The Leslie Flint Educational Trust

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

 
 
 

Wag enjoyed taking his pony and trap into the country,
 with his friend Sam.

Mr Wagstaff communicates...

Recorded: November 2nd 1970


“I wasn't that old when I died...”


Mr Wagstaff tells Betty Greene about his home life in London,
his market days in Petticoat Lane and his death in 1928.

He remembers his arrival in the afterlife,
and waking up after his death
from the long-term effects of wartime gas poisoning.

He talks about his sister, who depended on him for forty years,
and still thinks his soul can be saved by religion.

A life-long animal lover, Wag talks about rescuing a spirit dog
and explains that darkness follows those who are cruel to animals.

Happy in his new life,
Wag thinks he's not as advanced as other souls,
but he's glad he's no longer living with his sister!
 

Note: The quality of this enhanced audio fluctuates slightly.

 
 
 

Please read the transcript below as you listen...


Present: Betty Greene, Leslie Flint.

Communicators: Mr Wagstaff, Mickey.




Wagstaff:

Good Lord!


Greene:

Good Lord?


Wagstaff:

Well, well, well, what an extraordinary thing. I never thought I'd be able to come and speak like this.


Greene:

Didn't you?


Wagstaff:

Can you hear what I say?


Greene:

Yes...


Wagstaff:

Cor! Dear, oh dear. Where's your friend?


Greene:

Erm, he's very tired today so he's not coming...


Wagstaff:

Oh, poor old chap. Sorry to hear that.

Greene:
Mmm...

Wagstaff:

There's a crowd of people here today I tell you. Cor!


Greene:

Like to send a message to him?


Wagstaff:

Yeah, tell him to keep his pecker up. Tell him that we're, you know, we're around, like, keeping an eye on him, doing what we can to help.


Greene:

Good. Thank you.


Wagstaff:

Cor! Dear, oh dear. What a crowd there is this morning. Cor dear!


Greene:

Can't you speak and give me a talk friend, at all?

Flint:
Who's this? I don't know...

Greene:

I don't know.


Wagstaff:

I've been here before I have, but...


Greene:

What's your name friend?


Wagstaff:

...but uh, if anyone had told me about this I'd never have believed it, of course, when I was on your side - but it's all very interesting. My name's Wag.

Greene:

Wag?


Wagstaff:

Yeah, well really my name's Wagstaff but, uh, I was always known as Wag...


Greene:

Oh yes?


Wagstaff:
All my friends used to call me Wag. Yeah, that's going back a bit. Cor! Dear, oh dear.


Greene:

You been here before have you, you say?


Wagstaff:

I've been here yeah, many a time but I've not, uh, really had much chance to have a word or nothing, you know.


Greene:

Well, can you tell us about yourself?


Wagstaff:

Ay?


Greene:
Tell us about yourself...


Wagstaff:

Cor, what a packet!


Greene:

...what your doing and that sort of thing.


Wagstaff:

What am I doing? Oh well, sort of getting myself, sort of reorganised - I suppose you could put it like that.


Greene:
Mmm?

Wagstaff:
Changed my views a good bit of course. Not that I had much really. I was never strong minded in that way. I had an open mind. I didn't blame people if they wanted to do that or whatever it was. Get on with it.


Greene:
Yes?

Wagstaff:

As long as they didn't interfere with no one else. I was always, uh, you know, sort of easy going me. I never went to church. Nothing like that, excepting when I was, oh quite a nipper. I got all that out of my system. I never had it in it, I suppose.


Greene:

No? What did you...


Wagstaff:

I had me ups and me downs. I lived with me sister for about forty-odd years. I never got married. Neither did she.


Greene:
No?

Wagstaff:
I used to, uh, I used to... have a stall...


Greene:

Stall?


Wagstaff:

...way back. Oh yeah, many years ago now - down Petticoat Lane.


Greene:

Oh yes...


Wagstaff:

That's going back, oh must be… forty... forty-odd years or more now.


Greene:

Yes...

Wagstaff:
I came... came through the first war, as you call it.


Greene:
Yes...

