The Leslie Flint Educational Trust

WEB: www.leslieflint.com                  EMAIL: leslieflinttrust@outlook.com

 
 

Impression of an 18th century highwayman.

Image credit: Derek Charles Eyles


The Harry Tucker séance


Recorded: November 4th 1968

You created for yourself a dungeon of darkness”

Harry Tucker lived much of his life as a thief

who stole from travellers and public coaches along the road.


In this communication

Harry reflects on his life and his death in old age

and the changes he’s seen in London since his life there in the 1700s.


Harry describes finding his own body after death,

and how no one could hear him or see him


Only when his deceased father and sister appeared 

did Harry understand that his future was to be in a different world

- where even greater surprises awaited him.



Note: This vintage audio is enhanced from a poor quality original and some interference remains.

Traffic and a passing aeroplane can be heard, and occasionally the sound of Mr Flint’s dog.

 
 
 

Please read the full transcript below as you listen…


Present: George Woods, Betty Greene, Leslie Flint.

Communicators: Mickey, Harry Tucker.




Mickey:

...pleased to be able to come and talk to you again. Hello George-porge! How are you?


Woods:

Very well, thank you Mickey.


Mickey:

Georgie-porgie!


Woods:

Very well.


Greene:

Oh yes Mickey!


Mickey:

Are you alright?


Woods:

Yes, we’re alright. Very well, both Betty and myself. Very well indeed.


Greene:

And how are you Mickey?


Mickey:

Oh there’s nothing wrong with me. Be very strange if there was.


Greene: [Laughing]

Well, we’re glad to be up here again, to start work again.


Woods:

Very glad Mickey.


Mickey:

Are you coming throughout the winter?


Greene:

Yes, rather.


Woods:

Oh yes.


Greene:

Mmm. Unless the snow and ice stops us or something like that - stops the train, you know.


Woods:

If we can get up here, we’ll get up here Mickey. No matter what the weather is like…


Greene:

Hello?


Flint:

Huh?


Woods:

Hello?


Tucker:

Aye. Times have changed, that I don’t recognise anything around here now…


Greene:

Don’t you?


Tucker:

It’s different altogether, to what it used to be.


Greene:

Yes?


Tucker:

You’d never know where you was now. I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t had it explained to me…

Ah, times have changed, people’s clothes - everything’s changed.


Greene:

Uh-huh…


Tucker:

Oh dear, dear, dear…


Greene:

Who are you friend…?


Tucker:

What a changed place this is. Oh, years ago this was all fields.


Green:

Yes?


Tucker:

Oh dear, oh dear… and there was a… oh, an old place, somewhere just ‘round here that I used to go hide out, many-a-time. That’s all gone too. Oh dear, oh dear. Goodness me, I have no… no desire to come back to your world. I’ve had my fill of it. Uh, you wouldn’t understand if I told you.


Green:

Why not?


Tucker:

Good happy old days. I’m a different fellow now. I’m a different chap. I’m a happy man. I wasn’t exactly miserable when I was on your side - I had my ups and my downs. Ah… I had my good times and my bad times. But when I was on your side; oh dear, oh dear, this was all countryside, all fields and a few little places here and there; a little hamlet not far from here there was, and a very good old place called The Boar - where I used to go and hide up for a while, sometimes, when things got a bit ‘too hot’!


Greene:

Who were you, friend?


Tucker:

I was on the road.


Greene:

Oh…


Tucker:

Ah… my name won’t mean a thing, of course, to you. Why should it?


Greene:

May we have it?


Tucker:

My name was Harry.


Greene / Woods:

Harry?


Tucker:

Harry. Yeah.


Greene:

Harry. Yes.


Tucker:

Yeah. Harry Tucker.


Woods / Greene:

Harry Tucker?


Tucker:

Yeah. Old Harry Tucker!


Greene:

Yes?


Tucker:

I wouldn’t like to say what some of them used to call me. But I had some good larks and I had a few guineas* here and there. [Laughing] The old coaching… coaching place wasn’t so far away. I used to go out down to Hempstead.


*guineas = gold coins

Greene:

Yes?


Tucker:

Oh, and I used to be a great friend of old Will’s. He was a bright spark he was.

You’re… you’re living many years after me. Oh, I’m talking about…


Woods:

Were you on the highways friend?


Tucker:

I was talking about… oh, 160 - 180 years ago.


