prince’ was left alone with a truly Royal life style, reposing like the Sphinx on our back room dinner table, removing himself only for long walks, meat eating and tea drinking from a bowl. ‘Prince’ became my very best friend. As with my mother and father, I have never stopped missing him.  

I have never liked hard men, but discovered dad’s softer self while sitting at the bottom of his painful death bed, he talking about his life.  I was only eleven years old, before they took him away to hospital to die.

I stayed home from school in the January winter of 1962 to be with him. The house was very cold, we lived on National Assistance, family allowance and the pittance my mother earned as the ‘lollipop lady’ seeing kids safely into the school at the top of the hill in Sheep Street.

A stack of bricks had fallen on my father.  The rather condescending ex Royal Navy Doctor Rudd told him he had bruised ribs rather than a broken rib sticking into and ripping one of his lungs.  Removing the lung did not stop the infection that killed him.  

As an ex NCO, my father had the utmost faith and trust in the officer class even though he did not believe in God.  He was very English and knew his place, so in that sense he suited Winslow more than I ever did.

Father had used to cycle over ten miles to Bletchley brick works and back every day in all weathers- it was such a privilege to be a man back then, nearly killed fighting for his country, then finally killed by his job.

Though we could not afford the cost, the electric fire was on all that winter time. Our house was draughty, so a lot of the heat went out the doors and windows.  

I sat close to the fire, listening so intently to my father’s stories, that one day the heat started scorching my blue jumper. If he had not smelt the burning I would have caught alight as I was too cold to notice.

As a child, we were so poor, we slept under piles of old coats, with bricks heated before the open fire, to warm the bed. Going ‘wooding’ in local fields eked out the coal. March winds were a bonanza in this respect.  Coal came to town via the railway.

Here the wagons were unloaded into the Co-op coalyard, then delivered in sacks by Les Rowe from an ex army red blood coloured Bedford OW lorry.

Coalmen wore black leather bibs, carrying the coal on their strong backs, coal dust painting them and clothes black too.  

But that is me getting ahead of my story.

Father is long gone, so young when he died and just another working man.  

Soon I will be gone too. Dad once said to me that Winslow was a very boring place, you could never buy what you wanted and everything was knee deep in cow shit. Lucky for him he was a lorry driver with the London Brick Company.  So he travelled in his lorry, to places where he could get what he wanted.  Luckily for him he had a house rented at a peppercorn rent from my mother’s property owning Uncle Tom Walker.

It was a pretty basic place but better than most had, on the sunny side of town and a welcome escape from the bomb sites and hovels of North London where my parents spent the first three years of married life , also where my sister was born in 1947. My father used to taunt me that mother, him and my sister were cockneys, while I was just a country bumpkin.

My mother often said that the best thing about the war was bringing new blood to Winslow.

Chapter Three  ‘ A Religious Ruler ’

Royal British Legion Remberance Day Parade entering High Street in 1956. Approaching his death when I was 10, father told me that those who had really experienced the carnage of World War never celebrated or talked about it. I learned from his short life and death, the importance of scepticism {Author’s Collection}

Before I started school my best friend was the publican Frank Warner’s son Tony Warner. He had an older brother Brian who I never really knew. The pub was and still is called ‘The Nag’s Head’. There I sampled, thanks to Tony, my first cigarettes, though we never really knew how to smoke. It was popular with working men, very different from today.

Forever in mischief, I believe Tony fell from a tree in the fields that became Elmfields Estate behind the street, went off to hospital, his parents quit the pub for the council houses so I was left alone. There were other children around me when I started school, but they were tough council house boys, alien to over protected me. So it came to pass that I never played football as they did down the council house estates. ‘Give me the child until he is seven, and I will give you the man’ said the Jesuits.

Of course there were the nicer softer girls, but they were even more alien to me. According to my sister, boys were made of slugs and snails and puppy dog’s tails, while girls were made of sugar and spice and all things nice.

One Sunday Tony and I were playing in the street when he started shouting and banging on the wooden gates of the Curtiss’s home, former Black Horse pub (which closed by order of Lord of The Manor McQuoradale in 1924 because he didn’t like the noise so near his stately Winslow Hall) , next to ‘Penny Cottage’ in Sheep Street. Here, Peter Curtiss had a side yard full of cars for sale. Tony’s behaviour annoyed him.

