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This is a question Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics

My current toilet book is Brewer's classic encyclopedia of the same name, listing some of the great British nutters down the ages. Let's create a B3TA version based on the dodgy people you've met

(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 13:43)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

I had the misfortune to go to school in Basingstoke - In the early 90s they kicked all the patients out of the local mental hospital as part of the really-well-thought-through 'care in the community' scheme, so the bus station was always full of shouting crazies. One woman used to spend her days wandering up and down shouting at an imaginary child by her side, which was pretty tragic.

Although my favourite bus station mental was a bit more coherent. I was reading a book called 'Nightmare of Ecstasy' (about the wonderfully awful movie director Ed Wood,) and a slightly odd skinhead bloke sat down beside me. He read the title, got entirely the wrong idea, then started chatting away about the many and varied drugs he'd tried. After a few minutes of this, he said he'd been reading a book himself recently, it was really very good, since I like books I should give it a try. What was it called? 'Mein Kampf.' Right, ok.

On a side note, my abiding memory of the station is waiting for the bus to take me home from school, watching a crippled pigeon listlessly pecking at a puddle of dried sick. Sums up the town perfectly.

Truly a wonderful place.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 18:58, Reply)
No, let's not.

Which numpty suggested this crap question.

I 'know' plenty of nutters, but I avoid them, therefore do not know their name unless I am asked to point that person out in court.

Have a fucking break and knock this C.O.Q (cock of a question) on the head mid-week and get back onto "who's fucked my life up the most"

Love Mr Forrest. 11/C
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 18:37, 2 replies)
I'm surprised there aren't more of them about in Wrexham
We've got a very tall woman who has an Edwardian vibe about here - the hair, the clothes and lipstick so bright it can blind a man. Striking to say the least. I'd also be very surprised if she hadn't been born a bloke.

The Irishman who sings songs about Jesus in the town centre most Mondays. Thing is, these are songs he's written himself, he sings them accappella and he can't hold a note.

Mr. Urquhart - an old man you can smell coming. He must be the undead as he actually seems to be decomposing. One of my work colleagues actually had the misfortune of going to his house - apparently it smells even worse than he does which I struggle to believe.

Vernon - the archetypal Jasper Carrott "nutter on the bus", the routine could have been written about him. Add random bird calls and you've got someone who could talk crap for Wales.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 17:31, 4 replies)
There's a loony bin near me
Of course, they call lunatic asylums "care homes" now...

It's madness gone politically correct

(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 17:06, Reply)
There are a couple of eccentric types in my home town.

there is a guy who has covered his entire house in beer cans and bottles. One of my friends has just made a documentary about him Can House

There is also Lawrence a transvestite football fan who supports any team playing against Hartlepool United
here is a photo
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 17:02, 4 replies)
The man is a legend in Nottingham.

In the early to mid nineties he was recognised as having an incredible voice and snapped up by a record label. Despite never really having success in his native UK, he was doing incredibly well elsewhere and before long he was travelling the world, appearing on Live & Kicking and shagging Danni Minogue. After the release of his second album, he entered a spiral of drugs and depression.

He can now be seen wandering the streets of Nottingham in the evening, earning money by singing songs for small change. Apparently he's happier this way.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 15:36, 2 replies)
Shameless shaman
Me and a couple of like-minded friends were stumbling about the woods after consuming a pile of Shrooms. We were sitting on some logs, chatting and probably giggling, when seemingly from nowhere a shaman appeared.

He talked to us for a while, leaning on his staff, telling us how great it was that we had come to commune with Father Oak, the Great Tree of Life. He said it would enrich our lives and calm our spirits, and so on. He was clearly a shaman of great power and spirituality. Eventually he bid us goodbye, and disappeared into the trees.

All very impressive, spoiled only by the naff and rather grubby shell suit he was wearing, and the can of Special Brew dangling from his hand. And the fact that there were no oaks in that wood.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 15:00, Reply)
The Local Working Men's Club
where I grew up and which my Dad has frequented for 30+ years had a few characters who probably would have been rogues if they had the brains.