Greene:

Yes…


Tucker:

Oh dear, oh dear. Not so far the old Tyburn* was up here; some of the unlucky ones.

I had the good fortune to die in my bed [Laughing].


*Tyburn = a gallows by the old river Tyburn, near London's Marble Arch.

Greene:

Um…


Tucker:

I cheated them, didn’t I?


Greene: [Laughing]


Flint: [Laughing]


Greene:

Um…Harry, how did you, um… you were a highwayman weren’t you?


Tucker:

Well, you could call me that. I wasn’t exactly a highwayman. I was a bit of this and a bit of that.


Greene:

Well Harry, when you passed over, um…


Flint: [Coughing]


Tucker:

When I did what?


Greene:

When you passed… when you died, when…in other words, ‘died’…


Tucker:

Ah, when I died…


Greene:

How did you react to it? How did you… what sort of conditions did you find yourself in?


Tucker:

I didn’t like it.


Greene:

Mmm?


Tucker:

Ah… I was… I remember sitting in The Boar. I was getting on a bit then and I’d got a little bit tucked away [Laughing].


Greene:

Yes?


Tucker:

Ah… I snuffed it.*

*Snuffed it = died

Greene:

Yeah, well what happened when…


Tucker:

I snuffed it, I did.


Greene:

Yes, but what happened when you…


Tucker:

And when I snuffed it, I remember coming down that staircase. Huh! The place was dark, not a soul about.


Greene:

Yes, go on Harry.


Tucker:

Didn’t know as I was dead. Funny… I had a feeling for something to whet my appetite. Huh.


Greene:

Yes?


Tucker:

Funny that.

I thought I’d get a bottle. Huh! Ah, funny thing that. Coming down the stairs…


Greene:

Yes?


Tucker:

And I thought to myself, huh… why I hadn’t lit a candle, I don’t know. But it was a summer’s night, the moon was bright [Laughing]. Could see my way. I knew where to go, I’d been there hundreds of times. He didn’t know it; the old tap man*. He didn’t know that often I used to go and help myself in the night. It was a habit I suppose - when they was all asleep [Laughing]. I used to open… unbolt the old door and down I’d go [Laughing]. I knew where to get a bottle. He never missed it.

*Tap man = bartender


That night I went down, it must have been three or four in the morning, I remember hearing the church clock strike. Three it was. I went to the usual place, [Laughing] I put my hand in the cupboard and went to get hold of a bottle - couldn’t pick it up!


Green:

Mmm?


Tucker:

I couldn’t make head nor tail of it. Never happened before. Seemed funny, I couldn’t get hold of that bottle, couldn’t grasp that bottle. The more I put my hand ‘round it, the more difficult it was. Didn’t feel as if I was touching the thing.


Then it suddenly struck me; coming down the stairs, it was as if, I don’t know, I didn’t feel my hand on the bannister and my feet on the stairs. Didn’t feel any weight. And I thought to myself, gradually, I thought, well… I feel light. You know?


Greene:

Mmm…


Tucker:

I thought, well, this is most strange. So I thought, well, I must be dreaming or something or I must be sick. So I thought I’ll go up, back into the bed. So I goes up the stairs, quiet like - didn’t feel as if I was touching the stairs and I thought, I’m light-headed or something, you know, odd, like…


I opens the door… that’s another funny thing, I pushed the door and it was as if, somehow, I’d walked through it, which I thought I must be having some sort of a dream or something… nightmare, you know? And I goes to get on the bed and sees a man there. I thought I’d gone into the wrong room. So I starts to go back and then I thought, sort of, felt something odd, strange, uncanny. The light was - moonlight - was streaming through that window onto that bed and I could see this man’s face and I thought, ‘God, he’s like me’.


And somehow, when I went close up to him, looked at him, I could see it was me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I didn’t even know what to make of it, so I started running down those stairs, like as if the devil was behind me. Shouting I was, shouting I was, at the top of my voice. No one seemed to hear a word. No one came.


I thought, this is strange, what’s gone wrong here? So I ran up the stairs and banged on the doors. I could hear the noise of the banging, but no one woke up, no one took any notice. I was in a terrible state. I flew out, down the stairs, opened the door of the Inn and flew down the path. Shouting I was, shouting. I ran down the road, across the fields and I came to a river - not far from here it was. Ah… and I stopped at the river.


