A Chump in Carlisle

Well, there were two of us actually, and as well as the Them Thar Hills tent of Carlisle, we were joined by others from the Bonnie Scotland tent of Paisley (one of whom lives in Manchester (!?) and a swell time was had by all. Peter Jones reports:

Fellow Chumps may recall when we had our inaugural very first tent meeting at the Boars Head in February that three fellow Sons of the Desert from the Them Thar Hills Tent of Carlisle came to give welcome moral support to our tent. With this in mind Grand Sheik Mike Jones and myself repaid the compliment and visited a Them Thar Hills tent meeting on Tuesday 1st October over in Carlisle.

The Bonnie Scots after we’d all had several mountain waters and a good old natter in the Woodrow Wilson Pub

We caught the afternoon stage coach for Brushwood Gulch and arrived safely and after parking up we were met by Melvin McFadden and after a short walk to the hostelry, we met up with six fellow Sons who had travelled down from the Bonnie Scotland tent for the meeting, for refreshments and harmonies. What a great bunch they were. Janice, Christine, Willie, Tom 1, Tom 2 and Dave. It was especially good for Mike as he rekindled a couple of long-standing friendships of well over 30 years. Time flew as we chatted away then it was time to repair to the venue for the meeting. Again, we were all greeted warmly by the Carlisle Sons.

Dave Williamson and Janice Hawton of the Bonnie Scotland Tent, Melvin McFadden (Them Thar Hills tent) with Peter and Mike

After we were welcomed by Grand Sheik George Cullen, proceedings were started by Melvin (whose catch phrase is “Walk this Way” as he was asking us to do so all night) who introduced the Chumps and Bonnie Scots to the meeting with a well-researched joke for each visiting tent. We settled down to enjoy Chickens Come Home.

Mike then shared his pictures and tales of his visit to the LA film sets amongst which are the famous steps from The Music Box. This was then followed by Melvin’s capture of the Ulverston Carnival. Whilst sampling the buffet we had a splendid quiz supplied by Willie from Bonnie Scotland of which Mike carried away the first prize of a magnificent Magic Set!  Second film was Towed in a Hole which like Chickens Come Home was accompanied by much laughter.

Mike and Janice, whose mum still thinks she’s going through a phase – that has lasted 35 years thus far …

The raffle followed and the Chumps faired very well; during this interlude Grand Sheik Melvin “entertained” us with a few planned jokes from his notes, we all noted to Melvin not to give his day job up. This closed the meeting but in true Sons fashion there was more chat, reminiscing and photographs. Time was against us so as we bade farewell it was just like Perfect Day, “goodbye, we’re going now” and you know the rest.

What a great time we had, I have to thank Mike for driving the stage coach, to Melvin and the Them Thar Hills tent for a splendid welcome and to the Bonnie Scotland clan for making what would have been a good night in to a great night.

Goodbye, we’re going now…

Now here is a fun fact, did you know that our Grand Sheik is fluent in German? For as soon as Mike and Melvin met up, away they went. It was as if Herr Flick and the famous German rent collector Kall Back were in our company.

BS – next time you see me ask me about the wookie!!

Mike: Melvin kindly loaned me some photies from the 80’s(!) which I’ve copied and will upload to the original Chumps page in the features section in the near future. I couldn’t resist sharing this one with you though, which was apparently taken at the 1989 Ulverston Carnival.

Still a little bit of thatch on top then Melvin?

The original Chumps visited Carlisle in November 1986 – in fact, trips to other tents weren’t unusual then.

Here’s a pic from Melvin’s collection that was taken on the evening.

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