Women At War
As Drexit talks droned on this week, evidence of the damage being done on a more human scale emerged as onetime friends and former land girls Di Sputed-Akers and Sue Overland-Wrights entered into a bitter feud of their own.
Friends of both women agree that the ongoing dispute between the former friends is unfortunate and have no hesitation in putting Drexit at the heart of it. "It all began a few months ago when Di put up a pro-Drexit poster featuring celebrity agriculturalist Flora Bunnda", Fran Ship told the social media correspondent of Wootton Fitzpaine Agricultural Local Disputes Weekly Magazine, "and Sue retaliated with a pro-Drexit one." "It's all kicked off since then and this week's been a nightmare what with the problems over the northern enclave and all". "It's unsettled everyone at The Pig and Whistle".
Rival posters suggest a polarised community. Is the Winterborne Zelston dispute "an inevitable outcome of Drexit" or are deeper forces at play?
However, more dispassionate onlookers with a sense of history have a different theory. "It's the same in any civil war", says Civil War historian Alan Civille-Warre, "the general conflict gives marvellous cover to local petty disputes and often generations old inter-familial rivalries and hatreds are played out - undercover - so to speak. Scores are settled under the pretext of principled dispute, whereas it's really pent-up petty revenge on a massive scale". So might the key to the Di-Sue fractiousness lie deeper in the historical soil? Estranged family member Esther-Anged Family-Member believes so. "I think the fact that Di ran off with Ernie Galthorpe, Sue's betrothed might have quite a lot to do with it. He was a farmer with the biggest one in the area of Winterborne Zelston and everyone was after it. Then in 1943 he dumped Sue and married Di. It was the talk of the village - after all, a good hard-luck story is always a nice distraction from a War." "Those two have never had a good word to say about each other since", says local solicitor Frank Summons, "so the idea that this is all about Mrs Threadbone and the Dorset Trade Free Association let alone Drexit is just nonsense", he added. "And don't forget it was Sue who was responsible for Mr Threadbone's interest in mini-tractors and he was never the same again after Enrique had over-tightened his nuts. She definitely has form that woman.... Sorry can't stop. I've a "No Posters" writ to serve"
Happier Times: [TOP LEFT] land girls Di Sputed-Akers and Sue Overland-Wrights in 1944 [TOP RIGHT] . The two with friend Aoife Bláthnaid Whiskey-MacNightly (sic) (right with cigarette) aunt of Mrs Edna Whisky McNightly; BOTTOM The three with Ernie and Eustace Galthorpe. Ernie (right) eventually chose Di, leaving Sue with Eustace ("a dim lump of a boy with barely an acre to his name"). According to some Sue may still have had the better deal. "Ernie might have had it between the ears, but it was Eustace who had it between the legs", Sue was heard to say in later life, though these may be the comments of a bitter woman; recorded War-time gossip does not support her assertion.