BMT Story, Chapter 7 - the Summer coach
This article was published May 17, 2012.
Now when sir Thomas was back again and even if not all relations had gone back to normal, they still did take advantage of the situation and restored SOME old traditions. One of them was to take out the summer coach. The Borkum clan had a special horse drawn coach, very fancy with several fine wooden types in the construction and special ornaments and all. To preserve it during winters, they had it stored in a special place each year and only put it out when the summer really begun. This late spring was no exception. Lady Amelia most likely would not approve to put it out this ´early´, but since it was late May Riff and Thomas didn´t bother telling her... Riff and Thomas had an old uncle named Ralph who always was invited to this big event. Sir Riffs two sons was also with them.
Of some reason they did insist on putting it in a barn with a big slope in front of the doors. The coach was also very high and it didn´t fit without removing a piece of the wall above the doors. Uncle Ralph and one of sir Riffs sons was both very humorous and made jokes all the time during this event. At first it was a bit annoying, but during the years they did get used to it and in the end almost expected the humorous comments all the time. Before the wall piece could be removed, the doors had to been lifted off and before the wall piece could be lowered it had to be loosen from the wall. Only this was an adventure in itself. This barn was a bit away from the castle but still part of the estate. Only thing worth trying to stand on while removing the wall piece was an old yellow octangle table. This table had seen better times and the legs on it was very unstable. Sometimes it also had been standing outside hole summer previous year and was full of alga which wasn´t slippery at first, but when there wet boats had been on top for a while and the water had awaken the alga it got VERY slippery and almost hopeless to stand straight on.
Two did stand on the old table while the other two did try to help and balance the wall piece while it was slowly lowered to the ground. The fifth did stand by and organize the action. A few humorous comments while balancing the piece didn´t make it easier either.. Strange that no real accidents had happened during the years. There had been several opportunities for that.
After the wall piece had been removed it was time to start pull out the coach. One can wonder why all this wasn´t just laid out on some of the workers, but they probably did enjoy it so much that they didn´t want to miss it for the hole of the world. Each year about 2/3 of the old jokes and comments were reused and about 1/3 of new jokes and comments was invented. This did go on and on from year to year that enough was sad for a hole chapter in a famous book before the saga ended.
To pull it out they did use block and tackle. They could have used one of the horses or the new tractor they did buy last year, but that wasn´t challenge enough. It had to be pulled out by hand. Said and done. The line was attached and they started to pull. The distance they could pull with the tackle wasn´t long enough so they had to brake the coach several times and reinstall the line to be able to pull again. When they had moved the coach about six feet outside the barn they reached a little bump in the ground. Not much but still enough to make the pull difficult. First they had to pull really hard, almost to the limit of what they could pull by hand, even if they were four of them. Plus that one had to stand by ready to put on the break so the coach didn´t roll over them when it passed the bump. On top of this the place there they had to pull was wet grass beside one big giant pine with sticky branches. When all four was standing in the most angled position and did draw all that they could, a few funny comments was all that was needed to get all of them to start laughing and at least one of them did fall each time.
This could go on for hours. When the coach finally was out and the doors and wall piece was in place again, they did take a rest in the coach. Often they had a thermos with coffee and a few biscuits with them and maybe an apple or something. The chat after with comments on how it went was almost the best part of the day. The effort made them rather satisfied and glad that it was another six months until next time. Lady Amelia was always puzzled on why it was clay and stains in the seats each spring. She couldn´t understand why that happened each winter. She made a few questions about if the doors haven´t been shut during the winter storage, but she never listen to any answers, she just mumbled and talked to her self. They had a special place beside the castle where it did stand while not in use. The staff later did do the rest and prepare it for the first ride.
Back in time lord Edward and Lady Amelia did use the coach for sunny Sunday drives to the church. Now when lord Edward was gone, it didn´t get out much. Besides, with sir Riff´s big family they wouldn´t fit anyway. But of course, this was not the only carriage they owned, but the only one this fancy. One can wonder why it got out at all, since cars was taking over most of the travels these days, there the tramway could not assist. But the Borkums was a bit old fashioned I guess, they liked the slow drive behind a horse.
It got a bit of a renaissance through sir Riffs daughters. They loved to play theatre dramas in it and often let the staff buckle up some horses, just so they could drive around the estate and play that they were handsome lords and lady´s who needed constant care to do just anything. They could sit in the grass beside the coach in sunny weather and make up lines as they talked. With an empty cup of tea, the little finger in the air and an umbrella in the other hand, this could continue for hours, until hunger or darkness stopped them, whatever came first. That these three little girls actually were what they tried to express, did amuse the staff a lot. Plus that many comments were borrowed directly from lord Edward and Lady Amelia, comments that all of the staff did know so well. They liked to watch the drama there each comment or movement was borrowed directly from life, but exaggerated a lot. Sometimes one of the girls, did take the part of being servant and did play it very well, except that they did all the things the staff wanted to do, but nether could. It was a bit of a world in a water glass. A mirror turned against the middle of there life.