Last of the Summer Wine in Grove

Two ageing F1 Impresarios sit gazing at the Oxfordshire countryside through a large window at the Williams F1 Conference Centre.

Frank - So Sam has gone then?
Patrick - Thought it best to let him go, he was wittering about computers again.
Frank - I don’t understand these youngsters, what's wrong with a slide rule and a drawing board?
Patrick - Couldn't agree more. Managed quite well without any computer nonsense since we got rid of Adrian.
Frank - Yes, cost me a fortune. Not as much as Jackie's bloody tartan trousers when RBS were here though.

A brief silence occurs

Frank - I still miss the cooling towers
Patrick - Yes, inspired some of my best designs, the FW09 in particular

There is a another brief silence

Frank - Any new ideas for next season?
Patrick - None

A further companionable silence ensues

Patrick - What about...? No, never mind.
Frank - No, go on...
Patrick - Well, Mike wanted to bring in some NASCAR technology
Frank - And how?
Patrick - With our new Renault tie up he suggested we try using a Laguna chassis
Frank - Will it be better than this year's car?
Patrick - What do you think?

Both chortle to themselves.

Frank – Shall we go down to the museum?
Patrick – Why not, that always cheers us up. Then off to the canteen, you know cook was making butterfly cakes for afternoon tea?
Frank - Super.
Seated around a small wooden coffee table in high backed arm chairs Frank and Patrick are having a chat over tea and scones.

Frank - So you're off then?
Patrick - Well, not too far away. The Williams Hybrid Slipper Centre is only next door.
Frank - and Kimi's not coming?
Patrick - No.
Frank - Shame, I had started talking with Luigi who runs Mr Rossi's Ice Cream Parlour in Dicot about some sponsorship
Patrick - More Earl Grey
Frank - Thanks

Both are silent as Patrick pours the tea from a fine British ceramic tea pot into matching cups and saucers. They both sip their brew.

Patrick - Any news on who will drive for us?
Frank - Still thinking about it but their all so young.
Patrick - We could keep Rubens...

Both chortle

Frank - Who else is there that's of the right age range for us?
Patrick - Well we've tried Jenson and Mark before and they weren't very good. Nick has started a new job in the lead role in Jesus Christ Superstar in the West End and Pedro has signed for those chaps who eat Paela all the time.
Frank - There must be someone
Patrick - Ralf

Frank's tea cup starts to shake and the contents spill into his saucer

Patrick - sorry
Frank - don't worry, it's a conditioned response to that name. Shall we agree on "the one who's not Michael" in future to avoid any unpleasantness?
Patrick - Of course

A further silence ensues as Frank pours the tea back into his cup. A maid in a long black dress, white apron and lace hat appears and takes away the tea pot to refill it.

Maid - Biscuits gentlemen?
Patrick - Some digestives please and I'm feeling a bit racey so how about some garibaldi's?

Both sit for a while, thinking.

Frank - How about Fernando?
Patrick - Doesn't he already driver for another team?
Frank - Possibly, but I have an idea which could solve two problems.
Patrick - Which is?
Frank - Bernard says he knows a large Italian gentleman who could almost certainly get Fernando to drive for us and would quite happily take over Adam's position. You know how much Adam annoys me, we need this new technology, we need that new technology. I had to but 6 calculators the other day as he said slide rules just weren't accurate enough, and when I asked him about his limits and fits book he just stared blankly.
Patrick - Good heavens, I always carry mine with me. Do we know this large Italian gentleman's name?
Frank - Not a clue but if Bernard thinks he would be right for us then I think we should go with his suggestion, after all he's never led us up the wrong path before has he?
Patrick - Indeed not.

to be continued....
Seated in a large office, Frank is having his first cup of Earl Grey of the day. Mike enters...

Frank - Ah Mike, thanks for coming. Earl Grey?
Mike - No problem, no tea for me already had a couple of espresso's to get me going.
Frank - Yes, about that. I've had the coffee machine taken out and replaced with a kettle and tea pot. You will find a nice range of loose leaf tea's to choose from now.
Mike - but...
Frank - and we take tea at 11 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. Luncheon is between 1 and 2 and there is a nice range of food in the cafeteria: shepherd's pie, toad in the hole, bubble and squeak and, on Friday's, fish and chips.
Mike - I normally work through.
Frank - Well not any more young man, we have certain principals here at Williams you know.

There is an awkward silence

Frank - now, about footwear. What size feet do you have?
Mike - 44
Frank - I beg your pardon (chortling to himself), that would mean you have feet the size of a clown
Mike (shaking his head) - Ten and a half
Frank - Excellent, please pop down and see the storeman and requisition a pair of slippers in your size and have it sent to me for counter signing.
Mike - Anything else?
Frank - Oh, how's the car coming on?
Mike - Not too bad, we found out what was wrong with last year's.
Frank - Which was?
Mike - The photocopied dossier Patrick used to base the design on was from Enzo Osella not Enzo Ferrari.
Frank - Oh...

