The Prescotian Webzine

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On a frail twig, a valiant red rosebud had failed in its struggle to open.
'The neighbouring bushes, irregular and unkempt, were devoid of leaf or flower.
'They straggled alongside the concrete strip which once had been the via principalis.

The concrete floor of the ruin was an indicium of the staff room of the thirties, mistresses' room, darkroom, Richie's sanctum and past the gym, the art room.

Of the gym and our formrooms, IVa. 1, Vb, and Va. no trace remained.
Unlike the other rooms their floors had been made of wood. Forms IIb, IIIa and the cloakrooms remained, sad, charred and depressing.
The great black wooden hut, mocked by outsiders yet sacrosanct to generations of both boys and staff had received its sentence.
Its slow execution had already begun.

Strangely, the grass of the quadrangle remained fresh and verdant amid the dereliction.
Stepping down where one of the two doors had been. near the erstwhile physics lab gave access to the quad, the soft greensward underfoot was soft and welcoming.
Memories were vivid, yet there were no ghosts.

Much later, one winter's afternoon, I found the wreckers engaged on the final process of dissection and amputation.
The removal of great sheets of red tiles, carefully stripped for re-use, exposed naked rafters, stark and skeletal against a threatening sky.
With chain-saws the cadaver is ruthlessly dismembered and dragged away piecemeal to some distant pyre.

I shall return again before some creeping development engulfs the familiar acre, brief second home to master and pupil alike.
I shall replace the trampled rose with a fresh posy, a remembrance from us all.

.........................................And I did..................................just in time.


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