Lunsford is a novel that compares the effects of grief on different people. Martin Lunsford struggles with moving on from his past which has been reformed lately by the deaths of his wife and best friend; past loves, past friends, past mistakes. His struggle is contrasted with the BDFP, a nascent political party who grieve for an England that never really was, and who refuse to move on while at the same time thinking of themselves as radical creators of a bright future.
In this segment, we meet Nurse Helen Cousins. Sister Hel’ worships Frances Galton’s Eugenics. She sees this as a way to make sure people are healthy, happy and operating, rather than living lives imagined by Sister Hel’.
Sister Helen woke up and sighed again. Overnight she’d been troubled by the idea that the people she was battling to improve didn’t, in fact, want improvement. As she mounted her bicycle, she knew for certain that his rejection was exactly the reason that improvements were absolutely necessary. The Salt of the Earth, the good folk, the capital P People, the citizens of the oldest democracy in the world, the bosses of the foundation Parliament had all been consigned to educational dustbins long ago. They didn’t know what they wanted. She needed more than ever to make them aware of their best interests.
This reassertion of belief in her cause, and in herself, meant that she could throw off the incident with Mr Horace Johnstone. She would deal with Mr Lunsford in good time. This was no time for fatigue or delay. Now was the time, as Mr Churchill had famously said, to go forward with Britain. But first it was time to post a letter, an important letter. One of the most important letters she’d ever posted. A letter to the Prime Minister.
She was soon standing at the counter of Shalford Post Office looking over the leaflets as she waited for service behind a queue of tiny but extremely voluble old aged pensioners.
“Yes, the sweet shop, Mr and Mrs Craven’s one, yes, changed hands last week. Sold to a foreign pair”.
“They never got over Darren’s death”.
“How could you though? You couldn’t”.
“You wouldn’t dare”.
“Well, at least they’ll get a retirement, they always worked so hard in that shop”.
“Well, I hope the new ones are too foreign if you get my meaning”.
“Why’s that then, love?” Mr Eric Benson prepared to serve the next tiny woman.
“Well, you don’t know what you’re getting otherwise do you? You can’t be certain, and everything will smell of their food. I’ve a sister who lives up north and she says that her town stinks of curried this and curried that. Didn’t use to. Mill town, it smelt of cotton so she says. Two first class stamps and a packet of Bensons love, please.”
Mr Eric Benson served the woman and then looked around the shop to see how many more customers were going to take up his time. He saw six regulars and that Nurse Cousins who used to have The Times and The Telegraph. He saw that she was immersed in the latest BFDP leaflet. He completed the transaction and moved on to the pensioner.
Sister Hel’ was oblivious to anything except the leaflet. This was her prized faculty: she was able to concentrate to the exclusion of all else no matter where she was or who she was with. The flyer was fresh, and like nothing she’d seen in the village.
The British Democratic Freedom Party
Tuesday September 26th
Wulfric Hall, Crosschester
FREE FOOD AND DRINK
PUTTING GREAT BRITISH VALUES FIRST
We are the Party that Remembers
• You and your family
• Our brave armed forces
• Our police, fire and ambulance men
• All the sacrifices that made Britain Great
• Without our glorious past we have NO FUTURE
On the reverse of the leaflet was an advertisement for a gymnasium.
COME TO GRANTS GYM
The SLEEPERS HILL, CROSSCHESTER
(Next to The Green Man pub)
FOR THE HEALTH & FITNESS OF ALL BRITISH PEOPLES
GRANTS GYM OFFERS SPECAILIST TRAINING IN:
BOXING (inc sparring)
Also Advice on what to eat and drink to keep fit once you’ve got fit.
All at reasonable prices
Open Monday to Saturday 08:00 – 22:00
FOR THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST!
No time wasters!
(Ask in the pub for more details if we’re shut)
It was certainly not the most elegantly designed piece of work. There were so many Union Flags that it was difficult to read but… but… but it was at least a start. Grant’s Gymnasium, now that was a good place to continue her project. There were like-minds there.
“Can I help you Miss Cousins?” she looked up into the red face of Mr Eric Benson who had been tapping her on the shoulder and putting that same question to her in a rising voice for what seemed to him like five minutes.
“Can you tell me about this?” Sister Helen snapped out of it and back into that.