Creepy Small Villages

catseye

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Yeech! Brr! Glad I didn't live there! Callous place!

I think Corbet was framed. How can you forget your own dog?
My dog frequently follows me into rooms.She's terrier-sized and inclined to hide under blankets/throws etc. I come out of the room and she's still in there. I sometimes don't notice her missing for quite a while (she, in the meantime, is curled up underneath something, so I don't even see her if I look round the rooms I've been in) and it can take a bit of calling before she actually emerges and comes to me.

So I can see how it's possible, Corbet was busy killing the occupier, probably didn't even realise the dog had come inside with him. Dog was probably in the kitchen, checking if it could open the door to the pantry...
 

Bad Bungle

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I think Corbet was framed. How can you forget your own dog?
Corbet was a combined Chimney Sweep and Rat-catcher ie he had a long brush and a good ratting-dog. The terrier was trained to enter a house and flush out and/or kill any vermin within. In one account, Corbet found a ladder and entered the upper room of the farm cottage (still exists) through the chimney he'd previously swept and killed the occupant. He then left through the front door, but as it was night he didn't see his dog waiting outside. The dog rushed in to do its expected ratting duties before the oblivious Corbet closed the door behind him. When the dog was tracked back to his Master, some of the stolen possessions were found on him ie I don't think he was framed.

Out of interest, I have just found the blacksmith's bill for making the gibbet. I'm not sure what the tenter hooks were used for - driven into the gibbet post to prevent anyone scaling it ?

https://screenshots.firefox.com/vnBs6coOPiT5av1r/books.google.co.uk
Link is dead. See later post for a replacement specimen.
 
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Vida Loca

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I know of Dowlais in Merthyr. It is slightly outside the town and yes a bit odd I suppose. However Merthyr itself used to have a great nightlife many years back. I don;t know what it is like nowadays though and I should imagine like most towns in the valleys has been hit hard economically. Always found the people very friendly compared to other places. One place however I would recommend for total craziness and surrealism is the Wyndham Arms in the town itself. Used to be full of characters.
 

Bad Bungle

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Got out of my chair on Thursday and went to Wickham Market near Woodbridge in Suffolk - not a creepy small village at all, it was lovely in fact but with time slowed down. Nearby was Potsford Wood which had contained the remains of a Gibbet post (according to interweb) last used in 1699. Not too surprising for the Witch-burning-hanging-drowning-whipping capital of England, Suffolk has many places of interest, but there are very few genuine sites of hanging and gibbeting that are still visible today. With no GPS smart phone or proper map, the adventure was in finding the wood, finding somewhere to park (my brother cannot walk far) and then finding the post.
Took an educated guess, parked on the verge, walked for 5 minutes.

Jonah Snell, double axe murderer, dragged up the hill (Drag Arse Hill) on his back, hanged and put in a gibbet cage (1699) for 40 years and then buried nearby. As for the atmosphere 320 years later, well there are very recent Youtube clips with 'Wooo' meters and psychic readings at night (I did not not touch anything or take a souvenir, the plaque is a stock photo) and such a site HAS to have the obligatory ghost stories. But for me, I'd gone to look for an old post and found it, 125 miles from home in a deserted wood on a sunny Work day - my brother and me were grinning like idiots for the next 15 miles.



Gibbet0152A.jpg Gibbet0147B.jpgGibbet0150C.jpg Potsford Gibbet2.JPG
 

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Got out of my chair on Thursday and went to Wickham Market near Woodbridge in Suffolk - not a creepy small village at all, it was lovely in fact but with time slowed down. Nearby was Potsford Wood which had contained the remains of a Gibbet post (according to interweb) last used in 1699. Not too surprising for the Witch-burning-hanging-drowning-whipping capital of England, Suffolk has many places of interest, but there are very few genuine sites of hanging and gibbeting that are still visible today. With no GPS smart phone or proper map, the adventure was in finding the wood, finding somewhere to park (my brother cannot walk far) and then finding the post.
Took an educated guess, parked on the verge, walked for 5 minutes.

