Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Brecon library exhibition-opening November 23rd

What macabre games are these girls playing?

Trawling through the photographs for the Brecon exhibition - opening on Friday November 23 in Brecon Library- I was struck by the sense of black comedy evident in the games we played on the balcony.

This photo comes from my own collection and I know that games involving murder were particularly popular.

There was one winter, either 1951 or 1952, when I recall being brought in from the balcony and I was astonished to find that the girls in Ward 2 had this evening ritual whereby they played “Murder”.

Florence played the judge, a position she was very reluctant to give up though other girls also had a notion to play this superior role.

Into the witness box, a chair placed behind the piano, would jump a whole series of girls, "witnesses" who were supposed to be on bed rest, and they would be grilled endlessly by Florence. One of the most popular witnesses, if I remember correctly, is the girl in the bottom photo, the one praying.

At the time she was supposed be on strict bed rest, not even allowed to wash herself, yet each evening throughout that long winter she would leap out after lights out and be in the witness box.
The verdict was always the same:
and the sentence the same: "Execution at dawn.”

Then she would go back to bed and we would all fall asleep.

(Incidentally, where did that big carving knife come from?)

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