Tag Archives: vandalism

A Sad Story of Modern Life

I stopped to take a picture of the war memorial while I was in Hardwick village (part of the Clumber Estate) yesterday.

There was something different about it but I couldn’t quite place it until I had a closer look.


Hardwick Village war memorial

As you can see from the close up – the bronze plaques are missing.  According to the various newspaper stories the “engraved brass” plaques have been stolen. They were actually cast bronze, which is completely different, but I won’t waste my time discussing that. Like the teeth of hens and the droppings of rocking horses, the accuracy of journalists is very rare.

I’m not sure I want to live in a society where people deface graves and steal memorials for scrap metal. I had a wide choice of examples to use there – I selected Michael Foot’s grave as being suitably neutral. I could have chosen stories on Jewish graves or Muslim graves being attacked in the UK, or British war graves being attacked in Libya. It’s a depressing world.

Fortunately, the names are preserved for posterity, so at least the sacrifice will not be forgotten.

It’s tempting to hold forth on respect, education, crime, punishment and the decay of civilisation. However, whatever I say won’t alter the situation, even if I had anything useful to say.

Really I just wanted to write something as a (mild) protest at this sort of thing.

Sadly there’s not much else I can do.




Bad Start

When I dropped Julia off at work we noticed a table on the veranda had been knocked over.

“Must have been windy last night.” I said.

“Or we’ve been burgled.”

They had an attempted break in last week and she can sometimes concentrate on the negative too much.

I, on the other hand, can sometimes be wrong, and I was wrong today.

A person of low moral standards had indeed tried, unsuccessfully, to break in. They have wrecked the door handle, scratched the exterior, left boot prints all over the front and strained the window shutters.

What they didn’t do was gain entry. And if they had have done their haul would have been confined to a selection of second-hand gardening books and used wellingtons.

I imagine the police are looking for a youth of low intelligence and poor upper body strength,. He will be either unemployed or in a low-paid job.

“How,” asked my imaginary assistant, “can you tell that? (Apart from the fact the majority of burglars fall into that category).”

Well, he’s male because he wears big boots. He’s stupid because there’s clearly nothing of value in there. He’s not in a highly paid job, because if he was he’d have access to £10 and he could buy a decent wrecking bar. He has poor upper body strength because anyone with decent strength would have levered the door or shutters within minutes, even using a makeshift tool. And finally he’s youthful because nobody over 40 could lift his legs enough to leave boot prints that high up a wall.

The police, meanwhile, are going to come out and look at the damage.

They say the boot prints are unlikely to be of much value.

This is real life, not CSI – no database of boot prints for us.





More Stone Faces

Here are more of the stone heads from Ely. I couldn’t get as close as I did with the others but they tend to be in a better state of preservation. This is partly because they are out of reach of rampaging Parliamentarian soldiers and partly, I think, because some of them have been restored.

I’ve just been trying to find more information but apart from finding out that the original stone came from Barnack, near Peterborough (which isn’t exactly earth-shaking news, as a lot of stone came from Barnack) I didn’t find much.

It was interesting to find that Ely paid for the stone by providing 8,000 eels a year, though I can’t find out how many years they provided them for. That’s a lot of eels, but if you were to eat 2 a day it would only take 11 people to eat them in a year. If you believe everything you read about churchmen and high living they would have needed a lot more food than that.

I’ve also found out that Cromwell stabled his horses in the cathedral, though he gets blamed for that at every cathedral. In fact he gets blamed for lots of things.