There’s something wrong, this is a nightmare. This is… this is crazy, this is madness, this is stupid. This is… You know, I just couldn’t realise… I sat down on the… on the bank and I was - I don’t know - like, as if I was, in a dream. I just couldn’t believe this was true. I could hardly… I suddenly began to realise there was something different about me - I didn’t feel the same.


And by this time it was getting daybreak and I was sitting on the edge of this bank, I was, and I could see the water and I went … and suddenly, as I looked down, I could myself - it was my reflection, I suppose.


Greene:

Mmm?


Tucker:

And I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t look like me.


Greene:

Come on Harry, this is awfully interesting.


Woods:

Come on Harry. It’s very interesting.


Tucker:

It looked like a young fellow.


Greene:

Oh!


Tucker:

A very young fellow it was. I couldn’t believe it. And then after a while, I thought, ‘this ain’t me’. ‘What’s that, what’s that, what’s that?’ I was saying. ‘What’s that?’ I thought there was someone behind me and I turned ‘round and there was no one there. I couldn’t make it… couldn’t make head nor tail of it.


And then I got up and I walked and I walked and I walked. Must have been miles I walked, and by this time people were about. I remember a carriage went by and it was full of people and I was thinking to myself, cor, if I’d have been…I don’t know… if I’d have been able to, perhaps, get a few guineas or something, but I don’t know, it was as if I was not myself at all.


And then I walked on and on and it seemed as if everything was going past me. And the funny thing was, it seemed as if there was a crowd of people starting to gather, all walking. And I couldn’t see them, but I could hear them. I could hear them chattering, I could hear them talking, I could hear them laughing, I could hear their footsteps. And I stopped and I looked behind me and I couldn’t see anyone.


And as I walked on a bit and I stopped and looked behind me and no one there. And yet I could see people that were doing their ordinary things, passing little cottages and places. I saw people banging their carpets and… and bringing in eggs from their chickens, and the cows I could see in the fields and occasionally I could see someone on horseback going by. But these were, oh, people that they just couldn’t see me I suppose - at least, I spoke to several people and no one said nothing.


Then I could hear these people behind me. All the time I could hear people behind me. It was as if no one could see me. And I… I could see those that were still on Earth, but I couldn’t see these other people that I knew was behind me and it was like a big crowd of people. 

It was as if I was not aware they were there and yet I knew they was there; and I wanted to know who they was and what they was and why they was following me and why I could see other people that were still obviously on Earth and they couldn’t see me; the people on Earth. It was as if I wasn’t there and was there and no one realised I was there - and yet I was there with them. No one spoke, no one took no notice.


And I remember I felt hungry and I came to a little place and I could see some people going in there and I thought I’d go in and see if I could something to eat. And I could hear these people laughing and chattering and… and as I went in the door, I could hear them behind me and I looked ‘round sharp and no one came in. And I could see other people inside and I sat down and I banged on the table for some attention, but no one came. No one took any notice. 


Someone on the other side was eating, a pie or something, and there was a woman there in the corner and…and I kept banging on the table, no one took no notice. And I went up to the fire place and called out to the man. I says, ‘come on, give me… I want something’, you know. And he didn’t take no notice and the woman came over and she’d got a drink, he was talking to her and I was standing there. I shoved her one side, but she didn’t seem to take any notice and then I realised that these people, they just didn’t know I was there. And I was in a state and I didn’t… I thought, oh I don’t know, I just still felt empty inside and yet I felt, all the time, as if I was delirious.


Anyway, I realised it was no good, so I went out and when I got to the door I could see a whole crowd of people. Oh, there must have been, oh, hundreds of people. There was men and there was women and there was children and there was some dogs and they was all… all stretching right across the road they was. And they were all laughing and chatting and two people came forward out the crowd and I recognised them then.


One was my father. He’d been dead, oh, somewhere ‘round forty years. And he came laughing. I’d never seen him look so well; red face, happy, jolly he looked. And with him was my sister who died, oh, many years before, she had - and there they was. They says, ‘come on, come on, we’ve been following you, waiting for you, but you wasn’t ready, you couldn’t see us, you didn’t know we was there. We’ve bought all our old friends.


Then I looked around me and I could see that all these people were people I had met and known years ago. Of course, my father was a very religious man, he was. Oh, shocking he was and why I ran away from home when I was quite young, you know.


