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A Miraculous Recovery

A narrow escape for Charlie 'Boffer' Spatchcock

Retold for a new generation by our Youth Outreach Team

Man-about-town Charlie 'Boffer' Spatchcock was an early pioneer in the art of roaring through the village on a poorly-silenced motorcycle.

Known as a local loudmouth and general nuisance, he would rev up his machine and tear across lawns, fields and footpaths. Ducks were put to flight from the pond, and children dashed for cover at the sound of his approach.

Police efforts to control his behaviour only made matters worse. He took to hiding his vehicle in hedges and barns, and made his assaults on the village at dusk or dawn.

Elders of the Cult of Ffynche attempted to draw Spatchcock into their peaceful practice of Challenging Rituals, hoping to re-integrate him into normal everyday village life.


But he famously denounced them at length outside the Guildhall, calling them 'idiotic beardy poltroons', and 'fatuous codwanglers'.

His reign of terror lasted for nearly five years until a foggy October morning in 1959 when he attempted to cross the meadow near the Tinkers Green Road as part of a vendetta against Ivy Drane, who had recently spurned his advances.

Luckily for Miss Drane, Spatchcock never reached her house. He hit a piece of fencing at speed, and the bike broke apart into more than a dozen pieces. Whether it was the crash and clatter of falling metal, or the sudden absence of his engine sound, a crowd quickly gathered.

Spatchcock seemed clearly to have broken his neck, and there was no sign of movement. The doctor was called for, and the undertaker’s wife hurried to find her husband.


It was only ten minutes later, as the local physician approached the scene, that Spatchcock raised a hand, still gripping the broken throttle, and began moaning.

The story made the national tabloids, and soon the village was filled at weekends with hundreds of motorcyclists keen to see the site of the accident and hear of Boffer’s Miracle from first-hand witnesses.

But it was several weeks before Spatchcock himself could talk. Shortly after the New Year of 1960, he summoned his family and some Cult Elders to his hospital bedside and declared he had experienced a vision at the moment of the crash.

Henceforth he would cast aside his thoughtless behaviour, take up throstle-whittling and begin his missionary work for the Great Ffynche of the Sky.

Informed of the influx of bikers, he made a further pledge to attempt to drive them out of the village.

For a further half-century Charlie was active in Cult matters, and, pictured below, attempted various approaches to curbing the weekend scourge of helmeted riders — sadly to no avail. (His creativity did win him the Cult’s 1972 annual Dress-making Challenge Cup however.)

Now in his nineties, and long retired from his Cult offices, Charlie can sometimes be seen striking a famous Winston Churchill pose as the machines thunder by.

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