Mad Dan

Just outside Dormansland, in Surrey is a large pile which rejoices in the name of Greathed (pronounced Greathead) Manor. This place houses retired people from such walks of life as the military, the diplomatic service and similar. They are all of a type and mostly slightly dotty.

In the mid-60s I used to take my travelling library to this village and the “inmates” of this place would come down, either in cars or on foot, to change their books. They were all totally unpredictable and often left us either fuming or convulsed in laughter. One of these was a Mr Maddan, who was, to say the least, somewhat forgetful. Several of the old girls took it upon themselves to “look after” him and it was one of these dowagers, who, having completed her business with us and gone away, showed up again at the counter. “Has Mr Maddan gawn back yet?” she demanded, “because he’s left his hat in the road!”