Thursday, April 28, 2005

Anthology of Huntingdonshire Cabmen

I am off to a meeting with Cambridgeshire Constabulary this morning. Much to my delight, their headquarters is in Huntingdon, which brings to mind Beachcombers immortal "Anthology of Huntingdonshire Cabmen".

It can hardly be claimed for the newly published Anthology of Huntingdonshire Cabmen that it is, in the words of an over-enthusiastic critic, 'a masterpiece of imaginative literature'. The Anthology consists of the more striking names (with initials) from each of the three volumes. It is a factual and unemphatic work, and the compiler has skinned the cream from the lists. Here are such old favourites as Whackfast, E.W., Fodge, S., and Nurthers, P.L. The index is accurate, and the introduction by Cabman Skinner is brief and workmanlike.

I was introduced to the teeming world of Captain Foulenough, Dr Strabismus, and Thunderbolt Footle etc. in Richard Ingrams' Beachcomber: The Works of J.B.Morton. I can't seem to find it now, which is odd because I distinctly remember buying every single copy for peanuts from a shop in Cardiff when the book was remaindered back in the late Seventies or early Eighties. I wonder if any of the friends that I pressed the book on have managed to keep hold of it. I'd love to read it again.

1 comment:

John Walsh said...

Michael Frayn’s book (1963) was better done than Ingrams’s. Seek that.