Artists and Artisans


Miss Bedding Stuff is the title awarded by the local horticultural industry to their beauty queen.

Inigo Haycock is a former revue artist who makes all his own clothes, mostly of plum velvet. He and Honey Brite make a living writing verses for greetings cards and hold sophisticated soirees at which all the food, even the sprouts, is served on cocktail sticks. Honey Brite, when she was still known as Nora Merchant, captivated the young Dennis and gave him a plastic butterfly hairgrip which he still treasures. She left Grunty Fen to be a holiday camp Yellow Coat before returning – renamed – to her native village where she now lives in a ‘Tudor’ asbestos bungalow with Inigo Haycock. You can hear more about Honey Brite on the album Tha’s All In Ya Loif.


Antoinette Clayden is devoted to handicrafts and the arts. An example of her work is shown (left). Dennis has long been trying to help her assemble a spinning wheel she bought by post but it keeps turning into a nest of tables. There’s more on Antoinette Clayden’s life story in Mr South’s fine book Who’s Who in Grunty Fen.

Big Enid makes holly wreaths with her bare hands and beats a drum so dancers can keep time at village socials.

Mr Simpson prints and edits the local weekly newspaper, The Bugle. Despite a serious shortage of some letters of the alphabet in his type cases, Mr Simpson prints not only The Bugle but also many other periodicals, including Modern Ferretting, The British Bird Stuffer and The Grunter, parish newsletter of Grunty Fen.  Due to limited space and a Ferreting 80pcbusy workload, pages of these and other periodicals are sometimes muddled, so that readers of The Gas Fitter may get a glimpse of cool hep-cat Winston Cornfoot’s reporting of the complex music scene in The British Xylophonist with which is incorporated Modern Glockenspiel. Dennis entertained Mr South with tales of Winston Cornfoot and other colourful characters from his schooldays in The Bomb Photo.

Dennis also feels that Mr South’s journalistic abilities would be greatly improved if he would only write like Touchline Tom in The Bugle, and he told Mr South just that in A Blast from the Bugle on Archive Editions 6.