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Aux Armes Citoyens

 At 7.15pm on June 2nd 2010 Forest Heath District Council voted unanimously to reject Greedy Teddy’s application to build more than a thousand houses on the Hatchfield in Newmarket, Suffolk. The result of one of the most intense campaigns I have ever witnessed and a personal triumph for the amazing Little Rachel Riding Hood and her rag bag SHNAG (Save Historic Newmarket Action Group) Army. 

 “This vote, enabled by a fundamental change in housing policy under the new coalition government, will have repercussions for other Local Authorities all over the country and give great strength to countless communities faced with similar attempts to concrete over greenfield sites.” 

 As for the The Strawman, he hasn’t shown his face in weeks. I like to think that when confronted with so much heartfelt pressure not to proceed with GREEDY TEDDY’S BAD IDEA , he decided to the do the decent thing after all. Don’t you?

 

PRat? Well, he’s just that.

Ziggy Rat is missing a fat rat fee. He nearly choked on his Dinner, when he heard the Battle of Newmarket was lost.

Somebody asked Greedy Teddy if he wanted Dinner. “No thanks”, he said wearily, ” I’m stuffed.”  

It’s Derby Day tomorrow. But it’s not Teddy’s Day, that’s for sure. Wager will be watching the race on TV. You know, I swear I saw her smile.

Is it the end? I hope so. 
I leave you with two words
ETERNAL VIGILANCE.

 Sir Peter Teazle Bt.

PS: I want to add my personal thanks to those in the media who have reported on the campaign. Were it not for you, those good people of Newmarket could not have clinched a near impossible result.

Save Historic Newmarket Action Group: June 2 2010 (Photo Emma Berry)

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“But what does it actually mean, I don’t understand”, said Greedy Teddy, his brow furrowing furrily. “I I mean, er, I do understand really, of course.’
He and the Strawman were standing in the music room of Noisily Hall, his stately pile, set in barely 2000 acres of the most beautiful rolling parkland, up North somewhere. It had been a shocking bad week for him. Sir Peter O’Sullevan’s point blank refusal to come over for supper still burned; ‘I do not anticipate this minor gesture

Sir Peter O'Sullevan

affecting (your) thinking apropos Newmarket, but I believe it to be appropriate for all who care about our sport to make known their feelings.” Ouch! And in the Daily Mail as well. Double Ouch.
Greedy Teddy was wearing his favourite old velvet smoking jacket. This one used to do up, but the buttons had moved over the years. He was clutching a comforting glass of Tio Pepe palomino fino – his nearly first favourite pre-dinner sharpener, in one hand;  a DeBears diamond catalogue in the other.
He had toyed with the idea of opening a bottle of something a bit more bubbly, but as the family was away and he was dining on his own that evening, he couldn’t very well open a whole one just for himself – that would be a bit too Greedy even for a VGT (Very Greedy Teddy). Plenty of time for champagne when he made £80 squillion selling that blasted Hatchfield. It was only a matter of weeks now and he’d be even RICHER.
“What it means Sir, said the Strawman, fiddling with his cap, the winter rain dripping off him onto the oak floor. “Is that the local Councillors at Newmarket have overwhelmingly voted NO to giving us er, you an extension for your planning application.”
‘But is that important?’ asked Greedy Teddy, wondering about dinner – sherry always made his tummy remember dinner. “I thought this vote was just a formality. Isn’t that what you said?”
The Strawman winced and wished he was somewhere else, even Wales. ‘Er, yes, but I wasn’t expecting them to vote NO,  and now you have got a problem because your application could run out of time.”
“What!” shouted Teddy, stamping his foot, “ What! you pathetic sack of herbage. I thought it was a done deal. This could cost me £80 million and then what will I do? I need that money.”
“I know Sir, and I want you to build your new town on the Hatchfield, but there are lot of townspeople who don’t want you building there and so the Councillors decided…..”
“I don’t care,” interrupted Greedy Teddy, his face puce. “Its my field, I’ll do what I want. Its none of their damned business. Get out of my sight you stubble headed string-bag. Look what you’ve done to my floor.”
The Strawman bowed his head distraught. The shame seared through him as he stumbled out into the rain. Even Greedy Teddy, who had promised to bring the Town to him, had turned on him.
(You decide what the Strawman did next)

(1) The words of Psalm 146 came to him. He pondered how he could have been so stupid to put his trust in Princes.

