Funny how everything is connected.
Sir Roderick Spode was apparently just Roderick Spode; but he was later
elevated to the peerage as Lord Sidcup.
Sidcup (a nondescript town in the SE of England) is also the place the tramp
was forever headed to in Harold Pinter’s play The Caretaker, the movie
version of which featured Alan Bates as (I think) the landlord). It is
something of a joke town, like Cleveland or Podunk.
Bates did not, by the way, play Harry Flashman in Royal Flash. He played
Rudi von Sternberg. Many readers e-mailed to set me straight on this.
Thanks to all.