RAY Hill’s letter about street bookies reminded me of an experience my dad had in the 1950s.
Dad and his brother Bill walked over the seven hills to Greasbrough one Saturday and as usual our Patch, dad’s faithful dog, was with them. The dog, a mongrel, and was called Patch because he always lay on the hole in the pegged rug in front of the hearth. Patch used to fetch dad’s paper from the shop on Green Lane and if dad was gardening and wanted his pipe and matches, Patch would fetch them. He was trained to the minute and followed dad everywhere; if you saw one you would see the other.
Once in Greasbrough they went to the Prince of Wales pub (sadly closed now) and had a few good pints and a game of dominoes. At 2.50pm dad went to the bar for two pints and while there heard Peter O’Sullivan on the TV mention the name of a horse in the 3pm race. He asked the landlord where the nearest bookie stood, then asked for a pen and paper and wrote £1 win on Perical. The landlord asked dad, was it a tip? Dad explained that his boss at work told him that if this horse ran back it, it would win easy. The landlord told dad to change the bet to £6 to win.
The landlord, dad and our Patch left the pub and dad told Patch to take the bet to the bookie, so off he went at full speed. Then the pair went to watch the 3pm race and Perical won at 33/1. At 3.20pm the landlord, dad and uncle Bill went looking for Patch and found him in a gennel with a bitch. Dad said to the landlord: “He’s never done this before.” Patch said: “I’ve never had the money before.”
Mr Richard Billups, East Avenue, Rawmarsh
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