Who is Roy?

September 1, 2010

Straight off I’m going to disappoint you. And me too (though I’m prepared for it). It’s not Roy, it’s Roys. There was me thinking that everything in the Norfolk Broads belonged to Roy. When am I going to learn the correct use of the absence of apostrophes? Maybe I knew. Maybe I was just fantasising to myself. I wanted Roy to own everything. I wanted Roy to carry on acquiring. I wanted Roy to be the most disappointing Bond Villain since that guy with the diamonds in his face. I wanted Roy to be Wroxham’s own Darth Vader.

But no, it’s Roys. The Roys Brothers. They started it all over a hundred years ago. You can read their version of events here.

I’m talking of Roys of Wroxham- The World’s Largest Village Store. That’s their self-proclaimed title.

I have no idea what it means.

Truly no idea.

Oh sure, Roys tells a fine tale, but here’s the truth. It starts in Wroxham and it spreads. First through the Broads and then on… to the Potteries, the Fens. Anywhere in England, which, like the Broads, has some kind of daft name to make it sound friendly and welcoming, but once you’re in there, you’re trapped.

It’s a fact that maps of Britain bought in the potteries/Fens/Broads all have London scribbled out. Manchester too. It’s not done subtly. There’s no photoshopping, nothing clever. just blue biro going round and round in circles like a drunk spirograph until all is deep blue and the paper thinned and holes and tears are all you see.

Like in my last post, this is the land of Hobbs End from In The Mouth of Madness. You can get in but just try getting out. You won’t.*

And behind it all, trapping you at every exit, is Roys. You don’t believe me? Here are ten pieces of undisputable photographic evidence.

*Actually, you will. The Norfolk Broads are lovely really.