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No. 38 Remember, Remember the Fifth of November...

***Please note that I am using a standard thumbnail image for all the full size pictures on this page. This is purely being done to save myself sometime.***

© Adrian Banfield
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Story Notes

The Guard series of stories are supposed to be set in a railway setting. But many of Albertís adventures seem to take place anywhere but on a train or station! So this story puts that right. I thought it was also time to see The Guard in full flowing action mode, slicing and dicing his way through the Teddy Boys.

The robbing of passengers on trains isnít new, but when there was a rash of late night, on train robberies, by gangs of youths in England in the 1990ís, it became known as Ďsteamingí. This was a very short lived crime spree as the British Transport Police cracked down hard and it disappeared as soon as it appeared. These days you canít move without seeing police or security personnel at stations or on trains.

With passengers being robbed it seemed a good idea to create some interesting travellers and give them some small background history for this story and see how they responded to the teddy boys.

Guy Fawkes was born in York and attended the local St. Peters school, founded in 627 AD. (And is the fourth oldest school in the world). The school has a fireworks display every year, on the 05th November, but they donít have a tradition of burning a guy on the bonfire.

Young boys and girls prior to the 05th November, make a toy guy and then ask for, Ďa penny for the guy.í Money given to them would probably be spent on sweets or sparklers.

Charteris and Calderbank are based on two British humorous film characters, Charters and Caldicott, who like my characters are mad about cricket. They were portrayed by actors Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne respectively. They first appeared in the 1938 black and white film The Lady Vanishes, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The two cricket loving characters went on to appear in two other films, Night Train to Munich, 1940 and Millions Like Us, 1943.

The aeroplane was built using instructions produced by Mitch from the Lego Rebrickable MOC website.

Bully Boy had a brief appearance in story no. 30 Single to Hangmanís Noose. He was at the ticket counter buying a ticket and annoying Reginald, the booking clerk.

Teddy Boys, have no connection with teddy bears and all to do with Ďa British subculture typified by young men wearing clothes that were partly inspired by the styles worn by dandies in the Edwardian Period.í (Wikipedia). They started to appear on the streets of Britain in the early 1950ís. Clothing included drape jackets reminiscent of the 1940ís American Zoot suits, usually in dark shades, sometimes with a velvet trim collar and high-waist drainpipe trousers. Shoes included polished Oxfords, chunky brogues and crepe-soled shoes, known as brothel creepers. Preferred hairstyles included long, strongly-moulded greased-up hair with a quiff at the front and side combed back to form a duckís arse at the rear. As well as Teddy Boys, there was also Teddy Girls.

There were incidents of fights between rival Teddy Boy gangs, but not all Teddy Boys were into violence. My Teddy Boys suits were created and printed for me by Minifigforlife. Yet another successful piece of customising printing by the team. The figures look great, thank you. The spot on hair pieces are standard Lego creations.

The idea for making use of a train travelling fast over a set of points is from my own experience of being a railway conductor in the first few years of my career working trains and coaches between Oxford and London Paddington, England. Any train travelling to Oxford had to leave the Down Main, cross onto the Up Main, then onto the Down Slow via the crossings at Moreton Cutting. (Quite an exciting experience if you were sitting in the diesel cab with the driver). The entire procedure could be carried out at a maximum speed of 70 mph. The resulting jolt of the train crossing the various points creates a swaying motion, which causes the teddy boys to lose their balance. The Guard (and traincrew in real life), having the necessary route knowledge of the line would know precisely where the train was and would be braced for the swaying motion.

I was hoping to buy a customised cricket bat, but the only colours available was metal or black! Why metal or black? Who plays with an aluminium or black cricket bat? No team that I know of. This left me with a problem of finding a subject for Charteris and Calderbank to talk about. Until I realised that they could talk about how pointless it is playing with an aluminium cricket bat. Problem solved.

For the two Guard fight scenes I created an enlarged Guards Van and locomotive footplate. Trying to show fights between Lego minifigures isnít easy, due to the lack of movement of limbs, but Iím quite pleased with the results in this story.

Towards the end of the story we see The Guard and Bully Boy fighting on the footplate of a locomotive crossing a bridge. This particular scene was created a couple of years ago, before I decided that Bully Boy, should be a Teddy Boy. That is why Bully Boy Ďtakes his coat offí before the final fight. (Presumably to prevent it getting dirty from all of the coal).

In the last panel of the final page, Albert catches up with the youngsters (from page one of this story) and their now badly burnt guy and is dropping some money into their bag.

Behind the scenes

© Adrian Banfield
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Green Lion Comics, story and characters © Adrian Banfield, 2016.