Gerald Ainger…Bridge Painter


Saturday 9th February 2013.

Brockenhurst..New Forest….

Hey guys let me take you back to the days of the 60’s 70’s, my home village and I will take you for a little wander through.

watersplash3a We shall start here with this old picture, a little before my time, not much I might add, of my village bridge and watersplash. The bridge with the old wooden railings and  tredboards that was as of my time living here. The only difference now is the foliage has been trimmed back and the road is now tarmac and the watersplash it self has been dredged and concreted over, so the little water flows underneath, unless we have too much rain and then it becomes it’s name a watersplash.

It is late one night and my Dennis and I are walking the pavement and heading towards the village bridge, we are about 16 years of age, and we were just talking like teenagers do, and we came upon the bridge and stood upon it’s tread boards and notice how unstable the railings were, and the tread boards were rotting in places.  The night was warm and the sky clear and the moon gave us good light.

Dennis removed the lid from his tin and handed me the screwdriver and I did mine, he had the red and I had the white. He took out two large brushes from his holdall and handed me one. We both looked about, all was clear, he went to the village side and I the other. We then both quickly and with no thought of the standard starting slapping paint all over the bridge. All over the railings and the walk boards. But we were clever enough to leave the walk boards to last and start one side together and move along to the other. Wouldn’t we have looked a right pair of prunes trapping ourselves. On finishing we quickly walked away, Dennis took the near empty paint cans and brushes put them back into his shed. We then parted and arranged to meet in the morning.

The next morning we met up and walked into the village, not expecting what we found.Walked through the village, following the chat and people and when we could view the bridge we saw the what the interest was, us, what we had done,, naughty boys. They had coned off the area and council workers were trying to actually scrape the paint,, what a group of idiots we all know emulsion soaks into the wood, especially rather rotten wood, and therefor a fruitless exercise.

Me and Dennis stood for awhile watching, both whispering silly things, and actually laughing,,, when this voice beside us said “well now boys I don’t suppose you know anything about this do you?” we looked around to see our local policeman, PC Letts and trusty bicycle. I looked at him and “no sorry, but it is funny isn’t it” he just gave us a policeman look and wandered to the bridge and started talking to some of the workers.

 Many years later.. with new railings and treadboards.                                    And resurfaced road, so now hardly a watersplash.

Me and Dennis looked over our shoulders regularly but no one came tapping it. and in three months we got a new upgraded safer bridge, Job Done.  We got away with it.. naughty boys..

My next story  ‘The timber yard and Haunting’..

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28 thoughts on “Gerald Ainger…Bridge Painter

  1. I think this is such a great memory share Gerry Has my eyes filled tears from laughing.
    Shame on you two!!
    I think it was lucky for the village what you two, put the shame on the lack of maintenance.
    But still some would suggest a better way of going about it I suppose…I suppose…
    But I have to say I love a rebel My Kind Sir.
    I agree with Trish Worth about sending this to your newspaper. She seconds a great point. we should talk.. 😉

    Thanks so much for sharing these stories, I enjoy them so much. ~

    1. It was quite funny at the time,, but i have been able to portray this,, but it was also quite tense moment especially when PC Letts stopped to talk.. I still think he knew or atleast guessed.. My lady welcome as always..;)

  2. Great story of boyhood antics and the fact that they just couldn’t keep it to themselves. If you didn’t know it then, you knew it after–the guilty always come back to the scene of the crime. They just can’t help themselves! 😉

    1. And yes I know I was guilty,,but got a result so maybe the rebel in me is still with me today.. And I am sure PC Letts knew as well,, thank you Lorna enjoy your comments…:)

  3. You and Dennis have always had beautiful hearts from childhood.
    Your foresight, ingenuity and proactivity secured the attention of the community rapidly.
    It would be beautiful if you turn yourselves in. Atleast, you would stop looking over your shoulders.
    It’s good to know that you’ve always been brave! 🙂

    1. it was definitely an improvement and it got the result. a new safer bridge.. but it was fun, maybe not the right thing to say..thank you and always welcome..appreciate your words…;)

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