The Lidds

I had a silly few minutes when I said something utterly out of context which cause much explosive laughter and giggles from my daughter and from me as I realised how unintentionally silly I had been. The result of it all was an idea for two new characters, Percy and Reginald Lidd. I have checked and there doesn’t seem to have been any people called Lidd with those forenames so I am safe to do anything I wish with my characters and not accidentally seem to refer to a real person.

I imagine this pair of brothers to have been born in the late nineteenth, possibly early twentieth century, and any photos of them would have shown a couple of serious dark haired men, Reginald with a clipped moustache, Percy clean shaven. I imagine Reginald had dark hair swept straight back, no doubt held in place with Macassar Oil, Percy’s hair, despite having some product holding it in place would be slightly wavy, and he would have a less serious air than his brother.

I imagine them in quite ordinary occupations, maybe Percy worked in a bank, maybe Reginald worked for a shipping firm. Their parents, William and Maria would have been staid folk, although maybe as a young man ‘billy’ had been a bit of a lad. Does his past catch up with him? Could that be part of a story I might write, that Percy and Reginald’s father has some history none of them even imagine?

When not at work I imagine the pair of them belong to the local rowing club probably on a river, they don’t look the hearty types who would take part in gig pulling events on the sea. Or would Percy play rugby? I can him being a rather flashy player who when he’s not showing off is an asset to the team, but too often goes for his own glory and makes mistakes. I can see them both in cricket whites, Percy a demon bowler, Reginald a great and very elegant batsman.

Do they have sweethearts? They have probably broken a lot of hearts, Percy by his casual attitude but Reginald because he doesn’t always realise how his young lady feels, a young lady who has ideas for their future which he certainly doesn’t share. They are eligible in a quiet, lower middle class way, but neither has any serious intention of becoming involved with anyone.

Percy Lidd has a certain lack of imagination and lives very much for the moment, maybe he likes playing cards too much, maybe he gets into financial difficulties, maybe working in a bank offers him an illegal solution. Reginald Lidd is a dreamer who longs to escape his rather humdrum life and working in shipping is constantly reminded of the rest of the world waiting for him to explore, maybe this is his favourite poem:


WHEN I was but thirteen or so
I went into a golden land,
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi
Took me by the hand.

My father died, my brother too,
They passed like fleeting dreams,
I stood where Popocatapetl
In the sunlight gleams.

I dimly heard the master’s voice
And boys far-off at play,—
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi
Had stolen me away.

I walked in a great golden dream
To and fro from school—
Shining Popocatapetl
The dusty streets did rule.

I walked home with a gold dark boy
And never a word I’d say,
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi
Had taken my speech away.

I gazed entranced upon his face
Fairer than any flower—
O shining Popocatapetl
It was thy magic hour:

The houses, people, traffic seemed
Thin fading dreams by day;
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi,
They had stolen my soul away.

W. J. Turner

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