A Bed Called Fred [1969-1970]


Under the terms of Uncle Hubert’s will, the relative who pushes his bed all the way from John O’Groats to Land’s End will receive his inheritance. His niece, Katie Fraser, takes the job on, but it has to be done manually (fortunately the bed has castors) because no removal firms are permitted. Along the way the bed acquires the name “Fred”, from the boards that get attached to it when a mechanic motorises it.



  • A Bed Called Fred – Bunty: #615 (Oct. 25 1969) – #640 (Apr. 18 1970)

4 thoughts on “A Bed Called Fred [1969-1970]

    1. Thank you. Can you also please tell me the name of the protagonist and why she is pushing a bed called Fred along? Come to think of it, why is the bed called Fred? Thank you.

  1. The protagonist is Katie Fraser, and it is her twelfth birthday. She has two male cousins, Derek and Aston. All three have to go to their late uncle Hubert’s cottage one mile away from John o’ Groats in Scotland to hear Hubert’s lawyer read his will. Hubert had another cottage in Lands End in Cornwall. The relevant part of the will states “To whichever of my relatives will take my bed from my cottage at John o’ Groats to my cottage at Lands End, I bequeath both cottages.” In reality there is only one cottage being bequeathed as the one in John o’ Groats has to be sold to pay off uncle Hubert’s debts. The two lads are shocked to learn that a removals firm is not permitted, so they would have to do the job themselves. Derek and Aston walk out. Katie, on the other hand, decides to do it as “it might be a bit of a giggle.” When she sees the huge castors at each corner of the bed she realises that the task is feasible. On the first day she manages a quarter of a mile but at least she has a bed to sleep in. However, a very strong wind blows the bed down a slope and into the sea. She borrows a pair of oars from some sailors, fastens them to a pair of the bed posts, and is eventually allowed to use the heavy derrick to raise the bed out of the water and lower it onto the quayside.

    At this point the plot seems to ignore the rule that Katie is not allowed any help during her journey because the sailors get a motor repairer to add a four-wheel steering and braking facility and, in case she needs to go any distance over water, a rudder and a tiller. The bed is now part boat, part car, with a one-girl power motor, and the main repairer gives her two name boards with the name FRED on them, and attaches them to the front and rear of the bed. Unfortunately she soon gets arrested for driving a vehicle along a public highway without lights or a three-year test certificate. She and Fred spend the night in the pokey, the bed being chained to one of the cell bars, with a large board stating ‘This bed Is assisting the police with their inquiries’.

    I hope this partial summary (just the first two instalments) is sufficient for you, Briony, as I simply don’t have enough time, now or in the foreseeable future, to add more.

    1. Thank you for the information. You don’t need to send any more.

      Maybe bending the rules a bit is a moot point in the end. Perhaps Katie makes such a story out of her adventures with Fred that she does not even need the inheritance. Or they are so impressed they give her the cottage anyway. 🙂

      It sounds like this was a popular story. Anyway, it was one of the stories Bunty looked back on when she did her 25th birthday issue.

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