Gerald the milkman of human kindness

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THERE’S usually the chance to win something at church fairs – a box of chocs perhaps, home-baked cake or maybe a bottle of wine.

But back in 1999 Greatham Church May Fayre had something rather different, the chance to win a “slave” for the day.

Describing the prize as “the latest in domestic engineering”, Mail reporter Jonathan Ward revealed: “Not only does this model wash, clean and potter about in the garden, he also comes attractively attired in a stylish little loin cloth.”

Gerald Watson, of The Drive, in Greatham, told the Mail he was no stranger to getting stuck in.

“Being a retired milkman, I’m not afraid of hard work and am willing to give anything a try.

“I can do the gardening, the washing up, or even take people for a run out in their car,” he said.

He pledged: “I will be their’s for the day and will take on any task – within reason.”

Gerald explained his motivation was to raise charity cash, with raffle proceeds going to church funds.

Jonathan wrote: “For just £1, Gerald, who comes with a glowing reference from his wife, can be yours for the day between the hours of 10am and 3pm.”

Gerald joked: “It’s been suggested my working hours should be 10pm till 3am but my wife didn’t agree to that.”

He added he was “quite used to helping the wife around the house” and thought she might try to win him in the raffle “so she can get a full day’s work out of me”.

As for his costume, Gerald said: “I’m willing to put on my loin cloth but it’s all a bit of a laugh really.”

Gerald was so game for a laugh, he posed for a photo in the Mail, complete with his loin cloth and tools for potential tasks, including vacuum cleaner, mop, pail and duster.

The lucky winner was to be drawn at the fair, in Greatham Hospital grounds.

Who won the raffle? What tasks did Gerald have to undertake?

Contact Andrew Levett by emailing andrew.levett@northeast-press.co.uk or write to him at Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX.