Mrs. JOHN LEES

Okay, here’s another one from The Ashton Standard (Saturday, August 6 1859). It’s an advert:

TO BE LET, the House next door to Mrs JOHN LEES, in the Market-place, to whom application may be made.

My good friend James Frost thinks that this would make the basis of a good Little Britain sketch. Something along these lines, he thought:

“In Britain, people can buy houses, or they can rent them. I had a house once. It burnt down when I left my slippers in the toaster for too long.
Mr Man is visiting an estate agent, looking for a house.

MR MAN: Hello.
ROY: Hello. Erm, we were just closing, I’m afraid.
MR MAN: I won’t be long. I am looking for a house.
ROY: Was there a particular type of house you were looking for?
MR MAN: Yes.
*pause*
ROY: Yes?
MR MAN: I would like a house next door to a Mrs John Lees, in a market place.
ROY: *very briefly glances round, then shrugs* I can’t see anything here. One moment, Margaret’ll know. MARGARET! MARGARET!
*pause*
MARGARET: YES?
ROY: DO WE HAVE ANY HOUSES NEXT DOOR TO A MRS JOHN LEES?
MR MAN: In a market place.
ROY: IN A MARKET PLACE?
MARGARET: I think we do, yes. It’s in Ashton!
ROY: *finds house information straight away* Oh, yes! Here we are! A house next door to a Mrs John Lees, and – oh, how funny – it’s in a market place.
MR MAN: May I have a look?
ROY: Yes, here you go.
MR MAN: Do you have anything bigger?
ROY: I don’t think we do, no. Do you have a large family?
MR MAN: No, they are all dead.”

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 47 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Scrum master at Vision Ltd, Dundee. Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and former warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Enneagram type FOUR and introvert, I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, write, draw and laugh… a lot.