Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Wye Valley Mysteries

Its the Royal Welsh Show next week and that and the hot weather reminds me of the events of just a few years ago. Events that would change our lives forever.
Ann was working at the Erwood Craft centre half way to Builth Wells.
The Craft centre, the remains , post Beecham, of a railway station including some railway carriages and an engine or two was adapted mainly as a workshop for the talented wood turner who owns it. Ann was working part time in the teashop.

One morning she came into work and put her handbag down in the shop and went behind the counter to put the coffee machine on. A young woman with child, about 6 or 7 entered the shop and engaged my trusting wife in happy conversation while the Artful Dodger removed the handbag from its secure location, on the floor in the shop on the public side of the counter.
She didn’t discover the missing bag until later and although to my mind there was no great tragedy , cash trifling, credit cards insured, junk in purse a welcome evacuation, Ann was devastated particularly about the contents of the purse and the lost forever telephone numbers, recipes, addresses, till receipts etc. So she called the police. A policeman did arrive and gave his opinion his, politically incorrect opinion with which we both strongly agreed, that it was probably a tinker, one of a great horde who turn up each year for the show.

He suggested they drive down to the camp and see if they could see this woman walking about. They did but found nothing. Ann insisted on me and her revisiting the camp in the evening but again we saw nothing and although I felt myself turning into a character from Hetty Wainthrop Investigates, Ann was deadly serious I am only thankful she wasn’t armed, ‘go ahead punk make my day’.

A day or so later we learned that the credit card had been used at a petrol station near Brecon and then the police turned up with a polythene bag containing the entire contents of the handbag, a pile of utter trash. Ann however was over the moon. Some workmen on the A470 had found the stuff in a ditch. The thief, being of the same opinion as me, had removed the good stuff and flung the rest. Ann went through every little slip of paper lovingly until she came to a piece that wasn’t hers. This turned out to be a social services form with the thief’s name and address on it. Hetty put her theory to the police and Ms Fagin was caught bang to rights. Ann , who earlier had been demanding the death penalty recovered her peaceful good humour and put away the magnum. The police were happy with a detection and a conviction.

Now I come to think it didnt change our lives at all.

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