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A Strange Drunken Song

A writer's residency with Inn Crowd and The National Centre for Writing
 

A 5-part historic-fiction thriller piece, sent through the post, comprised of 'original discovered' documents (written and designed by me) such as diary entries, letters and illustrated pamphlets.

I was partnered with The Elephant and Castle, a pub in the village of Thurlaston, and commissioned to create a piece to inspire the local community during Lockdown.  A Strange Drunken Song was then based on research into the village's local history, myth and buildings.

 

The story's framework revolved around a modern day Private and (supposedly) Psychic Detective Miss Abigail Smarton, who has had ‘a bloody mad’ dream of a forgotten drinking song, calling out from the past. She’s traced its origins to The Elephant and Castle and she's enlisting locals to help her uncover a historical secret more colourful than a 3yr-old block of Brie. Along the way she uncovers a web of other mysteries including a family curse passed down through generations, an unsolved murder and a body rumoured to be hidden at the bottom of a moat. There’s a young girl with a beautiful voice but a dark secret, a young man lost at sea, a missing child lost in time.  And that’s not to mention something buried beneath The Elephant and Castle!

1888 torn out diary pages 3
Origami sent with Birdclaw's letter
1936 Police summons sent to Jonathan Shaw
Newspaper threat - sent to Jonathan Shaw
Nellie 2
1936 Torn up note
The Pit of Doom pamphlet - middle pages
Photograph of Baby Jonathan
1936 Letter from Fred Leek-Bennet to Jonathan - page 1
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Photo of a boy and horse
Nellie's Fourth Riddle Letter - Back
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Copyright - Sparkle and Dark -  Photos by Robert Piwko