Bored with everything bland in his English country life, Little Lord Evercreek ruminated on another; one where inventions and copper tubing and quirky gauges and electro-shock meters filled his days. Jules Verne had written fantastic adventures, and Evercreek wanted to live them. The young lord had heard about the goings on at The Pot Boiler, a Soho club off Wardour Street, where the London experimental engineering set gathered each Saturday to play inventors. With a personal invitation from Reginald Highcroft, the club's secretary, Evercreek set off by coach and horses - the coach lavishly furnished with red velvet walls, metal chains and locks, and a bar stocked with the finest selection of spirits - from his home at Skeleton Quay Castle, a half-hour north of London. Five minutes out of the gate, the hornblower, Harold Timmins, lit up his big bong atop the coach. Once passed around to Bert and John, the drivers - then down through the coach window to the little lord, the trip began. Evercreek then poured himself a large crystal cup of gin, which he sipped slowly, imagining all the spouts and steam-vents he'd be designing in his gadget-ized future.
© BILL BLAIR 2010