Just William – just not pc


Copyright BBC Worlwide Ltd 2000

Copyright BBC Worlwide Ltd 2000

WE”VE been listening to the Just William tapes with Charlie this weekend: read by Martin Jarvis as part of the BBC’s Radio Collection series. As a child of the 50s I had the books and remember the blurb – ‘Just William: Richmal Crompton’s lovable rascal.’ The stories are dated, but still hilarious half a century on, even to the ears of a modern-day 12 year old.

And yet . . .  here’s the lovable rascal and his gang, the Outlaws, assisted by (“I’ll thcream and thcream and thcream until I’m thick, thick, thick”) Violet Elizabeth, hunting down an escaped ‘lunatic’ in the woods. William heads the search, armed with the nice sharp penknife he was given for his birthday. Earlier he’s seen (or rather heard) breaking and entering the home of his elderly neighbour  in the middle of the night to retrieve the bow and arrow she’s confiscated because they repeatedly end up in her garden. When she disturbs him in the ‘raid’  William threatens her with the replica gun he always carries in his pocket. It’s dark, she’s elderly and, not surprisingly, terrified.

Blackmail, threats, violence real or imagined – these days he wouldn’t be a lovable rascal, but the subject of an ASBO. As for Ginger’s second cousin Percy, terrified of cows but ‘extremely fond of little boys.’ Well, as Ginger observes as they head for a walk in the woods: “He’s been abroad, so he must have shot wild animals.”  No problems there then . . .


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s