Wagstaff:
You know 14-18, and I started up again. But I got badly gassed and that had a bad effect on me and... oh, I came here in 1920...28 I think it was. Must be 28. Yeah, 28. Yeah, I'd had a proper basketful one way and another.


Greene:
Yes?

Wagstaff:
Still, I didn't mind. I was easy going, I enjoyed me life. I think, uh, the war put me off a lot of things like religion and all that. I lost faith. Not that I ever had much to start with, you know.


The old... my sister she was a real one for church-going, and all that. We had a few arguments. She used to go to the Congregationalists. Don't know why she particularly went there, I think she enjoyed the singing and the social side of it. She was a good sister I think. She used to look after me, keep the place nice - since the old lady passed over. My father died when I was very young. Oh we were quite happy. Of course, you wouldn't know Britten Street would you?


Greene:

Bruton Street?


Wagstaff:

Britten.


Greene:

No, no I don't.


Wagstaff:

No. That's going back a few years now.

Greene:
No...

Wagstaff:
Things were bombed during the war. A lot of changes up The Cut* and all that, you know.


*The Cut = an old market street near Waterloo.

Greene:
Yes...


Wagstaff:

Yeah, and I used to sell all sorts of odds and ends. I used to get a lot of old junk, buy it up, you know, and then sell it, make a bit of a profit. I left a few quid* lying around, one way and another, I never had no bank account. But, uh, my sister, she... I expect she got through all that.

*quid = pounds sterling

Greene:

Uh...was it...


Wagstaff:

Do you know Brixton at all?


Greene:

Yes. Yes...


Wagstaff:

We lived there for a time. Actually, I was really born over that way.


Greene:

That's changed a lot!


Wagstaff:

Oh I tell you, bloody everywhere's changed. London's changed beyond recognition. Very different to what I remember it.

Greene:
What did you...


Wagstaff:
What a mess the place is in, isn't it?


You want to know what?


Greene:

Well, what did you, uh, feel when you finally passed over? I mean, did you...were you...


Wagstaff:

What do you mean what did I feel?


Greene:

Well did you...did you... I mean, you didn't think about religion?


Wagstaff:

Nah! I was in hospital. I was in hospital, I don't know how long... couple of weeks maybe, perhaps longer. I don't know. Just couldn't get me breath. It was this gassing business. My chest you see. Congestion and all that lark you know.


Oh my sister came and I remember her sitting there beside me, but I couldn't say nothing. I was sort half there and half somewhere else. It's funny that.

I remember seeing her...seeing her...walking... walking down the cemetery path one day and I was standing right beside her... walking beside her. She went to Mother's grave and, uh, Dad's grave, you know and I was buried there too then you see.

Greene:
Yes...

Wagstaff:
And there was me trotting down the path, you know, beside her. She'd got some daisies or something she'd got somewhere at a shop. You know, she was a bit religious in her way. She said a few prayers and all the rest of it, tidied up the grave and...you know, she's alright, she's a good soul. She's over here now...


Greene:
Yes, I gathered that.


Wagstaff:

...and I see her sometimes. We're not together though. She's got this high-faluting idea about religion. I think it had an effect on her you know. I expect one day we'll come up together again, but, uh, I don't live with her or nothing.

The old lady* I've seen quite a few times, and me father, but I'm not [with them]. I'm in a different sort of place. Well, it's my own fault... I suppose it is, I don't know. I'm quite happy where I am, so why should I...

*the old lady = his mother

Greene:

So what...what sort of place are you in?


Wagstaff:

Oh, I got a nice little country place, a nice little place. I always, you know when I was on your side, I always wanted [to live] in the country. Of course my sister she was a real Londoner she... she didn't want to move out at all. Besides, we got a nice little place, wasn't bad. And she was house proud.


Oh blimey, that was another thing that used to set us off sometimes. She couldn't... cor! Dear oh dear... she didn't like a speck of dust anywhere. Well that's alright, as far as it goes... but you shift a chair, shift anything - an ornament, whatever it was – she'd go on at you. Oh, she was worse than my mother [and] she was bad enough! But anyway that's neither here nor there...


What was I talking about?


Greene:

You were talking about over on the other side.