And we was so happy and I felt so awful and I began to realise that, well, I… by this time I knew something terrible had happened, but I would hardly admit it to myself I suppose. But anyway, they took me by my arms, they were pushing me and pulling me and… through this crowd and they was all singing and I realised that they were singing some song. I can’t remember how it went, but it was as if there was a choir, like you might get in a church, excepting they wasn’t singing nothing religious, but it was happy and bright and colourful and all that, you know.


And everybody, I realised then, looked awfully well dressed, which struck me as odd, because we were never well-off people and all that. They was dressed nice and neat and tidy. Then I noticed another thing, that they’d all got their own hair… um, of course, we used to do up our own hair and that, but the rich people used to powder theirs and sometimes have… have these here artificial hair, you know. But all these people looked neat and tidy and hair was beautifully brushed and nice and fresh and clean - and nice attire they’d got.


And I looked at myself and I was amazed because I hadn’t got no more of them old clothes that I’d been wearing. I was like I was when I was, oh, a young man, but dressed in a nice suit, I was; plum coloured suit it was and nice breeches and nice shoes and I realised that I was different somehow. But I realised afterwards it was the people; their thoughts towards me had helped me.


Oh, we went up this place, this road and was singing and chanting they was, and I’m laughing to myself then, I was getting more happy and merry and I’d lost my hunger, I didn’t feel hungry no more - and then, all of a sudden, we seemed to come to the top of a hill. Funny that was, because up til then the countryside was as I’d always remembered it, and then all of a sudden we got to the top of this hill and I looked down and it was different - nothing like I’d ever seen before. It was like looking at a distance, in the distance, a great city it was.


Oh, it was a beautiful sight it was; beautiful places, buildings in the distance and it was as if it was lit up. All bright and shiny and new and lovely. It was as if the walls were made of jasper and pearl and, oh, it was lovely it was, real lovely.


And, uh, next thing I knew was, I was standing outside what was like an entrance to a - well, I suppose you’d call it a castle, but it was not like any castle that I’d ever seen. But it was a big place with turrets and it was very nice and lovely to look at and it was outside these gates and these gates gradually opened as if no one was there to open them but they just… I glided through, I can’t say I walked through them.


But I was no longer with all these people. It was as if I was on my own and I wasn’t. I was conscious of a very tall person beside me, but I couldn’t see him. But I knew that if I could see him he’d be very light and… and beautiful. I don’t know why, but I had a, sort of, feeling as if he was a knight or something and yet I knew I couldn’t see - I couldn’t see. But it was as if he was a wonderful soul or someone who was full of light, you know.


Anyway, we went into this place and up a great staircase and along a big, oh I suppose, balcony, it was. And then we came to a room, a door and went in this door - and another thing, it was as if this door opened of its own accord - and there was a great big hall. Oh, enormous place it was; beautifully… cor, you know, turned out and there was great big tapestries on the wall, beautiful colours and needlework and there was several ladies sitting there in old-fashioned costume they was, as I had heard people talk about and beautiful materials and lovely ladies they was.


And there was a man there and, I don’t know, I thought at first he was a king or something, but I realised afterwards he wasn’t anything of the sort. But he was a wonderful looking old - I say old, well he looked old, yet as I looked at him I knew he wasn’t - and it was some sort of a… I don’t know… but, there again, you see something and you feel something and in this state I was in anyway… he was sitting on this, sort of, big chair on a sort of raised up part, he was, and these ladies were sitting around.


And anyway I was conscious of a great deal of, sort of, oh, I don’t know, warmth I suppose. A nice feeling from him and I was sort of, walking down this sort of hall place. And as I got near him, he stood up and he beckoned me forward and he says, ‘well’ - I always remember, he says, ‘well now you are here, you shall see for yourself how you have prepared that which is your home.’


I don’t know, I didn’t know what to think, because I… suddenly, it was as if all of a sudden I remembered all the things I’d done. I’ve never done no one any real injury, thank God, but I’d robbed and thieved a bit and… well, but these were hard times and… and I thought, it was as if all my life came back in front of me.


Anyway, he beckoned me to follow him and we went down a long corridor and then we seemed to be going down and down and down and down and I thought as if we was going down into dungeons and yet I can’t say it was like dungeons or if it was that dark. Of course, although we was going down this long, sort of, passage place, it was illuminated, it wasn’t dark and there was no torches no nothing to light it up, but I was conscious of the light.