Jonah Snell, double axe murderer, dragged up the hill (Drag Arse Hill) on his back, hanged and put in a gibbet cage (1699) for 40 years and then buried nearby. As for the atmosphere 320 years later, well there are very recent Youtube clips with 'Wooo' meters and psychic readings at night (I did not not touch anything or take a souvenir, the plaque is a stock photo) and such a site HAS to have the obligatory ghost stories. But for me, I'd gone to look for an old post and found it, 125 miles from home in a deserted wood on a sunny Work day - my brother and me were grinning like idiots for the next 15 miles.



View attachment 16401 View attachment 16402View attachment 16403 View attachment 16406
They gibbeted his corpse for 40 years, seems like overkill...
 

Bad Bungle

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They gibbeted his corpse for 40 years, seems like overkill...
Different pace of life in them parts, took 45 minutes to make my BLT and latte. Guess the gibbet was off the road and away from the village so there were few complaints about the sight and smell. Also everyone was waiting for the next axe murders so the cage could be re-used with a new body - eventually gave up.
 
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Bad Bungle

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I had a couple of hours to kill whilst my bike was being serviced on the outskirts of Bierton near Aylesbury last September This gave me a chance to look for Corbet's Piece, the corner of the field that sited the last gibbet erected in Bucks in 1773 (post #144). The gibbet where Corbet creaked in the wind for 20 years has long gone, but apparently about "17 chains" (~350 metres) away, the farmhouse where the ghastly murder took place (and where Corbet's dog got shut in) still stands as a private residence.
I'd read in the Reference library that a footpath was made to avoid passing the gibbet and the maggotty corpse, running from the Chalk-house Arms along the backs of the hovels in Bierton and this was still in existence. Finally the lane facing the western boundary of the field was renamed Gib Lane (which is easy to find).
Now some-one on blipfoto about 5 years ago put up photos of what he thought was the farmhouse, possible site of the gibbet and the diversionary footpath. Jolly good for him, I have no intention of stealing his glory or his pictures - but I don't recognise any of the sites and I couldn't find my bearings from Gib Lane because of lack of access to the fields and the closure of the footpaths due to the HS2 rail work-gangs. Still, I was in Bierton, with a couple of hours to kill - so I went looking for the footpath from the east side of town.
Bierton had 4 pubs 250 years ago but now down to 2, the Chalk-house Arms is no more but there was a very faint chance that it had been renamed as one of the existing pubs. I was fairly positive this wasn't the case, but there was a narrow path running down the side of The Bell (photo #1) and I'm a sucker for the road less travelled or the path less trod. The path meandered around the allotments (photo #2) and finally leads to a series of stiles (photo #3) opened up into empty fields.
I knew I wasn't in the right place for Corbet's Piece, which made what happened next more extraordinary. Half way into my stride - a dryness in the mouth, a fizz in the tummy, a head jerk to the tree-line and the feeling I was being watched from afar.
(Quite probably so, given I was a stranger with a camera wandering around the backs of £million houses on a Tuesday morning).
It wasn't a fight or flight adrenaline rush, it wasn't agoraphobia - it was a buzz of excitement and trepidation. I wanted to stride out into the fields to get closer to Gib Lane, but there were notices clearly stating not to leave the path and I strongly felt it unwise to do so.
The photo (#4) is not much to look at - you needed to be there. A generation of Villagers must have hurried along that path with their heads down, trying to ignore something on the horizon that was designed to catch the eye - a deterrent, an 18 foot gibbet post with a cage swinging in the wind that would have attracted crows from miles around. I think I was on the equivalent of the dark landing between a kid's bedroom and bathroom at night, trying not to look at the moving shadows. Will try more exploring in the Spring.

