Monday, 26 November 2007

Joyce's Memories of Pam - Part 2

Seems a long while ago that I promised to add something to my initial memories about Pam, so high time that was addressed.

You may recall that Pam & I shared digs in the 1st year. Our landlady was Miss Harper, the Deputy Head at South Road Primary School. She was good as a landlady, she looked after us well and made us very welcome in her home. She lived on the corner of Ashdon Road and the Common, in a dormer bungalow named "Foxearth", and our room was upstairs in the dormer. The view from one of our two windows was over the Common. This is an old photo, not of particularly good quality, but it gives you a general idea of our location.

Miss Harper had an elderly aunt (we called her "Auntie" which she seemed to like!) who came to stay from time to time. During one of Auntie's stays, Miss Harper went away for the weekend, leaving Auntie and us in the bungalow. Auntie was deaf (this is significant) and went to bed early, so on the Saturday evening when we came in after an evening out somewhere, she was already in bed.

That evening, I went downstairs to the bathroom and was mid tooth-clean when I heard strange and undefined noises around the outside of the house. I stopped tooth brushing and listened - they were footsteps - but as the bungalow was on a corner I thought it was probably someone walking up the road by the side garden. The bathroom was at the back. It wasn't overlooked and the window was frosted glass so the curtains were never drawn.

Suddenly two hands slammed, palms open, on the outside of the window, and slid slowly down the frosted glass pane as a voice groaned "Help me..... help me......"

With hair standing upright I flew out of the bathroom shouting "PAM!!!!" in a strangely deep and wobbly voice, bringing her flying down the stairs to join me, just as the owner of the disembodied hands began lurching and kicking at the back door in the kitchen and groaning to be let inside.

The next few minutes are a little blurred. I remember we tried to keep calm. As the banging on the back door continued we decided to ring the police but this was scary as we had to stand in the hall, where the phone was. The phone was by the front door, which was made mainly of frosted glass. I think it was Pam who rang as I was still gibbering and hiding round the bend in the hall so I wouldn't be near the front door.

Phone call over and police on the way, Pam joined me in hiding, both of us peeping around the corner of the hall when we dared. We could hear disembodied footsteps on the move around the path and thought our uninvited visitor was en route to the front door. We decided we needed to protect ourselves in case he came crashing through the front door before the police arrived, so we opened the hall cupboard and looked for suitable weapons. Pam grabbed the iron and I grabbed one of Miss Harper's shoes which had a substantial wooden heel. Then we waited.

The footsteps stopped. The doorbell rang. We looked at each other. Did we venture out into the main part of the hall and see who was there? Was it "him", or was it the police? We took a cautious peep. A voice said "It's OK, it's the police". We opened the door and the local bobby reassured us that all was under control. The guy was a drunk. He lived on a corner plot a bit further on (I think on a council estate) and had mistaken Miss Harper's bungalow for his home. He was being taken home by the police. I remember little else about this part of the event, except that the bobby removed his helmet when he came in, and that he had ginger hair, which ended in a gentle point on the top of his head. It only occurred to us later that this was because of his helmet!

We eventually went to bed, totally exhausted and very, very pleased to have had each other for company and mutual support in this incident. And the next morning, when we told Auntie all about it, she seemed surprised - but then she was deaf and of course she'd slept through it all!

1 comment:

Jackie Hutchison said...

Isn't it weird that although we all seemed to be in each other's pockets at Saffers we all have such individual memories of things that happened there.