The pub was quiet but there again it was never that busy on a Thursday night. Payday wasn’t until Friday and unless there were a few spare bob in the kitty, then Thursdays were destined to be a night in, listening to the radio and catching up with jobs around the house.
George, Harry and cousin Fred stood sheepishly at the bar taking sips from a pint of best whilst glimpsing stony and smug reflections in the mirror from Ena, Mabel and May unflinchingly enjoying their very favourite tipples, large ones at that.
Earlier that day, George had returned from work and announced that he might pop out for an hour later on as he had some important business to see to up at the allotments.
Unknown to George, Mabel, Ena’s friend, had just left after popping in on her way back from the shops where she’d bumped into Ada Harris who had spoken with Nellie Wright and her little lad Keith.
Keith had been running errands for his uncle who ran the bookies and unbeknown to George, Keith happened to be in the shop when George came in to collect his winnings from an each-way bet at Newmarket. News that travelled far and wide but that didn’t reach home nor Ena’s ears, well not from George anyway.
Suspecting that George had other plans for his newfound extra wealth, Ena kept mum but couldn’t resist a bit of stirring. “A bit of business up at the allotment George? You’ve worked your socks off this week and a nice night in and an early night wouldn’t go amiss”. George wangled his way out of it by saying that he’d already arranged to meet up with Harry and Fred and to change plans now wouldn’t be that easy, and that although he didn’t want to really set out again, he didn’t like letting them down.
George, Harry and Fred had called in the Flying Horse for a swift half before making their way down Thornton road towards the White Swan. Harry, Mabel’s husband, was equally unaware that his tale of business at the allotment had also fallen on unbelieving ears at home. Mabel, like Ena, had kept her poise and with plans afoot, had waved him out of the door earlier telling him not to get too chilled hanging around up at the allotment and not to forget his scarf, “important business or unimportant business, it’s not worth getting caught out”.
George pushed open the snug door with a rousing “Three pints Gilbert. Me and the lads are celebrating, I landed a lovely little each way winner, Important Business, fifteen to one at Newmarket and tonight Landlord, Important Business is paying for this little lot”. Gilbert looked at George and nodded his head towards the women folk sat in the corner of the snug. He began to pull the pints and muttered, “I don’t know about important business George, I think you might have a bit of urgent business”.
“It’ll be same again then Ladies?” enquired Gilbert. Ena, Mabel and May raised their glasses high and in unison made a toast “To George and his Important Business, Cheers George”.