Some 40 miles distant, Fondlingham is a pretty little historic town sitting on the banks of the River Fondling. The river, like the surrounding area, including the town, takes its name from the Fondling family, brought to the area in August 1585 when the then Baron Fondling was gifted the parcel of land by Queen Elizabeth 1 in reward for his part in the successful siege of Antwerp with the Duke of Parma.
At the time, there was common talk that due to a mix up over the Gregorian and the Julian calendar, Baron Fondling arrived ten days late and the siege was already over. Anyway, that is one for the historians to argue over. Back to more recent events.
There was a bit of a furore there recently, despite the picture postcard looks and the proud "Britain in Bloom 1977" splash on the town's approach roads. Sadly, it looks like my old pal Dimitri was peripherally involved.
Current members of the Fondling family, still living in the area, have wide business interests, one of the most publicly visible being their opticians. Their call to Dimitri in his capacity as VPL, Varkov Promotions Ltd, was to engage his services in re-branding their shop. Dimitri obliged with new interior design, colour scheme, logo and slogan. "Stop Staring - Get Fondling", which was where the trouble started.
All members of staff were kitted out with vividly coloured teeshirts bearing the new slogan. While on her lunchbreak, Penny Pointer, one of the trainee optometrists was confronted by a young man, who after possibly one or two glasses of Spotweld's Old Dirigible in the Fondling Arms, decided to do just that. His lunge at the more than adequately filled garment caused the young optometrist to fall backwards into the lap of an old lady feeding the pigeons, sending a shower of breadcrumbs over all concerned.
A passer by called the police, who had to come from Rogeringham as there was no local station. The scene that greeted them left no doubt that the paperwork was going to last a month. Breadcrumbs covered everything, the old lady, still winded, hat and wig missing, spectacles broken was sobbing inconsolably, as was Penny Pointer. It seems that Ms Pointer, despite her very obvious femininity, packed a fairly decent right hook, which she had exercised on her assailant, breaking his nose. The aforementioned olfactory organ was bleeding profusely into a paper bag, which leaked equally profusely into a pile of the breadcrumbs forming a growing pool of something resembling raw black pudding around his feet. Attempts to restrain Ms Pointer from raining more blows had resulted in a fight amongst some onlookers, which was still in progress and the bevvy of spectators was now bigger than the crowd at most Fondlingham United matches.
Eventually, the throng was dispersed and the key characters were removed to the Rogeringham police station for questioning. The shop's owner, I. M. Fondling was called and the circumstances leading up to the assault were established. As a result, the young man who must remain nameless while the case is sub-judice, was charged with sexual assault, Ms Pointer faces a charge of Actual Bodily Harm, while there is talk of charging Dimitri with Incitement to Riot. Keep an eye on the next issue of Tintern Pravda for more news as it breaks.
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