So I was amazed and amused when a bucket of water slowly appeared above the gates, tipped and drenched little Tony who went screaming, shaking himself and running back to the ‘Nag’s Head.’

Another Sunday, a young rather elegant young lady called Joyce Hawkins trotted down to us on her stately high heels and in her Sunday best frock, asking if we would like to come to her parent’s house and watch television.

We both said a delighted ‘Yes please.’ She instructed us to go home and wash our hands first. It was the first time I ever saw such magic, rather concerned that all the little people in the box might escape and cause me harm.

By the time I met Tony again he had found Jesus, via the nurses in hospital. My parents, in spite of mother’s Christian upbringing- her grandfather Walker earned the nickname ‘Pius Walker’, his house on the market square being called ‘Perseverance House’ – were at best agnostic. So I would have none of this.

As a pre school child, and until my father’s terminal accident when I was 10, our only holidays were going back to my parent’s birth place and relatives in North London. It was an area then with many bomb sites, poverty and slums.  Unfortunately, even as a young child I was too questioning.

My father was one of the first, if not the first cockney to set up home in Winslow.  He was an outsider, who as a regular soldier aged 21, survived wounding at the fiasco of Dunkirk- after which Churchill sacked his commander Gort because Gort refused to fight to and kill the last man.

I could read before I went to school. So I read a poster on the Post Office wall while my mother was signing her family allowance book. It featured a mushroom cloud with something about the H Bomb. There were also stacks of pamphlets advertising careers in the army and navy,

When I went next door to my aunt Flo Cripps’s house I asked what an H bomb was, I learned the worst. That is when she told me about the Americans bombing Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

She told me that a local man named Bamsey had been a prisoner of war with the Japanese. When he came back home he was a bag of bones, so the Japanese deserved the nuclear bomb.  

So having survived two years of infant classes behind the iron school railings, with all the hard knocks of being bullied by the bigger boys, knocked over onto the hard playground many times, I made it into Standard One, the first junior class hosted by the feared Miss ‘Polly Parrot’ Green.

Miss ‘Polly Parrot’ Green as sketched by me during one of her lessons in 1957. Those were the days of ink wells and wooden desks with hinged lids and little spaces for our stuff. I never understood why I won so many art competitions while I was at secondary school though my teacher Mrs Taylor was inspirational in many ways- yet again I am ahead of my story.

The Christian religion was then the backbone of Winslow’s social order.  Locally Lord Addington ranted about the dangers of the 1870 State Education Act, emphasising the need for bible teaching to be its mainstay.

So it came to pass that we sang ‘All things bright and beautiful all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful. The Lord God made them all, the rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them high or lowly and ordered their state.’

The impact of two world wars made many ordinary people doubt the love and power of God for good.  Other more earthly powers had been seen at work, captured and recorded on film and tape for future generations. The power of science had been revealed awesomely.  The days of religious propoganda and simplistic explanations for life and death on earth were in doubt.  

When my infant class teacher. Miss Cole, told us about dying and going to heaven, I wondered why I could not just get into an aeroplane like the Comet IV jet airliner and be flown there right away.

However, rural people were slow to change. The majority deferred to their betters , always voting Tory, crediting Churchill for defeating Hitler rather than wondering why Hitler came to power in the first place.

And so it still was when I entered Standard One.  Polly Green was one of God’s finest warriors. So, one day in the autumn of 1957, Polly was sat high on her perch, in front of her old stately wooden desk, her hard leather wrinkled face topped by a pile of grey curls to rival Marge Simpson.

That morning, after playtime, Miss Green was telling our class about how the Bible was written. Maybe I was the only one listening.  I noticed the girls always acted like angels, never noisy, looking pretty, ribbons in their hair. She was talking about ancient parchments and tablets being dug up in what she called, in softening respectful tones, ‘The Holy Land.’

As she spoke imperiously ex cathedra like The Pope , her beady brown eyes squinted and scanned the young subjects.  Thin unpainted lips were pursed while she shared the secrets of the holy book, a grim black bulging copy of which lay under her gnarled 70 plus year old left hand.. I listened very carefully while she told us how all of this wisdom was excavated 2000 years earlier, then turned into a book telling us all about our creation and about what is right and wrong.

