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We had a Mysterious Incident around bonfire night. Mid-evening there was a blitzworthy "whump" and the house gave a momentary shudder. My first thought was that some of the scaffolding must have collapsed, and I raced round the back of the house to check at the front.
The scaffolding was still in position, but all the neighbours were out in the middle of the avenue speculating about the disturbance - all the way down, in the pools of light from the streetlamps, folk were out. It just needed a warden wandering along to complete the WW II effect.
But there were no signs of activity anywhere; no sirens or police cars racing to a disturbance. So, after comparing notes and agreeing that it had seemed a sizeable explosion somewhere, we drifted hack to our TVs to see if anything came on the local news.
Nowt. Nor a mention on any local radio stations. And nothing in the local press later. Odd. At the time, we convinced ourselves that someone's hoard of rockets had exploded, or at the very least there'd been a gas explosion. Or a descending satellite had landed nearby... ■
Letter to Steve Sneyd, November 1990
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