One of them's worst-planned escapade was that he ran off with the takings from the pub he managed in town. Specifically, he ran off to his own house to 'lay low'. Since that was the address he'd given his employer for payslips (and since it's a bit of a one cow town anyway), a minimal amount of detective work from the local plod was required to track him down.

One of the others, a builder by trade, got banned from the working men's club because he turned up in a JCB one weekend and demolished the gate to the car park. Apparently it wasn't wide enough and he couldn't get his van out to drive home when he was pissed. He ended up being let back in after he agreed to rebuild it.

Finally, there was the bloke who was the club treasurer for a period of 12 years. Since being forced to resign the role when the club nearly went bust, he's currently barred and there's a police investigation into the the thousands and thousands of pounds missing from the accounts. The friendly accountant who used to audit them (who also drinks there), is also banned.

It's still a nice place for a cheap pint, though.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 14:09, 3 replies)
According to my mum,
the man at the end of the road, was a paedo. We'd always assumed he was just friendly, what with the way he'd offer us lifts back from the shops, and invite us in for a cup of squash.
I suppose it was a simpler time, when angry, torch-bearing mobs were reserved for Pakistani immigrants.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 13:47, 3 replies)
I used to live in Kentish Town.
Not only the scene of Adam Ant's top quality meltdown but also home to some of the best drunks ever. But best of all was this completely lost-it black dude who race-walked in that super-mince style, in the road, with a pair of red women's knickers on over his tracksuit bottoms, and an empty water bottle stuck in the side of them. He had a matching headband and a sign on his arse which read 'squeeze bottle for sex'. Can't imagine this working terribly often.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 13:46, 2 replies)
The small village of Shenley in Hertfordshire used to be home to mental institutions, asylums, call them what you will but Nuthouse was the vernacular when I lived near there in the seventies.

One old boy stood outside the gates of the hospital he lived in, fair weather and foul, all day long, waiting for the Queen to drive past.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 13:37, 1 reply)
A bit stabby
I'll never forget the guy who approached me at the ticket office of Luton train station back in 1997. I was heading home from uni for the holidays and in fine spirits. Shuffling over, he asked very politely if I wouldn't mind lending him my student railcard so he could purchase his ticket at a discounted price.

My response was to thank him for his enquiry, but unfortunately I was not entirely comfortable with that scenario, mainly because as a poor student I couldn't risk losing that privilege should I get caught. In my naivety I assumed this was a satisfactory response. His own response was to explain that he would now be getting somewhat stabby with me on the train concourse once I had conducted my own ticket transaction.

The element of the story that elevates him from nutter to full-on whack-job is that all student railcards include photo ID's and him being a middle-aged tubby white bloke meant he was very unlikely to be able to pass himself off as a black skinny student.

I even pointed this out to him in an effort to postpone our planned violent encounter on the platform, but he wasn't having any of it.

As he wandered down the stairs without his ticket, I beat a hasty retreat as far as possible in the opposite direction. Fucker stopped me from getting the train home for about a year, so concerned was I that he would forever be waiting for me on platform 3.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 13:25, 7 replies)
Anyone remember the wanking tramp that
used to lurk in one of the little lanes off of fleet street?

He'd lay on his cardboard box and sleeping bag all day, tossing off extravagantly for anyone who seemed to be paying attention.

I never saw him get nicked for it though.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 13:23, 8 replies)
Stanley Green
Any one else remember him? I bought my copy of his book for a fiver back in 1982 or so because I liked living in a country which tolerated his eccentricity.

(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 13:01, 3 replies)
"Bradford Jesus Man"
Growing up, as I did, around Bradford, West Yorkshire I would often see a man dressed in a monk's habit and sandals, carrying a leather satchel over his shoulder. Whenever he saw someone look his way he'd give a cheery wave as he walked.
I asked my mother about him, and she told me how in her teens she'd seen the chap wandering and he'd always just smiled and waved at everyone amiably. She'd been told he was the son of a rich mill owner who has eschewed the life allotted to him and gone in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment using his vast fortune to live on.
In these Web-Enabled days there is a website dedicated to him, and even a Twitter feed:
I don't think the part about him being rich is true, but much of the rest is.
I haven't seen him in a while, since I don't visit his routes all that often, but I'm glad to hear he's still alive and going strong and hope to see him again some time.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 12:57, 1 reply)
I moved to Luton,
proud exporter of Tommy Robinson, and a desire to blow up Stockholm. Do we win a prize?
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 12:34, Reply)
White Glove Man
Another Brighton character. Whenever there is any kind of street music event - Gay Pride, Salsa on the Beach, the Children's Parade, Burning the Clocks (we have a lot) he'll be there. A wizened old man, probably in his 70s, wearing something bright and colorful and his trademark white gloves. He'll be throwing shapes, dancing along, with a look of intense concentration.

