The Stumpy Sanderson stories are all about a journey: a journey back to that defining decade of the 1970s in which the main characters start out as 7 year olds in short trousers, spend the middle years swishing about in flares, and finish up in drainpipes as post-punk rockers at the ages of 16.
It’s a journey taken by mischievous comic-reading working class boys living in the truck making town of Dunstable, bobbing and weaving through the Stalag camps of the English Comprehensive system, and taking what prankish arts they pick up there out onto the suburban streets; participating in, getting into and witnessing numerous hair-raising japes, scrapes and capers; drawn like moths to a flame to any event, occurrence, place or people with ‘mischievous potential’, and encountering various almost cartoon-like characters along the way as they crash, bang, wallop, hurtle and skid their way through the decade.
Hopefully, this journey will bring you some cheer, chuckles and chortles, and you will be able to feel some of the wild spirit of what it was like to be a boy growing up during the 1970s.
So, let’s then switch off that episode of Magpie, dim the lava lamps, put away the plates on which we’ve just eaten our Vesta Curries, go outside and saddle up on our Raleigh Choppers and Tomahawks, and take a ride back to the age of glam rock and punk rock, Watney’s Party Seven and Double Diamond, the Corona man and the Tupperware party plan, Hai Karate and the Great Smell Of Brut, Marathon bars and Puffa Puffa Rice, British Rail Awaydays and Freddie Laker holidays, monkey boots and One Eyed Jacks jumpers, Green Shield Stamps and the Green Cross Code, How and Hong Kong Phooey, Catweazle and Cannon.
Enjoy the ride, and please remember – Beano, Whizzer & Chips, and Cor!! boys never grow up…
From a young age I have been a storyteller, and I write and tell my own stories. I first started performing my stories on stage to audiences in 1997, and the first story from which the ‘Stumpy Sanderson Scrapbook’ series ultimately developed was performed way back in 2000.
Some of the Stumpy stories were then told and performed by me between 2009 to 2011 in numerous sold-out performance storytelling shows and events around the UK and Ireland. There was also a book of these performed stories (‘Stumpy Sanderson’s Scrapbook’), the Kindle version of which is still available (note to audience again – these earlier versions and performances were based upon duplicate texts that were found in 1999 stashed inside one of Stumpy’s old school bags that he had stored in his parents’ loft).
The original Stumpy Sanderson shows were: ‘Friends and Foes’, ‘More Friends and Foes’, Stumpy Sanderson’s Scrapbook’, ‘Stumpy Sanderson’s Tales of the Very Unexpected’, and ‘Stumpy Sanderson’s Scrapbook – The New Wave Years’. I also performed stories from the Stumpy collection at many other events.
Between 2012 and 2014 I then performed ‘What Happened When We Met the Extraordinary Mr Algernon Huff’ and ‘The Astonishing Tale of Shanghai Kate’ at various theatres and venues. These stories were set in later times and again featured Stumpy, me and other friends (and foes).
In 2013 I brought out a book about using storytelling within presentations called ‘Telling the Tale’, which followed my earlier public speaking book ‘Talking the Talk’, and I have also released various CDs about storytelling and public speaking.
As well as my shows and performances, I have given a great many storytelling workshops and talks, including at national conferences, have written numerous articles on storytelling and public speaking, and I have appeared on BBC Radio and Independent Radio many times, performing my stories live and also talking about storytelling and public speaking.
Over 8 years since last performing the Stumpy stories (and of course with the discovery of The Scrawls of Stumpy), I thought it would be good fun to bring my old friend back and hopefully add a bit of cheer and some chuckles for people.
I hope you enjoy the stories.
All the very best