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The Pink Seagull

There is no such thing as 'seagulls'. Though there has been at least one pink one. Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway's exemplar of the European Herring Gull is known, at least within the family, as Larus Argentatus. All this Latin is, his maiden aunts claim, because they descend from a long line of recusant Catholic priests. Just don't tell him that priests are supposed to be celibate. He gets Very Tetchy.

As all his close relations are also called Larus Argentatus too things get a little tricky at family reunions. So his full name is Larus Argentatus Branodunensis, as he was born near Brancaster. His mates are mostly a sensible lot and just call him Brando.

Brando grew up in the east London rubbish disposal facilities where he was taunted by residents of N10 calling him what sounded like a 'Heron Gay'. Or was it just their way of saying 'Erin Gal'? Not that he had much luck with the 'gals', truth to tell. In the absence of professional counselling, Brando's chance encounter with a small group of raptors became a life-changing moment. They called themselves 'falcons' and liked people to think they had been to Public Schools so rejoiced in such names as Peregrine and Merlin. They had with them a twink who answered to the name Kes. With much winking and elbow-nudging they persuaded Brando he should be Out and Proud as Norfolk's first Herring Gay.

At the next moult Brando headed from the nearest branch of Trimarks and Stencils and went for an all-pink outfit. The best day of his life was the first time he cruised Brindlecliffe promenade. He'd never had so many offers before. Though mostly of cold chips and the nastier bits of batter off the fish…

Brando sincerely believes he is setting a trend and Brindlecliffe will become the 'Brighton of Norfolk'. Whatever, his life has now been immortalised in Milliput.


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Text and previously unpublished images copyright Bob Trubshaw 2018–2019