I don't think he's mad, he seems well groomed and probably has a normal life. I just think he doesn't see why young people should have all the fun - and good luck to him for that.

When I'm 70 I'll take over the position, I think.

[EDIT] Aha! Just googled him - he's called Disco Pete, and is indeed 70.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 12:01, Reply)
I live in Macclesfield
It is the center of the world of nutjobs.

The bloke who shouts at traffic but loves reggae music (he shouted this at me.)
The woman who wears posh shoes and long silk gloves and sings Christmas songs in Tescos all year round.
The woman who lives two doors up from me who one morning stood naked in the street shouting 'look what you've done to my hands'.
The fellas who turned an abandoned mill into a cannabis factory and nearly blew the street up (dodgy pipes, they were gaining electricity illegally and badly)
There was a singing/dancing tramp too, he was ace, but we've not seen him for a long time...
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 11:59, 4 replies)
My neighbour is a local character
Apparently he was hit by a car when he was a boy, which left him with some kind of brain damage. He now looks to be in his late fifties. He spends most of his time hanging out of a first-floor window looking onto the street, smoking cigarettes in a vest and muttering incoherencies to himself though he's not averse to just repeatedly shouting "Boooooo" over and over again at, say, 7am on a Sunday morning.

He's also quite social - he'll happily try and strike up a conversation with anyone by shouting at them from his window, but he's especially keen on the ladies, even if they're halfway down the street he'll bellow "Awwwight gel!!" as loud as he can until they acknowledge his presence. And odds are that whatever they say back his response will be to say "Yeah, yeah, yeah" in a dismissive tone.

He's harmless enough I suppose, but the irritating thing is that his window onto the world directly faces my bedroom window. Shortly after we moved in I was snuggling with the missus on a Saturday morning and looked up to find him leaning out of his window and staring directly into ours, which may possibly have mentally scarred him further, so we haven't opened the blinds since.

Our next door neighbour also told me that the guy who lives in the flat below him keeps a telescope trained on her house, though how she knows this and why she would tolerate it are unlikely to become clear.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 11:51, 6 replies)
Other notable Sheffield nutters
The guy who walks around in a football kit with a radio up to his ear, occasionally pausing to throw his outstretched thumb behind his shoulder while lifting his foot on the same time. Can often be seen in the Castle Market area talking to no one about Manchester United.

The fellow who used to ride his bike wearing nothing but a thong along West Street. Put me off my coffee more than once.

The man in the red cowboy hat who sits outside Halifax on Surrey Street with his keytar plugged into a karaoke machine, playing monophonic approximations of popular (and not so popular) songs, such as 'Whether the Weather is Good', 'Enjoy Yourself' and 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head' whilst bellowing the lyrics at astonished passers-by.

The bus spotter with a ginger bob who takes photos of buses as they go past and who has trousers that are several inches too short. My wife always shouts at me when I burst into incontrollable fits of laughter whenever I see him.

To be fair, living in Sheffield the most surprising thing is that there aren't more of these fucking nutjobs about.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 11:32, 4 replies)
the Ipswich Lady With No Trousers
can be seen wandering around dressed only in a thigh-length t-shirt, pants and shoes regardless of the time of year. It can be most off-putting when you're browsing the fruit in marks and spencer, only to have her barge in front of you and bend from the waist to select her produce.

there was a facebook page set up for a while in support of clubbing together and buying her some trousers. poor Ipswich Lady With No Trousers.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 10:53, 9 replies)
Mrs Roomes
Anyone who lives or has lived in Sheffield in the past ten years will know of Mrs Roomes, a proper nutter who used to entertain, insult and scare people in equal measure.

