Thursday, 21 May 2009


Last Sunday, the SS7 clan went carbooting.

Our chosen venue was the Beaulieu autojumble, one of the biggest events of its type, and the main mission was too offload some of the motoring books I've accumulated over the years.

We also sold some pewter tankards and cups that we found in a run down old wooden bungalow we bought a few years ago. It was in a lovely location next the the river Thames near Windsor, and we planned to demolish it to build our first house. The bungalow had been owned by an old widow, Mrs Dimond, who had recently died, and was being sold by her estate.

We had been intrigued by some old trophies and a portrait we found amongst the other stuff that had been left once the family had picked through them. When we asked the relatives about them this is the story we were told;-

Mrs Dimond had made a good match to the heir to a hotel owning family in the early 30's. The couple lived comfortably, owning the little holiday bungalow in Windsor amongst other houses. They were able to travel extensively, we also found in the house a number of souvenirs bought home after trips to Africa and the middle east.

Edmund Dimund, was also something of a sportsman and a car enthusiast. In the mid-30's he entered several of the long-distant trials then fashionable. They were in some ways predecessors to modern rallies, but were altogether more gentle affairs, with transit sections that crossed the country between stages, usually a muddy climb up a steep hill.

Evidently, Edmund had been quite successful, and collected a dozen or so tankards, cups and awards, most engraved. Several have an 'MG' badge on then, and I still have a few, one, a small tray with some shot glasses, is engraved "To E.H Dimond, as a token of appreciation, from Lord Nuffield, October 1934".

However, Edmund had a gambling habit, and over the years he lost the hotels and most of his fortune. Eventually he and his wife were reduced to living in the bungalow in Windsor. Clearly a lost cause, he started taking his wife's possessions to pawn for money for his habit. One day after taking the last of her jewelry he put everything he had on a complicated horse racing accumulator. It failed on the last race, and Edmund facing disgrace and utter ruin, suffered a fatal heart attack. They found his body still in his car, outside the bookies where he placed his last bet.

His rather gloomy portrait still hangs in the hallway at Shoestring Towers. The family don't like it, but it reminds me how fate can tempt all of us.


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