Synopsis of each story in the Clockerish Allsorts book
If you think everything on this page sounds familiar then you’d be absolutely right as each section is a very condensed version of each story in the published Clockerish Allsorts book. It is only here as a synopsis was required by Ron’s publisher and it was conveniently sitting there at the end of an old Word document looking a bit lost. If you have read the various parts of Clockerish Allsorts there’s certainly nothing new on this page but if you haven’t read it then this should probably carry a spoiler alert.
- Samuel, the Alarm Clock, or Time to Wake up.
Samuel was a cheerful alarm clock standing on a bedside table, and every morning he used to ding-a-ling to wake his owners. Across the room was Angelina, a small clock in a glass case with a pretty face. She knew the names of their owners by what the man called himself on the phone, which was “The Householder”, and the woman he referred to as “Mywife.” Angelina could never understand these names, for she thought Householder might be able to hold his head, or an opinion, but could never hold a house.
One day Angelina noticed Samuel wasn’t ticking in his usual cheery way, and went Brrr-brrr instead of ding-a-ling. She found out he was worried that he was going to be replaced by a Teasmade.
Sure enough, one day there was no Samuel, but a clock on a tray, with a jug, a teapot and two cups and saucers. What was worse, this clock didn’t ding-a-ling but it buzzed, gurgled and poured out hot water into the teapot.
Householder and Mywife were very pleased at first, until they spilt their tea, or they forgot to put the tea in the pot, or it missed the teapot, and finally fused, and they were nearly late for work.
So Householder and Mywife thought an ordinary alarm clock was no bad thing at all, and Samuel re-appeared; so pleased, he nearly rang himself off his feet. In fact, both clocks were very pleased, for they had become very fond of each other.
And they went on ticking away happily, and admiring the chime of the clock downstairs, – but that’s another story another time……
- Edooard, the Grandfather Clock, or Time is Money.
Edooard was a very old, very grand clock standing on the floor in the hall. His real name was Edward, but he was not the sort of Edward you could call Teddy for short, and he used to refer to himself very grandly as “Edooard.”
He had a very slow tick which used to make – him – talk – like – this, and a beautiful Westminster chime.
He could see into the kitchen, where there was a clock that looked like a plate, called Daniel, or Danny, for he was very friendly. Edooard had to force himself to talk to a clock that looked like a plate, and was even more horrified when he found he worked by a battery.
One day, Danny confessed to Edooard that he was very worried, because Mywife always used him to time the eggs, and she had bought a Pinger, but Edooard assured him that Pingers couldn’t tell the time, and he was certain to be still needed.
Then it was Edooard’s turn to be worried, because he started losing time, then his “bong-bong-bong-bong” turned into “bong-bong-click-bong,” – then he stopped altogether.
Then Danny got worried when he heard Householder talking to someone on the phone about Edooard, and taking him away. He was even more worried next day when Mr.Tickspring, an elderly clock-maker, arrived. He was a nice old man, who used to repeat himself, rather like a clock chiming.
He enthused about Edooard, saying what a wonderful and valuable old clock he was, and to Danny’s horror, he lifted Edooard’s head right off, and took it away.
Danny thought they were removing Edooard bit by bit, so was very relieved when Mr.Tickspring brought him back, just about as good as new.
With one important difference: he was now not so self-important, and much more friendly to Danny.
Upstairs there was another clock that Samuel said was more like a pinger than a clock, – but that’s another story, another time.
- Mervyn, the Stop Watch, or Record Time.
Mervyn was different from other clocks, because he had one large second hand, with a second smaller dial for some minutes, and he was just taken out on special occasions, for he didn’t tell the time ordinarily, but the time it took for people to finish races. He was started and stopped by a button on his head,which is why Samuel called him a “Start and Stop Watch”, and more like a pimger than a watch. Angelina had to keep the peace, and stop Samuel fom teazing.
One day Mervyn was taken out by Hoyuseholder to a sports meeting. It was a lovely day, and Mervyn was looking forward to it, but when he was put down on the table he noticed another stop watch, this one with two buttons and two second hands.
This turned out to be Sydney, who explained loftily that he could time the first and second runners in a race, and he couldn’t see what Mervyn was doing there.
