Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (28) To Catch a Thief and Steal a Heart (Part 01)
Sharpington-by-Sea is a traditional seaside resort complete with a Victorian Pier, seafront hotels, crazy golf, The Palladium ballroom, well maintained gardens, promenade, theatre and illuminations, all the usual things to have a great time by the seaside, as well as amusement arcades and of course the Sharpington Fun Park.
Which was the first purpose built amusement park to open in Britain, which had an assortment of rides, like the Rotor and the Wild Mouse, The Cyclone and the Morehouse Galloper, all very tame compared to a 21st century roller coaster but it was still fun.
It was also a popular resort for retirees and boasted a number of static caravan parks.
It was June 6th, “the longest day” his father used to call it but for him it felt like the longest evening
It wasn’t very late, sometime after nine, when David Goodman left the Sharpington Yacht Club, it was a quiet evening for a Saturday and he had soon exhausted the meager pool of interesting people.
So he meandered his way along the promenade in the fading light towards home on a warm night in June with barely a breath of wind off the sea.
David was fast approaching his sixty third birthday and was Widowed, retire and lonely, his children had grown up and moved away a lifetime ago and even their children were beginning to take flight.
He saw them all often enough but it wasn’t the same as having them around all the time.
However despite his loneliness he was not lacking in friends, far from it.
He fumbled for his keys as he made his way down the back path of his bungalow and his eye was drawn to a faint light through the garage window, at first he thought it might be a reflection but when he turned around there was nothing behind him but darkness.
The garage was what was known as a tandem because it was spacious enough for two cars in tandem i.e. end to end.
The up and over door was naturally at the front of the house and at the rear was a window through which he had seen the light and a door which gave access into the garden and he could see as he got closer that it was ajar.
David was 62 years old so it was a little foolhardy to proceed and confront a possible intruder but he did it anyway.
He grabbed the handle of the garage door and pushed it gently open and reached his hand in, feeling his way to the light switches then he pushed the door open wide and hit the two switches simultaneously.
The two lights came on instantly but one of the bulbs, the one at the rear, blew immediately returning it to near darkness.
He kept the car in the front half of the garage, not that he drove it very often, but the back half was full of everything and nothing, old pieces of furniture, tools, packing boxes and so on, junk mainly, as a result not much light got from one end of the garage to the other because of everything in between.