Another awkward silence ensues

Mike - I've put in a requisition for some new equipment
Frank - Yes, I saw that. What is CAD/CAM?
Mike - Computer aided... Sorry, Cream adding Device, for the scones in the cafeteria and Cheese adding Machine, for the afternoon sandwiches.
Frank - Sounds perfect, cook has been struggling a bit lately so those are bound to help.
Mike - May I go now?
Frank - Of course, don't forget the slippers now will you?

Mike - One last question, we only have one driver for next year.
Frank - Really, must have missed that memorandum, I'll look into it. Hear that Senna fellow is quite the thing, gave Brundle a run for his money in Formula 3.
Mike (under his breath) - oh for ****s sake...
In the large, wood panelled board room of Williams GPE Frank is having a meeting with Mike and Adam.

Frank - So the driver line is completed. I told you I'd snaffle that Senna chappy before anyone else. He was very much in demand you know.
Mike - Frank you know it's not Ayrton don't you?
Frank - Err, yes... Yes.... Of course
Adam - There's a rumour that Eric insisted on Bruno as we have "his" engines
Frank - Pish and tosh, I make my own decisions. Always have and always will.

The phone rings, Frank answers.

Frank - Grove 7126. Ah, Torger lovely to hear from you. Yes Yes. Yes. Yes. Okay, I'll see to it.
Mike (whispers to Adam) - Who's Torger?
Adam - Totto to you and me.

Frank hangs up the phone.

Frank - Now, as I was saying I have always made my own decisions so Torger has decided we need some theme days to celebrate the new multi-cultural aspects of Williams 2012.
Adam - Theme days?
Frank - Yes, Torger says we need a Columbian day, a Brazlian day and a French day. Now his suggestion was for some Columbian marching powder to welcome Pastor back. I'm not sure exactly what that is but it sounds like I could bring in my brass band LP's to go along with it. Do either of you know where I can get some? And he proposed we all get a "Brazilian" and a "Vajazzle" for when young Senna gets here. Any ideas on what these are?

Adam and Mike snigger loudly

Frank - Did I say something amusing?
Adam - I think Totto might be teasing you Frank. Let me and Mike sort this out.
Frank - Oh, okay but I'd like to do the French day. Love every opportunity to get my black and white hooped shirt out and pop the old beret on, and Virginia loves stringing onions together. In fact she could ask the girls at the WI to make a string for everyone on site.
Mike - Probably best if you let us sort them all.

A short silence follows.

Frank - Excellent. Who's for Earl Grey?
An ageing F1 impresario is sitting behind a large oak desk in his office in Grove. His secretary enters with her hair up in a bun, wearing a pair of horn rimmed glasses and clutching a short hand notepad.

Secretary - Mr Williams, he's back at the gate again.
Frank - Who?
Secretary - Mr Barrichello, he says his pass doesn't work and he's shouting over the intercom that he's here for his seat fitting.
Frank - Oh dear, did we forget to tell him?
Seated behind a large oak desk an aging F1 impresario winds the handle on the side of wooden telephone box. Holding the ear piece to the side of his head he speaks into the Bakelite mouthpiece.

FW - Miss Williams could you put me through to my Parr's office please
Exchange operator - Yes Mr Williams

A short silence occurs than a faint ringing buzzes int he ear piece.

AP - Parr
FW - Ah, Adam could you come to my office please.
AP - Certainly Frank, you didn't have to ring you could have dropped me an e-mail or sent me a text.


AP - I'll be right up

A few short minutes later Adam knocks on Franks office door.

FW - Come!

AP enters and sits in one of the leather arm chairs in front of the oak desk.

FW - Did you meet Claire?
AP - Yes, nice girl. Brought the morning tea down to the office.
FW - Yes, she's very good at that hence why I've decided to make her Marketing and Communications Director.

AP stares open mouthed.

FW - I've also decide to take more of a back seat and step down from the board.

A broad grin spreads across AP's face, the idea of Parr F1 enters his mind.

FW - Adam, are you still with me?
AP - Yes, sorry.
FW - I've also though about a few other appointments.

FW passes an A4 sheet across the table. AP looks through the list:

Director of Entertainment - Robbie Williams
Director of Enlightenment - Rowan Williams
Director of Exhaust Note Tuning - Michelle Williams
Director of Trigonometry - Mark Williams
Director or Fore Hand - Serene Williams
Director of Back Hand - Venus Williams
Director of Sticky Tape Application - Wendy O Williams
Director of Theme Music - John Williams
Director of Press Interviews - Sian Williams
Director of Art Installations - Bedwyr Williams

FW - Catching flys Adam?
AP - Sorry Frank, just a bit taken aback
FW - Well, you can't have too many Williams' at Williams F1 now can you? Now off you pop back to you office, Claire will be round to collect the dirty crockery shortly wish her well won't you?

