A letter plops on to my desk from Tim Belp.
Dear Mr Key, I noticed, in yesterday’s essay on tin foil, that you ascribed authorship of the play The Man Who Came To Dinner In A Shiny Pointy Hat to a certain Belper Frisson. Well, the name means nothing to me, because I am just a simple country person and a stranger to the sophisticated delights of theatreland. But I can tell you that in my neck of the woods – that is, Belper – what we call a “Belper frisson” is that little pang of excitement one gets when, having left our lovely Derbyshire town to go elsewhere on an errand, one arrives back, on the train, and steps on to the platform of Belper railway station, home at last. If you have never been to Belper, may I recommend a visit? Not being a native, you will be unlikely to feel a “Belper frisson” upon arrival, but you may nevertheless experience a thrill when you learn that you are in the birthplace of swarfega, manufactured by Deb Ltd in Belper since its invention by Audley Bowdler Williamson in 1947. Passionately yours, Tim Belp.
The fame of Belper also extends to being one of the crucibles of the industrial revolution where Jedediah Strutt and Richard Arkwright built the first water powered cotton mills. If that’s not worthy of a frisson, I don’t know what is.
Jedediah: there’s a name that should be used more often…