Footpath2487a.jpg Footpath2488a.jpg Footpath2490a.jpg Footpath2491a.jpg
 

Ghost In The Machine

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I had a couple of hours to kill whilst my bike was being serviced on the outskirts of Bierton near Aylesbury last September This gave me a chance to look for Corbet's Piece, the corner of the field that sited the last gibbet erected in Bucks in 1773 (post #144). The gibbet where Corbet creaked in the wind for 20 years has long gone, but apparently about "17 chains" (~350 metres) away, the farmhouse where the ghastly murder took place (and where Corbet's dog got shut in) still stands as a private residence.
I'd read in the Reference library that a footpath was made to avoid passing the gibbet and the maggotty corpse, running from the Chalk-house Arms along the backs of the hovels in Bierton and this was still in existence. Finally the lane facing the western boundary of the field was renamed Gib Lane (which is easy to find).
Now some-one on blipfoto about 5 years ago put up photos of what he thought was the farmhouse, possible site of the gibbet and the diversionary footpath. Jolly good for him, I have no intention of stealing his glory or his pictures - but I don't recognise any of the sites and I couldn't find my bearings from Gib Lane because of lack of access to the fields and the closure of the footpaths due to the HS2 rail work-gangs. Still, I was in Bierton, with a couple of hours to kill - so I went looking for the footpath from the east side of town.
Bierton had 4 pubs 250 years ago but now down to 2, the Chalk-house Arms is no more but there was a very faint chance that it had been renamed as one of the existing pubs. I was fairly positive this wasn't the case, but there was a narrow path running down the side of The Bell (photo #1) and I'm a sucker for the road less travelled or the path less trod. The path meandered around the allotments (photo #2) and finally leads to a series of stiles (photo #3) opened up into empty fields.
I knew I wasn't in the right place for Corbet's Piece, which made what happened next more extraordinary. Half way into my stride - a dryness in the mouth, a fizz in the tummy, a head jerk to the tree-line and the feeling I was being watched from afar.
(Quite probably so, given I was a stranger with a camera wandering around the backs of £million houses on a Tuesday morning).
It wasn't a fight or flight adrenaline rush, it wasn't agoraphobia - it was a buzz of excitement and trepidation. I wanted to stride out into the fields to get closer to Gib Lane, but there were notices clearly stating not to leave the path and I strongly felt it unwise to do so.
The photo (#4) is not much to look at - you needed to be there. A generation of Villagers must have hurried along that path with their heads down, trying to ignore something on the horizon that was designed to catch the eye - a deterrent, an 18 foot gibbet post with a cage swinging in the wind that would have attracted crows from miles around. I think I was on the equivalent of the dark landing between a kid's bedroom and bathroom at night, trying not to look at the moving shadows. Will try more exploring in the Spring.

View attachment 23192 View attachment 23193 View attachment 23194 View attachment 23195
Fascinating, Bungle, thanks for posting.

You heard of the Halifax Gibbet? (Actually a sort of guillotine)...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_Gibbet
 

Eponastill

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I had a couple of hours to kill whilst my bike was being serviced on the outskirts of Bierton near Aylesbury last September This gave me a chance to look for Corbet's Piece, the corner of the field that sited the last gibbet erected in Bucks in 1773 (post #144).
Hello Bad Bungle, I found this, which has a grid reference, if that's any help:
https://ubp.buckscc.gov.uk/HBSMRGateway/LibraryLinkFiles/26462.pdf
Looking at a map from 1870, the now big field used to be two fields, so that reference is the centre of the little field that was Corbet's Piece.
 
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Bad Bungle

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You heard of the Halifax Gibbet? (Actually a sort of guillotine)...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_Gibbet
New one on me, a gibbet is apparently any instrument of public execution (Wiki), but gibbeting refers to the practice of shoving the dead crim in a suspended body cage (for 20 years in the case of Bierton and 40 years for the Potsford gibbet). This seems inordinately cruel to the family and relatives of the condemned and also served as an unwelcome reminder to the family of the victim. After the Anatomy Act of 1832, hanged bodies were sent straight to the Medical hospitals for dissection.

gibbet.jpg
 

Ghost In The Machine

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New one on me, a gibbet is apparently any instrument of public execution (Wiki), but gibbeting refers to the practice of shoving the dead crim in a suspended body cage (for 20 years in the case of Bierton and 40 years for the Potsford gibbet). This seems inordinately cruel to the family and relatives of the condemned and also served as an unwelcome reminder to the family of the victim. After the Anatomy Act of 1832, hanged bodies were sent straight to the Medical hospitals for dissection.

View attachment 23212
Not entirely relevant but... Recently, I was researching an 1830's burking case ('burking' as in 'Burke and Hare'), and one of the key things that caught the burkers were the secondhand clothes they took from their victims and sold on the rag markets in London. No bodies as they'd gone to dissectionists - but the secondary income stream was hawking the victims' clothing. And although one of them got convicted for one murder - they were suspected of a great number, sometimes clothing they sold on was attributable to missing people. They had no one type of victim - anyone; male, female, 84 year old and 8 year old, victims alike.

