You may be wondering what on earth Homepride and a Chicken have to do with anything horse & carriage related but both feature in our next story about a wedding in West Wittering.

This particular wedding required three of us because the distance between the pick up and the church was about 6 miles, so in instances like this we move the lorry from where we get the horses ready to where we end up, so the poor little souls don’t have to trot all the way back again.  On this occasion my sister Susie was acting as Groom, and mother (now an expert HGV driver and managing up to 6 mph) was on lorry duty.

Whilst we were getting ready we came across a small problem in that the bowler hat usually worn by mother did not fit Susie.  We proceeded to try my bowler hat on Susie but alas this did not fit either. A whole 10 minutes was then spent trying to force both hats on the head.  This was coupled with utter bewilderment that all of our heads could be so different in size considering we all belonged to the same family. We eventually accepted the fact that neither hat would fit. It was then that mother remembered another hat we had stored somewhere in the lorry.  Now this hat hadn’t even made it onto the 90 item check list, for a very good reason. It was bowl shaped rather than flat on the top and whoever ended up wearing it looked like the Homepride man.  We proceed to try the Homepride hat on Susie and oh what joy when we discovered it fitted!  There was an initial pause as we all looked at each other then mother and I fell about in fits of laughter whilst Susie categorically stated that she would not be wearing the Homepride hat.

So off we set in the carriage to pick up our bride, Me, Homepride, Tommie and Charlie.  I spent most of the wedding trying not to laugh whilst Susie spent most of it cursing me and saying she’d never groom again if she had to wear “this god damn hat”.

After a very amusing but successful day we embarked on the long journey back home. It was starting to get dark as we neared East Grinstead and as we were travelling along the A264 I suddenly noticed what looked like a chicken on the side of the road.

“There’s a chicken!” I shrieked and seeing a lay-by up ahead I did a rather abrupt emergency stop before Susie, mother or the two boys in the back knew what was happening.

“What on earth are you talking about” mother proclaimed. But I had already leapt out of the cab and was running up the side of the road to confirm what I’d seen…a chicken wandering along the curb.  “Hello chicken”, I said (it’s always polite to introduce oneself), it looked at me with its head cocked to one side then I picked it up and wandered back to the lorry with it in my arms. It seemed rather grateful for the intervention. Opening the cab door I handed the chicken to mother, whose expression was priceless, and without further ado we proceeded on our way.  Mother soon accepted the fact that she was now holding a chicken and proceeded to give it a head massage which, to her delight, made it fall asleep.  We still have the chicken to this day, she’s one of our best layers and she’s called the A264.

So there you have it, Homepride and a chicken all in a day’s work.