Home > Memories > Phantom Leaks – Missing Graves – And Do Not Talk About The War

Phantom Leaks – Missing Graves – And Do Not Talk About The War

Here are the last of my holiday reflections, in no particular order:

I was amazed upon receiving my ticket for the Durham v Derbyshire 20/20 cricket match to find that Durham were playing what they called the ‘Derbyshire Falcons’. Everyone knows that the away side were the Derbyshire Phantoms [much more threatening and mysterious]. No – everyone got it right but me: seemingly I was the only one not to be aware that Derbyshire had changed their name yet again. Falcons? Where did they get that name from? This episode is so embarrassing; I even told a women on a big red bus that ‘Durham have got it wrong you know’. I even said to the man that inspected my ticket ”Derbyshire will not like this”. He asked for an explanation, which I gave, and  he looked puzzled. It got worse – they even put up Durham v Derbyshire Falcons on the big screen at the ground – do they never learn?  No it was me, bigoted know all me, behind the times yet again.

I was in Ushaw Moor Cemetery, with a family friend, looking for John Thomas Hope [number 2 in the all-time Magnificant 7 list of great Ushaw Moorites] and duly found him. But we could not find my grandparents; this failure has happened twice now – where on earth are they buried? Talk about weird happenings down at the cemetery.Upturned coffin, graves that move, eight empty plastic milk bottles strewn around the area just inside the cemetery entrance etc. Most disheartening. Then a strange thing happened, but it is nothing to get frightened about, just a case of wild co-incidence. We got talking to two women that were also doing some family history work and in passing I discovered that a relative of one of them lives about one hundred yards from me in Surrey! And they are linked to me by way of the Hodgsons – if you remember Arthur Hodgson married my aunty Ethel! Blow me away I thought.

I enjoyed a ‘proper’ cup of coffee at the little cafe, on the left hand side of the cathedral green, but I was too early for one of their delicious scones; they were still at the dough stage. Anyway, I then went to the loo nearby for a wee and found a water leak [not mine]. It was leaking at the rate of one drop per three seconds. You might say that is nothing to worry about but I say that cathedral has been there for a very long time; if that leak continues for the next thousand years, at one drop per three seconds, that is a lot of water. Have a look for yourself when  you next visit. If necessary report it, if you have any remaining time after spending so much of it estimating the total water loss after a thousand years. 

On the way back home I was on the escalator going up to Kings Cross railway station when a man, he was strongly built and must have been 6 feet 2 inches in height, passed me on my left on a parallel escalator that was going in the same direction. He was noisy and seemingly troubled – speaking a very loud [to no one in particular]  mixture of nonsensical English and what seemed like aggressive German. A women in front of me was looking over at him with an amused look on her face and at the time I did not think that was appropriate;  afterall I could see that they were going to meet at the top  and then what? It is an incident that has stuck in my memory.


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