Strawman doing the RIGHT thing

His dream of the Town coming to The Hatchfield was as tattered as his coat. It was time, he realised to make amends with the Council, atone for his selfishness and recognise his duty to the good people of Newmarket, whose wishes he had ignored. If they didn’t want a Town on the Hatchfield. Then nor did he. And having resolved to do the decent thing, he stomped off back to Newmarket.
Or
(2) when the going gets tough, the tough get going. He’d show that Teddy that he could deliver, no matter what the damned people of Newmarket wanted. He was going to make the bear care for him again. “Awe at the Straw” was his new motto. He’d have the Hatchfield feet deep in concrete or he wasn’t fit to be the Furman’s friend.
And having resolved not to do the decent thing, he stomped off back to Newmarket, singing at the top of his voice.
“Oh! The Strawman and the Furman can be friends”
“hey, The Strawman and the Furman can be friends”

After Dinner Teddy was still in a filthy mood. Bloody Councillors, Bloody Townsfolk, bloody Newspapers, bloody Jockeys, bloody everyone. Why shouldn’t he build on the Hatchfield. It was just a field and he’d pay off that bloody Inheritance Tax bill. Why was everyone making such a fuss. He switched on the telly, but there was nothing to watch.

Wager, his favourite £3.5m horse, looked up from where she’d been grazing on the Aubusson carpet. She was bored.
“ Lets play a game?” she asked.
“Good idea” said Greedy Teddy,
“How about Definitions”, said Wager,
“No, that’s boring” said the Bear.
“Come on” said Wager, “you’re getting very good at it!”

Wager bored again

It wasn’t strictly true, but she had invented Definitions to help Greedy Teddy learn long words. Greedy Teddy didn’t like long words, especially one’s with stumbly bits, like Regional Spatial Strategy. They were up to the letter H. They’d had a bit of trouble with the G’s. Greedy Teddy got quite shirty when Wager wouldn’t let him have Gordon Brown as a swearword. He’d meant Gordon Bennett of course.
‘OK’ said Greedy Teddy, “think of a word beginning with H. “Not too hard though.”
“Hatchfield” said Wager,
“Don’t be stupid, that’s not a real word, it’s a name. It doesn’t mean anything, and anyway it won’t even exist soon. Think of something else.”
Wager bit her tongue,”
“Hurry up” said Teddy.
“Heretic” said Wager.
“I get them, said Greedy Teddy.
“What?” said Wager.
“Hairy Ticks, I get them in my fur when we’ve been out in the Park. Having a picnic down by the lake is worst. There are lots and lots of hairy ticks there.”
“Give me strength” mumbled Wager.
‘OK”, said Greedy Teddy, “if you are going to be stupid, I am going to think of a word.”
“Please yourself,” said Wager.
“Hot air” said Greedy Teddy.
“Actually, that’s two words,” said Wager.
“Is it?” said Greedy Teddy, “ you mean like Hotel?”
Wager was stunned into silence. She didn’t know where to look, lest her long face gave her away. Desperately she struggled for another H word. Something even this Bear might know.
“Hypocrite!” she said.
“Hippo what?” said Teddy, he was slurring his words fuzzily now.
“Hypocrite,” repeated Wager.
“Never heard of it, I bet you just made that up”
“No I didn’t,” said Wager loftily, “ it means somebody who says one thing and does another”
“Like what?” said Teddy.
“Oh, I don’t know,” said Wager, “maybe it’s somebody who doesn’t want a public waste incinerator near their house, but doesn’t mind building one thousand two hundred houses in a field somewhere else far away.”
“Oh,” said Greedy Teddy, “ you mean like me not wanting to have that Incinerator here at Noisily. Too right, I don’t want that blasted incinerator near my house. Nasty thing  is unacceptable on both health and economic grounds”. He paused, ” So being a hypocrite is actually a good thing.”
“No it is not!” said Wager.
“Well, I think it is. I don’t want some noxious nasty machine spewing pollution where I live.  I want it all to stay green. In fact I have got pots and pots of clever green ideas. But how am I supposed to pay for them, unless I can build a few houses a long way away, where it doesn’t matter? That’s what you call eco-logical, you silly horse.”