Neither could anybody else, and Mervyn was taken home very downcast, having done nothing all afternoon.
Angelina, who was a very nice, synpathetic sort of clock, said “never mind, perhaps he would be used next time.”
Next time came, and Superior Sydney, as Mervyn christened him, told Mervyn that these were heats to-day for the next meeting, and Mervyn might be able to time the third places. And that’s what Mr.Greenstreet, Sydney’s equally superior owner, told Householder.
Mervyn wished the man with the starter pistol might make a mistake and shoot Sydney or Mr.Greenstreet, but he didn’t, and Mervyn was left just to time the no. three runners.
He went back to Samuel and Angelina very fed up, but Angelina said “look on the bright side; it might be better next time.”
Next time came, – a very important day, with flags and bunting and sunshine, and Householder put Mervyn down on the table, next to Superior Sydney again. Then along came Mr.Greenstreet, expecting other people to look where he was going, and he knocked into the table, and tilted it.
Mervyn hung on tight as well as a stop watch can, but Sydney slipped out of his beautiful slip case <“Hence a slip case” thought Mervyn,> and fell to the ground. Mr.Greenstreet never saw anything in front of his nose, let alone beneath it, and he crushed Superior Sydney under his foot.
That left Mervyn to time all the races, and he was delighted, though a little bit sorry for Sydney, and he and Householder were so excited that they made a false start on one race, but what was even better was that one of the races they timed was a National Record!
Angelina and Samuel were just as pleased when Mervyn came home and told them, and even Samuel admitted that he had never broken any records for waking people up too early.
Mervyn went happily back into his drawer, just stopping to hope that Superior Sydney might be able to be repaired, – but that’s another story, another time.
- Mr.Tickspring’s Clockspital, or Time the Great Healer.
The workshop behind Mr.Tickspring’s shop was full of clocks being repaired, awaiting repair or being timed to see they were working properly. He treated them all like patients, so it was a sort of Clock-Hospital, or Clockspital.
One of the clocks was an old carriage clock called Clerkenwell <because that was where he had been made>,and he had a foot missing, but nobody came to collect him, and Mr.Tickspring couldn’t bear to part with him now.
One day in rushed Mr.Dashabout. a very well-known and inportant customer. He brought in a beautiful silver clock in a glass case, with silver rotating balls for a pendulum, and told Mr.Tickspring that he must have it back in ten days.
So Mr.Tickspring started work straight away, but he felt very unwell, and collapsed on the floor. His assistant, Felicity, called for an ambulance, and Mr.Tickspring was rushed off to hospital.
Clerkenwell explained that this was a sort of Clockspital for humans, and that Mr.Tickspring probably had a broken spring, but meanwhile what could they do about the silver clock, whose name turned out to be Percival.
At first the other clocks protested that their owners wanted them back, too. Then a little wooden-cased clock named Gordon said he was fed-up that all clocks kow-towed to owners. But Clerkenwell said that as humans went to work,ate supper and went to bed when clocks told them it was time to, it was the clocks that owned the humans.But what about Percival?
Then Gordon noticed a tray of cleaning fluid on the worktable, and it was arranged that if Percival swung his silver balls round and round as fast as he could, and if an alarm clock <called Bells, because he had two on his head> ramg hard and vibrated, and if Gordon himself managed to push a bit, they might manage to get Percival into the tray. And after lots of effort they managed to do just that.
Next morning Felicity took Percival out of the cleaning tray, and finished off cleaning him. But that still left his feet uneven, but by the same means the three clocks twisted Percival round and round, and screwed his feet level.
When Mr.Tickspring came back from hospital, all the work was done, the clock was ready for Mr.Dashabout, and evrybody was delighted.
But sometimes clocks aren’t just damaged, – but that’s another story another time.
- Penelope the Wrist Watch, or Take your Time.
In another drawer in the bedroom was a beautiful, jeweled, very small wrist watch belonging to Mywife, and named Peneople.
One day, when Householder and Mywife were at work, Angelina and Samuel heard glass breaking downstairs, then footsteps on the stairs, and a burglar crept into the room. He didn’t attempt to take Angelina or Samuel, but things he could get into his pocket, so he took some jewellery and Penelope.
