Trifecta 82 – Under New Management

fishermans club Newhaven HarbourThe tourist swarm which infested all the neighbouring villages never quite reached Gunnerdale Cove. The few remaining fisherman were too busy to care much. There wasn’t anything to see anyway. Some visited and loved it precisely for that reason. Most need something else. Normal life ain’t enough.

There was one thing. The Fisherman’s Club. Over fifty years since Charlie Simpson first pulled a pint behind the bar. Some would say that’s when it last saw a paint brush. The roof leaked. The windows hadn’t kept out a draft since they were fitted. However, it was their club.

The locals were happy enough. One wasn’t. Ray. Known to most as the TV man, Ray had moved into Gunnerdale last year. Bought and renovated the old mill. No. Ray wanted more for his village. Used to wind the locals up something wicked when he said that.

“A restaurant and wine bar” he announced. His old mate “Chef Freshman” from the “Hit” TV show would run it. They would flock from all parts to eat some of Freshman’s delights. So Ray told everybody. They weren’t really listening. Neither was Ray. His heart was in the right place but his brain was in his wallet. That’s what old Jim Ballast told folks as he sold them boiled lobsters.

It went quiet for a while. The club remained open. Then the sign went up.

“The Fisherman’s Club will be closed from 10/04 for renovation. Signed – The Management.”

The locals were shocked but resigned. The club closed at the end of the week.

One month later it reopened. The drafty windows replaced. The leaking roof fixed. The walls painted. Nothing else changed. On the grand reopening night the management appeared. It was the grandson of Charlie Simpson. Made his money in chemicals. Back home for good he says. Even bought Ray’s old place. The locals weren’t half pleased.

The tourists still have nothing to see in Gunnerdale Cove. However, they’ll always get a warm welcome at the club.

These 333 words are my “Club” inspired entry into the Trifecta Week 82 writing challenge. 

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18 thoughts on “Trifecta 82 – Under New Management

  1. MOV

    poignant story……. by adding, do we really take away? sometimes the essence is hidden behind the leaky walls, and fixing them ruins it.

    really nice writing. I am impressed.

    best,
    MOV

    Reply
    1. paulmclem Post author

      You could argue that there is often a fine line between character and decay. However, at all costs a building should never lose its soul i.e. what makes it what it is.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to post a comment. Much appreciated!

      Reply
    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks as ever for reading and commenting Jo-Anne. While the club may not quite be the same it’s still the club. A warmer and drier one to boot.

      Reply
  2. Kir Piccini

    oh yes, our advancement sometimes hinders the very people it is meant for.

    I really enjoyed this, the loss was palpable.

    Reply
  3. steph

    Nice writing, evocative and poignant. Every year the hippie town I live in becomes more and more cosmopolitan (1 1/2 hrs north of San Francisco – it’s inevitable). I lament the loss of apple trees for wine tasting venues. So your piece hits home. But you will still be welcomed.. I’m happy to say.

    Reply
  4. Christine

    This is a great little description of the kind of thing that happens in small towns all over, only yours has a happier ending than most. I still miss my favorite coffee shop that was replaced by Starbucks. Thanks for this glimpse into the hearts of Gunnerdale Cove. ~Christine (Trifecta Guest Judge)

    Reply
  5. Draug419

    This is almost like that sock question. If you keep patching a sock until it’s all patches, is it still the same sock (or something to that effect!). Great writing!

    Reply
  6. KymmInBarcelona

    Change is always hard, even for a building! Got a place like that in my hometown.
    Nice story.

    Reply

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