(Is it ecological or hypocritical? Answers on a postcard please)

“Flaming eck, What are you up to?” said Ziggy Rat, turning from the window where he’d been looking out over Noisily Park’s rolling hectares. The ground covered in a light dusting of snow. The bare trees etched black.
It was a beautiful sight.
‘This is such fun,’ said Greedy Teddy sitting on his bottom on the carpet. Spread out in front of him was a large coloured drawing and piles and piles of Lego bricks.
‘Look,’ he said, this is an artist’s impression of my new town. I am going to build a model of it here on the Aubusson,  if its big enough.’
Wager looked on.
‘Was that the Hatchfield,’ she asked, looking at the picture, shaking her head slowly.
‘Yes, said Teddy, ‘this is the new Cinema, the new hotel and this street leads past the houses to the Industrial complex. And then here there’s going to be a new spaghetti junction onto the A14.
‘A spaghetti junction?’ said Ziggy Rat, with all the disdain of a pillar of the financial community. ‘Isn’t that what they have in places like Birmingham?’
‘Exactly, said Greedy Teddy, grabbing his Lego City Bulldozer, ‘but first we’ve got to clear the ground and knock down the trees. I can’t build my town if there are lots of trees, can I?

‘What are you going to call your town,’ said Wager.

Wager singing under her breath

‘How about Abu Derby,’ said Ziggy, ‘ by the way have you seen the papers?’ Even the Liverpool Post has turned against you.’
‘Oh I never read the papers,’ said Greedy Teddy, lots of hot air and long words. You can’t believe everything you read in a newspaper, Ziggy.’ And he turned back to the job in hand.
‘Vroom, Vroom,’ he said, butting the ‘dozer against Wager’s wheel,

‘Push off horse,’ he said, ‘this is the hotel car park now.’

‘They paved paradise and put up a parking lot’ said Wager under  her breath.
‘What’s that?’ said Greedy Teddy
‘Oh nothing,’ said Wager, just a song I heard on the radio.

Next morning Greedy Teddy was in a big hurry. ‘Come on, Ziggy’, he shouted, ‘we are going to miss the train to London.’ Today was his big day. Lots of very important people were going to stand up in Parliament and talk about Greedy Teddy.
‘You know my family had a seat in Parliament for hundreds of years. My great great great great uncle was Prime Minister three times. So I am going find his seat and sit in it too. I’ll catch the Speaker’s eye. He’ll be sure to call me.’
‘Flaming eck, Teddy, said Ziggy Rat, ‘you can be a twit sometimes. You can’t speak in Parliament. Your family were kicked out of the House of Lords in 1999, remember?’
‘Oh’, said Teddy, using a bit of toast to wipe the last of his Virgin West Coast ‘fully cooked’ breakfast off the plate. ‘ So why are we going?’
‘Because, said Ziggy, ‘with 80 million pounds to be made, you have to be seen to care about Newmarket, not just say you care.’
‘But what if that horrid girl is there? You know, Little Rachel. She is going to be nasty again and say that I am just a greedy grasping profitto roll or something.
‘Profiteer’ said Ziggy. ‘You don’t want to take any notice of her.’
Greedy Teddy wasn’t convinced. Little Rachel and her army were really scary. They’d turned up at the dinner, and spoilt his speech. ‘Its not just her, there are so many of them. Nobody wants me to build my town. I think everyone hates me for it.’ He fell silent.
‘I’m not going,’ he said finally.
‘Please yourself’ said Ziggy, but people might see it as cowardly, if you don’t show up.’
Flaming ‘eck, he thought, this plan to sweat Teddy’s assets and make a fat fee for himself was proving problematic.

