Rats provided Pocock surprise

SO POCOCK means ‘pig farm’ in the Sussex dialect, a fact that passed me by when I translated Alice in Wonderland into that willocky langwidge some years ago but Sneyd, meaning a long handled scythe did not, and an Evelyn Sneyd lives just down the road from me.

I also knew a man called Sneyd in Dormansland some 50 years ago. And it was there that a whole bunch of Pococks lived, one of whom gave me one of those natural shocks that my young life was heir to.

It happened when I met the largest of the family just across from my parents’ cottage.

She came over to ask me a question and as she spoke I was somewhat disconcerted by the fact that her very ample bosom seemed to be moving about and then suddenly a gap in her voluminous blouse opened and the pink snout of one of two rats poked its head out!

Needless to say I retreated rather rapidly. As to whether any of that friendly bunch are alive today I know not. But in my mind the word Pocock is synonymous with rat.

Anthony Chamberlaine-Brothers

Hill Road