When she had finished, I cautiously raised my tiny young hand. A runnel of tension curled excitingly in my stomach.  She looked down like a bewigged old judge out of touch with my lowly reality.  ‘What do you want Cook. No you cannot go to the toilet. You should have done at play time.’  ‘No miss, please miss, I want to ask a question.’

‘Question, question, I never said anyone could ask questions. I am telling you the word of God. There are no questions.’ she squawked. Her old unmade up face was going red.  What you saw with this tiny woman was what you got.  That is why I liked her, and she fascinated me.  I still feel the same about her.  She was inspirational.

‘But miss, I don’t understand.  ‘When I was young’ – I felt very old after being shut in this horrible Victorian style building for two years; the Sheep Street National School opened in 1903 and Miss Green looked as if she had worked their since day one.  ‘Young, young, what do you mean. Do you think you are more than a little boy?’ Then with an evil smirk, she leaned back in her high chair, deciding to give me enough rope to hang myself, I suspect.  This gargoyle of a woman was her own truth.

Undeterred, I followed my childish logic. ‘I used to bury my toys in the garden. I used to read Noddy books.  I believed in Noddy.  Does that mean that if I buried my Noddy books in the garden, then there was a big nuclear war, and in 2000 years time the survivors dug up my Noddy books that they would believe in Noddy.?’

Polly was parrot by nickname and a bird by nature.  She swept down from her perch, her red cardigan flapping open, baggy blue cotton dress billowing behind her, beak of a nose pink with blood pressure, sensible shoes making her sure of foot.

To me she was more vulture than parrot.  It was not as if I had not been warned by my sister and her friends who had passed through her wrinkled grasp before me.

So like a vulture she swept me up from my little wooden seat, claws on my skinny shoulders and flew me out of the room. ‘Stand there, don’t move you horrible little boy.  I will see to you later.’ Bare legs trembling, fighting back tears, I stood like a guard at Windsor Castle.

‘Polly’s classroom door opened into the school’s only corridor. Its walls were gloss cream painted brick, no plaster, no faking niceness. Just past the headmaster’s door, on the end wall, a big clock tick tocked.

Always a nervous child, I had yet to master the skill of reading time. Standing there, legs quaking wondering what I had done and what punishment to expect, time stood still for me.

Then at last I heard the bell ring, I heard the scraping of little chairs over the rough splintery unvarnished parquet floor, squawked commands, then the door flung open. Children scuttled past me, girls first as always. Then for long moments time stopped once more.

At last out came ‘Polly Parrot’ beady evil eyes looking me up and down, twelve inch ruler in hand.  Not a word was spoken, Swiftly she bent down, aiming the springy wood at my little bare legs. There were scabs on my knees from where big boys had pushed me over for laughs so many times.

My long grey socks were down around my ankles, making my calves a softer target. I looked at the pile of grey curls, smelt her well soaped body, then felt the sting as she slashed at my legs in her biblical frenzy.  Still not a word was spoken. Up she got, turned on her sensible flat heeled shoes, scuttling back into her cave.  

I was too surprised to cry. So many years later, I am grateful for that valuable lesson she gave me.  There would be many more lessons and teachers, but that was more than six of the best.  She was very religious ruler.

Chapter Four Fun in those Days

Les Brazier outside the Bell Garage in Sheep Street 1963.

I always dreaded being old.  My father was 41 when he died in great pain.  Mother said he was over the moon when I was born on a cold winter’s day in December 1950.  

Every birthday she told me the same story of how, in the early hours of December 6th, he skated on frozen ground his way up Sheep Street, High Street, Avenue and Park Road to rouse Nurse Rolfe, a distant relation on her side of the family.  

The street lights went out at midnight in those days so he did it all in the dark.  Traffic was scarce and we poor folk had no telephones.

Born during the so called ‘hour of the wolf ‘ in the upstairs front room of number 21, apparently I refused to breath and Doctor Murphy had to be called urgently.  

