Those of you who enjoy listening to the Hooting Yard On The Air podcasts, be warned. Following an important meeting chaired by Mrs Gubbins, the programmes will shortly be recalibrated, and you will no longer be able to listen to them on such equipment as iPods and mp3 players. Instead you will need to obtain a 1952 Zenith Radio Hat. I am sure you will agree that your listening pleasure will be distinctly enhanced.
A topic of consuming interest to a number of people is the manner in which Detective Captain Cargpan cut his crime-fighting chops. So impassioned are some that there is a weekly magazine to cater to their needs, entitled O Cargpan! That Thou Were With Us Still! in which beetle-browed fans with nothing better to do publish lengthy and frankly tedious disquisitions upon the earlier cases of the renowned copper. A short extract will suffice to give you some idea of the content:
This is the kind of thing the O Cargpan! That Thou Were With Us Still! readers adore. No doubt it took prodigious research to compile that list of team-members, but those of us with a less specialist approach are left wondering how, or even if, the case of the pod persons from Porlock was solved. The author of the piece does not tell us, nor does she follow up the ramifications of Cargpanâ€™s provision of a basket of fruit.
Later in his career, of course, like many fictional detectives, Detective Captain Cargpan had a trusty assistant, a Watson to his Holmes. You will find no mention of Beppo in the umpteen thousand pages of the bound volumes of O Cargpan! That Thou Were With Us Still! held in the reference library at
Such true-life tales of detection and derring-do have thrilled generations. What is less well-known is that when Cargpan eventually retired from the force, and went off to some rustic backwater to keep bees and wasps, Beppo struck out on his own as a private investigator. Very few of his solo adventures have ever been made public, possibly due to their unremitting tedium. Poor Beppo was unfortunate in that he was only ever employed by clients fretting about the state of their taps, or their hedges, or a defective electric socket, or a cat in a tree, or a lost bus pass. He took to drink, and was last heard of wandering aimlessly around the gloomy suburbs of Tantarabim, emitting noxious fumes with every breath, and shouting his head off at snackbar hooligans.
Hmm. Another hiatus. I would like to report that I have been away at the Vatican, making use of the Latin language cashpoint machine* and giving the Pontiff tips for his speech on Hell, but alas, the truth is more mundane, so mundane in fact that I shall spare you the details.
But excitingly, there is another Hooting Yard auction! Now you have a chance to get a copy of The Immense Duckpond Pamphlet, one of only fifty copies ever produced. It’s on eBay, so off you go!
*Here is that cashpoint machine. Click for a superb enlarged view.