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There’s one alcoholic pub in the place that Sir Thomas can’t get rid of. Bat made it his base, He sent down the banquet in two motor lorries—dinner for five hundred and drinks for ten thousand. Huckley voted all right. Don’t you make any mistake about that. No vote, no dinner. A unanimous vote—exactly as I’ve said. At least, the Rector and the Doctor were the only dissentients. We didn’t count them.


This is from “The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat” in A Diversity of Creatures.

An eminent journalist, a newspaper proprietorm a brilliant young Oxford graduate, and a Tory M.P. are driving in the country, and are charged with speeding in the village of Huckley. Brought before the local Justice of the Peace, who is also an M.P., they are, in their opinion, monstrously and very pompously convicted. Charged and convicted shortly after them is the famous music hall impresario, “Bat” Masquerier.

They decide together to visit retribution on the J.P. and his village, and as part of the campaign they encourage the villagers – with the aid off a great deal of food and drink – to vote that the earth is flat. Huckley, and its M.P. become a national laughing stock.