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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

    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.

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    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shelter from the elements, he relied on the good nature of the shopkeepers who used to let him have spoiled fruit and out of date pies and sandwiches to sustain.him.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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    Senior Member M6AJJ's Avatar
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    Hurry up Brian, the intrigue is killing me!

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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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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    paddy Paddy's Avatar
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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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    Senior Member M6AJJ's Avatar
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    And there's more?

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Larpool hasnt changed much has it.

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    Member Jeff Glasser's Avatar
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    Come on Brian, I need a wee, but I do'nt want to miss anything!

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    The Journal of Kerrigan J. Keegan cont?.


    Down through the ages my family ,and with it ,the Brotherhood and the town of Garston ,prospered. Our attachment to the church of Rome seemed indissoluble ,but the Brethren worked secretly with new church in Byzantium ,and with the empires to the East, we had to act covertly lest the Holy See were to take umbrage with our duplicity. Our Masters had seen what had happened to the Cathars and the Gnostics, they would not let that fate befall them.
    Our Brethren who had settled in Byzantium became as natives, as did our Brethren in Persia and far off Hindustan. Only members of our family were initiated into the order and our family was large .
    Correspondence between the Orders was made through a skilfully contrived code known only to the Illuminati in each country and this was perfected to such a standard that it remained unbroken down all the centuries. The secret of our success was our apparent openness, we seemed to be mere traders ,no suspicion ever arose regarding our activities ,our profits were so widely dispersed that no ruler was ever aware that we were gently seeding our wealth and putting it to great use..
    It was in the reign of King John that we laid the first stones of the Great Cathedral to Our Lady Mary the Mother of God. This was sited in the fields that lay beyond the waterfront as you came up the Street of Kings. A ceremonial arch was raised to lead the faithful into the great Square that lay beyond it. This arch was bedecked with flowers and bunting on holy days or when we had visiting nobility. They would progress up from the portway and walk through a bower of fragrant flowers which were waved aloft by dancing virgins. Those were colourful days and they are depicted in the splendid murals that can now be seen in the great Museum and Art Gallery that we built in the Street Of St. James.
    When King John passed through our town he invested ,unknowingly , the then Grand Master of the Mudmen into one of the Royal Orders, he became The Noble Watcher of the Majestic Bowel. The Grand Master was diligent in his duty for it was a fact that his sovereign majesty did indeed suffer mightily with his bowels, and his flatulence once near caused a war with our French neighbours. This ailment of the King was fortuitous for the Brotherhood for it caused them to discover something that would both lead to a resolving of the Kings Terrible Problem and the further enrichment of the Order. That something was the healing properties that were a constituent of the Mud. How it came to be discovered will be explained in good time for I am afraid the sea is getting up, I can hear the officer of the watch calling and must go and see what assistance I can render.
    12-04 1898

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    Member Jeff Glasser's Avatar
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    Brian, I can't hold it any longer!

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    18.04 1898
    Those rising seas were the precursor of a storm ,the like of which our Captain later said ,was the worst in all his 40 years at sea. So great was the wind that the mainsail was rent across before we could send men enough aloft to reef them. We toiled for three days and nights to make her safe ,the hands were hollow eyed wrecks by the eve of the third day. The lord was good to us for the winds abated and gave us enough calm to make for the Isle of Fernando de Noronha, a lonely place to the east of Recife in Brazil. Luckily the Captain had been there as a 2nd mate many years before and knew it well enough to navigate us safely through the shoals into the Baia de Sancho. We think it should be called Safe Haven for it is well sheltered from the elements and thus give us the opportunity to effect the damage wrought upon us by hurricane.
    The carpenter and shipwright are at work as I pen these words and I should have time enough to continue my tale.

