"It was a brilliant feeling. Finally, after all those years of grafting, we'd made it! Well, you know they say once you get to the top, people can't wait to knock you off? It's true. It started with some malicious rumours. Apparently, the estate was suffering from some unexplained drought. The thinking was that there was a major underground leak somewhere, but they looked and couldn't find one. Then the source of the problem was found to be coming from the vicinity of Nelson Mandela House. A team of council inspectors came sniffing around asking questions about some chemical drums that some git had dumped in a local pond. The final insult came when they started having a pop at Peckham Spring Water itself, saying it weren't as pure as its label claimed it was, and apparently they had proof. Well, I was as shocked as anyone. I told them it had a certificate of purity signed by Myles himself, reminding them that he weren't just any old Tom, Dick, or Harry, he was a member of the SWANS committee! Then they started playing mind games by asking me what the SWANS committee was. I told them to hold on and gave Rodney a bell, but Cassandra said he'd locked himself in the bog and was refusing to come out.
What began as a blissful dream ended in a bloody nightmare! And once again, it looked as though I'd be going up before a judge. Now, I'm not saying I didn't bend the rules a bit in what I done, and maybe I even deserved the slap on the wrist I eventually got, but what the press wrote about me was absolute cobblers! I mean, selling water from my own kitchen tap? What sort of a bloke do they think I am?! Still, it was touch and go for a while. My lawyer, Solly, reckoned I could even be facing porridge. On top of that, it looked for a while like Myles, Rodney, and even Cassandra were gonna be hauled up as accessories. I was prepared to fight tooth and nail to prove our innocence. I was confident, too. The case Solly had put together was more airtight than Boycie's wallet. I got him to prepare a last-minute plea of 'temporary nervous breakdown' though, just to be safe.
I'll admit, as the weeks rolled on, the whole thing did start to play on my mind, and I started to wish I'd never found that sodding spring. I went to the cemetery to have a chat with Mum. I always found comfort there, if not always the answers I needed. But dear old Mum must have pulled on some of the right strings for me this time, as a week later, the case against me collapsed due to lack of evidence.
Relieved ain't the word! If I'd had any dosh on me, I'd have gone out to celebrate, but after paying Solly's fees, I was skint. It was all a very sad and stressful time for the Trotter family. We just wanted to give something back to the world, a legacy of wellbeing that would last for generations (and, according to that World Health Organization report, it still might).
Looking back now, I realise it was little more than a storm in a teacup. I mean, it weren't like anyone got hurt. Raquel's hair grew back. Cassandra's suspension at the bank was lifted, and Rodney gradually weaned himself off the tranquillisers. Even Myles eventually came out of hiding.
The spring itself is sadly no more. As it happened, there was a cave-in at the allotment due to a freak earthquake that took place just days after the council's investigation began. You probably didn't hear about it, it was only a few minor tremors, but it was still enough for the Peckham Spring to be lost to eternity. It just goes to show you how fragile and precious nature is. Still, never mind, eh? Onwards and upwards. Je suis le bouef, as they say in Nantes!"
So that is a good basis on which to base a OFAH fanfic on.
DEL'S FLAT, NELSON MANDELA HOUSE, PECKHAM, EARLY JANUARY 1993.
Del and Rodney are bottling up more Peckham Spring water in the kitchen.
DEL Luvvly Jubbly. Blimey we are making money hand over fist with this venture.
RODNEY Pity that we could not bottle it up for a day or two when the local reservoir was found contaminated 2 weeks ago which your 2 so called expert friends Denzel and Trigger had contaminated. Del why not just knock this scheme on the head hey? Sooner or later we will get rumbled and you will be sewing mailbags for years. I will also get done for aiding and abetting a crime.
DEL I told you Rodney the water comes from The Thames, which is older than Albert's string vest.
RODNEY Dont say I never warned you. The water board found no underground leak when they had workmen on the estate and they suspect it could be a resident of the estate keeping their tap on. The water bills are sky high. Anyway I am off home now, it is 5pm. Cassie is waiting for me.