Wagstaff:

Oh yeah, yeah. Well I got a nice little place, a little cottage place. I share it with a friend of mine. He and I were buddies, you know. We used to go around and, uh, have a drink and all that, and, uh, sometimes he'd help me with my job and, uh...

I used to go out with a horse and cart you know and, uh, used to collect stuff from people's houses that they were chucking out. I'd give them a few bob* for it. I used to take it down The Cut and down the market and get rid of it, you know, and make a bit on it.

*a few bob = a little money


Sometimes I got hold of a consignment of new stuff you know that, uh, well...I won't say it wouldn't have been lifted* or not, but, uh... anyway I used to flog it, you know...

*lifted = stolen

Greene:

Yes...


Wagstaff:

…and, um, oh we had a good time. Anyhow, I always got on well with him. We were much the same cup of tea - like peas out of a pod. In fact often we were mistaken for brothers and, uh, sometimes if people didn't know, you know, if we were sitting in a pub having a drink.


We were very much alike strangely enough. No relation of course at all, just friends. There was a similarity, but I think if it hadn't been for my sister, I'd have probably packed in* and gone and lived with him. We got on well we did, you know.

*packed in = left / departed


She was real hard in her own way. She was well meaning but, uh...oh, she used to drive you round the bend*. She wouldn't touch a drop, you know - you could never take any booze back. You could never take anyone back. You couldn't use the parlour.

* round the bend = crazy

Greene:

[Laughing]


Wagstaff:

You know it was murder living with her, but she was my sister and she depended on me, more or less. She used to take... she was very clever with her needles - she used to do a bit of sewing and... she was quite good at that. She worked...well she didn't actually... she did work in a way - but, uh, instead of going out to work, she used to have a... she used to go to a place and fetch it, take it home and then do it, take it back, get a few bob.

Um, well, I didn't mind. I didn't want her to go out to work, we could manage. But she was a miserable bitch really. I didn't want to live with her over here, so it worked out alright. I'm with my friend Sam.


Greene:

Yes...


Wagstaff:

Of course, that's another thing, he's a bit of a case he is! He and I thought much alike - no time for religion. Well...huh! I suppose it's... I shouldn't really be like that; they're a well meaning lot, these people. But my sister put me off it too, in a way.

You know my mother was... well, I suppose it's way back in the family. Anyway, my sister's very religious really. She used to go down...Of course, that grave by the way is in a proper mess now. Cor! Dear, oh dear.


Greene:

Is it?


Wagstaff:

You can't see it for weeds, you can't see it for grass. They don't bother these days you know. I don't blame them, not much point to it. When your dead your dead I used to say. Of course that's not true, 'cause I find I'm very much more alive, but, uh... Oh I wouldn't come back to your side, not for nothing.


Oh, I was telling you about my sister. She used to go regular every Sunday. She used to go to church in the evening. Sunday she'd visit the cemetery. You'd get a hot lunch. That was another thing. You know, she used to cook this here meal. Midday dinner we called it you know, but people call it lunch don't they? But, uh, oh blimey, if I was in late and she'd got it in the oven, she was in a proper state about that.


Oh, that was another thing, used to... sometimes I'd get back late from the pub. Oh, we used to have a set to* then, but she'd always be haughty. She'd never sort of... well I don't know... she was a case. I couldn't have lived with her. I mean I had to, more or less, on Earth I suppose, in a way, being my sister's supporter. But, I'm not with her here. I mean, I couldn't stand that lark.

* set to = confrontation

Greene:

How do you... I beg your pardon.


Wagstaff:

What?


Greene:

What are you doing with yourself?


Wagstaff:

Of course, she's still got this religious mania you see. I suppose she's happy enough. I see her from time to time. She says that I ought to come out of the condition - or whatever she likes to call it - where I am, but why should I? Well I'm very happy here. I'm not... no longer an old... well, I wasn't all that old when I came, in my forties. Oh, but I'm young and fit and well.


My friend and I, we love the countryside. We talk to the animals... and it's a funny thing that. You say 'talk to the animals', you can talk to animals here and they understand you too, and they have their own little way of life. I've got two dogs...


