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Queen Liz, Froggie the Archbishop, The Speckled Trout, Brexit and a “Grumpy” confession

July 22, 2016

As an avowed republican and dedicated agnostic this has been, for me,a year of VERY  mixed emotions.Rejoicing at the too-long-delayed decision by Britain to cut itself adrift politically from the  unwieldy mishmash of countries on  the other side of the ENGLISH Channel.Sadness for dear old Lizzie that the breakaway has somewhat overshadowed the public euphoria over her ninetieth birthday.

Herself and Grumpy go way back…back to the Fifties…and to the common  denominator of the above mentioned Archbish0p.

Several years before a beautiful princess trissed down the cathedral isle and emerged a few hours later as a Queen,  the then Bishop of Bath and Wells, (affectionately/irreverently  nicknamed Froggie on account of his facial features) was officiating at the sanatorium of a public school in the Somerset town of Taunton,where  Grumpy the Unbeliever and a group of fellow students were recovering from  an outbreak of measles, captive victims of a “confirmation ” ceremony.

Fast forward to 1952 and Froggie and a fellow archbishop (the former had undergone a faith-lift  (ouch!) by this time) conducted the transformation  of a princess into a queen, watched by a country in the grip of early TV-mania.

Not that everyone was lucky enough to have a set. Grumpy’s parents included.

Solution, get up EARLY, and stake out a seat or two in  the lounge bar of New Milton’s Railway Hotel, where, in black and white and a snow-storm of interference, we watched the coronation .

Oh yes. And the “Speckled Trout”?  Some years after all the above, in the cause of tourism, I suppose, and many miles way from any body of water, the Railway Inn changed it’ spots.

Which is all totally irrelevant…

Have a LOVELY day.




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