A bowl of cold water and smack on the bottom did the trick. So I have been here ever since, though it has been touch and go. As with all of us, my time will soon come.  ‘All things are bounded and temporal as one of Winslow’s old vicars, Rev H. I. I. Denny said long ago.  ( see ‘The Book of Winslow by Robert Cook ).

Relieved to hear me crying for the first of many times, there was celebration, though dad would soon be back behind the wheel of his old lorry.

My passion for cars and trucks came from my dad’s work as a lorry driver and truck mechanic, skills learned during life in the army. I grew up with the smell of diesel and petrol, riding in my father’s brick lorry along with the rest of the family at weekends and in school holidays.

My school boy sketch of my dad’s brick lorry waiting to pick us up for a summer time excursion into the ever expanding house building sites of South Bucks in the 1950s. We never knew until the night before where we were going.  The most exciting place was Hayes in Middlesex, close to Heathrow Airport.  If dad had enough spare miles he would park by the airport’s boundary fence so I could watch the airliners landing and taking off. That was when I saw the world’s first jet airliner, the DH Comet.

I admired my father’s trade so much, I could not wait to grow up and drive a brick lorry of my own. He had built me a soap box cart complete with braking system when I was about 8 years old. So in my mind it was a brick lorry.  That was when I decided I wanted more carts and to build my own.  They would be a fleet with numbers on.

When dad was building his chicken houses and chicken runs in the garden, he dug down to get some sand to mix cement, passing through clay.  He explained it all too me. So when he had finished, I dug holes, dug out the clay, made cubes which I left to bake in the sun. (Read my book ‘Bucks Bricks’.}

Then I loaded them on my cart, got a neighbour’s boy to push me into town delivering my bricks in people’s front gardens. My father soon closed my brickyard down because he and mother kept tripping over all the little holes in the garden.

The Bell Garage at the top of Sheep Street, just before the High Street was another wonderful place for me.  The proprietor was Les Brazier, a farmer’s son who loved engines more than farming.  There were all sorts of cars there, filling up with petrol or being mended.

I interviewed Les in 2000.  He told me:  ‘I bought the Bell Garage in 1952. At one time it had been run by the Bell Hotel.  I bought it off Peter Curtiss who carried on working for me.  I remember we had an old Hillman Minx down the side of the garage.  Peter said we ought to start it up so we could sell it.  We got a battery and turned it over.  No good, so we poured some petrol down the air cleaner.  All of a sudden it backfired, caught the can of petrol alight that was in Peter’s hand.  He threw it in the road right in front of a man riding his bike.  Lucky it didn’t hit him, but we did get it started.

‘We were right on the main road which was often busy.  Mr Wigley- a prominent auctioneer and land agent- senior used to drive across the Market Square to get petrol.  We’d stand there directing him.  He was very deaf and would sit in the middle of the road in this old Austin 10.  By the time he’d got it in gear there was something coming, so we’d shout ‘Stop’ and he’d say ‘You said go’.

‘He’d ring up a night or two later and say ‘Mr Brazier, would you come over, the car’s in the rose bushes. ‘ He’d had one too many.  We’d go over to Steeple Claydon and we’d get it out.  We had some fun in those days.  Cars were still pretty basic.  There was no unleaded petrol.  You were mostly taking the heads off the engines and replacing the valves.  Not many cars did more than 40 mph.’

There was no breath testing in the good old days and few road accidents to my knowledge. I remember a BBC personality living locally, I think his name was McDonald Bailey, killed with his wife driving home to Winslow in about 1957, near Shipton. He lost control of his Austin car at the top of No’rs Hill. But with increasing traffic there was worse to come.

Winslow had its own police station in Station Road, run by Sergeant Barringham. He had one grim black police car for himself and driver. The rest of his large team rode bicycles.

The worst crime I recall back then was when the local school was burgled, the thief taking a stop watch and starting gun, God knows what for. The magistrates court adjoined the police station, overseen by Captain Micklem.  When the session was over he would adjourn to the Bell. Micklem had a tin leg.

Interviewing local deli owner Maurice Newman for the Aylesbury Plus newspaper, back in the 1980s, Maurice told me that local Tory stalwart Captain Micklem was his CO in wartime Oxford, beds and Bucks light infantry.  I said ‘Oh yes, he was a war hero, lost his leg.’  

