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Lancaster Grill
by Michael Alty
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ISBN: 9781845497286
Format: softback
156 x 234 mm
(6.14 x 9.21 inches)
Pages: 242
Imprint: swirl
Cover Price: £9.95
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Lancaster Grill
 
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  • Description

Jolly Holidays was the name on the front cover of the extravagantly designed colour brochure. The participating staff are called 'Humbugs' because of their peculiar, albeit chic, vaudeville-style of dress. The women are called 'Jolly Babies' and the men are descriptively called 'Jolly's Follies'.
Harold and Mabel met in 1960 at a Mat Jolly Holiday Camp in Morecombe when they were eleven years of age. Fast-forward to the summer of 2015 when Harold and Mabel, along with friends and family, were celebrating their ruby wedding anniversary. Harold, having retired from his job as an electrician at BAE Systems in Warton the previous year, now finds he has plenty of time on his hands and in Mabel's considered opinion, far too much.
'Tell me, Grandad,' Susan asked him during a lull in the anniversary celebrations, 'what was it really like in Mat Jolly's holiday camp?'
'I was a mere slip of a lad in 1958 when my mum and dad first took me there. I can recall wearing my first pair of long casual trousers, an expandable snake belt, Clarke's sandals, fluorescent socks and a pastel blue shirt made of a drip-dry nylon fabric; the baseball cap which I pulled up from an ornate stone wishing well depicted 'The Chicago Bulls' and rested on the back of my head for an entire week.'
Talking to his young grand-daughter acted as a mental catalyst, unleashing memories almost long forgotten and ones he persisted in sharing with Mabel. For the next couple of weeks, she grew weary from repetitively hearing questions which didn't really require any response of whether she remembered this or that incident.
A wealth of characters, friendships made and lost, all add to the full-bodied flavour of 'Lancaster Grill', each of them having their own amusing story to tell, complimented by Harold's penchant for quoting poetry although often at inappropriate moments.
Harold and Mabel's continual, but good-natured bantering, well-honed over the years of their marriage, and a good measure of fascinating local Lancastrian history, weave their way inexorably right up to the last pages and to what the reader will already have come to expect from the unstoppable Harold Rigby.

 
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