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Bertram Bear and the Rivals

New neighbours come to live in Coombes Corner with cats that have very bad attitudes namely, Pinch and Punch. Those are the rivals as far as the animals are concerned....


The Sussex Newspaper’s Book Of The Year 2019 has been awarded to Gregory's first book aimed at children - The Adventures of Bertram Bear

Gregory writes: "I was completely overwhelmed that I had won an accolade..."

Gregory Gower

Gregory Gower was born in 1935 so growing up and schooling were mixed with a world in turmoil. Most persons have the luxury of not experiencing bombs being dropped on them.......

The Adventures of Bertram Bear

What was so special about Bertram Bear?

When Brian goes to sleep, Bertram and his friends come to life and their adventures begin!

With the help of his animal friends, Bertram must save the day without being seen by Brian and his family......

A Joyride to Murder & The Steal plus 12 Short Stories

Detective Inspector Wragg of New Scotland Yard – just transferred up from the county of Kent had been thrown into the thick of things that seemed to be happening in London. His po-face and wry sense of humour were his greatest assets.....

Mistaken Identity and Short Stories

Roland James, our hero, recently bereaved who dominates the first part of the story and is mistaken for someone else, but soon becomes a target for another reason.........

(Click "Read More" for a complete short story from the book: The Computer)

I Remember it Well.... and other short stories

A selection of stories of murder, mystery, adventure, fantasy, drama and farce...

A Touch of Heaven.... and other short stories

Short stories from the master story teller Gregory Gower's. From "A Touch of Heaven" to the wonderfully sublime "Me and My Shadow", these stories of the magical wonders of life will leave you spellbound....

Christmas is Coming.... stories and sketches

Festive tales of mystery, murder and suspense from the master story teller....

Coming Soon to a Page Near You

Hopefully more books will be published in the coming months...

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Amongst Friends - a one act play

A plate of chocolate eclairs

Joan and Henry's neighbours are Lois and George. They have been firm friends for almost 15 years. Every week on a Friday Lois and Joan take turns in inviting each other for coffee, cake and catching up on gossip. As it happens Lois and George have the decorators in, so Lois is having Coffee at Joan & Henry’s house until further notice.

Periods of time are set pieces. The conversation is continued from one set to another

Henry and Joan’s House. Friday 3rd May 2013

LOIS: What’s Henry doing these days?
JOAN: Not a lot – he feels that now he’s been given the push, he will live out the rest of his life doing nothing!
LOIS: Did you tell him that’s the wrong attitude to take
JOAN: He thinks that’s a ploy for me to get him to do jobs around the house.
LOIS: Early grave - is it!
JOAN: Looks like it!
LOIS: Why did they retire him early?
JOAN: They said he was over qualified.
LOIS: Hasn’t he been with the firm for 30 years and now he’s over qualified. How come?
JOAN: He didn’t go into details.
LOIS: Something fishy going on here if you ask me!
JOAN: I know that, but what!

Henry and George meet every Sunday after Church and the Sunday Roast. They sometimes discuss politics, putting the world to right, church notices and what has happened during the week. They meet at George & Lois’s Summer House.

Lois never sets foot in the Summer House because there might be spiders lurking. George has a secret cache of miniature whiskey bottles for medicinal use only.

Sunday 5th May 2013. George gives Henry a bottle and glass

GEORGE: ‘Have you told Joan yet?’
HENRY: ‘No!’
GEORGE: ‘I think you should.’
HENRY: ‘It’s my business. I’ll tell her when I’m good and ready.’
GEORGE: ‘It’s not fair on her to keep it to yourself!’
HENRY: ‘Look George. We’ve been friends for a long time and I don’t want us to fall out over this. I told you that I will tell Joan about what happened in due course.’
GEORGE: ‘I still don’t think it’s fair, can’t you see the longer you leave telling her the worse it’s going to be.’
HENRY: ‘I can’t see that happening at all. Joan thinks I got the push because I am over qualified.’
GEORGE: ‘She believed you!’
HENRY: ‘Yes!’

Friday 10th May 2013. At Joan and Henry’s house. Joan is pouring the coffee into the cups.