Maurice laughed. ‘He lost his leg fooling around with a rifle, drunk in the barracks one night, shot himself.’  Obviously I found that hard to believe, but who knows, as a local top cop once said to me!  There is no doubt the Micklems were prominent, and all families have their troubles.

Those were the days when the fledgling TV advertisements promoted drinking with ditties like ‘Guiness, Guiness gives you strength.’  The town had nine pubs in the 1950s, counting some members of the local constabulary among their regulars.

Getting ahead of my story again, I recall serving drinks to Barringham’s successor, then staggering Sergeant Gilchrist, at a local dance in 1971.  He was in the company of equally inebriated Dr Patrick Murphy. As a matter of interest, the good doctor had served in the merchant marine on the Russian convoys during World War Two.

When Doctor Murphy wanted lunchtime relaxation he had a problem.  There were no secretaries or answer phone at Norden House.  He explained to me, during an interview for the ‘Aylesbury Plus’ newspaper: ‘I would ring up Mr Carpenter- a retired chimney sweep- at Winslow Telephone Exchange and maybe say: “Mr C, I’m off to the Folly for half an hour.  Let me know if any urgent calls come in.”  He would often reply: “I suggest the Shoulder of Mutton, doctor, most of your friends are there.” ‘

Chapter Five Just the Ticket

  • M Cain started his bus company with his brother and uncle in the early 1920s but was forced out of London when London buses were nationalised into London Transport.  Here is one of Red Rover’s ex London Transport buses in Winslow High Street, being driven by Mr Howlett, the man who founded Acclaim Travel with his wife Grace Durham who can be seen chatting with him in this late 1950s picture ( Grace Durham. The Red Rover Story by Robert Cook )

The word omnibus means for all. The word was shortened to bus, but buses have never been for all.  Buses were intended for the workers. Railway trains also used to be affordable for the lower orders, even if they had to travel third class.

These days the nationalised railways have been given back, rather than sold to private capitalists by the locally admired Tory Government. Ticket prices have soared for the commuter market from dormitory towns, better off locals driving their BMWs at break neck speed to Milton Keynes and Aylesbury stations for well paid jobs in other town and Londons.  

These high paid folk have pushed house prices through the roof while council houses have been sold off at a song, then re sold at vast profit.

I made my loathing for Thatcher clear during my time teaching in a Tory dominated school in Aylesbury and in my work as a journalist for the Aylesbury Plus.

I was the Winslow reporter and Junius columnist ridiculing and exposing the incompetence and corrosive political correctness of Bucks County Councils Education service- a service so awful that I had to expose Chief Education Officer Steven Sharpe for sending his 12 plus failure daughter to school out of County in Oxfordshire’s comprehensive system.  

He told the reporter I sent to photograph and interview him, ‘My wife decides these things.’  That sounds rather like local MP John Bercow’s lame excuse for saying the anti Brexit sticker was on his car for being his wife’s car, even though it was in the House of Commons car park.

I first encountered Labour Parliamentary candidate Bob Maxwell when his glamorous entourage visited my uncle and aunt’s house in 1959.  They ran the Labour Party Committee rooms at 23 Sheep Street.  Maxwell shocked the well to do by winning the seat against Tory grandee Sir Frank Markham in 1964.  

Class is not just a Winslow thing.  It is a British thing. Feminism, anti racism and diversity are smokescreens.  Thatcherism killed old Labour. Now, with Brexit, the country is supposedly confused. That is nonsense. Our elite are just trying to fool us into thinking a deal where we stay in the union with no MEPs to represent and cause upset is actually Brexit.  Believe that you will believe anything.

We hear too much about diversity in Britain, a euphemism for fragmentation. Two twentieth century world wars accelerated technology, though the profits have not been shared with the ordinary fold who did and still do the fighting.  

Winslow Station, (sketched by the author), on Thomas Brassey’s 1851 old Oxford to Cambridge line, crucial during World War Two, derelict in 1985 abandoned after being used as a workshop in the 1970s.  

The line was closed by order of Minister of Transport Oxbridge graduate Barbara Castle, a lady who knew so little about transport that she could not even drive a car- see ‘The Richard Crossman Diaries’.  Castle mentored Jack Straw, another Labour high flyer.

