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 Jimmy Bates Pantomime

We (Judith and I) were looking after Harrison (one of our grandsons), and planned to take him to see his first pantomime in Hereford. And so our arrangements with his mom and dad included looking after him the night before, then taking Harrison to his very first (pre) Christmas pantomime

This had been booked months before the route of the Olympic torch relay route was announced. And then it was – announced! The Olympic Torch route was announced the day before our little grandson was due to arrive at our house for his overnight stay in Ledbury, before taking him to the pantomime in Hereford the next day – the day when the Olympic Torch relay was due to be run through little old Ledbury (on its way to Hereford)!

The people of Ledbury were going to see the Olympic Torch!

Wow! What an opportunity – for him and for us of course! So it turned out we could take our first grandchild not only to his first pantomime, but also to see the actual Olympic Torch relay run through little old Ledbury on the same day! A once-in-a-lifetime experience (for all of us) or what? 'Or what' actually. We tried to explain what a pantomime was to little Harrison, but to no avail ("What's a pantomime Pop?" "Don't worry Harrison, you'll soon find out.") And so we left home in plenty of time, planning to get ourselves a prime spot on the High Street of Ledbury to watch the Olympic Torch go by, before setting off on the 15 mile journey to Hereford to the (pre) Christmas pantomime.

Would we ever get to see the pantomime?

Two minutes later sheer panic set in. The High Street was closed to local (all) traffic. And, not only that, so was the access to the main road to Hereford to boot. Now we could not only not get access to watch the Olympic Torch relay, we couldn't even use the main road to get to Hereford in time to watch the pantomime!

'Fortune Favours the Brave' (or so they say in our part of the world). "Don't worry Judith, I know another way." And so I sped off down another country lane – missing our chance to see the Olympic Torch relay of course – but, at least, getting us there in time to watch the pantomime surely? And so I did, and so I did (read on...) Phew! We reached the theatre in plenty of time (as it turned out) to relax a little and have a coffee (lollipop for Harrison) before the show started. Then, to our bewilderment, a commotion began outside.

What on earth was happening?

"What's going on outside Judith?" "You'll never believe it Jimmy – it's the Olympic Torch relay!" We dashed outside and ended up having a 'grandstand view' of the actual Olympic Torch (with Harrison on my shoulders) being paraded right past us! And so we 'did, did': see them both (Olympic Torch and Christmas Pantomime – 'Fortune Favours the Brave! – and the lucky!!)


Meet The Author...
Jimmy Bates
Who Am I?

A grammar school boy from a working class family, Jimmy Bates has had a chequered career. Before becoming a writer he worked in a variety of jobs, then graduated with an honours degree in electronics, emigrated and became a scientist in Canada and then a director of the same hi-tech company in the U.S.A. He returned to England in 1980 and spent 25 years as a management consultant and held directorships of several high-technology companies before retiring and taking up writing full-time. His interests are history, sociology, science & technology and music. He was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, spent all of his school years in Stoke-on-Trent, is married has six children (all grown up now), four grandchildren and has lived in Herefordshire for the past 25 years. His books ( include:

My Blog...

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Kick out the Brits!: A real-life family ‘US road trip of-a-lifetime’

To Death and Beyond: Short stories of real near-death experiences


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