Percy And The Poet - The Cambridge Boys
The poet that’s what Percy called me. You see when I was in primary school I wrote a poem called the Fog and won a prestigious National Award and even had my picture in the Evening News! At this very time I had joined Percy’s band of young anglers. Most of us remain in contact despite the ups and downs of life. With the passing of my friend and mentor I have come to reflect upon how this man influenced us and only now have I started to appreciate how he dealt with our different characters. Take Ian Darler for instance. He was a little skinny lad with a definite swagger. Never shy to speak up in his booming voice, he would though if challenged go off and brood only then to come back and put his point of view. Percy’s way of handling this chirpy character was and has always been to slaughter him. He would have his ear cuffed on many occasions yet still Ian came back for more. I witnessed this quite brutal treatment right up until Percy’s passing. On one occasion Percy had to get his tackle back in the van, but clearly struggling to pack up, Ian helped him yet still got a rollicking. Ian took it, swore at him and Percy swore at Ian yet still you could see the affection and respect between them. Now being poet meant that I was the more sensitive of the group, a shy boy with considerable talent. Percy saw this in me, and he also recognised the “administrator” in me long before I ever became one. Percy would always speak to me in a soft tone, never raising it unlike with the Darler boy. He knew though with me this was the best way. It was not though always a “Lumbdy dumbdy” relationship I would on a couple of occasions challenge him which quite shocked him as you “never” did this to the master, but I did and we remained friends. “I can never get hold of you and you never return my calls,” he would say. “You are like the pimpernel dear boy!” “Yes Sir Percy, but when I call you back you are never there!” “That’s not my fault” he would reply. “You don’t ask how I am, son” “I know how you are Percy!” He would pause take a puff of his cigarette and just say, “I know son!” and this was at a time in his life when he was really quite ill. I knew it but could not talk about it with him. “I’ve still got things for you to do Percy!” “You are cruel” Percy would say, “You have no shame”. “But Percy I need you to do this”. I know he would sort things out for me “where do you get this from dear boy”. “You Percy” I replied. “I would never take advantage like you” He pleaded his innocence but we all know differently. At Easter time two years since Percy left us only now I am able to talk about such things. My rambling continues to take on a form of “Percy speak” and I know many may say what on earth has this got to do with the fishing club? That’s exactly it thought! It’s as much about the people, your relationships the adventures we have had.