She was a Jamaican lady who had been touched by the hand of God, with the emphasis on 'touched'. She was, at one point, an RE teacher at King Ted's, but she was let go due to being an absolute maniac.

She would regularly hang around town, playing her red and white Stratocaster and singing into a headset microphone, making sure that everyone on Fargate or The Moor could hear the word of the Lord. She had no sense of tune, screeching her hymns in patois as shoppers walked past, amused or appalled.

She also used to give out religious tracts to people as they walked past, proselytising to all and sundry and offering them the key to the kingdom of heaven as they went about their business.

All fairly harmless, if occasionally annoying. However, she had a darker side: I saw her a few times on the bus haranguing Muslim women wearing veils, telling them that their religion was satanic and heretic and that they were on a sure route to the pits of Hell. She would be quite aggressive in her verbal attacks, making everyone on the bus uncomfortable and occasionally raising the ire of fellow passengers or the driver so much that she'd be ejected from the bus.

So, an eccentric, certainly. Perhaps even a rogue and villain, too, particularly if you followed a religion other than Christianity. She was deported to Jamaica due to visa complications, and what the city lost in Saturday afternoon religious entertainment, it gained in slightly less harassment for its Muslim population.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 10:48, 2 replies)
i maintain that a guy who I work with,
... If you wrote his character into the original of The Office, it would get binned for bein unrealistic.

He has wispy, semi-long, greying hair, and his shaving routine is to take it all off once every six months. He wears old, stained tracksuits, and smokes roll-ups, which have given the front of his brown teeth a lovely dark stain all over his filling. He is an IT geek, fancies himself as more intelligent than everybody, and talks deliberately in a bored monotone. He is actively sarcastic and rude, and if you give him the chance he'll tell you about how many girls he's slept with, and how all the gay guys in the office fancy him. He has thick, milk-bottle bottoms glasses, and is - of course - a black belt in tae kwon do - he could kill you if he wanted. As soon as he heard I was from public school he refused to discuss departmental issues with me, and his dyed-in-the-wool punk credentials are confirmed by his stories of having blue dreadlocks before anyone here knew him.

I think I might be gay for him, thinking about it.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 10:41, Reply)
There's a dude who cycles around Cambridge
with a knackered old radio blasting some barely discernible metal music. I can only describe the sound as a mix of hidden rhythms and white noise, coming through speakers packed full of foil. Everything on his bike is wrapped in carrier bags, including his special broken radio.

It works as a great cycle bell, though. When walking down the pedestrianised bits, you can always hear him coming from miles away and therefore prepare to get out of his way in good time.

He's been doing it for at least ten years, though I've no idea of the rationale behind it.

Edit: after a bit of Googling I've discovered he is also known as 'Angry Wasp Bike Man'. There's a blog about him and everything.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 10:36, 6 replies)
In the house across the road from my childhood home lived a man who - in retrospect - either had mental health problems of some sort, or was an acid casualty, or was an acid casualty with quite unrelated mental health problems. Whichever way you cut the pie, he was odd. My eleven-year-old self and friends assigned the nickname "wankybod" to him. Not that we would have told him that to his face. We were too scared of him for that.

After all, he claimed to be a witch - he had used to place small ads in the local paper advertising lessons in witchcraft and spell-casting. And that was near as damnit as a confession that he was an out-and-out child-sacrificing devil-worshipper.

The circumstantial evidence was there, too. For one thing, he very rarely went outside - only for long enough to get his shopping: a clear sign that daylight was a threat to him, as it would be to anyone who had sold his soul to Satan. His house was, therefore, immensely dilapidated. (Google StreetView suggests that it looked very similar in 2009, which suggests that he was still living - or undeading - there then.) Neither did he make any use of electric light: there was never any illumination. Another tick in the "servant of Beelzebub" column. Very occasionally, you could see him through the net curtains dancing around his front room; but I assumed that he mostly did that in the back room. Noone ever saw him drinking human blood from a goat-skull, but the fact that noone saw it didn't mean that he didn't actually do it.