It amazes me how Dr Beeching gets the blame for closing the line in 1967, the year they started building Milton Keynes.  That is politicians for you.  When I interviewed the last chairman of British Rail, Sir John Reid, for a magazine, he told me that Prime Minister John Major was clueless about railways, just wanting to privatise something like his heroine millionaire’s wife Thatcher, and British Rail was one of the few things left to do that with.

In its heyday Winslow’s station connected the town to the West Coast mainline, East Anglia, Oxford, and Banbury.  Castle ended all that- not Beeching.

Epilogue Hope and Illusions

R J Saunders shop in Winslow High Street. 1956. Reg was also a part time fireman.  Conveniently for him, they built the new fire station opposite this building, which was his home and shop. The new fire station featured an old air raid siren on top to alert the crew who might be at home or work all over the little town. Saunders sold my dad his bicycle, which I still have.  Best of all, he sold Dinky Toys and Hornby railways. Bert Small the barber was next door. I hated the barbers so mum always bribed me with a Dinky toy to get my hair cut. The money for the toy usually came froma  rebate when the gas man counted the money in our gas meter.

Two twentieth century world wars were all about empires and greed of the interbred European ruling elites.  While lecturing in political history at Aylesbury College of Further Education in the early 1980s, many students didn’t like hearing this and complained. A lot were feminist social worker types, improving career prospects doing evening A level classes. Too bad, the truth always hurts and the comfortable and ignorant do not like it.

On the plus side, for all the mass slaughter and misery, science, technology and manufacturing moved forward apace.  

Televison was first broadcast in 1936.  Twenty years later H Shaped TV aerials popped up on chimney pots all over town.

My Uncle Charlie Cripps next door to us had more money because he had already had the first of his terrible accidents on a building site. So we used to go next door, sitting on his sofa to see the world through the little screen front of the big Pye television set that had cost him a lot of money.  

Bricklayer, Uncle Charlie loved his television, especially Tommy Cooper’s show, always keeping up to date.  Leaving school unable to read and write, he had a sad life.  I recall him telling me how good an impressionist Tommy Cooper was.  He said:  ‘When he puts on a policeman’s helmet, he looks just like a policeman.’  Charlie painted water colours.

The black and white 405 line system of 1956 was not so clear as you can imagine if you were not there.  But it was better than the old static images of the so called magic lantern given to me by the Lambournes on the opposite side of Sheep Street- along with my first grown up brass bedstead bed, because they were getting rid of stiff before moving to the council houses. Winslow was a self supporting community in those days.

We got our own TV set in 1957, installed by a team led by ex field promoted army officer and radio expert Arthur Adkins, uncle to one of my best ever friends Steven- we went off to university together after being club and county athletes together. Steven was a runner of world class potential, but that is another story. He was also my rival in many ways, as we were aspiring intellectuals. He once told me how much he enjoyed talking to me.  

When I asked him why, he smoothly replied:  ‘Because you are so ignorant.’  We were about 17 at the time, in the back seat of a car, on the way to compete in the National Cross Country Championships.  He was reading Samuel Butler’s ‘Erewohn’ at the time. Like ‘Polly’ my friend was inspirational.  

This was the 1950s and early 60s in small town Winslow. I was a kid who still made model aeroplanes and played with his model railway. I took my Uncle Charle’s empty beer bottles back to the ‘Nag’s Head’ get full ones, collecting the deposit for me to save and buy more track for my railway.  So I was indeed ignorant. Steven’s contempt inspired my interest in literature.

Back to the main story, for the masses, it was television that was shaping the new consciousness.  As Winslow moved into the 1960s TV drama, pop music and news were re shaping the world and Winslow.  Moralising Dixon of Dock Green and Sunday Night at the London Palladium with leggy sequined tight wearing Tiller Girsl opening the show, for a fianle with the likes of Gracie Fields and Shirley Bassey were fading TV interests, fuddy duddy and shows of the past.

Britain’s empire was in decline and the local newspaper brought us the thrilling story of local hero Gunner Chowles fighting a rearguard against Aden’s Moslem rebels.  

