It would seem the Ruskin Museum feels compelled to make a statement and that's perfectly fine but now I must correct it here and there in the interests of accurate reporting. Here it is.
Just before Christmas I received an urgent call from an old friend in Coniston to say a pal of theirs had broken down on a road near to where I live and would I mind popping to help them start the car. No problem at all.
In the end I didn't have to because someone stopped to assist but I received a further call later to say thanks for being willing and that we were well overdue a meet up and a drink so I said soon as we got past the New Year celebrations I'd pop over for a couple of days with the kids. We also wanted to visit friends in a neighbouring village so on Tuesday we set off, stopped for a brew with a mate in Glenridding, did some shopping in Ambleside, called on our first group in the afternoon then fetched up in Coniston at about 5.00 on Tuesday. Jordan had arranged to come and see us too so I took the trouble to message Jeff Carroll to say I was in town, did he fancy a beer and I was buying. At about 8.00pm I got a reply to say he'd been busy and couldn't make it. I replied saying no problem, that I would try to catch up with him in the morning.
I had no intention of going to the memorial. I've never been before an have never felt it was my place but the Speed Record Club folks invited me the night before when I stopped off to see them at their hotel so I accepted.
It might have been a reflective moment had it not been used as a political platform as per 2020 but that's another story.
Anyway, I listened politely and read out the dedication and K7 prayer (I didn't know there was such a thing) as requested then I was grabbed by the ITV Border people. I'd had a call from Tyne Tees asking for an interview at BBP HQ at 2.00 but by doing it there and then I didn't have to rush home so I did that but by the time I got finished Jeff wasn't around.
I did speak with Anne Hall in the cemetery but she wasn't very chatty, I guess they forgot to mention that part in their statement, so I messaged Jeff again to ask where he was and would he like to meet but once again I was told he was too busy.
I wasn't that bothered, it wasn't like I was stuck for things to do and I did have the family in tow but I felt that had the occasion not been hijacked for a political rant and had anyone else taken the morning off to have a ceasefire and meet up amicably there might have been a different landscape so for my part I can hand on heart say I tried my best.
As for all this, speak to our solicitors nonsense. Their new ones only appeared towards the end of July, we've swapped a total of three letters and, having just read them through for good measure, I can say that nowhere does it say that I am only supposed to communicate via them.
Besides, when you're offering to buy someone a beer to have a meet up and a chat because you happen to find yourself in their locale is it really best to do it through a lawyer? Look on the bright side though, I saved them the cost of a letter.
At the end of the day, as was said earlier, I made very effort so my conscience is clear.