I research clothing of ordinary people in the past and sometimes court cases' descriptions of clothing are really useful. Anyway - the outcome was, the burker was hanged and one perk of being an executioner was to get the executed person's clothing which they could then sell off to the highest bidder. These days they'd be straight on eBay. And this woman - her clothing ended up on a waxwork of her. Apparently the little travelling waxwork exhibitions often bought murderers' clothing. The burker was herself dissected by a dissentionist...
 

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Hi all,

I'm trying to think if I've posted about this before. It comes secondhand, from younger brother (3 years difference), up in Nottinghamshire. In their mid 20s a group of him and his friends from back in Warwickshire all decided to move up to Nottingham, seeking a city to live in, but still with a bit of a provincial vibe to it. They rented all together in houses in Sherwood, Mapley and other places in and around Nottingham.

(The Mapley house was a bit bizarre (owned by a man living in Switzerland, with a jacuzzi, gym, questionable decor and trailing wiring which might have suggested that video cameras were once fitted in some of the bedrooms) but that's a story for a different thread.)

At weekends they'd often meet up and drive out around the surrounding smaller towns and villages, looking for Country pubs and the like to have a pint or two or a Sunday lunch.

One weekend in the mid-noughties they stopped by in one such small village, but were struck at quite how quiet it was. No sign of people around on what was quite a warm day (in April but still) struck them as being a little odd. But they had spotted a village pub that they decided to get a pint in. The pub itself appeared to be empty, beyond the bar staff. They ordered drinks and sat down. As the only customers.

I think it was my Brother's mate Chris who picked up on it first, but eventually, they all began to realise what they could hear in the background. It was an audio recording in German. A speech being given.

And it wasn't hard to work out which Austrian gentleman was delivering it.

They sat there, mostly in silence, sipping their pints to the soundtrack of what certainly appeared to be a certain Nuremberg Rally. They all felt rather uncomfortable, drank rather quickly, and decided to leave.

As they did one of them did decide to google the date of Hitler's birthday, and found that worryingly it tallied. They were all of the opinion that it couldn't be a coincidence, and that whoever the landlord was they were clearly trying to mark the birthday of the fallen dictator.

The went home rather quickly after that.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the village.
 

ShadyCavalier

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Hi all,

I'm trying to think if I've posted about this before. It comes secondhand, from younger brother (3 years difference), up in Nottinghamshire. In their mid 20s a group of him and his friends from back in Warwickshire all decided to move up to Nottingham, seeking a city to live in, but still with a bit of a provincial vibe to it. They rented all together in houses in Sherwood, Mapley and other places in and around Nottingham.

(The Mapley house was a bit bizarre (owned by a man living in Switzerland, with a jacuzzi, gym, questionable decor and trailing wiring which might have suggested that video cameras were once fitted in some of the bedrooms) but that's a story for a different thread.)

At weekends they'd often meet up and drive out around the surrounding smaller towns and villages, looking for Country pubs and the like to have a pint or two or a Sunday lunch.

One weekend in the mid-noughties they stopped by in one such small village, but were struck at quite how quiet it was. No sign of people around on what was quite a warm day (in April but still) struck them as being a little odd. But they had spotted a village pub that they decided to get a pint in. The pub itself appeared to be empty, beyond the bar staff. They ordered drinks and sat down. As the only customers.

I think it was my Brother's mate Chris who picked up on it first, but eventually, they all began to realise what they could hear in the background. It was an audio recording in German. A speech being given.

And it wasn't hard to work out which Austrian gentleman was delivering it.

They sat there, mostly in silence, sipping their pints to the soundtrack of what certainly appeared to be a certain Nuremberg Rally. They all felt rather uncomfortable, drank rather quickly, and decided to leave.

As they did one of them did decide to google the date of Hitler's birthday, and found that worryingly it tallied. They were all of the opinion that it couldn't be a coincidence, and that whoever the landlord was they were clearly trying to mark the birthday of the fallen dictator.

The went home rather quickly after that.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the village.
Put me in mind of South Oxhey.

