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The Other N.S.C.C.

A West Hamley Carry-On

The trouble started when Coxie's dog Rover-B.R.M. beat him to the letters one morning. After several hours with a roll of sellotape, Coxie managed to restore most of his morning's post to a legible condition, and was able to bring the club-related stuff to the evening session. The most interesting was a note, only about half of which survived in a legible condition, from a new club called the 'Hampton Wick N.S.C.C.', requesting a race meeting. The committee unanimously agreed that new clubs should be welcomed immediately, and drafted a positive response. Bruno wondered what the 'N' stood for, and delayed proceedings briefly while he suggested possibilities. 'National slot car club? No, that can't be right. No-hopers? Navy? Is Hampton Wick near the sea?' Eric shut him up. 'Stop being a clever-dick, Bruno. Let's get on with things or we'll miss cocktail hour again.' No-one gave it much thought until the day of the race rolled around, as it always does.
There was only an averagely full club that night. The room was sparse and brightly lit, but Coxie and his wife Lil were ready to greet the Hampton Wick racers with coffee and biscuits, and a full programme of events. The sound of cars arriving outside brought track action to a halt, and the motley collection of men who walked through the door were subjected to the full, undistracted gaze of the West Hamley members. They were certainly an odd lot, all shapes and sizes, many with disturbing acreages of beard, but all, to a man, clad in tatty raincoats, with bare legs and open-toed sandals.
'Hah Hah!' said Coxie, his usual sang-froid ebbing away rapidly. 'Welcome to West Hamley. What a novel club uniform, gentlemen. I'm sure it gets you noticed! Let me take your coats. We have fresh coffee and garibaldis…' The leading Hampton, a rather portly chap of obvious seniority and facial hair that would house several small rabbits, stepped forward and shook Coxie's oustretched hand with vigour. 'Mr Cooper-Archer I presume. John Thomas, Hampton Wick. This is very kind of you. So refreshing! We do tire of wearing these things, just to save other people's blushes. But I see West Hamley is no ordinary club!' At this he gave Coxie a heavy wink, and turned to the other Hamptons. 'Coats off chaps! It's OK. Mr Cooper-Archer here doesn't mind.' He addressed Coxie again. 'We'll pass on the hot coffee though, thanks. Spillages can be painful.' As he spoke, he and the other Hamptons unbuttoned their raincoats. And suddenly fifteen stark naked men stood beneath the harsh fluorescent ceiling lights of West Hamley Slot Car Club. 'If you have some orange juice, that would be nice' John Thomas continued, without a pause, ignoring the thump somewhere in the background as Lil collapsed onto the floor. 'It is a great relief and pleasure to find at last another club with an enlightened view of our naturist philosophy. It would be a great pleasure to welcome you to our own club in return. We all welcome more members!' ' I would have thought one member each was quite enough, actually' replied a fully recovered and enthusiastic Lil Cooper-Archer. 'Here, I'll take care of your coats, boys.'
Coxie looked around him, distinctly flustered, and for once lost for words. He saw several West Hamley men backing towards the door. He didn't want to be left on his own here. He withdrew his hand quickly from Mr Thomas, and without thinking wiped it nervously against his jacket. 'We, er, we didn't expect, um. I think I may have made some sort of cock-up. No. Sorry. I mean I'm not sure I got the full picture' 'Not at all, Coxie. You can't get a fuller picture than this!' He flung his arms wide, and Coxie watched horrified as various bits of him swayed gently. 'As I explained fully in our letter' he continued, 'And it's wonderful to be here. So many clubs have refused to allow us at all. As soon as they see the name Hampton Wick Naturist Slot Car Club on the letterhead, we get the brush-off. Too many people are so narrow-minded aren't they, Coxie? We are all truly grateful to you and your excellent club. Thank you so much.' His conscience well and truly pricked, Coxie could say nothing. But all the while, the club room doors were swinging quietly to and fro as more West Hamley regulars made their stealthy way out towards the Crown and Pinion. Those remaining were mostly in the pits on the other side of the room, a stark row of sandal-clad nudists between them and the exit. They crouched low over their work tables, trying not to get involved. But it was not to be. John Thomas strode briskly over, his jaunty gait accompanied by the rhythmic slap of his leather sandals, and other things. 'Hello chaps! Get those cars ready! We're all eager for a race, don't you know!' Jim Page swung round from his table without thinking, his low stool putting his eyes dead on crotch level with John Thomas. In shock, his hands shook violently, and the silicon tyre which he was just fitting slipped to the floor and rolled swiftly away. 'I'll get it! Don't worry! Pleased to help!' Thomas bent double to catch the wheel, and Lil, who was just behind him, fell with a thud once again. The tyre rolled on past the row of Hampton members, and each in turn bent down to reach it, in vain. Lil struggled to her feet, and gasped loudly. Several more West Hamley men made gagging noises and made for the door. Eventually the tyre bounced off the far wall and rolled back towards Jim, and the whole process was agonisingly repeated in reverse. But Lil was transfixed, her head swivelling like a spectator at Wimbledon, and a high colour in her cheeks. The tyre wobbled and fell on its side exactly where it had started off, and Jim reached down quickly. His voice had a surprising edge to it as he shouted 'Nobody move! I'll get it!'
