Diane Teskey is well known to the members of the Wigan Fellowship, a group of retired Masons or widows of Masons, for her tales presented in the alias of scullery maid Betsie Pickering. On this occasion she surprised her audience by recounting, in her own inimitable and entertaining fashion, a story revealing that her alias is now known as Mrs Betsie Freeman Fielding.
She told the tale of how Betsy and her friend Rosie Braithwaite (the voice of doom and gloom) had joined the local church choir under the care of Father O’Brien, who regarded Betsy as one of his ‘star’ pupils. However, Betsy was in for a surprise when a gentleman, Martin Freeman Fielding, also joined the choir. Betsy, much to the annoyance of Rosie became completely infatuated by him.
Eventually, Martin took Betsy along to his home and much to Betsie’s surprise she discovered that house was full of wounded soldiers. She asked Martin what was the matter with some of them who didn’t speak and just stood there and she was told that they were ‘just lost’ and then to her surprise Martin asked her to sing for them, which of course she did.
But then, things started to go wrong when Rosie told Betsie that she had overheard Martin talking to another man that he would like to ‘do it’ with Betsie. This was a great shock to Betsie and although greatly upset Betsie confronted him only to find that her ‘friend’ had misheard him. What he had said in conversion with another choir member was that he would like to do a ‘duet’ with her. Rosie ‘had got it wrong, again’.
But to go back to the beginning, Betsie Pickering became Betsie Freeman Fielding at a small wedding affair and later along came a daughter who Betsie proudly announced rides out with her father in the grounds of his home on her own little pony. It seems that after all her trials and tribulations and her thoughts that she was ‘not a full shilling’ her life came good. Good luck, Betsie!
This is the third time that Diane has entertained a Wigan audience and she is always well received. The membership of Wigan Fellowship owes a big thank you to her for allowing them to listen to such entertaining anecdotes from a bygone era.
The Fellowship meets on the second Tuesday of the months of September through to June at Pemberton Masonic Hall at 2pm. If you are a retired Mason or the widow of a Mason please come along, and enjoy a varied programme and the fellowship of good company, and by the way it’s only 50p for tea or coffee.