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Please note that text in red denotes my comments

My father's letter to a friend dated 19/9/1969

Mr. J. Daniel,
Pedlars Tray,
North Drive,
Angmering Village,

Dear Jack,

Yes, at last you are hearing from me after all these months.
I think it was February when you wrote to me, so please forgive my usual procrastinating in writing to thank you for the interesting catalogue of antiques etc.

May I say that both Mrs. Andrews and yours truly, do appreciate very much your thoughtfulness in being concerned about our personal welfare during all the troubles errupting from time to time in this part of the world. I am pleased however, to say that as far as Smithfield is concerned, we have been spared any outrages. The Television and Newspapers overdo the happenings, and certainly when viewing and reading reports, you would come to the conclusion that everybody was being murdered, - not so. We have been caught up in some sinister movement I think, it has escalated the grievances of certain people, but we trust that sanity will soon be restored as the vast majority of Protestants and Roman Cathoolics only wish to get on with the job of living at peace; being friendly disposed to one another and endeavouring to "make ends meet" in these difficult times. Business is of course quiet at present, and is not helped by the disturbances.

Now, I am enclosing a copy of today's Belfast Telegraph, when you turn to page 11 you will see in the report marked in red that we had some excitement on the 22nd. August, at home.

On that Friday morning, around 8 a.m. we were rudely awakened by three gunmen, demanding money, valuables etc., but thanks to the great presence of mind and agility of Mrs. Andrews in getting to the bedroom telephone, dialling 999 - the police arrived promptly and the rogues were caught in their endeavour to escape in a car.

Had we been able to make a film of the 'operation' they would have had a big audience eventually on T.V. - picture the scene, the pair of us dressed in our night attire, held to ransome by gunmen, - the housekeeper locked in the cloakroom, - a nice way to start the day, Eh?. Mrs. Andrews I think frightened them by saying, with one of their guns pointing at me, "don't you dare shoot that man" - and they did not dare! I merely said "go ahead, shoot, you know you won't get any medals for this", they of course have been put away for a prolonged holiday 10 years behind bars, and would you believe it they are English Gunmen not Irish Gunmen.!!!

I hope I have not wearied you with this lengthy letter, but I have tried to make up for my long delay in replying. Mrs. Andrews joins me in hoping that both you and Mrs. Daniel are keeping well, and again many thanks for your thoughtfullness at this time.

Yours sincerely,

Fred Andrews.

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