My parents told me that he used to have a wife and child, too: he'd called his daughter Andromeda, or Cassiopeia, or something like that; but they'd legged it years ago, never to be seen again.

Well: they might have legged it. They might also have been dispatched on the altar that he probably had in his kitchen. After all: if you're almost certainly using a goat-skull a teacup, you need to get your blood from somewhere...
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 10:21, Reply)
That, surely, is sufficient.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 10:02, 6 replies)
The Mekon
I used to work with a guy that was so far out on the edge of the bell-curve that light took several minutes to reach him from normality.

Physically, something clearly had gone wrong in the womb: a strand of DNA had been hit by cosmic rays or somesuch. He was a borderline dwarf, certainly well under five feet tall, but to offset that he had a massive, domed head that was several sizes too large for his body.

He also had a laugh that could shatter quartz, and BO that could curdle milk at fifty feet. Another Foul Ole Ron analogue, which seems to be a theme here today.

Curiously, unlike many of those who mother nature has suckled on the freakazoid tit, he wasn't a socially inadequate shut-in. In fact he was hugely gregarious, loved people, crowds, parties and in social situations of all kinds. We who worked with him had got used to him, but it was always fun to watch people meet him for the first time - particularly women; as far as I could see he was asexual, completely unaware that there were two kinds of human animal.

And that huge, domed mekon-head wasn't just for show. As if to make up for earlier blunders, he had been gifted with a huge IQ; he had a PhD and in fact before joining our firm he had been a university professor. One of the smartest people I ever met, in fact.

Thankfully, World Domination never occurred to him; he would have made a great Twisted Evil Genius.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 9:06, 1 reply)
A few that I can think of off the top of my head.
Apparently my great grandmother. She was according to my mum a lady of taste but she insisted on safety pinning her old clothes together - seems she was a tight old biddy to boot. This supposedly caused the family some embarrassment as she could more than afford new clothes, just chose not to. This was told to me in my teens as I was going thru my goth/grunge/punk phase. Often my clothes then had more safety pins and rips than actual fabric.
She also used to steal cuttings and suckers from plants whenever my grandparents went to visit National Trust places - again her reasoning being to save money, she was a member and had paid her dues so bar nicking the furniture and fittings I think she felt that anything she could surreptitiously clip off with her shears was fair-game.

When I was going thru my afore-mentioned goth/grunge/punk phase I used to sleep 'rough' occasionally with a bloke who called himself "vomit". He would regularly tag his name with a permanent marker, often with the added "in my mouth". A local band - "Elf & the Goon Gut Babies" even wrote a song about him. Bathing, changing clothes or behaving like a normal human being were alien concepts to him.
One day I caught up with him and then we went to meet his family - I enjoyed a lovely breakfast hearing all about Richard and his very upper-class upbringing.

I mostly wear shorts & a t-shirt. I pretty much wear collared work-shirts at work.
I have dressed the same pretty much from child-hood.
I also only wear second-hand clothing (apart from my underwear and socks).
Hello Great-Grandma!
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 7:58, 6 replies)
happens to be quoted on QI this evening.
(, Fri 28 Sep 2012, 1:16, Reply)
A Bristol Legend
There was a great chap, now sadly departed. Anyone from Bristol will no doubt know of him.
His name was Colin and he had a difficult childhood and never really managed to fit into mainstream society.
He was heavily involved with Socialist politics and campaigned all his short life to try and make a change, even ending up with an obit in Socialist Worker, when he died at the young age of 53. But away from all that political bollocks, most people knew him as an obvious stand out character at Bristol Community festival up at Ashton Court.
He would be there, every year, a flagon of cheap cider in hand, a big pair of boots, and a leather thong....nothing else, but a leather waistcoat if it was bloody freezing.
He is forever known round these parts as leather thong man. He wasn't the fittest of men, so It was a sight to behold. Swinging his thong to whatever music was being played in front of him with a big grin on his face, no matter who was there, and he just didn't give a fuck.
Bristol remembers him, and just this last weekend as Brisfest returned to Ashton Court, we raised our cans of cheap cider to a legend.
I tried to find pics of him, but typing 'leather thong man' into google wasn't the best idea I have ever had.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 23:26, 3 replies)

This question is now closed.

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