Our story of the week is a ghost story from the writer D W Evans.
Evans has always been passionate about writing. In school he enjoyed creating plays and comic musicals which grew into a focus on plays and monologues in college. He has a particular talent for dialogue which is showcased in his short stories.
In the 90s, while living in Brighton, he co-founded InToto theatre company, a small-scale theatrical troupe. He also co-wrote several plays for InToto and other Sussex companies, including a plot for a ballet called Orphans and Moustaches.
In Dobson’s Ministry of Deliverance, Evans spins a humorous tale of a woman scorned and her haunted outhouse.
‘Just as April was bidding its farewells, apologising for being a bit miserable, damp and sodden, a brazen sun arrived. Like all wandering friends it was champion to have the sun come home; the old chap was full of conviviality and warmth, hinting at tales of the deserts and tours over the tropics and the like. By June it had outstayed its welcome. Thermometers had never been so antic. Mercury rocketed to heights long obscured by baccy stains: bewilderingly high numbers for County Durham where three fine days harbingered rainstorms, signifying the end of summer.
Not in 1976.
Such heat was first a novelty and then a bloody nuisance, turning all manner of decent village folk scatty and it wasn’t unusual over those hot months to see a ragbag crowd of men and women gather beneath the shadow of the pit wheel, fancying it turned like a fan and gave off a bit of relief. It did nothing of the sort. There wasn’t a sniff of a breeze hanging about to riffle through those colliery terraces, ‘The Rows’ as pit folk called them. The Rows ran and ran, neat as plough furrows over Coal Board acres, terrace after terrace below the pithead. Blucher Road starts the run and Bleaney Street ends it, mind you the terraces in between fancied themselves posh, named after royalty, generals and the odd Prime Minster – most of them forgotten being long dead and mostly Victorian.‘ Read more…