The main characters are Jim Slipper and his brother Bob. Jim is sturdy in body and soul, Bob the opposite. The plot they are involved in is that of life itself. They are called to the village green by the cries of children playing, they are called to the river and woods for hunting and exploring and their formative years are shaped by the characters of England in the thirties.
You all know their Ma. She rarely has two pennies to rub together but she is a millionaire in love. Poor old Pa, he lost a leg at the Battle of Jutland, now he misses the life at sea and the comradeship of the drunken sailor.
The gypsy who nick named himself ‘Rover’ has a reason to keep an eye on the boys for there are some unsavory characters in the village of Hersham. The worst of whom is ‘Spare the Rod,’ the puritanical cleric. Gaffer Williams, the village drunk, is another to be wary of.
In 1930 England was a glorious land where retired Military Officers filled in their days with gentleman farming. These characters had been scarred by WW1 and lived with a mixture of remorse and compassion for country lads. Guilt for those they had ordered to their deaths and a kindness towards the next generation of boys. Jim and Bob are not short of gentlemen mentors.
For many a century Old Hersham village grew but slowly in the fertile water meadows of the River Mole for the fields were farmed and Royal parties hunted the hills. In their time the Slipper family had local horticulture work to fall back on, weeding onions and cutting cabbage. The woods were still protected but as part of London’s once inviolate green belt.
Hersham is close to London and the family knew the golden age of British engineering. Jim is clever and has a bit of a mechanical gift so he is drawn towards the new world of engines, cars and planes.
Bob muddles along, he is lazy, loves food and seems to be a thoroughly useless article. It takes a while for the Slippers to realize; but he is the one who could have found fame and glory, if only he could be bothered.
The boys adventures are rich in fun and laughter and a lifestyle which might have lasted until the end of the century if not for WW2, post war development and the invention of the electronic world.
It is now that Jim finds the wisdom to find countryside where village life will endure until the seas rise once again.
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