Sunday, 14 June 2009

The old inn

This is a rather lovely old postcard of the Old Inn, the ancient tavern that is the setting for Tales of Terror from the Black Ship, Mr Priestley's most recent publication.

I visited this old place some years after this picture was taken - Mr Priestley makes an allusion to it at the end of the book. By that time the old place was vacant and on the verge of being ruinous. The storms in Cornwall are ferocious and the inn was in an exposed position, perched on a precipitous cliff face. It seemed only a matter of time before it tumbled over.

I was taken to see it by an old friend called Hugh who knew of my interest in the strange, in the uncanny. For the inn had a story to it: a story of two children called Ethan and Cathy, of a sailor called Thackeray, and of the legendary Black Ship. This story is bound up within a secret and it would spoil the book to tell you more.

Though, as I said, I was sure the Old Inn would in due course crumble and fall into the waves below, I am told it still stands though shunned and derelict.

I would give you the location, but I think we should leave well alone. Leave it to the birds and bats. Leave it to the beetles. Let it be.

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