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Truth can be stranger than fiction in Borough Green 1969

Borough Green 1969

Borough GreenIn the sixties I lived with my first wife Sophie in a semi detached house called Culverden Villa in Borough Green Sevenoaks Kent and I had never made an animation or even wanted to..
I paid one pound ten shillings 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. See photograph.

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 his socks.

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.

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. Surely inspiration for some sort of gif animation. When we were brave enough to peek into the window all we ever saw were piles of old newspapers 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 did not enter Frank's house and waited.
When the doctor eventually came out Sophie said the look on the doctors face is 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.

The strange thing was that we still heard Frank talking and arguing with his mother, running up and down the stairs and even impersonating mum replying, it was at this time we decided to move.

Fourty odd years later I returned to Borough Green but I still shudder when I see Culverden Villa (See photograph)

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