The Chamber fell silent, the Speaker called Richard Spring MP.

Mr. Richard Spring (West Suffolk) (Con): We are here to discuss the proposed Hatchfield farm development in Newmarket. The proposal is to build 1,640 houses in Newmarket overall-enough to house 5,000 people in a rural town with a population of around 15,000. It is proposed that 1,200 houses will be built on the Hatchfield farm site itself. Newmarket is a rural town with a unique and colourful history, and it is one of the few places in the country that can genuinely boast of being an international hub for a high-value industry. The proposal would effectively increase the town’s population by a third, which would be the equivalent of adding a development for 3 million people on to London. The proposal would damage an industry that provides a large share of all the jobs in the town.

Greedy Teddy and Ziggy Rat were watching on the telly at his club. PRat had joined them. Lots of long words always made Greedy Teddy sleepy, or perhaps it was that glass of champagne and a couple of cocktail sausages.  He must have dozed off, because he woke with a start. What was this MP saying?

…Newmarket is a precious jewel in the life of England, with its extraordinary character and history. Frankly, however, the proposed development, which is obscene, has the capacity to destroy it.

‘Obscene,’ he said. ‘Ziggy did you hear that? He said my plan is obscene!’ The phone buzzed in his pocket. He pulled it out and in a growly whisper said, ‘Hello, can’t talk here, so be quick, who is it?’
‘Edward,’ said the voice,
‘Oh that’s my name’, said Teddy, ‘what do you want Edward. I am very busy. In a meeting’.
‘I just wondered, said Edward, ‘what you thought about Richard Spring MP saying your Hatchfield farm development was obscene?
‘Well, said Greedy Teddy, ‘I am glad you asked that Edward. Inheritance tax takes quite a hold of things and I carry quite a debt burden at the moment.
‘Thanks’ said Edward and rang off.
‘Just a moment,’ said Teddy, ‘I’m not finished yet.’
‘Yes you are’ said Ziggy, if that was a reporter’.
‘Oh heavens, Why didn’t you say what you’ve been told to say? ‘said PRat. ‘You know, benefiting the community, meeting housing needs  etc.’
‘Crumbs, said Teddy, ‘I was just telling the truth.’
‘The Truth, my dim chum,’ said Ziggy, ‘is that the whole world will read that the real reason why you’re concreting over the Hatchfield, is because you’re a bit skint. You just said it yourself.’
‘They’ll never believe anything else you say now.’ said PRat.
‘I’m hungry, said Greedy Teddy, ‘I’ve not had nearly anything since yesterday or even the day before that.’

Little Rachel Riding-Hood was standing in the Hatchfield.
‘How many?’ she cried
‘Seventeen boxes’ said her friend Jacko
‘No not those boxes**.  Houses. How many houses?’
‘Oh Lots and Lots’, said Jacko, ‘One thousand two hundred houses. And a cinema, and an eighty bed hotel. And industrial quantities of Industry and roads and car parks.
‘Stop. Stop’, wailed Little Rachel, covering her ears.’ That’s not a development,
that’s a whole other town.
How could they be so horrid?
The Strawman just stood there and said nothing. (What could he say?)
‘You should be ashamed of yourself. You and your Greedy friend.’
‘How can we stop them?’ Asked a filly who’d been born in the Hatchfield.