The world was changing.  My father was still listening to his record player, probably the first home built stereo in town, buying his records form Hallahans, another TV and radio shop fronted by Miss Andrews, on land now occupied by Elmfield Gate’s road exit on to High Street.

My father was dying then, along with the old ways of Winslow, all the cow shit he hated getting lesser everyday. No more grumpy old Jack Hone, McQuordale’s man putt putting up Sheep Street on his high old Fordson tractor stinking out the street with clouds of tractor vapourising oil-  TVO as we nerds call it.

Stan Blake, my mother’s cousin- her aunt Violet Cripps married spiv, con man and travelling salesman Barney Blake- up from Kent , sitting on a farm machine by the iron railings of Winslow School.  

The school was a place I hated.  The picture was taken c1930. Winslow Hall’s roof can be seen peeking over the hedge in the background.  The school’s outside toilets are visible left.  There was no full roof, so boys used to compete to see who could project their urine highest over the wall on to the playground. This was another sport I failed at.  The standard was high, one boy managing to drench the deputy headmasters, Jim Hall’s head with his jet. The school was sold off in the early 1990s for luxury housing,

When I started at Winslow School, the leaving age was 14. Those who passed the 11 plus transferred to grammar schools, as my clever sister did. She and I were never close so I have few memories of her there, other than teachers telling me that I was nowhere near as clever as her. On the plus side, the headmaster was an ex soldier Norman Bevan, a man from a wider world than Winslow.  

The school was not the same after Bevan left to head the new secondary modern school at the other end of town and village school master Arthur Chapman took over with his rather snobbish wife being my last teacher before I left aged 11. The school also lost a good deputy head, Jim Hall.

Jim Hall, a severe looking man with slicked down hair, thanks to Brylcream, was another ex army man and a stickler for PE. Our school had no playground, so until the secondary modern school was built we used to trek up the Little Horwood Road, then climb over old grey rotting wooden style by the double bend, walk down the footpath where the cycle way and Elmfields are today, to the old long gone recreation ground to play cricket.

This was every Friday afternoon from May to September, excepting holidays and I hated it.  Being on the receiving end of a hard wooden ball, with  aheavy bat to defend poorly coordinated self, was not my idea of fun.

The secondary school changed all that.  We were going to play football for the first time.  Jim gave us a briefing in the school canteen hut.  He said it was important to stick to our positions.  At the time my father was supposedly but not recovering from his failed operation, so he had no wages. Wanting to look the part, mum persuaded Uncle Charlie to buy the boots from Hilton’s shoe shop, along with socks and shin pads.

Off we went, two by two like the animals boarding Noah’s Ark. The new school at the end of Avenue Road looked amazing as we went through the front gate. Dividing us into teams, Jim- whistle around his neck- organised us in positions. Probably because I could at least run fast, I was near the middle where a circle was marked at the centre of the pitch. That was the half way line dividing the team ends.  

One sharp burst from Jim’s whistle and we were off. Well everyone was off except me as I had no idea what was going on.  We did not play football in Sheep Street.

Apart from me, the boys were very excited, calling out to each other, slipping over, desperate to get the heavy leather ball then kick it between the goal posts.  Boys got peer group respect this way.

At half time there was lots of gasping, laying down and rubbing calf muscles and excited chatter involving all except me. The field sloped quite steeply, so my team did a bit better when we changed ends- though still losing.  I did not care, never understanding the passion of football and its supporters.  I have never watched Winslow United play.

So at the end of the match Jim called to the boys, ‘Come on, gather round Cook. Now, look at his feet.  He hasn’t even got his boots dirty.  Little angelic me just looked up into his red seemingly angry face and said: ‘But Sir, you did tell us to stick to our positions.’ Instead of getting my class mates to laugh at me, they laughed at Jim.

The country may then have had hopes and illusions about its future, but after Bevan left so did any hopes I ever had.  As for illusions, I had none by that time.  New headmaster’s wife Mrs Chapman, my last teacher, made it quite clear she thought I was thick. Her glasses were Dame Edna Everidge style, her cheeks chubby, giving the impression that she was always smiling, though often rather nasty. She was the only other teacher at that school to hit me. I don’t recall why, probably for talking out of turn.  

