Sam Taylor imagines that all will be well once Detective Foyle turns up
It’s unlikely that I will ever meet Detective Chief Superintendent Foyle, but I live in hope. His bow-fronted Georgian terraced home at 31 Croft Road is just round the corner to my (our) house and I have taken to standing outside his door, willing this great beacon of moral light to come out and give me the name of a trustworthy builder. I imagine him inviting me in for a cup of dark brown tea and a rare rationed biscuit. Or perhaps one of those stiff whiskies he occasionally has at the end of a tough case. It hasn’t happened so far (it is quite tricky for fictional characters to transport themselves into the realm of the real) but my obsessional pilgrimages have become a familiar sight to the neighbours.
I am not alone in my devotion of course. His house is on a Foyle’s War-themed walking tour that encompasses several pubs, the high street, parts of the beach from which the 1940 Dunkirk rescue mission was launched and St Clement’s Church on Swan Terrace. Admittedly this medieval gem had achieved some notoriety before – Dante Gabriel Rossetti was married here – but its position opposite the great detective’s house guaranteed its weekly inclusion in the dramas. His driver, Sam (should she ever fall ill I could easily step in) was always whizzing past its neatly tended graveyard and Foyle often gazes on its spire from his study.
Presumably to protect the privacy of Hastings’ number one crime fighter, in the storylines his road is code-named Steep Lane. It’s certainly up a hill. There is a plaque outside, saying ‘St Just’, a Cornish term for sacred enclosure, but Foyle covers it up whenever he is at home. He also, rather helpfully, has all the yellow lines removed from the road and arranges for the removal of the rather ugly modern street lamp. The house sports a burglar alarm, which is a bit confusing given his track record, but he is rather cautious.
When I first bought Rock House, I spent hours forensically examining my box-sets to see if it had even the merest hint of a starring role. A fleeting background appearance that would allow me to boast: ‘It’s in Foyle’s War you know’. Sadly its shabby frontage has never made the cut but as they are currently filming the eighth series, there is always a chance. I have dropped him a couple of notes inviting him round. I have explained that I am his number one fan and am in desperate need of help and advice. There’s been no reply so far but Mark says I’m not to worry. Stalking is a serious offence and it can only be a matter of time before there is a knock on the door.
Next week: Man cannot live on chips alone…
Daily tip from the lady archive
“A GRACEFUL walk is a great asset, for sometimes it can create an illusion of beauty where little exists.”The Lady. Pleasant Exercises for Grace. 2nd April 1931