Little Rachel

‘I know’ said Little Rachel. ‘I know, Lets have a demo.’
‘What’s a demo’ said a rabbit.
‘A demo is what they do at Currys in the High Street’, said one of the stable lads helpfully.
‘No, said Little Rachel sounding cross, ‘not that sort of demo. A demonstration, manning barricades, Revolution,
Paris 68!’
‘But this is Fordham Road, Newmarket’, said a neighbour,
‘and we are not French, said a pair of Trainers,
‘we don’t do that sort of thing here,’ said another,
‘Is she’s mad’, said a fourth, ‘You can’t beat the Council and property developers,’
‘You bet, I’m mad, said Little Rachel Riding-Hood.
‘Now are you with me or with Greedy Teddy and that Strawman?’.
‘Were with YOU Little Rachel’ They shouted
‘OK, she said, ‘Aux armes citoyens’
‘What’s that mean?, said one.
‘Its French for stick your hands up,’ said another,
So they stuck their hands up,
two finger’s raised in defiance,
‘Cry ‘Gosden, Henry (Cecil), and St Leger’ yelled a yeoman
‘we’re with you Little Rachel.’ They all sang out.
‘we’re with you Little Rachel,’ echoed the rooks, rising as one from the trees.
‘we’re with YOU’, The whole of the Hatchfield was shouting now.
‘And who are you?’ cried Little Rachel,
‘We are the Hatchfield folk, the townspeople of Newmarket, the Racing World.’

And what do you want?
‘No Development’ they shouted
And when do you want it?
‘Never’ they roared back at her. Never!’

Half a mile away in Newmarket  Town centre, people looked up as the sound hit them.
‘Come On, ‘cried Little Rachel, we will make the Council listen to us. Lets give them a Suffolk punch. We’ll show that Greedy Teddy what an unwanted development is. We’ll give that bear a sore head he won’t forget.
(And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not there),’
And so off they strode to London, to the Royal Derbicester Hotel where Greedy Teddy was just helping himself to a Full English Banquet.

When he got wind (which happens) that Little Rachel, like the Queen of the Iceni before her, was marching south on London, Greedy Teddy did what everyone in a spot of bother does. He called in a PR friend of Ziggy Rat’s.

’Don’t worry Teddy, said PRat ‘when she gets here, just say: ‘I am confident it could do so in a sympathetic, realistic and deliverable way to the benefit, above all, of local people.’
What could?, said Greedy Teddy, baffled.  All those words one after the other like that.
‘Your development!, it will benefit local people’.
‘benefit them above all’ added Ziggy ‘flaming ‘eck, yes.’
‘But I want it to benefit me, said Teddy ‘Isn’t that why I am doing it?’
‘Yes, of course, said PRat soothingly, ‘but we don’t say that, do we? We say it will benefit them.’
‘Oh, said Teddy, ‘but that’s a sort of a fib isn’t it?’
‘Well, said PRat, ‘not exactly. More a Spin than a Fib.’
Teddy wasn’t sure. So he had a glass of champagne as a precaution.
‘Down the Hatchfield,’  Ziggy sniggered.
Confidence restored Greedy Teddy said ‘Perhaps I could make a speech. I am good at speeches. I could say Pots and Pots about all the benefits for the locals of Newmarket.’
‘What a good idea Boss, said PRat, Pots, eh?, give me a moment.’ And off he went with a pencil, while Greedy Teddy offered himself another helping with all the trimmings, which he accepted.

PRat was back in no time with pots of words about benefits, and so by the time Little Rachel, Jacko and their army of 300 fine Suffolk men and women showed up to spoil the party, Greedy Teddy was on his feet, licking the last bits of banquet from his lips. A Very Good Speech ready in his paw.