JOAN: ‘How’s the decorating coming along?’
LOIS: ‘Just blooming awful, the smell is enough to put one off and of course they have found a snag. Just wouldn’t you know it. We’ve lived in that house for fifteen years and never had any trouble. They took the wall paper off the chimney breast and half the bloody wall came away.
JOAN: ‘Worse things happen at sea!’
Lois looks at Joan and wonders why she should say that.
JOAN: How’s George coping with the smell?
LOIS: ‘He’s sleeping in the Summer House. Funny though, every morning his breath smells like he’s been to the pub.
JOAN: ‘Ah!’
LOIS: ‘Why ah!’
JOAN: ‘I don’t know why ah! It was just something that came to my head to say ah!
Joan places her cup and saucer down on the table and gets the cakes –twelve small Chocolate Eclairs. She seems to be in one of her funny moods and as Lois goes to take one of the Eclairs, the plate disappears as Joan whirls round. Joan turns round and faces Lois with the plate minus six Eclairs.
JOAN: ‘Sorry – please take three. I’ll pick the rest up later.’
LOIS: ‘What you going to do first? Telephone one of his colleagues at work.’
JOAN: ‘What!’
LOIS: ‘Henry, you know. What we were talking about last time. Has he explained why he got the push from work? Are you going to telephone one of his colleagues?’
JOAN: ‘I can’t do that! I’ll be termed as an interfering busybody, if not by the people at his place of work, but by Henry. I’m sure he will go into details later.’
LOIS: ‘There is always the pretext of something that his colleagues would know about Henry and that you think he may have left something of value behind in his desk that you would like retrieved and then go on from there.’
JOAN: ‘What pretext! About what! He never took anything of value to work, unless you could call a thermos flask and his sandwiches such items.’
LOIS: ‘Surely there must be something.’
JOAN: ‘No! There wasn’t!’
LOIS: ‘What you going to do?’
JOAN: ‘I don’t know!’
A glass of whisky

Sunday 12th May 2013. The Summer House

George opens a tall cupboard door and comes out with a crate, it looks empty.

He places it on the work bench and says to Henry:

