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Thread: The Mudmen Code,a potty history of Garston

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default The Mudmen Code,a potty history of Garston

    The Mudman Code


    ADVERTISING




    Dear reader I must ask you to suspend your disbelief as I relate my tale of times past when the world was a simpler place and Garston was on the verge of greatness.

    Our story begins in the New Hayes Hospital for the Terminally Bewildered,
    I was working there temporarily, filling in time before I was due to emigrate to Birmingham,my visa had been lost in the post and I had had to make another application. However that is another story.;it was just after midnight when old Mr Keegan was brought in, he was in a very muddled state,his face a mixture of fear and anticipation . As he was wheeled to his room I noticed that his possessions consisted one old burlap sack ,a Tupperware box and very little else. I was given the task of cleaning him and getting into bed, all the while he clutched the burlap sack to his chest ,afraid that it might get stolen or lost.
    I got him some cocoa ,in which there was a sleeping draught ,and sat with him while he relaxed and gave himself up to a much needed sleep. There was very little information about him in the paperwork, apparently he had been a local character who slept in doorways and any other place that might offer him shelter from the elements, he relied on the good nature of the shopkeepers who used to let him have spoiled fruit and out of date pies and sandwiches to sustain.him.
    He could be found bathing himself down Garston shore but most of his time was spent in the reference section at the local library.
    He never engaged anyone in conversation ,but those who were in earshot could often hear him muttering , ?That bloody nun.. if only?.? He was never found to be without his plastic box or burlap sack, and now, here he was beside me,gently snoring ,the sack freed from the grip of his sleep loosened hand.
    What did that burlap enfold? My curiosity got the better of me and I leaned over and gently lifted the sack away from him; it was heavy. I struggled to undo the string that held it closed, the knots were expertly tied, was he a sailor perhaps..
    Opening the sack I saw a small brass bound box, beautifully made, it was Sapele mahogany with brass corners and an escutcheon on the top which bore the legend ?Presented to Bro. K.Keegan Esq, Mode Humanus, from the Grateful People of Garston ,in the year of Grace MCMX1? 1911, it was now 1999,how old was this man, and what did the box contain?
    It was held closed by a wonderfully fashioned padlock, finished in silver plate.
    I had?nt yet taken his old clothes down to the incinerator and quickly rummaged through his pockets in search of the key. It seemed to take an age to find ,there was so much rubbish and bits of crumpled paper in every pocket , I eventually found it secreted in his lapel, he had obviously sewn it there many years before. But why all the secrecy, could the contents of the box answer that question?

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    paddy Paddy's Avatar
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    Default Gripping Stuff.

    The tension is mounting.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    Dylan Thomas

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    Senior Member naked lilac's Avatar
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    Got my curiousity also.. awaiting ????

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    Hurry up Brian, the intrigue is killing me!

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    My hands were shaking when I opened the box, it was filled with sheafs of paper, brown with age and charred at the edges .Apart from a couple of medals and seeming religious medallions there was naught else in the box.
    I carefully unfolded the sheaf of paper and could see that there were pages and pages filled with the meticulous copperplate script ,minute in size but clearly discernable.
    I returned to my room to fetch my reading glasses ,sandwiches ,flask and smoking materials; this promised to a long read.
    Settling myself down in the chair by my charges bed ,I unfolded the pages and began to read???