    When the master Masons constructed the cathedral in the town of Garston , they were in the employ of the Brethren, but these Brethren were entrenched within the Roman Church and our then Grand Master was the ruling Bishop of that See.
    The masons , being members of another friendly order , were sworn to secrecy as to the full design of church, for as well as the main crypt below ground ,two further chambers were constructed, and constructed in a manner that there concealment was never discovered . The chambers were for the Brethren and it was there that they performed their rituals, and it was there also that they met in conclave to guide the fortunes of the now growing Brotherhood. New side orders were created to allow the induction of men who were not of Garston bloodline but who would prove beneficial to the order through expanding their knowledge of astronomy , biology , botany and medicine . It was through the experiments of one such Brother that the remedy for King Johns Terrible Problem was found. Prior to his arrival at St Egberts monastery (all non blood Brethren were inducted as monks) the mud had been transported in wooden tubs . This was a tedious task, such was the amount timber required for their manufacture that the newly formed Woodcutters Society was hard put to meet the demand and the Great Wood of Garston was being denuded of many tree.
    Bro Waterways , being of an exploratory nature, sought to find a way out of this dilemma and set about dehydrating the mud to see if it could be powdered and thus weigh less heavy ,and also enabling it to be bagged in sacks and make for easier transportation.
    He carried out his experiments in the cellars of Garston Castle , well away from the prying eyes of those who were jealous of our secrets. It was?nt many months before he had come up with a solution , and with that solution the founding of another of our fortunes!
    In his experimentations , Bro. Waterways found that as the mud reached a certain temperature in the drying process a light ash would cloud off the smoke and fall in smuts about the room, some fell in his drinking horn and lay on the surface of his dinner wine. He had always thought this lightish soot a nuisance ,it required cleaning after every drying period and covered everything. Preoccupied , he reached for his wine and took a draught before he noticed the film of soot ,swallowing it down he thought that the wine was more pleasant than usual but never gave the matter much thought. However , being a man who was given to the same afflictions as the King ,he found a wonderful feeling of settlement come over his innards. Picking up his drinking horn he looked at it contents, there was a residue of soot at the bottom of it. He spent the next few weeks testing it on the men at the Queens Tavern and received reports from their wives that the nights in bed were much quieter since drinking the good Brothers sleeping draught.
    He made further tests on the great Shire horses that Brothers Portus and Rhodus kept at their stables in St Marysfield . Again the reports were to the good , the dreaded Shire flatulence was no more.
    Having assured himself of the medicinal effects Brother Waterways then took the remedy to his Master ,The Grand Brother Keegan ,the Noble Watcher of the Majestic Bowel. A carriage was prepared and the G.B was hastened to the Hamlet of Nottingham where the King was enjoying a shooting holiday ,the targets being the local bandit peasantry.
    The King was administered his remedy just before he retired to his bed ;that night all Nottingham was silent , not a poot or a parp was heard .The Royal bowel was granted peace at last and the township of Garston was granted Royal Patronage..
    A university was to be established ,one that would teach the liberal arts and sciences, this would be the jewel of English academia and would produce many great philosophers, artists ,musicians ,writers and others. Europe would send the cream of its students to benefit their further education .

    Many years of peaceful progress followed , the Brethren managed to avoid any involvement in the sordid battles between the religions.The Crusades had destroyed the fortunes of many of Europes great families, the various orders that were formed to assist in the success of the Crusades were enjoying different kinds of success. The Order of the Poor Knights of Jerusalem , the Templars ,were enjoying a spectacular success after the First Crusade. From being a collection of Indigent Knights tasked with protecting the Temple at Jerusalem, within a few short decades they became rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
    They set up a banking system that spanned the Holy Roman Empire, all transport, whether by land or sea , handled by the Templars, all ,that is,
    excepting the Brotherhood of Mudmens. Being an older order and having greater business skills , we had placed some of our Brethren in all of the new orders as a contingency to protect from any actions that these orders might take that would be harmful to our aims. And such actions saved us heavy losses when the Pope and the King of France later eliminated the Templar Order.
    Our Brethren had the ear of many monarchs and prelates and , more importantly ,the Pope ,the well placed agents got wind of the planned destruction and were able to get word to the Templar bastion at La Rochelle. Thirteen Templar vessels escaped the clutches of the French soldiery, five sailed to Portugal and were granted sanctuary by the Portugese king. Some went to Scotland under the command of Frederico Kinghornia , what nobody knew ,until now dear reader, is that one sailed to Garston under the command of Aspinale de Kong ,And thus would open a new chapter in the fortunes of the Mudmen.

    8 bells are sounding so I must away to my duties,the midshipman reported that the shipwright thinks our damage so grave that she willnot make it round the Horn. I'll lay my pen down 'til the morrow.

    18.04 1898
    Last edited by brian daley; 01-13-2009 at 04:29 PM.

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    paddy Paddy's Avatar
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    Default Garstonian history.

    What happend to Walter Charles Cecil Rugerton who lived off Window Lane
    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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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Yes I remember it well, the escape from the Salientia* French clutches and my victorius return to my homeland of Gastone. I later invented the first mud tanker, watered down the mud to a thin liquid and then got all hands to man the pumps for discharging. On a long voyage in the tropics this was unsuccessful as the mud dried and the pumps could not discharge.
    So it had to be dug out by hand into barrels.
    This was to be the first of my many, many cockups.
    Aspinale de Kong,

    *Salientia. [see google].
    Last edited by captain kong; 01-13-2009 at 06:52 PM.

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    Newbie Danny Farley's Avatar
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    Default Bro waterways recipe

    I follow your story with grat interest in the hope of an introduction to the heir of Bro Waterways. Alas I to suffer with the same affliction as the king

    I have tried the mud from the River Alt it gave me the runs for a week but no cure

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