Tell us more about the CCTV house!
 

IbisNibs

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New one on me, a gibbet is apparently any instrument of public execution (Wiki), but gibbeting refers to the practice of shoving the dead crim in a suspended body cage (for 20 years in the case of Bierton and 40 years for the Potsford gibbet). This seems inordinately cruel to the family and relatives of the condemned and also served as an unwelcome reminder to the family of the victim.
I keep thinking I should be past such things, but I'm always amazed and disturbed at how cruelly grotesque some people's idea of justice can be. Power I suppose. So easy to lose one's perspective.
 

CuriousIdent

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Put me in mind of South Oxhey.
Checked with my brother. It was a village called Plumtree. Though this was well over a decade ago now.


Tell us more about the CCTV house!
That was a bit odd. It wasn't the first place they had rented in and around Nottingham. 3 of them had been in a much smaller place in Sherwood when they first moved to the area, but when they found this house in Mapperley they thought they'd hit the jackpot.

It was a large 5 bed detached place, somewhat hidden back from the road by trees and bushes, with plenty space to park 3 cars, and if they could get another 2 people to chip in with them it was affordable.

Luckily they had a mate who had just returned from a year abroad after University, he was willing. And a girl they'd been at school with (let's just initial her H) had just started a nursing training residency in Nottingham, and was also looking for somewhere. And she was willing to live in a houseshare with 4 blokes on the proviso that she got the largest room. A deal was struck. All was well.

And this place was huge. Large living room. Huge conservatory at the back, running the width of the house (which itself was pretty large). It had a two-car-sized garage, which had been converted into a gym. It even had a jacuzzi (though I don't think it got much in the way of use). It was a proper Party House to 5 early twenty-somethings. I can remember that my brother got a bit pissy with me, because this was his first proper house and first opportunity to throw a proper House Warming and despite inviting me I missed it. I did go up on a good number of occasions over the next 3 years or so, however. For the football, birthdays, Bank Holidays BBQs etc.

But there was still something a little odd about the place. It seemed so incongruous to have a house like this in the street it was in. The decor was modern, but it had a major nouveau riche vibe to it. Looked like it was dolled up for MTV cribs from the front of the house and reception areas. Other parts though were a little more dilapidated, with a very late 70s / early 80s vibe to them. A wood-panelled bar towards the rear of the house, for example. Tiny thing. Some booze left behind. Hard to say whose, past tenants or landlords.

And the guy who actually owned it wasn't living in the UK. He was in Switzerland. Zurich. Which made getting repairs done a little more difficult. It could take days, even weeks, to get messages relayed between the letting agents and landlord.

Of particular note, the bedroom decor was a little... garish. On one occasion I stayed in the master bedroom -normally belonging to H, who allowed me to kip there in her absence, while she was away on holiday. And beyond her better attempts to make the space her own, you couldn't get past the paint and papering job. Which had a very distinctive vibe of boudoir red and pink, and heart motifs to it. It had a... vibe to it. You know?

I also noted that there was a fair amount of distinctive AV cabling sticking through a point in the ceiling. Right in the corner of the room above the doorway, adjoining with an alcove wall for the en suite bathroom.

With fitted wardrobes taking up the entirety of the rest of that wall, it wasn't like there was anywhere that a TV or Audio unit could have been placed. The cables absolutely wouldn't have stretched from the corner anyway. The only thing I could think of was that there may have formerly been a CCTV camera mounted there. But if there had been, it would have been pointing directly at the bed. I can't 100% remember now, but I have a vague recollection of there being similarly abandoned wires in the en suite.

I mentioned this to my brother's mate Chris the following morning. He was like 'Yeahhhh. We did notice that when we were looking around the place. But we didn't want to mention it to H, in case it spooked her'.

There were similar cables in some of the other bedrooms, and when they moved in they went to considerable lengths searching for cameras and spyholes, out of paranoia. They never found anything, thankfully.

But it did raise certain questions about the place. I had suggested to them that they enquired with some of their neighbours. Try to find out about the owner. But I don't think they ever did. At least one of them had some suspicions that the place may have been used as a quiet suburban brothel, or something. But mostly they kept such thoughts to themselves while H was living with them. And it just remained this odd Party House they all lived in for a few years, until they either moved for Work or moved out with significant others.
 
