Trevor Wedlake's Writings
First published in the Village Journal October, 1973
|He was not that hard-of-hearing old gent, who, when sexton, was frequently asked by mischievous choir-boys for permission to go up the church tower, in the hope that one day some boy would be lucky enough to elicit a second time that most gigglesome reply “No thanks, my son, I don't smoke”, but old Lofty, our ex-sailor sexton, had many supporters.
One Friday night, back in 1937 or ‘38, he surpassed himself, for when we arrived for choir-practice the church was locked and Lofty had gone for a long walk and taken the keys. Many years were to pass before I learned the probable cause of this lapse.
Lofty left the Navy for good in 1924 - and joined it again in 1925. During the second war he enli sted again, and by the end of it, had served some 30 years; and by this time, some pre-war choir boys were old enough to call him ‘Lofty', the name by which he addressed everybody else.
Rounding “Sullivan’s” corner one summer evening was a well-known local stalwart, on his bicycle, concentrating on making a good touch-down at the “Golden Lion” to refill his heavy cider jar, even now inducing what in some circles is known as serious over-steer.
It was during 1950 that I had my last drink with Lofty, in the bar of the “Plough”. The conversation had flagged for a moment or two when he turned to me swiftly and said, "You know Loft, whenever I think of those Maltese girls, I just have to take - a long walk”.