Burglar Bill, as Angelina called him, but really Neville Thoroughgood, hadn’t got a Burglar’s shop,so he took Penelope down to a jeweller he knew in Brighton, who agreed to display Penelope for sale, and pay Neville accordingly.
Penelope was very frightened, but got chatting to a watch called Susan, who was also a stolen watch put up for sale.
Householder andf Mywife were very upset, and to cheer themselves up, had a week-end away, – in Brighton, of course.
They thought they would browse through the shops, and happened to browse in the shop of Mr.Jennings, Neville’s friend. There they saw Penelope on a tray, but left the shop without saying anything – which annoyed Penelope – ,and went straight to the police.
The police arrested Mr.Jennings and Neville, Penelope and Susam were restored to their owners, and everyone was very pleased, except Mr.Jennings and Neville Thoroughgood.
Householder and Mywife vowed to keep Penelope safe next time they went on their holidays, – but that;s another story, another time.
- Heidi the Cuckoo Clock, or Time Flies.
Householder and Mywife went on holiday every year, and always brought back a souvenir.
One year they went to Switzerland, and brought back a Swiss cuckoo clock. They brought back Heidi.
Heidi was hung on the wall in the living room, where she could see through the patio doors lots of birds in the garden. Gradually she began to envy them their freedom, and to think, if she was a cuckoo, she ought to be able to fly like them.
One day, the patio doors were open, and what should she hear in the distance but another cuckoo? It was the last straw, and she wriggled like mad, especially after ten o’clock, which gave her more chances to fly out through her little doors, and at twelve o’clock she was free!
Bit by bit she managed to get her wings going, in spite of being wooden, so she fluttered out into the garden with the other birds.
Then, hearing the other cuckoo in the distance, she called out “cuckoo!”
But other birds don’t like cuckoos, who lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, and leave quite small birds to bring up a greedy young cuckoo, which often tips out that bird’s young. So a starling suddenly attacked Heidi, who hid until evening, then managed to fly up into a tree.
Next morning Heidi flew down into the garden, and thinking she was alone, once more tried to answer the cuckoo she could hear in the distance. But just then Mywife threw out some crumbs for the birds, and a sparrow heard Heidi, and again pecked at her. She hid under a bush until it was quiet, but didn’t know it was quiet only because the neighbour’s cat was in the garden. He pounced on Heidi, but got a nasty shock when his teeth hit hard wood, and quickly dropped her.
There she was found by Householder, who couldn’t imagine where their cuckoo had gone <“it certainly couldn’t have flown,” said Mywife>, and took Heidi to Mr.Tickspring to be repaired.
Heidi went back on the wall, and swore to be just a bird in future.
“Quite – right” said Edooard, and to show how a clock should sound, began his Westminster chime, just like that clock – but that’s another story another time.
- Big Ben, or Parliamentary time.
To start from scratch, the story tells how, years and years ago, the King got help from advisors to govern the country, and they all held a parley, – which became a Parley-ament.
At first, if the Queen’s housekeeping ran out, the King went to stay with some nobleman or other, and Parliament went too, but soon they settled down in London, and Parliament took over the the old Palace of Westminster from the King, who was built a new Palace.
Then, 150 years ago, that Palace of Westminster burnt down, so Parliament gave Mr.Barry lots of paper, pencils and rubbers, and said:”Design us a new one.”
Which he did, and it had two towers at one end, and a clock tower at the other.
So then they needed a clock for the clock tower, and that’s how Big Ben was made.
They gave old Tom the job of looking after Big Ben, but it was decided that Big Ben was such a perfect clock that they didn’t need one man to look after him, and Tom was dismissed.
Big Ben was furious, and had an idea to teach them a lesson.
He was a clock with four faces, and one morning, when every one was going to work, he showed a different time on each face, so that some people though they were early for work and some thought they were late, and there was a total muddle.
That didn’t achieve anything, so the next thing Big Ben did was to strike thirteen at twelve o’clock, and the Prime Minister, who always checked his watch then, demanded action.
The man who had replaced Tom, an a part-time basis, got the blame, and he was so cross that he went up to Big Ben and kicked him.
That was the last straw, and Big Ben stopped.
It was realised that the only thing they could do was get back old Tom, and they were both very happy, and Big Ben has never put a tick wrong since.
And there’s not another story, another time.