Uncle Arthur

Uncle Arthur was actually my mother’s uncle. My strongest memory of him is on Lincoln High Street outside the Saracen’s Head Hotel, just near the Stonebow, the stone gateway spanning the High Street. It was the mid-to-late 1950s. Arthur was chasing after his hat. My father, brother and I were in stitches, so failed to help.

We’d just had a family Christmas lunch in the said hotel, for the one and only time. A strong wind had blown up as we came out, removing Arthur’s hat, revealing his bald head, and sending the hat rolling towards the Bow.

Arthur lived 3 doors away. When we were younger and Aunty Ivy was alive, I lusted greatly after their monopoly set, having once been taught to play. But I think the adults were not so keen! Then Ivy died, I know not why.

After that, my mother washed Arthur’s shirts and collars every week. Brother and I often walked his little dog. In return, mother infallibly received a weekly box of Black Magic chocolates, which we all rapidly consumed. The main rule was that mother had the coffee cream.

I don’t even recall Arthur’s passing. Perhaps I was at uni. Strange what stays in memory.

In Lincoln last year I noticed that the Saracen’s Head is no more. It closed in 1959.

Photo showing Stonebow and Saracen’s Head taken 1905,
from http://www.closedpubs.co.uk/lincolnshire/lincoln_saracenshead.html

 

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