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The attitude of people in the county has changed over the years from the days when thousands flocked to see executions carried out, to the present time when courts hand out trivial sentences and the very mention of a smack is regarded with horror.
The book covers all types of people ranging from itinerants and tramps to vicars and squires and peers of the realm. Among them we find one squire who hated the working classes so much that he put a plaque up on his house which said in Latin: "I hate the common people."
There was also the case of a peer who built a concealed walkway in the tall trees of his estate so that he could hide and listen to what his guests were saying about him and spy on courting couples.
The worst behaved vicar stole lead from his own church roof and displayed pornography to his shocked parishioners. We also learn about the most boring man in Bedfordshire, and a pedlar called "Old Ointment" who sold his own home-made ointment for treating corns, and if he had any dubious customers would produce a large corn from his pocket which he said had fallen off his toe after it had been treated with the ointment.
An unusual feature of the book is the section on the local press which gives information on various stories that have never previously been publicised.
Footnote: The Bedfordshire clanger pictured on the front cover was popular in Bedfordshire in the last century and before, but now is considered something of a joke. It is a suet pudding with one half filled with savoury and the other half with jam, and was used by farm labourers to make their lunch more palatable.