In The Papers

TROCADERO: Not long after the shooting the Bodega was modernised and renamed. Luckily this seems to have been the only time it has happened. The interior remains similar to the pub that Henry would have known. Local folklore has it that he still haunts the place

Henry's career

Henry James Skinner told his story to the local paper

Henry James Skinner was the grandson of James Skinner, founder of the Bengal Lancers. The Bodega pub was a great success and he was interviewed for an article about his life by the Birmingham Post in 1890.

It seems he ran away from school and went to sea for three years, and then joined the Scots Guards. After 15 years he retired from the army to become a fencing instructor. First with Angelo's Royal School of Arms, and then drill and fencing instructor at Eton, Harrow and other prestigious schools. In 1888 he decided to seek a less physically demanding profession and took over the management of the Bodega.

"Outside, PC Owen had heard the first shot and was already running towards the pub by the second one"

HERBERT:

Health care in Victorian times was rudimentary. Herbert Allen had received a serious head injury, which resulted in almost continuous pain and mood swings.

If he had been treated promptly and properly, this tragedy would never have happened himself. Charles walked him back to his house in Upper Gough Street and put him to bed. Whilst Herbert slept Charles searched his room and found a dozen or so cartridges, but no trace of the gun. He dropped the cartridges into a drain on his way home. Herbert was no better when Arthur returned home that evening, still threatening to shoot himself. Arthur had been to the Bodega that evening and David Andrews suggested that things could yet be patched up and their jobs saved.

Thursday morning got off to a bad start. At 8.45 Arthur met Henry outside the Bodega as he collected his letters from the post box. He apologised again and asked for his job back. Henry refused and said Arthur could take out a summons for assault if he wanted. Arthur left disappointed and angry. Herbert arrived at the Bodega at nine o'clock with the rest of the staff and went to the office for his pay. Henry Skinner gave him his wages without a word. Herbert left without any comment. During the morning Arthur decided that with no hope of

0 0

Post a comment