Little Rachel and the Spinning PRat

‘My Good Locals of Newmarket, he began. Unfortunately a small burp he’d missed earlier, found its way up just then, so giving a kind of a growly ‘Ahem. He started again.
My Good Locals, (PRat nodded encouragingly). ‘
I am a stud owner and have my premises and training in Newmarket,
‘Oi,’ somebody shouted, that’s your brother,’
‘and the last thing I would want to do is threaten the racing industry.
“Well, don’t’ shouted another.’
Realising that they were scoffing at Greedy Teddy’s every word, PRat began to look worried. ‘Pst’ he mouthed quietly, ‘ Ben-E-fits’.
‘Furthermore, said Greedy Teddy, ‘
the development is the best way of meeting the council’s obligation to provide more homes.’
The crowd were in uproar. “That’s not your job!” “Humbug!” “ Newmarket’s full of empty houses.”  The noise was deafening. They were shaking their fists and waving placards now.
Poor Greedy Teddy, he was only saying what he’d been told was the right thing to say. All this spinning was making his tummy feel a bit funny. He wanted to go home to Liverpool.
‘You are going to destroy the Racing Industry ’ said somebody very important at the front.
‘Your uncles and ancestors will be turning in their graves’ said another
Oh Crumbs’, thought Teddy, ‘
‘Pst, read this ‘said PRat, handing him a note.
‘My Good Locals, he said loudly, ‘
As a single industry town you can be vulnerable.’
‘Not half as vulnerable as you chum,’ was the reply
‘Come On! You’re just being greedy, stop talking bollox’, they shouted as one.
‘Greed, ‘ he said,  has never been a factor, those fortunate enough to inherit stately homes and estates have to be a custod…’
‘Custodian,’ hissed Ziggy.
But it was too late. The crowd erupted in laughter
‘Greedy Teddy’s a custard’, they chanted.
‘Greedy Teddy’s a custard’.
‘GREEDY TEDDY’S A CUSTARD.’

At least I think that’s what they were saying. What do you think?

**Note
Greedy Teddy’s planning application for Hatchfield filled 17 Boxes.

(Meanwhile in a field near Newmarket, Suffolk, England)

Life in the Hatchfield couldn’t have been nicer. It was big and flat and had a cosy name, because countless animals have been born there over the centuries.

Its the sort of place passers-by stop to look over the hedge. Rabbits run about in the evening sunshine; field mice nibble the new shoots, birds peck at seeds and worms. There are owls nesting in the trees and the foxes are under the hedge. Hatchfield is a very normal English field. But:

Hatchfield is also a very special field. It’s where the Teddy family have always kept their race horses. And the Teddies love racing their horses.

Lumber Jack Teddy Number 16 (all Teddies have numbers) governed Canada. Number 14 was called Portly Teddy. But the most famous Teddy of all,(12) was Freddy Teddy. Some people call him ‘Salty Teddy’ because he lived at Epsom. He loved dinners just like you know who.

And  there was the King! – of Lancashire, (Teddy 17) who fathered the British thoroughbred (?).  and, I nearly forgot, number 14 was
Prime Minister of Great Britain not just once but three times.

++

The Strawman

The other day a scarecrow made of straw turned up at the Hatchfield.‘Are you just going to stand there, who are you? Asked the animals.
‘I’ve been elected’ he said.

The animals didn’t want him. He was bossy and always telling them off.“go away, push off, all of you, this isn’t your field”, he’d shout.
“Put those shoots back where you found ‘em,’“those seeds, they don’t belong to you,’

Once he even said, ‘I’ll have you shot” (which was a horrid thing to say) and “I hope they turn this place into a Tesco car park” (which was even worse).

Now the Straw Man had a secret. He was scared of a little blonde girl who lived down the lane. Her name was Rachel (or Little Miss Rachel Riding-Hood, to give her full name). Just the thought of her quite put him off his sandwiches.

Any time the Straw Man was horrid to the birds, scared the mice and frightened the rabbits, Little Rachel would ride to the Hatchfield and put the fear of Gosden in him.

‘You’re a nasty Straw Man,’ she would say, ‘you don’t care about the animals. ’

Once, he mumbled ‘Namby Pamby, Nimby Pimby,’ at her.
And to this day he wishes he hadn’t.