GEORGE: ‘Name your poison?’
Henry peers at George and says:
HENRY: ‘What!’
GEORGE: ‘What would you like to drink?’
HENRY: ‘My usual please – Whiskey, as long as we don’t talk about my getting the sack again!’
GEORGE: ‘Why not?’
HENRY: ‘Because it’s embarrassing to even think about.’
GEORGE: ‘Nonsense! You’ve got to talk about it. Get it off your chest and you’ll stop worrying about it!’
HENRY: ‘I’m not worried about it – it happened, it was an accident waiting to happen and it happened to me and you know who.’
George wasn’t going to be fobbed off and he asked the next question with a slight slur in his voice and he looked at his glass of gin and then shrugged his shoulders and said just audible
GEORGE: ‘Must be the Gin – it’s never affected me before?’
HENRY: ‘What!’
GEORGE: ‘Anyway, how can you be over qualified after 30 year’s service!’
HENRY: ‘That’s the excuse they use these days.’
GEORGE: ‘Surely, only when you apply for a job, not during your working career.’
HENRY: ‘Well as I told you – she believed me.’
GEORGE: ‘I can’t believe that!’
HENRY: ‘I think she did, although I can’t be certain, now you come to mention it. She almost intimated that being over qualified only happened when applying for a position when your face didn’t fit.’
GEORGE: ‘Perhaps she was humouring you to put you off your guard and perhaps she already knows about your dismissal. You know what a woman’s intuition is like or perhaps she has rung up your office and they have told her.’
HENRY: ‘I can’t believe that!’
GEORGE: ‘I can’t really see what all the fuss is about any way, you’ve told me all about the incident.’
HENRY: ‘Yes! I know! And all you did was laugh and laugh and laugh!’
GEORGE: ‘You must admit it was funny. Wasn’t it!’
HENRY: ‘Yes! I know it was at first, but it cost me my job. Now it’s no laughing matter.’
Friday 17th May 2013 Joan and Henry’s house
JOAN: ‘How’s the decorating coming along?’
LOIS: ‘Don’t ask! Just another snag would you believe it. The chimney breast in the master bedroom with en suite has come away with the wall paper!’
JOAN: ‘You have a master bedroom with en suite? Have you built another room?’
LOIS: ‘No of course not, it was one of George’s crazy ideas, in case we sell the house and move on!’
JOAN: ‘Your decorators seem to like a bit of breast falling into their hands.’
Joan pours out the coffee and hands Lois her cup without the saucer and then remembers and hands her the saucer and slides the plate of cakes in front of Lois.
LOIS: ‘Why is there a dirty mark on your nice wooden flooring?’
JOAN: I couldn’t find one of the éclairs and all the time it was festering on the floor for most of the week and it went quite mouldy. Lots of pretty colours! Can’t be sure but we had to take Brutus to the vet during the week, he must have licked it!’
LOIS: ‘Ah!’
Lois looks at the plate of cakes just to make sure there are no Chocolate Eclairs.
Joan looks at the plate as well and turns it round and round and sighs. A sigh of relieve – there are no Chocolate Eclairs on the plate.
LOIS: ‘I hope it wasn’t anything of a sexual nature?’
JOAN: ‘What!’
LOIS: ‘You know – your Henry, the office, his getting the sack – you know.’
JOAN: ‘No! Not with Henry, he became rather staid at 45!’
LOIS: ‘Might not have been with someone else. You know the girls in offices these days, skirts right up to the eyeballs and plunging necklines past the waist. Might as well not have anything on!’
JOAN: ‘Funny you should say that, last year when Henry was trimming our front hedge, his eyes lingered across our road, when a girl walked by with a see-through dress.’
LOIS: ‘That’s alright, that’s the fashion these days.’
JOAN: ‘It might have been, but she had no under garments on at all!’
LOIS: ‘Doesnt leave much for the imagination!’
JOAN: ‘No! It didn’t! Henry cut his prized rose bush flowers off by mistake as his eyes wandered up the road!’
LOIS: ‘What did he say?’
JOAN: ‘I think the word Bugger’ came with some other unmentionable words.’
LOIS: ‘A bitter price to pay!’
JOAN: Yes it was. He was intending to enter his ‘prized rose’ in a competition at his gardening club. Having boasted to the other members that he had something really special to show them! He never managed to live it down! Even when he told everyone how it happened!’
LOIS: ‘What happened at the club?’
JOAN: ‘Someone made a clicking noise with their tongue, some laughed and the much older members thought he was a pervert. He’s never set foot in that club since that fateful day.’
LOIS: ‘I wonder what happened at the office!’
JOAN: ‘We may never know!’
Sunday 19th May 2013. The Summer House
George gets out the crate of drink and hands Henry two bottles of whisky and a glass and puts away the crate.
HENRY: ‘Aren’t you having any?’
GEORGE: ‘Can’t old friend. Not at the moment.’
HENRY: ‘Why?’
GEORGE: Tell you later!’
HENRY: ‘I want to know what’s happened, we’ve been friends a long time, tell me.’
George ignores Henry’s questioning.
GEORGE: ‘I think you ought to put on a brave face and tell Joan why the office gave you the push.’
HENRY: ‘I thought I better tell you that the office rang me and they said that after careful consideration they are giving me back my job. They have got rid of the old carpet that caused the embarrassing situation and replaced it with a new strip.’
GEORGE: ‘Well done you! You don’t need to tell Joan now what happened.’
HENRY: ‘You’re right – I don’t! But I better had. She will only keep on at me if I don’t.’
GEORGE: ‘Go on! Tell me again what happened – I need a good laugh! The hospital rang up this morning! I’ve got to go back for more chemotherapy. It looks like my cancer has come back.’
HENRY: ‘Oh George! I’m sorry to hear that. Does Lois know?’
GEORGE: ‘No! I haven’t told her yet!’
HENRY: ‘There’s me telling you all about such a trivial thing and now it has turned out good and I’m getting back my life and I need you to be here with me.’
GEORGE: ‘They have told me I have 75 percent chance of surviving – now tell me again what happened in your office!’
HENRY: ‘Well! It was like this I was coming out of my office and I tripped over this rotten piece of carpet and I lurched forward as you do, trying to recover my balance when one of the secretary’s was leaning over her desk and I grabbed hold of her skirt and………down it came. I landed on top of her and she called me a sexual moron and then my boss walked in, and you know the rest!’
GEORGE: ‘Thanks Henry – you’ve made my day!’
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