And then we came to what was a, well I suppose, a room, not very big room and in there, there was a man sitting at a table and I looked at him as I went in and it was like me, as I was. I couldn’t understand this. I thought well… and then this other person says, ‘this is as you were.’ So I says, ‘how do you mean, what I was?’ He says, ‘you were like a man in a dungeon.’ He says, ‘you created for yourself, walls - and shut out the things that mattered. But this is no more,’ he says,‘this is no longer you, because this is reflections of what was.’


He says, ‘But what is and what is to come, is what matters.’ He says, ‘you created for yourself a dungeon of darkness, you built yourself - around yourself - a wall. You shut out the light because your mind wasn’t open. But,’ he says, ‘now you shall learn, and I shall help you to learn. Come, I will take you elsewhere.’


And I went with him and I went back, up and up and up and up many steps and we came back to the place - the large hall. The ladies were still there and I remember one of them, she came forward and she took me by the hand and it was as if, in some strange way… she took me by the hand, as if, well… as if I was, well… transformed or something happened; I don’t know how to say it. And I looked at her face for the first time and it was a face that I’d never forgotten.


[Flint’s dog barks]


It was the face of a girl that I was, in my early years, very fond of, very attached to. And, as I looked at her and she looked at me, I realised that if my life could have taken a different path and I could have married her, I'm sure that I would have been a different person. I wouldn't have got into bad company and taken up 'the road' and all that. 


And she smiled at me, and as she smiled, I knew that if she hadn't have died when she did, when she was a young woman, we could have probably married, and I would probably have been a different person. I'd have probably worked on the farm, or had done something in the local way that would have got me enough to support us. But she died, and that's what really turned me against everything and everybody.


And she took my hand there she did. She said, ‘now, come.’ She said, ‘now you can start all over again with me. And I'm to help you and I'm to guide you and to show you the way,’ she says. And I walked with her out of this great castle place and we came, so it seemed, to a small place. It was on the verge of a, I suppose, a town you’d call it, but it was as if it was just outside the town, but… and yet it was part of it. And this small little cottage, as you’d call it, with a roof that was thatched…[with a little low wall around it].


And there was a beautiful feeling and, it was as if I'd come home and yet I'd never known this place before on Earth. But… and then as we sort of entered this…


[Flint’s dog barks]


…she looked different and yet she was the same. But her clothes changed, and instead of this beautiful elaborate dress, she’d got a very simple cotton, I suppose - I suppose it was cotton, but it looked like a cotton dress or something. But she still looked the same to me; her clothes were different, but she was the same. And she had been waiting for me all this time, had been watching over me cons…constant - what do you say? - thinking about me, trying to get me on to the right path, she had, all those years.


It’s strange when I think about it now, but now we're together and we’ve made so much progress together and far, far, different, of course, to what it was. But this all happened such a long time ago, many years ago and many things have changed. And she comes with me. Tonight… today, she’s here. She don’t say anything, but another time when I come, perhaps she’ll also speak, but…


Greene:

Thanks Harry.


Tucker:

I’ll tell you more about it all in more detail than I can tell you now. But I’m having to learn still, of course. But anyway, perhaps another time I can come. I… I… I’m not good perhaps at describing things, but if it’s any interest… because that’s what I was told - that they wanted us to come and talk about our experiences…our lives, experiences, as you say it is, now, in your new language, you know.


Greene:

Yes.


Tucker:

We… there are a lot of things I’d like to tell you and perhaps I’ll get Jenny and perhaps we’ll tell you a lot more later on. But I must go, because…


Greene:

Thank you Harry.


Tucker:

But it’s been nice meeting you very nice people.


Woods:

Thank you Harry.


Tucker:

But, um, I’ll be again with you.


Greene:

Oh good.


Woods:

Oh good Harry.


Tucker:

Bye-bye.


Greene:

Goodbye Harry…


Woods:

Cheerio Harry. Thank you.


Greene:

…thank you very much.


Mickey:

Bye-bye.


Greene:

Goodbye Mickey love. That was lovely!


END OF RECORDING

 

This transcript was created for the Trust by K.Jackson-Barnes in August 2019

Please ask permission before using this transcript.


The audio was created from the original recording in November 2005 by Jack Terrence Andrews.