The Straw Man had a recurring dream. Which is like seeing repeats on the telly at Christmas. He dreamt he wasn’t in the field. He was in the town. Walking down the street. There were people everywhere. Mum’s pushing prams. Shops full of toys and food and shoes. And a cinema and pubs. It was ever such a nice place.

And he was wearing a nearly new suit, with a freshly laundered dry cleaning tag.

But when he woke up. There were no lights and no shops and no people.It was just him and the field and his dirty old trousers.

Only on this particular morning. When he woke up, soggy, he saw the most extraordinary sight.

Walking up and down the Hatchfield, taking huge big strides was a Teddy Bear pulling a Horse and counting  ‘One squillion, two squillion, three squillion, four squillion” very loudly.
And then he’d stop and write something on a piece of paper. And start all over again. Till his paper was all covered in squillions.

The Straw man wasn’t sure if he should tell this Bear to push off or not. He was funny looking bear. He had on a black shirt, with a big white button, a white top hat and was clutching a glass of champagne.. But it was the horse that concerned him more.

Greedy Teddy and Wager

‘Horrid dangerous things Horses,’ he thought, “who needs ‘em’. And here was one coming towards him, with what looked to him a lot like a glint.

‘Hello’ said Greedy Teddy, ‘My name’s Teddy and this is my field. Who are you?

‘I am the Supervisor”, said the Straw Man, puffing himself up. “I am an elected official for this field, with responsibly for rodent control,
vermin management and .. ’

‘Jolly Good, said Greedy Teddy interrupting him, ‘Well, nice to meet you’

‘Ow!, get off me’ said the Straw Man as the horse took a nibble of his arm.

‘Stop that Wager’, said Greedy Teddy, pulling the horse back, ‘Sorry she’s bored.’

Now I had better explain that Wager was Greedy Teddy’s favourite mare. He pulled her around, everywhere he went. Teddy called her his Cash Horse, which is like a Cash Cow only better. About £3.5 million better. But Wager was getting a bit long in the Tooth, (as the Straw Man was discovering that very moment.)

Ziggy Rat said Wager was obeying the Law of Diminishing Returns. And Greedy Teddy knew it was important, even for horses, always to obey the law.

Wager Bored

‘heaven’s , did she?” said Greedy Teddy, ‘ let me pay you’ and pulled out a penny.
“All I’ve got ’ he said , which wasn’t strictly true.

The Straw Man handed it back. “no I don’t want your money, but you could do me a favour.”

‘what’s that?” said Greedy Teddy, “what kind of a favour?”

“Well”, said the Straw Man, “you could run me into Town.”

‘What ever for?, said Teddy,

‘I don’t like it here. Its just a poxy green field. I want to see Christmas lights and cars.’

Greedy Teddy paused.

And then he paused some more.
“Umm”, he said (twice to be on the safe side)

“Umm. Maybe”, he said, “maybe, there’s something WE can do.”

‘Oh thank you sir,’ said the Straw Man, dusting a bit of chaff off his shoulders. ‘Shall we go now?’

“er No, not exactly,” said Teddy, You see (he paused again)

“I think its in both our interests if I er, we can make the Town come to you.”

‘ What right here, to this field? said the Straw Man amazed. ‘What, like shops and houses here!”

Teddy nodded and with that he strode off; pulling Wager behind him.

“Fifty Five squillion, Fifty Six Squillion, Fifty seven Squillion … “

One day, Greedy Teddy travelled to London.

He went to Bruins, his favourite club in St James’s for lunch and

spotted his old friend Ziggy Rat.

Ziggy is a pillar of the financial community,

“Hello, Ziggy”, said Greedy Teddy,

“mind if I join you?” and sat down next to him, with a bump.

Ziggy Rat

“Flaming Heck”, said  Ziggy, tucking into a bowl of

gulls eggs and celery salt,

“’What’s up, old chap? You look terrible.