AP shuffles out in his Williams Hybrid Slippers a tear trickling down his cheek.
On the desk of an aging F1 impresario the green telephone rings.

FW - Grove 7136
PA - This is an internal line Mr Williams and we haven't used that number since 1972
FW - Oh, sorry, must have missed that memorandum.
PA - I have Mr Head here to see you.
FW - Well send him on in then.

The huge oak doors creak and groan as Patrick Head shuffles in wearing the latest Williams Hybrid Slippers

FW - Patrick
PH - Frank

They share a manly hand shake.

FW - Shall we sit in the lounging area. I can get Miss Williams to bring in some tea.
PH - She's your niece Frank, why do you refer to her as Miss Williams
FW - Standards dear boy, standards
PH - No tea for me, just wanted to discuss Adam's departure
FW - Yes, I tried to make him stay but, now what was it he said? That was it, "I'm not ****ing changing my ****ing name to Adam ****ing Williams just to keep my ****ing job and no I won't marry you ****ing daughter either I'm already ****ing married"
PH - All went a bit James Hunt then?
FW - Yes

A short silence occurs

PH - So who's the new man?
FW - No idea. Large Italian gentleman whom Bernard recommended.
PH - Should be sound if Bernard recommended him
FW - Indeed
PH - Right, I'm off back to the slipper centre, we are looking into an energy recovering fur lining.
FW - Thanks for popping by, maybe some tea next time.
Sitting on the veranda outside of the Grove Conference Centre an aging F1 impresario gazes wistfully into the distance as he sips Earl Grey tea from a bone china cup. Mike Coughlan approaches and sits down at an empty chair:

MC - Good morning Sir Frank
FW - Michael, how good of you to come. Slippers comfy?
MC - Very Sir Frank.
FW - Good, just wanted an update on how the cars have been performing so far this season.
MC - Cars? Don't you mean drivers?
FW - Now then Michael, you and I both know that the driver is mainly ballast. Why do you think we kept Nigel on for so long?
MC - Hmm, always wondered about that. Anyway, 18 points garnered so far.
FW - Excellent. Presume that was from two wins then?
MC - Errr, no the points system has been update a bit Sir Frank. We've had a 6th, a 7th and an 8th.
FW - Oh dear, so only 1 point really then.
MC - If that's how you want to look at it.

An uncomfortable silence ensues. MC fingers nervously at plaid heel of his Williams Hybrid Slipper. As he pulls his finger out a spark arcs across sending him flying backwards off the chair with a loud scream. He pulls himself up, his face blackened and his hair standing on end.

FW - Oh dear, Patrick hasn't sorted that problem out yet then? I'd pop across to the Hybrid Slipper R&D Centre and have a chat with him.
MC (with a croaky voice, under his breath) - Alternatively we could just wear some proper shoes!
FW - I'm sorry, I missed that.
MC - Straight away Sir Frank. (under his breath) Wouldn't want to get involved in trivial things like developing an f1 car!

MC shuffles off and FW returns to gazing into the distance sipping from his tea cup.
Outside the newly named "Pastor Maldonado" suite at the Williams F1 conference centre a Sir Frank, Patrick, Mike C, Totto, Dickie Stanford and Tim Newton are sitting in high back chairs sipping tea.

FW: Finally a win and another 9 points
MC: 25 Sir Frank
FW: My word, did we have 3 cars entered?
PH: No Frank, I explained a while ago, the scoring system has been revised.
FW: Hmmm, must dig out that memo.
TW: There is something pressing we have to discuss
DS: Very pressing...
FW: and what would that be?
TN: It's the footwear Sir Frank.

FW and PH both drop their tea cups simultaneously.

FW: The slippers?
PH: I know there are a few teething problems but...
TW: Gentlemen, we have checked everything and the fire in the pits in Spain can be directly linked to a spark from one of your hybrid slippers.
PH: Oh...
TW: From the next race onwards we will return to wearing Hush Puppies as has been the norm at Williams since 1978.
DS: Any chance of some sponsorship?

All shift uncomfortably in their seats as the ugly spectre of money is mentioned. The recently appointed Director of Marketing and Communications wanders past with a tea trolley.

FW: Claire, be a love and bring us some more tea and biscuits will you.
Sitting in a deck chair next to the topiary pit stop outside the Williams F1 complex Claire Williams is enjoying a nice cup or Earl Grey. Patrick Head wanders across and perches on shooting stick

CW: Patrick!
PH: Claire!

They enjoy a few moments silence

PH: About improving the car performance...
CW (excitedly): Yes
PH: Well...
CW (even more excitedly): Yes...
PH: I'm afraid I haven't clue. Been retired 7 years you know.
CW (deflated): Oh
PH: Managed to get suet pudding back on the menu in the canteen though
CW: Great

They sit together in an awkward silence before Patrick Head stands, folds up his shooting stick and walks away. A single tear rolls down Claire Williams cheek and drops in to her now cold tea.
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