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Alice Pitman: Home Front

Regulars | By Alice Pitman

The seamy side of Surrey 

‘That’s Surrey’s most notorious cottaging hotspot,’ I remarked to the Aged P as we passed Ockham Common, on a recent drive back to the care home. I sounded strangely proud of it, like the Beefeaters who never tire of telling tourists about the legend of the ravens. ‘Is it really?’ said the Aged P, intrigued. We peered out of the window, as though trying to see lions at Longleat. I glimpsed a man following another over a hillock, but the Aged P missed it. ‘Poor devils,’ she said, ‘I don’t suppose they can help themselves.’ As we got on to the A3, she started to list the famous people arrested over the years for importuning for immoral purposes, with particular emphasis on public lavatories. ‘John Gielgud, Tom Driberg, Wilfrid Brambell...’ On and on she went, reeling off names with the same enthusiasm other elderly mothers might use when listing the musicals...

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