Sunday, 21 October 2012


One of my outstanding ideas is to invent a character around whom I may weave a few fictitious tales every now and then. A character in the Beachcomber mould is what I have in mind. I’m not even sure of the name yet. Captain Strewth springs to mind, but only as one of many. Names are such a fertile area I’m reluctant to settle on one.

Of course as you've already guessed, the name arises because of the common query he elicits from friend and foe alike - "what are you up to now Captain... strewth!" 

What I do know about Captain Strewth (or whatever) is that he’ll spend a fair bit of time in his garden shed. This shed will be pretty much a copy of my best ever shed which we inherited with a house we bought in the seventies. It was a thirties house and my guess is the shed was built round about the same time.

A great solid wooden affair it was with metal-framed side opening windows and curly-handled window latches. Now although we all have our own ideas of a classy shed, curly-handled window latches must surely be high on the list.

Our shed also had an old Victorian dining table as a work bench, left there by the previous occupants. Or the original house buyers for all I know. Solid mahogany on thick, turned legs with a winding handle so you could extend it by inserting an extra leaf. Actually it was well worth restoring as a dining table, but like a young pillock I didn’t see it at the time. I just clamped my vice to that solid mahogany!

I also found a perfect frog skeleton underneath the table. Intact and as clean as a whistle. How many sheds come with that?

Anyway, getting back to Captain Strewth. The only things he’d have extra in his shed would be an old cast iron stove, an armchair and a crate of ale. What more could a chap want? Whether I’ll ever write about him is another matter because I have a feeling he’s out of sympathy with the modern world and could come across as rather tetchy.

Still you never know.


Scrobs... said...

I reckon that Captain Strewth should be the wall against which you bounce your ball with other characters.

You can always refer to him in any context...

Anonymous said...

Never mind the Cap'n, that is one hell of a shed. So evocative, so classy. Yes a stove, an armchair but a crate of ale? - perhaps an almost empty barrel of sherry.

James Higham said...

Man must have a shed. End of story.

Demetrius said...

That shed began as an old parcels van, although from which company I am not sure. You might try the National Railway Museum. I think I recall its like from working on the Grimsby Fish. What about Captain Grimes?

Anonymous said...


Sam Vega said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam Vega said...

A neighbour of ours has a beauty of a shed. Mainly corrugated iron on a wood frame, and it is painted that dull green that 80% of the manufactured world used to be. The main feature is the old front door of the main house - complete with the letter box and house number - that makes up about a third of the shed floor.

Now here's the really strange, almost uncanny, twist. That neighbour of ours in a woman. And she is not obviously a lesbian or a feminist or anything. What do you think is going on there? Possibly a short story in that, AKH....

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - good idea - I'll settle on a name and give it a go.

James - I agree. I don't have a proper shed at this address though.

Demetrius - it's not mine, but it is my ideal shed. I don't even have a decent photo of my best ever shed.

David - strewth indeed!

Sam - there certainly is. Probably several, because such a shed has many possibilities.