'Well, I think we'd better get the racing over with, I mean under way, as soon as possible' said Coxie, after a brief and uncomfortable silence. 'Positions please, gentlemen and lady.' 'What position would you like, Mr Thomas?' enquired Lil. 'We do like to give our visitors a free hand.' 'Very kind, madam, very kind.' 'And I see you each brought a couple of kiwi fruits with you for refreshments', added Lil with a warm smile. 'No' was his blank and puzzled reply. Eric was sitting at race control with his hand over his eyes. He dropped it briefly to check everyone was in position for the first heat. On the driver's podium, fully dressed West Hamley racers alternated with naked Hampton men, who rather unsettlingly held their hand throttles high up over their chests. 'Don't like to get anything sensitive caught in the trigger' explained one of them, a particularly hairy guy with thick-rimmed glasses. In the middle lane stood Lil, clearly and distinctly vibrating, a huge Hampton on either side of her. A beatific smile was struck rigidly across her hot, red cheeks.
'Wait!' Called Coxie. 'we haven't got enough marshals! We can't have a proper race like this!' Indeed, the club room had thinned out to such an extent that there simply were not enough West Hamley members left to man the track. 'Don't worry, Coxie. Pass me your mobile!' called Lil. Squeezing very slowly past the enormous pink and bushy person beside her, Lil dialled quickly and muttered into the phone. Within seconds, the club room doors burst open and the entire membership of the West Hamley Knitting Circle flooded in, some clutching cameras, and at a fever pitch of excitement. Lil snapped out orders like a sergeant major, and got all the ladies stationed in marshalling positions. There was a little argy-bargy when some of them realised that they'd be sitting with their backs to the drivers in turns 4, 6 and 8, but Lil explained tersely that places would be rotated after each heat. The race began. The Hamptons weren't really up to it- some were obviously stiff and couldn't cope with the banking, and they put up a pretty limp performance. The main trouble was marshalling. The Knitting Circle ladies hadn't really got the idea yet. They seemed to be transfixed by the drivers, and the way they drove, gently swinging from side to side as they willed their cars round the circuit, seemed to have a hypnotic effect on them. Rosie in turn 3 amassed quite a pile up of machinery without batting an eye, and had to be replaced.
For the warm-up of the next heat, a new Hampton slapped his thingie on blue lane. A shocked gasp echoed round the room, and Coxie hustled his way to the track, fending away naked bodies with a stick. 'Around here those should be circumcise- scribed- Sorry. I mean circumscribed by the rules. No thingies. Scale cars only. Sorry.' The Hampton driver looked crestfallen, and seemed to shrink several inches under Coxie's admonishing gaze. 'We must play by the rules, Percy. You'll have to withdraw' said Holmes. 'Percy Todger is new to the club', he explained to Coxie. 'He's very keen, but he'll have to lay out this time.' 'No, John, wait. I've an idea.' Percy had picked himself up surprisingly quickly and looked quite flush again. He was younger than most of the rest of his club mates, one of the few who would know what to do with a Gillette Mach III, and obviously worked out at a gym fairly regularly. You couldn't help but notice. 'I'll get my girlfriend Fifi to bring my other car box round. She'll have finished her dance class by now. She could be here in fifteen minutes.' Furtive glances were exchanged between West Hamley members. 'Aherm,' said Coxie. 'Is she a full member of the Hampton Wick N.S.C.C. herself, Mr Todger? We could only allow her participation in proceedings if she is, otherwise this round would have to be null and void within the rules. No involvement in race proceedings by non-members. Rule 50786.' 'Oh absolutely, Mr Cooper-Archer. She would have come anyway, but she has to teach her exotic dancing class at Hampton Wick Adult Education College tonight. But it will be over by now. Pass me your phone, John.' John Holmes handed over a tiny mobile before anyone had time to work out where he'd been keeping it. And while Percy Todger enjoyed a brief conversation with Fifi, Bruno snapped open his own mobile and called the Crown and Pinion.
The absent West Hamley drivers returned from the pub well before a rather nicely restored Sunbeam Tiger screeched to a halt outside, and a young woman raised herself easily up onto the top of the driver's seat and threw her bare legs over the low door. She was already loosening her raincoat as she swayed elegantly into the clubroom.
The meeting ran well, if a little excitably, after that. The room was packed, and the atmosphere electric. Fifi proved herself a very popular and skilful racer. Any West Hamley driver posted on an adjacent lane to her seemed to suffer concentration problems throughout the race, and she won all the heats she entered. It restored the balance, and made up for the flaccid performance of her team mates. In the end, West Hamley won by a small head, encouragement enough for the visiting team, and sufficient to overcome any misgivings the West Hamley crew had about a return match. Especially when Fifi said she'd had so much fun she'd make sure all her dance class came to the meeting too.
As the last hairy back was wrapped in it's raincoat and ushered out of the door by panting Knitting Circle ladies, Coxie turned with a sigh to the remaining West Hamley club members. 'Well. That wasn't too bad in the end. Amazing how you get used to it, isn't it?' 'Well. I could have done without the back-slapping and bear hugs after every race' said Bruno with a shudder. 'Still', said Coxie in an optimistic tone, 'Nobody died this time, did they?' 'No, but I think Lil nearly had a stroke' Bruno replied.
 

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Ooh! Matron!!....Saucy!
I suspect that marshalling in your birthday suit could pose a significant risk of electrocution...or am I boasting?


Could we be seeing a re-match event down at Hampton Wick with Fifi and her dance class?

Ahem.. sorry I've got a brain cell like the inside of a pig farm's sewerage pipe and it occasionally gets around the u-bend


A great story paying tribute to the Carry On films


Mark.
 
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