Another thing, she wouldn't have a damn dog in the house. I always wanted a dog I did, I always did. She wouldn't even have a cat, she was that prejudiced. Most women like cats, but she didn't. She didn't like any animals much. 'They make the place untidy' she said, 'hairs everywhere,' and all that. She said, 'Look,'...used to say me, 'Look at Mrs Smith next door. Look at her place; all those cats piddling all over the place and the smell,' and all that, you know.


Cor! Dear, oh dear! No, you couldn't have anything where she was concerned. She was too [unintelligible]. And so now I've got a couple of lovely dogs that...came over some few years back. They were... one was killed and I was able to help it when it was killed in the street - and the other one belonged to a relation of ours. Nell. We didn't see her much, not Nell. She was an aunt actually, my mother's sister. We used to visit her on rare occasions. You know, she was real animal... she loved the animals.


Of course, my sister she always used to moan about her. She'd be, 'oh you go to her place, it always stinks the house out', you know. Well the dog was clean. Lovely little dog. I liked Nell. So anyway, I got Nell over here and this other dog that I told you about...


Greene:

Yes...


Wagstaff:

...that, uh, was killed, like, you know.


Oh I'm very happy in my way. I'm free and easy. I'm studying. I'm learning. I go to church, but not religious church. Now that may strike you as odd, don't it really...


Greene:

Is it church then?


Wagstaff:

…well, I call it church, but it ain't church, because they don't talk about religion. So I suppose in a way it ain't church...


Greene:

But what do they talk about?


Wagstaff:

…well, [they] talk about philosophy, they talk about life, uh, progression and, um, spiritual matters. But somehow it ain't church to me, although I call it, in a kind of way, church, because I suppose in a sort of...sort of way it is, you know, but it's my idea of what church should be - none of this ramming it down your throat and singing hymns and playing harmoniums and all that lark. This is interesting people who have got something to say. They're intelligent, you can take it in and it's interesting.


And also you have what you'd call... well, I don't know whether you'd call them film shows, that's stupid, because there ain't no films as you understand it. But it's as if they've got some vast, sort of, something at the end of a large hall - like a big screen it is I suppose really - and you see all these pictures, I suppose and, uh...


Oh it's the history of man and, uh, it's terribly exciting, because you see all different aspects of man's life through generations of time - how he's, um, evolved and developed and how certain aspects of man himself has prevented or created certain circumstances and situations which have made it difficult for him to achieve, in the way in which he might have gone or intended or was hoped for. You know, its illuminating to the mind. I'm learning a lot from that and yet, it is a kind of church. Funny isn't it? But its not religion. You know, not the old orthodox bashing away and all that. None of the pulpit lark and the man with the dog collar.


Greene:

Uh, Wag...


Flint:
[Coughing]

Greene:

...you were telling me about the history of man - well man didn't start with Adam and Eve did he?


Wagstaff:

Cor! I shouldn't think so...


Greene:

I mean don't they tell you that? Haven't they shown you...


Wagstaff:
Well... see, that's the old Bible story isn't it?


Greene:

I know and have they gone back, you know…


Wagstaff:

Oh well I think that, uh, man evolved and developed over eons and eons and eons of time and uh... I think he just evolved, uh, from... from certain aspects of... from the physical point of view, from what I understand, from... from various lower species. It was gradual evolution through centuries and centuries of time, but the mentality of the spirit, the vitalising... the um, the aspect of reality of the self, as they call it, uh, this was always there, searching for a way of expression.


And gradually man evolved and became, as you term it, a human being. But I don't think it has anything to do with religion. I mean, not in the old orthodox way.


Not like my sister believes. I mean she still believes that... oh well, from what I can make out, I think she believes much the same as they do... used to do on the Earth - that there's going to be a great resurrection day and then she'll go back to the Earth, and her body is going to come out the grave and she's going to get all her flesh back on it. Don't know where she going to get it from!


Greene:

[Laughing]


Wagstaff:

Don't know whether she'll get her specs* or not. But anyway she'll probably be able to see without them, if she ever gets back there! She's got all these old fashioned ideas. She... she lives with a community of people and they are very religious. I've been there a few odd times. She's tried to persuade me, but I just don't go for that, you know.

