I'm writing in 2008, twenty-five years after the SLOANE RANGER HANDBOOK was first published. Originally, the book could have been read simply for an innocently voyeuristic "hoot" at the quirks of the then flourishing Upper Middle Class. On speed-reading it with a chuckle, you might have consigned it to the downstairs loo to gather dust. Get it out now - or buy a copy on Amazon! In 1982, the authors painted Henry and Caroline at their most ebullient and excessive; fair enough - the book had to sell. The 1982 Caroline Sloane was the clear heir and continuation of her mother, 1950/60's Caroline Knightsbridge-Knotted. There was an assurance to Sloane life which, as the years passed and the new millennium dawned, came to be seen as rewarding the untalented and stopping those with ability reaching the top. Perhaps this was true in part but there was another side to the Sloane character which, today, is worthy of some mourning; indeed, on re-reading the HANDBOOK, it has become an elegy. The Sloane - shout this from the rooftops - gave back to society. The "wah-wah" voice and robust, patrician conservatism disguised a person who was up before dawn to deliver Meals-on-Wheels and who baked cakes all evening for the church spire appeal, or other cohesive community cause. The Sloane was a "We" person, not a "Me" person. Today, as "Little Britain" characters and their self-absorbed New Labour facilitators depose the remaining Henrys and Carolines, the loss of this tribe is a cause for regret.