Lose your shirt at the bookies? “

“No”, said Teddy gravely, “I have still got my shirt on.”

(It was his favourite black silk shirt. The one with the big white button)

“But, I am down to my last £45 million and

I don’t know what do Ziggy, I’ve bearly enough to get by on.

There’s bubbly to buy and houses to run, and horses to train

and let me tell you,

travelling in style, is so

much more expensive than just travelling.

It’s not cheap being a Bear of the Realm, you know”

I had better explain, that Greedy Teddy comes from a long line of Teddy’s.

Nineteen to be precise, all the way back to a very long time ago

when Teddies still wore armour to bed

( which is where the word pyj-armour comes from).

In those days Teddies were called de Teddeigh and they spoke French,

even in Staffordshire.

One of them, Silly Billy Teddy, lost his head at the Battle of Bearsworth and

couldn’t remember what side he was on, till it was all over. How silly was that?

Ziggy listened to Greedy Teddy’s plight and commiserated as fat rats

often do, when they see a consultancy opportunity.

In fact the nicest thing you can say to Ziggy Rat, is ‘you’ve got fees!”

because he has lots and lots of fees.

“Flaming heck”, said Ziggy, “I know what you’ve got to do.”

What’s that? asked Teddy, toying with potted shrimps and

brown bread and butter.

“You’ve got to sweat your assets”, said Ziggy

“Sweat my what?” said Greedy Teddy,

“Sweat your assets. It’s all the rage, everybody is doing it.”

“What’s an asset”, said Teddy,

“It’s what you are sitting on, said Ziggy with a twinkle,

“Flaming Heck, yes, you are sitting on some assets all right, Teddy”.

“Am I? said Greedy Teddy, feeling a bit more cheerful and wondering if

another carafe of Bear Bros ordinary club claret might help things along.

“What’s an asset look like?”

“Assets come in all shapes and sizes” said Ziggy,

“Fat ones, liquid ones, stocks, shares, works of art,

heirlooms and stately homes,

even just an old field somewhere. “

“I have got lots of those, said Teddy. I don’t like fields.

They just sit there and do what fields do

which is not very much, when you think about it.

I’ve got some near Newmarket, I think.

Fields are a waste of space, in my book.” He added.

“I don’t like greens, yuc!” said Ziggy supportively.

“Not unless it’s a mouldy cheese, eh what Ziggy? ,’ said Greedy Teddy, helping himself.

So that afternoon, Ziggy Rat told Greedy Teddy about

sweating assets.

Greedy Teddy rather regretted that last glass of port, because there were

lots of long words like ‘yield’ and ‘gilts’.

But Ziggy seemed to understand it all .

“Believe me, old chum,” he said,” We may have the answer to your woes”.

‘What’s that Ziggy?’ said Greedy Teddy fuzzily from deep in a leather arm chair.

‘Build lots and lots and lots

of houses on that field

If its miles away from Noisily Hall, what difference could it make?.

“A few squillion quid of a difference”, mumbled Greedy Teddy grinning a very private grin to himself,

and he dozed off counting  how many noughts there are in a squillion quid.

“Ummm pots and pots” .

Greedy Teddy has a big house,
As big as Buckingham Palace.
And it’s called
Noisily Hall.

Perhaps it called Noisily Hall
Because he has a Zoo with lots of
Lions and Tigers
And Baboons
With funny bottoms.

But Noisily Hall
Is one of the
Quietest,
Most beautiful places
In the whole world.

Did you know that Greedy Teddy’s garden wall is
Nine and a Half Miles Long!
There are lakes and trees
And acres of grass
And famous people love to stay
at Greedy Teddy’s house.

Greedy Teddy has lots of books
At Noisily Hall.
Greedy Teddy’s nearly favourite book is called
The Origins, Wealth, and Power of a Landowning Family.
Because it’s all about where his money came from.

Greedy Teddy has got pots of Money.
About £45 million give or take a pot, they say!