* specs = glasses / spectacles

Greene:
No...

Wagstaff:

But she lives in that way and she thinks in that way, and that's the way she is.

Greene:

Quite.


Wagstaff:

She don't seem to want nothing else, she's quite happy and... well, quite frankly, she's a good soul. I mean, I never thought otherwise. I mean, we used to have our ups and our downs and she used to ram religion down my throat and try to get me to go with her, but I wouldn't buy that one.


But, uh, she never was very happy about my friendship with my mate either. She always thought he was a bit too fond of drink. Well... he never got real mad drunk, only at Christmas and perhaps bank holidays. He was alright.


Greene:

Wag...


Wagstaff:
And we used to... we used to have a pony and trap, way back when, you know. I told you about the horse and cart.


Greene:

Yes.


Wagstaff:

But, um, we also had an old trap that we bought second hand, um, which was kept in this old place that we used to, you know, put the horse in and that, in the back street there. And, um, we sometimes would go out into the country - of course I'm talking about some years ago when you could get out in the country a bit, you know.


Greene:

Yes...


Wagstaff:

And the motor car was... well, it was on the road and all that... but, um, well, we used to get out and about. We used to enjoy ourselves. We used to go out and have a little booze-up* in a nice little country pub, and some bread and cheese and that. But, uh, we were happy. She could never see anything to that, you know.

*booze-up = drink of beer

Greene:

No... Now, Mr Wagstaff...


Wagstaff:
What?

Greene:
Can I get back to... you know you said you helped a dog that was killed?


Wagstaff:

Oh yeah...


Greene:

The doggy you've got...


Wagstaff:

Yeah, that's right.


Greene:

Now then - what was it... when that doggy was killed, what happened to the etheric counterpart of that dog? Did you... did it, sort of, look bewildered and wondered what had happened to itself or what?


Wagstaff:

What do you mean etheric?


Greene:

Well, the spirit of the dog...


Wagstaff:

Oh well, the animal himself...


Greene:
Yes.


Wagstaff:
...the real dog.

Greene:
Yes, that's what I...


Wagstaff:
Well you see, this is it. This is what I learned; that the body's nothing, in a sense. It's only the shell...


Greene:
That's right…


Wagstaff:

Its only the outer covering with which you, sort of, express yourself...uh, its necessary in your world, from a material point of view, you have it. But, uh, the real self, the real spirit, the real person, like – the everything, you might say...is...is, you know... you - which goes on and on, like.


Well, I mean, it's the same with the animals. The dog just, sort of, after it had been knocked down and killed, like, it just sort of stood around there - like animals can do, like people do, as a matter of fact, when things happen like that, bewildered like, see? So... and I'm very fond of animals and, uh, I just coaxed it away and brought it and it's now with me...


Greene:

Oh I see, yes.


Wagstaff:

...you know. A lot of animals, you know, these poor little animals they do these terrible things to - there's loads of souls from this side who go there to try and help them, comfort them, when the poor little things cease to exist materially. They take them away from there and...

You see, this is another thing that, um, the animals have such faith and they're so simple in their way and trusting. And then they get things happen and it affects them, in a way. I mean, not only physically, but in a, sort of, mental sense and, uh, we have quite a problem sometimes with some of the animals. They lose their faith and trust you see. We have to restore that. It's like double work.


Oh, those places... if only people could realise what those vivi... vivisection places are like. It's as if they're in a terrible, terrible, terrible fog and depression. And the atmosphere around those places is something appalling. And I'll tell you one thing mate...


Greene:

Yes?


Wagstaff:

...quite apart from the doctors and all the rest of it, who do the experimenting - the people that work there will never, never be materially happy or successful. There will always be trouble and disaster following in its wake. They'll never know real happiness.


Greene:

Well of course not.


Wagstaff:

Because their drawing all the wrong conditions and attracting the wrong conditions and people...


Greene:

Because they're helping in it aren't they?


