A Short Guide to Great Britain… (10)

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s instruction is to nail it to an exterior wall, rub warm lard into its surface using a generous sponge – then, using the template supplied, mark out with a moist finger the emblem you have chosen – you can then set fire to the bottom two corners with a match and step back and watch from a safe distance.

Shall we have another peek into that fascinating little junk shop book A Short Guide to Great Britain from the War and Navy Departments Washington DC which I came across some years ago? A slim volume, just 38 pages, it was supplied to all the US troops who came over to Britain in 1942. Its purpose was to ease communication and avoid any misunderstanding between those Yankees and us Britishers.

DSCN3749The centre pages of the book are in the form of a map of the British Isles. I see that the original owner of the book, let’s call him Hank, has explored the country a bit; there are journeys to various cities marked in pencil. Dulltown doesn’t seem to be included though – perhaps he didn’t notice it, as it is hidden by one of the staples holding the book together.

DSCN3756Let’s see page 20 for the advice Hank was given before setting off:
On the whole the British people – whether English, Scottish or Welsh – are open and honest. If you are on furlough and puzzled about directions, money or customs, most people will be anxious to help you as long as you speak first and without bluster.
The best authority on all problems is the nearest ‘Bobby’ (policeman) in his steel helmet. British police are proud of being able to answer almost any question under the sun. They are not in a hurry and they’ll take plenty of time to talk to you.
The British will welcome you as friends and allies. But remember that crossing the ocean doesn’t automatically make you a hero. There are housewives in aprons and youngsters in knee pants in Britain who have lived through more high explosives in air raids than many soldiers saw in first class barrages in the last war.


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in archeology, books, Dulltown, history, Hull.UK., humour, information, reading, serendipity, surrealism, war, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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