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Ghost In The Machine

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Chysauster. Never had the strongest feeling of get the heyhoo out as this place. It literally raised heckles before I even knew humans had heckles.
That rang a bell and I just went to look it up - I've been there, too. I remember saying to my husband "It feels like there's little pigs running about everywhere!" such a random thing. I guess at one point there might have been. But I could kind of feel that... One of my few Derek Acorah moments.... That was... that place I can't spell! That would have been around 2000.
 

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At weekends they'd often meet up and drive out around the surrounding smaller towns and villages, looking for Country pubs and the like to have a pint or two or a Sunday lunch.

One weekend in the mid-noughties they stopped by in one such small village, but were struck at quite how quiet it was. No sign of people around on what was quite a warm day (in April but still) struck them as being a little odd. But they had spotted a village pub that they decided to get a pint in. The pub itself appeared to be empty, beyond the bar staff. They ordered drinks and sat down. As the only customers.

I think it was my Brother's mate Chris who picked up on it first, but eventually, they all began to realise what they could hear in the background. It was an audio recording in German. A speech being given.

And it wasn't hard to work out which Austrian gentleman was delivering it.

They sat there, mostly in silence, sipping their pints to the soundtrack of what certainly appeared to be a certain Nuremberg Rally. They all felt rather uncomfortable, drank rather quickly, and decided to leave.

As they did one of them did decide to google the date of Hitler's birthday, and found that worryingly it tallied. They were all of the opinion that it couldn't be a coincidence, and that whoever the landlord was they were clearly trying to mark the birthday of the fallen dictator.

The went home rather quickly after that.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the village.
I wonder if it was somewhere associated with Kevin Wheatcroft, who is known for his massive collection of 3rd Reich stuff? IIRC his family owned Donington Park, and lots of land/property in that neck of the woods...
 

CuriousIdent

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I wonder if it was somewhere associated with Kevin Wheatcroft, who is known for his massive collection of 3rd Reich stuff? IIRC his family owned Donington Park, and lots of land/property in that neck of the woods...
Crikey. I have no idea. But I always find myself somewhat suspicious of anybody who would wish to display such stuff as memorabilia. I mean it's not quite the same as a football shirt or a movie prop. It's fine if you're looking at them in context, in a museum or an exhibition. But Artifacts from a regime which killed millions should not be displayed in a more casual situation. Certainly, if they had been on display amongst the brick-a-brack of a country pub that would have been in bad taste.
 
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LordRsmacker

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Crikey. I have no idea. But I always find myself somewhat suspicious of anybody who would wish to display such stuff as memorabilia. I mean it's not quite the same as a football shirt or a movie prop. It's fine if you're looking at them in context, in a museum or an exhibition. But Artifacts from a regime which killed millions should not be displayed in a more casual situation. Certainly, if they had been on display amongst the brick-a-brack of a country pub that would have been in bad taste.
I suspect that chap is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. His stuff, arguably the largest collection in the world, isn't on display, and he has so much that he has storage containers and buildings crammed full. Maybe he has an inventory, but the impression I have is that he's a spoiled twat spending his dead Daddy's fortune on collecting stuff that even he won't get to sit and gaze at, however morbid the items may be. I can understand him wanting to have a load of (cool/evil - delete as applicable) Panzers etc to play around in on his massive estate, but going out of his way to salvage Hitler's cell door from Landsberg...well, the word "bell-end" springs to mind. A classic example of why rich people shouldn't be allowed to breed.
 

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That rang a bell and I just went to look it up - I've been there, too. I remember saying to my husband "It feels like there's little pigs running about everywhere!" such a random thing. I guess at one point there might have been. But I could kind of feel that... One of my few Derek Acorah moments.... That was... that place I can't spell! That would have been around 2000.
Creepy! We went a few years after you probably, got out of the car and it felt like the air was humming or buzzing. The three of us had the strongest feeling of dread and danger so we noped it right back out of the place.
 

Ghost In The Machine

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Yorkshire
Interesting. I almost had the opposite feeling of it once being a place full of life and quite positive. I'd always remembered that things about pigs running about but had forgotten the name of the place... I guess places have a different feeling for us all and different at different times, too.
 
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