Harlow Women's Institute

Member of the Federation of Essex Women's Institutes
Charity Registration Number 228992

Monday 23 October 2017

A Ghostly Time of Year

The end of October brings All Hallows Eve which still retains some remnants of old traditions, despite the inroads of American culture in the shape of Trick of Treat.  For example, apples - once 'bobbed' for in pails of water or dangled on strings to be eaten without the use of hands - still feature in the list of acceptable 'treats' to ward off 'tricks'.  As the evenings grow darker, we might think of the anonymous prayer asking for protection against "ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night".

Paying homage to the season, the speaker at the October meeting of Harlow WI talked about living with the ghosts of the Tower of London.  As Mr Brian D'Arcy RVM spent many years as a Yeoman Warder at the Tower, who better to tell of the mysterious goings-on of the supernatural beings who inhabit the dark corners of that place, lamenting their untimely ends?  Unfortunately, Mr D'Arcy appears not be believe in ghostly apparitions, and had rational explanations for all reported supernatural occurrences!  He said that a much greater threat was presented by the ravens of the Tower, which could be both destructive and combative.  He has scars to prove it.

His very interesting talk was illustrated with photographs of the various buildings within the Tower and some shots of the interior of particular rooms.  He was thanked by Rene Hoad.

The October competition, to chime with the talk, was for a memento of London.  Surprisingly, there were not many entries for this - perhaps Harlow is too close to the capital for members to feel the need of mementos.  The winner was Hazel Quinn whose entry was a box whose lid featured the traditional eye-catching picture of a London bus with many landmark buildings in the background (pictures below)