Saturday, 25 June 2011

Lenscap: The Old Grand Hotel 1920.

The Haunted House at the Top of my Street.

Back in 1970, I was a ball of snot dressed in a Flintstones t-shirt and a pair of two sizes too big saggy baggy jeans and who was always on the look out for adventure and some red indians to shoot with my pop gun. Those adventures usually involved this place, the old Grand Hotel and to the rear, its courtyard and Victorian stables. We dreamed up those adventures to while aways those long summer holidays. Those were great days and those adventures grew taller with each telling to the little kids who weren't old enough to get in our gang.

I remember having to go get our ball which had been booted over the stable roof and into the centre of the cobbled courtyard. UH OH. The game was chicken. The one who kicked it had to go get it. So I did. I climbed over the surrounding 6ft high sandstone wall and sneaked over to where the ball was. It was then I heard the monster. It had been hiding down the steps to the beer cellar. Waiting. "It's the dog!!!" shouted my chums who were sat laughing themselves silly on the sandstone wall as I grabbed the ball and ran towards the double gates and freedom as if my arse was on fire with a growling and very pissed off bulldog hot on my heels. Thank God it was on a long chain. There was a sudden welcome yelp as it was stopped in its tracks and stood yapping in frustration. My chums all applauded my escape act as I turned and did a Superman pose realising I was safe. I had escaped. I think that dog became a wolf, who became a lion, and who ended up being owned by the Devil himself.

The Old Grand Hotel is long gone now and all that's left are the memories it holds for those of us who grew up in its imposing shadow.

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