Diamond Street Crustaceans
Mark Balman, and Andrew Berry, had finished up their last pint glasses of Janglefoot and where returning to Andrew’s car for their homebound trek out to Goodleigh.
Their address was actually “The Hut”, Snapper Woods, Barnstaple. They had tried living near Harry Petherbridge’s farm on the edge of Goodleigh, but his cows would often just barge through their front door…. and no amount of neighbourly wrangling stopped them cows from a comin’… So to “The Hut” they had soon retired…a run down old and disused cowshed, with an electricty generator rigged up outside, for the interior lights and their little Baby Belling hob-cooker (No Fridge!!!).
So now, driving home, quite drunk, was the intention of this Balman-Berry duo, as they turned down Wells Street towards the car park….
“You’ve been crabby all night!” Andrew remarked to Mark… “What’s up???!!!”.
“Ahhhh!!!” said Mark, “No bledderin’ opportunities yerr!!!… s’orrrwayz th’ blinkin’ zairmm!!! no werrk even iv ah wonts t’ werrk!”…..
This was often the colour of the conversation as they routinely staggered back to the car…..
They both looked down at the road, sullenly, wobbling side to side steadily as they ‘mallowed’ their way back to the car… now just coming close to the T-Junction with Diamond Street, where Wells Street becomes “Silver Street”….
“Ohhhhhhhhh What the Heck?!!!?”, exclaimed both chaps, with more than a little intonation of extreme shock…..for, coming up Diamond Street was …well… a crab!!! A fiddler crab!!! with car headlights???!!!… on main beam!!! “Ohhhh Mother of me!!!!”
As its claws were getting precariously close, without a moments discussion (hee hee) they turned and ran back towards Boutport Street..rather fast I think!!!
They left their car in the carpark that night, which was a good job too! Random Police checks that night found the lads car, and found it to be without legal documentation, Tax etc….and with tyres that couldn’t grip a bed of pin-tacks let alone the tar mac…the vehicle was impounded and the lads’ driving licenses both revoked….both taking to bicycles soon after! They now work as farm hands at Harry Petherbridge’s farm and are not far off promotion to Farm Manager posts… They still drink..a glass…a single glass…occasionally… and they never ever drive after drinking!
Crabs with headlights hey? Who would have thought???!!!
Thank you very much to James Furse for this great shot of a familiar and unsung view of Barnstaple’s street life…