Coachlines - May 2023

28.05.23 Assistant Clerk

Second sight

My Grandmother, Cecilia Kate Shimmings, was born in the mid 1890s in Devizes. This itself is nothing remarkable, however despite her tendency towards the use of malapropisms she had a unique ability to know things. Let me elaborate.

My Grandfather was in the Royal Navy when deployments were potentially years at a time rather than weeks or months. She announced one day that Fred was coming home, Fred being my Grandfather. “Now then Cissy, you know Fred has sailed on deployment and won’t be home for months,” was the cry from the family and yet some hours later Fred walked in, his ship having been delayed sailing. This probably occurred sometime in the 1920s, certainly well before the time of instant communications and mobile phones, but it was something she just knew.

She was also popular with neighbours wanting her to read cards to foretell their future before the doctor decided she did not have the disposition for such responsibility and banned her from doing so. However, she continued to read tea leaves for the family and I vividly remember one family gathering when she read my Uncle George’s tea leaves. “Oh George, I see water and an island. It looks as though there will be some foreign travel.” The room went quiet and the announcement brushed off as a bit of fun. What the young me did not know was that Uncle George had applied for the £10 ticket to Australia and hadn’t yet told Grandma!

There are many other tales of Grandma’s second sight but I must advise you that it is an ability that I have not inherited. Unless you tell me I cannot know who your guest is or whether they are allergic to nuts or only eat eggs on a Tuesday. Using the appropriate boxes on the Coachmaker Event booking form, please provide all the necessary detail to help your single sighted Assistant Clerk with as much information about you and your guest(s) as you can at the time of booking.

Many thanks.