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Borough Green

Truth can be stranger than fiction in Borough Green 1969

A large semi detached house that I rented 

Borough Green

In the sixties I lived with my first wife Sophie in a semidetached house in Borough Green Sevenoaks Kent and I had never made an animation or even wanted to.

I paid one pound ten shillings (£1-50) a week rent and my neighbour next door was also my landlord, Frank Whiffen who lived with his bed ridden mother.
Frank was likable enough, well-educated but was an eccentric (to put it mildly). He lived in the right handed house. Occasionally I would get a letter from him about different aspects of my rental agreement and he would use a blue pen but anything he considered important would be written in red.

He knew very little of the outside world, had never had a job and the only woman he had in his life was his mother. He would walk about Borough Green with his cloth hat, dirty raincoat and his trouser tucked into his socks and would stop every so often and adjust them.

Dave Bance the local hairdresser at that time told me the reason he stopped every so often was because his socks had no "feet" to them and they would rise up his ankles.

Whate Like something out of Psycho 

Every day we could hear him running up and down the stairs shouting "I wish I was six feet under" and generally cursing as he attended to his mother. When we were brave enough to peek into the window all we ever saw were piles of old newspapers  stacked everywhere with a clear and narrow route to walk through and long black cobwebs hanging from floor to ceiling


She had been dead for days

One day while I was at work Sophie my first wife had a visit from Frank who said "I think my mother is dead". Her first reaction was to rush round and check, but she hesitated, thought about it and called the doctor instead.She watched the Doctor arrive and enter Frank's house and waited.

When the doctor eventually came out Sophie said the look on the doctor’s face was something she will never forget.

We found out afterwards that Franks Mother had been dead for about a week and that Frank was using the old newspapers to soak up the urine and everything from underneath her and that she had gone a ghastly colour and definitely did not smell of roses..


The strange thing was that after all this happened we still heard Frank talking and arguing with his mother, running up and down the stairs shouting out "I wish I was six feet under" and impersonating his mum replying, in a strange high pitched was at this time we decided to move to one of Hyders tied flats in Plaxtol.


Fifty odd years later when I visit Borough Green I still shudder when I see this house but the village has expanded and changed drastically to those days. There are many takeaway restaurants and coffee shops but only one pub compared to five they had then but my regular fifty years ago the Black Horse is still standing

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