A message from Portland Bill


                Wonky’s new bolthole, The Punchbowl pub in Easton, on Portland, Dorset

BILL WHEELER has news for his erstwhile chums

My Lord Drone,

I demand an apology or Sue Grabbit and Run are coming your way!

Your piece on the front page should read: Affectionately known as Wonky Wheeler or simply Wonx (subs: please check sp). And I rose to the dizzy height of Dizzy Dismore’s tail gunner or deputy Top Jock! We had an excellent lunch recently. Still a great drinking pal as he was colleague (except for his month on the wagon). November? (subs please check). A truly tetchy four weeks for his long-suffering chief sub.

Dunsubbin? Perhaps not.The Dorset Echo beckons down the road in Weymouth ... NO! Even the Krays got less than 50 years. I can’t be arsed, in the true spirit of Dronery.

Portland will be 18 square miles of rocky paradise when I find an allotment. My only care in the world is whether to have the name plaque for the building site that will be my home made of slate or the magnificent Portland stone. It was good enough for St Paul’s, the Old Bell and St Bride’s so it should be good enough for me.

My future fixed abode has many fine attributes including the Punchbowl pub two doors away. I shall be able to go out of the back gate, when the rubble pile in the garden has gone, and enjoy a pint in the sunshine in the pub garden. Or out of the front door and turn right into the bar with wall-to-wall TV sport and Doom Bar. Old pals always welcome to join me for a snifter at sundown. Just email bill_wheeler@hotmail.co.uk . 

You may spot some old Fleet Street lags heading for the News of the World suite at HM Prison, Portland, high on the cliffs above Castletown with its breath-taking views  of the magnificent Dorset Coast. If they can see out of the bars.

I shall miss a few things after 12 years in Farnborough Village near Orpington. Like Shepherd Neame bitter, my asparagus bed and runner beans in the back garden and the potato patch that was the front lawn. The neighbours were not impressed but the early spuds were to die for.

There are a few odd things about Portland. Like years ago the bride had to be pregnant before she could marry. The objective of horizontal jogging in my beloved, native Leicestershire was slightly different. The word ra**it for bunnies is never used. Bad luck. Outsiders  are called Kimberlins (there is a Kimberlin Club) and the Corner House pub  in Easton celebrates the anniversary of the end of the Royal Navy’s tot when old salts with links to the former RN base in the harbour consume vast quantities of rum. Some continue the tradition until the next gathering.

The local slogan is “Keep Portland Weird” or sometimes “Stuff the posh Yotties and the Olympic sailors”. Reckon I shall fit in well here!!! Great walks, views, sunshine and friendly, helpful people including other Leicester City fans. What more could I ask for? Apart from another Premier League title for City. The flag pole is already on order.

Can fix the visa if anyone wants to call in. Roddy (my old mucker from Melton Mowbray and Wolverhampton) and Heather have already had theirs stamped.

Splice the mainbrace,


© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre