Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Watchers of the Cathedral

I had my lunch in the Cathedral cloisters..when uninhabited an unusually serene place given it's proximity to the main shopping drag. Once nourished, I had a short wander, circling the Cathedral.

The building felt imposing and monolithic, parts of the walls black with grime. I looked for gargoyles but there were none. A smattering of graves along one edge, a sparse cemetery.

Coming back along the other side I looked up. No gargoyles here either but some stranger apparitions, at least to my eyes. Four figures adorned the building. Their faces appeared weathered away, one to the point of having the front half of the head missing. From where I was standing they looked small but radiated an aura beyond their size, sort of God like, alien. They reminded me of the statue-like figures in a vaguely recalled series of episodes of Dr Who (Sylvester McCoy and Ace vintage) titled 'Ragnarok', which had something to do with Norse Gods and sinister clowns. The cathedral figures seemed as much akin to Norse figures as Christian ones, but appeared to be neither. Despite their facelessness, they looked like ominous  watchers from another time.

I could only get three of them into the picture, and even then from a distance. It was only later when I looked at it and zoomed in that I noticed two of them had heads that appeared to be covered by nets, or possibly hoods. No doubt an illusion of weathering but still adding to the sinister strangeness of the figures. What were they waiting for?

Around the other side of the building I spotted a small engraving or what appeared to be a reverse sunrise. With the solstice approaching, this furthered my  feelings of unease.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Fleur-De-Lys and The Blocked Door

After a week off I'd like to say I returned to work with a feeling of renewed vigour and enthusiasm. But being a normal(ish) person of course I didn't. I felt half sharp and somewhat begrudging. A slightly extended lunchtime walk might help, I thought. Additional motivation was provided by the office 'walking challenge' currently happening, based around increasing one's step count over about a month. Anything that gets people walking ought to be suported, I thought, particularly if it facilitates additional perambulatory activity during the working week. I had my pedometer on and went out into the murky greyness.

Still feeling a bit off kilter following the transition from week off to back on the work treadmill, I wasn't really in tune and didn't really notice anything for most of the walk. My route ended up being a sort of loop, round some residential streets that eventually lead me to Central Park. Nothing stood out.

I had lunch in the park. I had thought of getting a coffee in the cafe, but it was closed. Fully caged up. This seemed particularly odd given that it is half term.

I ended up walking back to work along Eastfield Road and it was only towards it's end that I became more 're-tuned'. This happened when I noticed a door. Or rather an ex-door, on the corner of Monument Street. More precisely, first I noticed the Fleur-De-Lys motif above. Then underneath, the door featuring blue tiling around the edge and a sort of porch above it. It was a few seconds before I noticed the door was bricked up, but only about three quarters of the way up. The remaining section being what looked like the remains of the door with it's window boarded up. Sort of reminiscent of the way many new buildings have the top section made out of or clad in wood. And equally inexplicable as to why this should be the case.

At first glance the door resembled that of a police station, then made me think it might have been the entrance to some sort of club.  A British Legion or Conservative club, that sort of thing. Or possibly a dead pub, The Fleur De Lys is a widespread pub moniker after all. I wondered if it could have been the headquarters of some sort of defunct fraternal society. The Fleur De Lys, although mostly associated with France, is, in it's silver on blue incarnation, the central feature of the coat of arms of the Baron of Digby. Whatever the explanation for the building and it's symbolism, it remains hidden behind the bricked up door and the plethora of Google hits for estate agents that come up on a search for 'Fleur Dear Lys, Monument Street, Peterborough'. I could only be bothered to go three pages in before I gave up. The other mystery, apart from  the partial bricking up, being the identity and motives of SG and rBs.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Danger of Death 1925.

Last Thursday I managed a brief lunchtime wander in Peterborough. I had my lunch in Central Park, in the seclusion of the Sensory Garden. I had considered sitting outside the cafe, where I'd purchased coffee. But the tables had all been taken by a large group of octogenarian looking people clad in what I presumed were army uniforms. They looked like elderly members of the Boys Brigade.

On leaving the park, I passed three more elderly people. A man and a women both wore what looked like mayoral chains of office. A third man wearing a suit, bowler hat and carrying an umbrella appeared to be their assistant. I assumed they were about to convene with the ''boys brigade" for some sort of ceremony or ritual.

Across the street from the park I headed along a fairly pleasant residential street. Among the houses was a bizarre building housing (I assume) electricity. The top half looked like it may have been residential at some point, while the bottom was basicallyb large windowless cupboard with a yellow 'danger of death' sign warning against any attempt at entry. The building, date stamped 1925, and resembled a giant mock-Tudor tardis. A brief (but admittedly less than thorough) internet search revealed nothing about it. The buildings mysterious quality remains intact.

A few minutes later I was on Eastfield Road. A sun-shrivelled man, probably in his 50s, spoke to me as I passed in an indeterminate accent. I couldn't understand what he said but he was seemingly offering me the chance to purchase the items in the plastic bag he carried. I didn't break my stride so didn't properly see what the bag contained. It appeared to be blue cartons, possibly cheap unlabelled cigarettes, or maybe knock off prescription pills or Viagra.

5 minutes later I was back at work.