I remember Chapman dragging me from my seat, pushing me tumbling between rows of wooden desks, then tugging, in a rage, directing me to her classroom door, slapping my head from side to side as she pushed me out.

Teachers had a licence to hit, some of them obviously enjoyed it.  There was something very Dickensian about that old school, teachers attitudes and the smell of wood and cheap ink from the ink wells in every pupils desks.

As for hopes, growing up in poverty and hardship at the bottom of the Winslow pile, I never had illusions or delusions.  I have none now.  

As for Britain, the Brexit con and fiasco says it all.  This is a new and sinister age of elite control and censorship. Little Winslow is not an island, but some of its people live in a bubble.  Criticism is a dirty word as far as the elite and vested interests are concerned.

One of my most disturbing memories of Winslow is the workhouse.  There is an old peoples’ home built on the site now. Years ago we used to see a trail of old men and women walking holding hands like school children, all down the High Street, Sheep Street, Little Horwood Road.

They walked out every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, like little children, innocent smiling faces, except the one mum called Albert who had no friend’s hand to hold.  He followed up behind. We saw them always on Sundays while walking ‘Prince’ down to let him lose in a field by the railway bridge a mile out of town. Prince enjoyed those moments of freedom, as we all do.

Though of clean and tidy appearance, their clothes were unusual, men with stiff winged collars to their shirts, double breasted suits, turn ups and brogues, women in floral dresses and flapper style hats from the 1920s.  

Self important Dr Rudd and lay preacher wrote a patronising pamphlet for his audience of admirers.  It was apparently about his role as medical officer for these sad old folk who lived in the workhouse.  Rudd made no mention of why those people were in there.  The women had been sent there when young and troublesome to parents who lived in a religious snobbish hypocritical England.  Rudd made no mention of young girls put in that horrible place because, oh dear, they had babies out of wedlock.

They never saw those babies. One of my many arguments with Norman Saving, probably the worst, was when I told him I would tell the tale of the young Turney girl, , aged 19, condemned to death for drowning her baby in Granborough Brook in 1924- the year my late mother was born.  

I told him the story would be in ‘The Book of Winslow’ (1989).  He told me that I was displaying my tabloid journalist mentality. One did not have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out the backstory.  This poor girl, described in the vulture like press, as having a mental age of 12, had been in service with a wealthy family in Guildford- the master of the house a wealthy powerful man. This little country is all about class.

Local history and its exponents talk amongst themselves and for themselves.  I am not a local historian, but am Winslow born just after a murderous world war and now living in a crazy dangerous complex age.  Human instincts are ultimately religious, reproductive, selfish, superstitious, fearful and ultimately animal.  Those instincts will out, however strong the boxes. Even coffins rot away.

My old sketch of McQuoradale’s obseqious brown coated estate manager Jack Hone astride his Fordson tractor, taken from my book ‘Before the Supremacy of the Motorcar’ 1982, That memoir of mine pictures him at what is now the entrance to Elmfields Housing Estate.

Looking back on my first schooldays, three women were definitive.  Miss Cole, the wonderful innocent infant teacher, Miss Green, a woman of her own truth and justice, and Mrs Chapman, a toady to the local class system who influenced me in unintended ways. Winslow is fertile ground for narrow minds.

As a child I remember tramps coming round to our back door, hoping to have their ‘billy cans’ filled and maybe a few scraps of food. Life at the bottom of Winslow’s pile, was hard for me and others, but worse for those tramps. Poverty is relative.

Snobbery was rife in Winslow and still exists. Their are two kinds of snob, the ones who look up to their ‘betters’- inverted snobs as my mother called them- and those who look down on their inferiors.  That order was reinforced by church and school.

Deprivation with all of its humiliations and insecurities is difficult.  For me the most moving words ever written about Winslow were found inscribed on a wall in Winslow Workhouse:

‘Of all sorts of business

The cadgers are the best;

Because when he is tired ,

He can sit down and rest

Here lies a poor beggar

Life always tired,

For he lived in a world

Where too much is required.

Friends grieve not for me,

That death is severe;

For I am going to do nothing

For ever and ever,

Poor old M is dead and gone,

He’s gone to a place

Where there is no breaking up stone.’

R J Cook May 21st 2019 Search for:

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