    ????This is the journal of Kerrigan J.Keegan 1898

    I was taken on the barquentine ?Mudskipper? as third mate, being my fathers ship ,I would be trained on the job rather than be sent to a sea training school,father maintained that officers trained in this manner had a greater understanding of the sea .I think he did it to save money.
    We were carrying the usual cargo of Garston mud to Chile ,a journey that our vessels had been making since the Spanish first settled South America.
    The Spaniards ,as the Romans before them (and some said the ancient Greeks too) used the fabulous mud in their brickmaking. Our company had many ships plying this trade and Garston had become a wealthy little town. It had been trading non stop since the Romans occupied Britain in the first century of the Christian Era. When they came to the north of the country they settled in Chester from where they sent surveyors to the surrounding territories, sailing down the river ,now called the Mersey ,they found the natives on the northern shore by the hamlet of Oglet to be of a friendly disposition and noted ,that unlike the neighbouring tribes ,the Oglet tribe lived in brick houses. Brick of a wondrous kind, it was smooth and hardy ,light and durable. When the surveyors enquired whence the bricks originated the natives pointed to a little settlement further downriver, a place they called Gar Stone, the place of brick.
    Those ancient surveyors made their way along the shore towards the rising spirals of smoke where they found a clearing close to the shore. In it were some crude kilns around which were stacks of newly made brick. They had never seen such handiwork ,whereas these Latins were masters of stone and marble, these men of Gar Stone were surely brickmakers of the first order.
    It was not long before the Gar Stonians became aware of the Romans presence and they surrounded them , never having seen such finely dressed people before.
    Soon an older man appeared and he was brought to the Romans ,who could see that he was the chief. Putting his arms across his chest ,he half bowed before them and said ?I am Kee Ghan ,the leader of these peoples, what is the nature of your visit to us? The Romans replied that they were looking for places that could offer good trading conditions that would help consolidate the relations between them and the natives. The old chief then asked if what they saw pleased them and they replied that they were mightily pleased ,the Gar Stone bricks would be ideal for building homes for the Roman Empire.
    A great feast was held in honour of the illustrious visitors to commence the beginning of a trading relationship that has lasted near two thousand years.
    My family grew rich and so did our people, we might have been richer but when the Roman Empire collapsed so did the need for our bricks. The Goths , Picts ,Jutes ,Vikings ,Saxons and Angled despised our handiwork and used daub and wattle or wood and straw. The Druids banned our brickmaking on pain of death and drove us underground ,literally. And thus was born the secret society which carried on the arcane ways, the Brotherhood of Mudmen.
    They met only on night of the full moon so that no lamps were required to carry out their rituals, These brave men , prevented from creating the bricks that had brought them wealth ,then devised a plan that would help restore the fortunes of their beloved town . They would make the bricks elsewhere. With the coming of the Christian missionaries from the new kingdom of Rome ,they were able to rekindle the contacts that they had had with their ancient trading partners. A monastery was settled on the shores of the river and ,on the Abbots own vessels ,some of the Brethren of the Order of Mudmen were despatched abroad to Rome and Constantinople to set up brickworks. What those brickworks needed was mud ,the mud of Gar Stone. And so commenced a new golden age, as paganism and vandalism passed into history, the New Holy Roman Empire came into being ,and the churches it built were made of brick ,brick that was made from the finest mud available. The mud of Garston. Note its name ,one word not two.
    The Brotherhood prospered and created new orders , the Illuminati, an ultra secret order that brought together the greatest thinkers of the day, the head of the order was always a member of the oldest of Garstons families, the Keegans.
    Now in charge of shipping the Mud ,they never brought their vessels back empty but brought back silks and carpets ,sandalwood and ebony and all those other exotic spices .Ships of every nation lay at anchor waiting to discharge their treasures before they went away laden with the greater treasure, Garston mud!
    As these ships sailed out toward the Irish sea ,they had to pass that other settlement near the rivermouth ,Larpool, a place that was feared by most mariners for there lived the villainous Scousers, a race of pirates who were not above luring the incoming vessels with false beacons which caused them to be stranded on the hostile shore. Thus many Liverpudlian families became enriched by such nefarious deeds Ship captains knew well enough to stay midriver to avoid that noisome place. The natives were so uncultured.

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    Default Romans and the chalk trade.

    I was talking to a bloke in the Blue Union a few years back and he said ?What have the Romans ever done for us?? Well all in all Brian as they say blood is thicker than mud. I knew an Irish chieftain called Keegan he sold his wife to a Welsh landowner who had a fair few acres under Snowdon in the days before the National Trust took the land. His descendants run wind farms and mine for yellow chalk, a lucrative trade as it goes?.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    Dylan Thomas

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