It was my Father’s opinion that a whistling worker was a happy chap. His assumption extended to a belief that a whistling worker, fulfilled and sated with his day’s toil, enjoyed evenings around the hearth with loved ones, chomping on hearty, nourishing fare and discussing the events of the day in tedious detail. Terrible snob, Father.

Several weeks ago, just as Summer was drawing to its soggy end, on a train to Derby I heard a strong,  full lipped whistle.

“Coming through!” the whistler chirped. I peered over my newspaper and saw a sturdy man in paint splashed overalls manoeuvring a trestle table down the Carriage. He wore a mask. A mask like the Lone Ranger wore.

He set the table down and retraced his steps.

“Afternoon!” he said in a flat east Midland’s accent. He whistled a refrain from a Musical. South Pacific if my memory serves me. But…

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