Sunday, July 13, 2014

Seven year old stole a silver teapot

I nearly acquired a criminal record at the age of seven by being accused of stealing a silver teapot !
It was all a case of mistaken identity.  My accomplice and I mistook a family heirloom for a common old teapot which was never used and we could not find anything else to use to collect conkers.

As this was during World War Two it is surprising that the irate owner didn't accuse us of being enemy spies or at least saboteurs.

As London evacuees in Guildford, my mate an I already had a record as it were.  We had originally been billeted on two spinster sisters in Shalford, who despite being teachers could not cope with having two unruly seven year old boys actually living in their house.  So after one scrape after another, usually involving not arriving home from school in Guildford at least a couple miles away, until it was dark, we were moved on.

Our next billet was with a family who had only one child, a daughter.  Again it was a question of a lady, her husband in the army, and having no experience of the ways of little boys,  not really knowing how to deal with this species of wild animal.

All went reasonably well for a while, apart from the odd misunderstanding during the school holidays when we boys found it difficult it conform to the restrictive regime regarding our comings and goings.  We were not far from the Quarry park where were quite a few horse chestnut trees and it was the conker season.  We looked around for a receptacle to use to go and collect conkers and all we could find was an old tin looking teapot that was never used.
We took that and off to the park.  As was our won't we did not return to the house until dusk and found a policeman there.  Our landlady had called the police and claimed that we had stolen the valuable teapot and absconded.  As far as she was concerned we were no doubt already back in London with Fagin, Oliver, the Artful Dodger and the rest of that crew.

Despite being assured by the policeman that it was a misunderstanding and no harm had been done, she refused to allow us to remain in the house being convinced that our next act would be to murder her and her daughter as soon as the policeman was gone. So the poor fellow had no alternative but to march us off the the police station to await arrangements for another billet.

And that, as they say,  is another story .

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