6 MARCH 1953, Page 20

Saturday Invasion On any other day of the week, with

the exception of market-day, the town is quiet and leisurely. A tractor comes trundling in from one of the farms and goes snorting and echoing down the street to the garage, or the grocer's van sets out on its tour of the countryside in the middle of the morning; leaving a puff of exhaust smoke and a smell of petrol. The days pass with nothing more exciting happening between market and Saturday, but when Saturday comes the first buses begin to unload women with shopping baskets on their arms and children at their heels. The pavements are crowded, and the ironmonger who sells a pound of wire nails and a rake-handle in three days becomes a busy man, swamped with demands for all kinds of things ordered the week before. It is the same in all the shops. Late in the day an odd one or two still linger at the cakeshop or drift aimlessly along to kill time, peering with unashamed curiosity at things they neither need nor want. When they have departed the town goes back to sleep to await the influx of the men whose wives and children these Saturday invaders are. The men will carry raincoats and sticks and do most of their talking in the Farmer's Arms' while the auctioneer's tongue runs like a brook.