This is going to sound like a fairy story but it isn’t I promise you.
Yesterday I had two phone calls I didn’t expect. The first was from a lady asking for Beryl Kingston the author who turned out to be a fairly new resident to Felpham and lived just round the corner from the Cottage and she wanted to know if she could find anybody who could tell her why it wasn’t being repaired. Apparently there are squirrels nesting in the thatch now and the gap between the chimney and the house was visibly wide. I told her that the place was owned by a group of three men and that none of them were contactable. They’d all gone to ground. And then she told me that she came from Guildford and I thought what a lovely coincidence that was and explained that Guildford was one of the settings for the book I’m currently writing. So we talked Guildford until the end of the call.
And that wasn’t the end of my day. I had another phone call out of the blue from the Chairman of the Felpham Village Conservation Society (FVCS), who told me that she’d been approached by someone in the U3A group in Horsham who wanted to arrange a walking tour of Felpham so that they could explore the place and she had thought of me because by this time – as I belong to their Facebook group and have answered lots of questions there about early Felpham – she knew a bit about me and discovered that I had led exploratory walks around Felpham, and might be the person to do it. I told her that now that I’m 90 I find it difficult to walk to the end of the road so a full scale tour of Felpham feels like climbing the Matterhorn, but she had already given the Horsham group my phone number so I said I would wait to see what they required.
I was rather pleased to think that I’d made friendly contact with the Chairman of the FVCS because up until now I’ve been persona non grata with that organisation and forbidden to go and give them a talk about what was happening to Blake’s Cottage. So a friendly phone call was definitely a step in the right direction. In our conversation she admitted that nobody knew what was happening to the Cottage and that she had no means of contacting any of the trustees.
But all this had set me thinking and my war horse was pawing the ground, so as my mind was too muddy to go on writing my novel, I put on my deerstalker and started to phone around to see what I could find out. Results!
The first person I contacted was the brother of Tim Heath the self-appointed Chairman of the Blake Cottage Trust (BCT), to see if I could find out where he was and how he could be contacted. No surprises to learn that he is still squatting in his mothers empty house which has gone through probate but has yet to be sold. But then his brother added that he didn’t know whether or not he’d given me Tim’s phone number and kindly added it, so I know where he can be contacted. Well, well, well. Naturally I cannot distribute the number on a blog, because I gather that can be too risky, but if there is anybody out there who wants to know what is happening to the Cottage and therefore wants to contact the Chairman of the BCT, you only have to contact me.
I also discovered that a fourth trustee has suddenly joined the group, so I checked him out as far as I could. His name is Jonathan David Mullard, he was appointed as a trustee on the 7th of June 2021 and the address he has given to the Charities Commission is St James Church, 197 Piccadilly, W1J 9LL, which is the same address as the one given by Tim Heath. Curiouser and curiouser! All of which has made me wonder why he was co-opted because there must’ve been a reason.
Now I must just go and see if I’ve got the energy to climb into the saddle of my war horse!
Watch this space.