Wagstaff:

Yeah, well take it from me, that, uh, no one... take it from me, no one should have anything to do with those places, because the experiments and the terrible things that they do and the unnecessary things that they do... because no good can ever come of that. If anyone can be cruel to animals they can do almost anything.

Anyway, I do not want to dwell on it because its depressing...


Greene:

No its very interesting that you said that...


Wagstaff:

You've got to learn to live with nature. And if you live naturally and live to nature or with nature and you follow out nature's plan, you can't go far wrong. And you must do unto others as you would be done by - and that includes the poor little dumb creatures. In fact they need your help and assistance and kindness and if you send out love everywhere, you can't go far wrong. It will come back to you a thousand-fold.


Not that you do good deeds because you want good deeds to come back to you. I mean, not that you expect great...you know... in return, like. But, uh, there are people... and I don't know what to make of people. Conditions around your world are terrible.

I mean I come here, like, because I'm attracted in a kind of way. Of course, I know that you're trying to do some good work and you've got some good people. Well, you're kind and considerate and you're helpful and you're trying to find out truth and give truth to others and encourage them and uplift them, and all that. It's a joy to come here. But other places - ooh, not me! I mean, some of these here churches and places are terrible. The atmosphere is appalling you know.


Greene:

I don't like them...


Wagstaff:

People don't realise it you know. I mean, they look all nice on the surface, and all the rest of it - and some of them are very beautiful; lovely things inside. But a lot of them are really empty, there's no real spirit there, there's no real understanding. There's no tolerance even sometimes. You know they're so narrow-minded and so bogged down with superstition and God knows what else. They don't realise that the truth is found not inside, but outside...


Greene:

Quite right...


Wagstaff:
You know. Perhaps I shouldn't say this. Of course, my sister wouldn't like it. She still clings to it all. But I can't see [that] it's any benefit to her. She... she's happy in her way, it's true. But it all seems as if, to me, as if she ain't made no step forward nowhere.


Greene:

She's bogged own isn't she?


Wagstaff:

Well she is and so are all those people she links up with: Congregationalists. She's always trying to save me. I told her many a time she'll never do that. I said, 'if you're an example of being saved,' I said, 'I'm jolly glad I ain't!'


Greene:

[Laughing]


Wagstaff:

Anyway, I shouldn't say that should I?


Greene:
Oh no, no... it's quite...


Wagstaff:
You see, people don't realise it - there are all sorts of different conditions, as you call it, or states of being or whatever you like to call it, according to the individual. Some people say I'm not progressed. Perhaps I'm not progressed, I don't know. All I know is that, uh, at least I've got an open mind and I'm trying to find out, I'm searching and I'm happy.

I've got good companionship, love and affection and my mind is open to receive. And if I can't accept something or I don't understand something, I say so and I don't necessarily turn it down, exactly - I give it thought, you know.


But some of these people... cor! Stone the crows!* You can't get anywhere near them, it's like a closed shop. They don't want to know. They just think that they're gonna be, in some cases, like my sister - she really believes that all old those old bits of bone and all the rest of it [are] all coming together and the joints are going to be secured again and she's going around as she was when on Earth and clothed in glory on Earth!

*stone the crows = oh my goodness

Greene:
[Laughing]

Wagstaff:

Cor! Dear, oh dear. Poor old thing. She wasn't much too look at then!


Greene:
[Laughing]


Wagstaff:

Poor old sausage she is. Anyway I can't stay...


Greene:

Well it's very nice of you to come...


Wagstaff:

But there's a fair old crowd around here today, I tell you. All souls. They all come in love. A few nosey ones, naturally, who are searching, but that's just as well. You get all sorts you know.


Anyway, all the best and remember me to your friend...


Greene:

I will Mr Wagstaff.


Wagstaff:

Give him my best wishes... and all that.


Greene:

I will and thank you very much for your good talk.


Wagstaff:
Here, call me Wag...


Greene:

Wag...


Wagstaff:

Bye-bye.


Greene:
Bye bye Wag. Thank you very much.


Mickey:

Bye-bye.

Greene:
Goodbye Mickey love.


This transcript was completed for the Trust by K.Jackson-Barnes - September 2019