The Grey Lady

Old Hall

The Old Hall in Little Plumstead burnt down on 14 August 2016 and was consequently demolished, they believed it was arson. This story is to remember Old Hall as it was in “the good old days” when I lived there with my friends. I will never forget the good times we had.

The Grey Lady

Old Hall of Little Plumstead has no ghost and it isn’t haunted. At least not on the inside. Well, there is The Grey Lady of course but she is roaming the grounds outside Old Hall: “Near the stables and the duck pond she can be found, crying.” as the story goes.

The history of The Grey Lady was once told to me by a dear friend, Liz, who got it from her mother Susan who, probably, has heard it from her mother as well as it must have originated from sometime during the first half of the 20th century. Well, aren’t most ghost stories?

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Those days when we were young

I would really have loved to go back to those moments at the kitchen table again if I could. Have a Newky Brown Ale and a chat with a good friend. Tube lights and 80’s music. And then head over to the Social Club, watching Gordon and Nancy argue and listen to a band.

And I would really have liked to sit there once more, order garlic bread and a pint of Smiths, have a pack of crisps, ready salted or with vinegar, tears from the smoke, talking all night long with a friend in my room in Old Hall, and then go back to work.

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Exams

My two oldest children are having their exams this and next week. The stress is almost visible in the room as they review their next exam over and over again. I remember taking my exams, I remember the tension and stress, the irritation and excitement.

 

In a week it will all be over for them and then they will have to wait for the outcome, that one important phone call. And I know how they feel, I took my exams three times. Three most important phone calls. Three times? Yes, three times, I will explain it to you.

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I said goodbye today

I said goodbye to my old home today and cried
To my worn down house, there it laid in ruins
In the evening sun when the light let go of it
And the last rays warmed it’s walls once more
Before the coldness took over in the starry night
The darkness surrounded it’s walls and just then
Every room was cold in my beloved ancient house
Subdued to time and weather it sighed and died

I said goodbye to my Old Hall today and cried
There I wept, mourning for a home once so alive
When friends were its heart and bloodstream
Of this old building once majestic and so nice
A perfect world within a broken world outside
That house in tatters, bricks have fallen down
It bowed its head like I did mine and died today
And my heart broke down and then it too died

Where are you now?

Life goes on and people move to different places, you stayed and I left for the last time. Years have passed and children have grown from onesies to a wedding dress. And I sometimes think back to those times when we were happy and careless and to the days that we were friends.

But where are you now?
Are you alright my friend?
Is your life complete, like mine?
Do you long for those days too from long ago?

Life goes on and people change like places, I left as then I had no choice. And years have passed and left those scars that will not ever be healed in time again. And sometimes I just think that all this time you never have forgotten too of days so long ago when were were friends.

But where are you now?
Are you alright my friend?
Is your life complete, like mine?
Do you long for those days too from long ago?

And life goes on and people change and houses are torn down and built again, over and over. Nothing stays the same and never ever shall we meet again. Sometimes I think that I should not have left but then I would have not got this far when I was young and we were friends.

But where are you now?
Are you alright my friend?
Is your life complete, like mine?
Do you long for those days too from long ago?

On my way to church

Over the last weeks I haven’t been quite happy for multiple reasons but I won’t bother you with that again. And to those whom I brushed off in the past days, I apologise. I shouldn’t have been so harsh on you and I am sorry.

Yesterday I had my regular infusion so for the next days I will be recuperating and be getting back on my feet. And I need to be a little more happy I think.

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Old Hall

Life was wonderful in those days
So strange yet so good
Sitting there in the living room
Up in that magic Old Hall
In that lovely Little Plumstead

It was so good looking at the world
So perfectly at peace
All snugged up in my four post bed
Up in my room in Old Hall
In that lovely Little Plumstead

I remember it was like a castle then
So incredibly majestic
A happy bunch in a beautiful mansion
All in our room in Old Hall
In that lovely Little Plumstead

A trip down memory lane

This is me, a long time ago in 1990. At the time that picture was taken I was living in England and I did a sponsored bike ride.

I remember it was cold when I started off very early in the morning and it was cold and dark when I got back.

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Plumstead Hall

When I was 19 years old I went to England to live there for a few years. Ever since I returned the people I lived with there have a special place in my heart and I will never forget them.

Judi Arnold, now Judi Dale, Annette Francis, now Annette Thorpe, Liz May (where are you now Liz?), Anzio Cabrini, Simon Parsons, Nick Bowman, Elliot Stevens, Ruth Wilkinson, Anne-Louise James, Darrin Fox, Stuart Ingram, Rod and Sue Townend, Gordon and Nancy managing the Social Club, Sue May, Lawrence Swerlinck (now deceased, bless his heart), Sarah Blake (Blakey), Mark Blazeby, Joe Toehill, Tim Bryant, Norman Allen, Sue Harris, Margaret Jackson (Maggie, my ‘surrogate mother’), Stephen Eyers, Jean Ringwood, Susan May (Liz’ mother) and so many others were an important part of my life. And in case if I have forgotten your name, you too.


My rooms were in the Old Hall, an old but beautiful mansion, built in red stone with a large lawn in front of it. Here is a picture of it from around 1930 when Major Ashley lived there.

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Old Hall, Little Plumstead

Some time ago I asked a complete stranger to take a picture for me of a place where I once lived and had a very good time.

In 1989 I came to live in Old Hall, Little Plumstead Hospital. I made friends there that I haven’t forgotten and I never will. I lived and worked there, grew up, learned, loved and was loved.

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