DEL OK see you tomorrow Rodders.
Rodney says goodbye to Albert then leaves.
1 HOUR LATER
There is a knock on the door.
DEL (Calls to Albert) Albert answer that will you.
ALBERT (To himself) I fought a war for you Del, ain't it bloody fair hey? Albert answer the door he says?
Albert answers the door in the hallway to 2 health inspectors and invites them to stand in the hallway, not knowing they are here to pull the plug on Del's scheme. The inspectors do not see all the equipment as they are stood in the hallway only.
ALBERT (Calls) Del you have visitors.
HEALTH INSPECTOR 1 Are you Derek Edward Trotter?
DEL Well I was the last time I checked.
HEALTH INSPECTOR 2 Mr Trotter we have reason to believe that you are selling contaminated water to the public.
DEL Nonsense. How do you know this?
HEALTH INSPECTOR 1 Due to doing checks of the towerblock, the water board have traced the source of the huge output of water to this very same flat. And we know that you are the head of the Peckham Spring venture.
DEL Myles gave the Peckham Spring a certificate of purity due to his status as a member of the SWANS committee.
HEALTH INSPECTOR 1 What is The SWANS Committee?
DEL Let me ring my brother Rodney.
Del phones Rodney and Cassandra's flat to ask Rodney what the SWANS Committee is.
CASSANDRA (On the other end of the phone) Hello.
DEL Hi Cassandra, it's Del Boy. Is Rodney there at all?
CASSANDRA He is in the bathroom. He is refusing to come out as he is sick from drinking water from The Peckham Spring venture.
One of the health inspectors gets a call on his mobile phone (brick sized in 1993).
HEALTH INSPECTOR 2 Oh James, we have to dash off to the police station to help on a case.
HEALTH INSPECTOR 1 (To Del) We will be back, Mr Trotter.
The inspectors leave.
DEL Oh my Gawd. We have been rumbled.
ALBERT I suggest, Del, that you quickly dismantle all this bottling and packing equipment and the conveyors and hide them somewhere before the inspectors return.
DEL Where shall we put them?
ALBERT Take them back to Teddy Cummings' warehouse. Oh yes, during the war....
DEL Shut up you soppy old duffer, this is a serious situation here. OK look, if we get rid of all this equipment before they return they will have nothing on us so will have to drop the case.
ALBERT The water board knows we have been excessively running the tap and the health inspectors know we are the holders of the Peckham Spring venture. So let's get cracking. I may be an old man but I can lift a few things.
SEVERAL HOURS LATER.
Raquel returns home to the flat with 2 year old Damien from nursery. She finds that all the bottling and packing equipment and the conveyors are gone.
RAQUEL Oh my word, what is going on? (To Damien) What are the odds that your naughty daddy Del has been caught? Maybe he has been told to stop the venture or he has had a tip off about the police hey?
Del and Albert walk in.
RAQUEL Del, Del, what is going on here?
DEL The health inspectors have come round. The water board traced the output of the water to this flat and as they know we are running the Peckham Spring venture, they have put 2 and 2 together. We spent the last 2 or 3 hours getting rid of all this equipment as the inspectors will be back. They will have less to pin on us now.
ALBERT Or else Del will be spending next Christmas with Ron and Reg Kray eating cakes with files in them.
RAQUEL I am putting Damien to bed now Del, when I return I want the full story.
ALBERT I cannot blame Del though for this scheme, a few months ago we were broke.
DEL Cheers Unc.
ALBERT The police will no doubt be notified and the case could go to court.
DEL Look, now we have disposed of all the packing equipment, when the authorities come back they will just think we have been over using the tap water.
RAQUEL How else do they think we bottle the water? You need a good lawyer Del.
DEL Solly Attwell.
RODNEY AND CASSANDRA'S FLAT.
Rodney is ill in the toilet and clutching his stomach.
RODNEY (To himself) Cosmic, this is all I need.
Cassandra calls through the door.
CASS Roddy are you OK?
RODNEY Course I am not Cass. I am still sick. Too much Peckham Spring water. Bloody Del Boy.