The Lady of the Ossington
Stairs creak, footsteps of a ghostly presence creeping ever closer. She watches through the veil as workmen transform her dream into her direst nightmare. As alcohol swirls in glasses, voices rising in drunken excitement, her ire grows. This was not what she wanted! How dare they defy her will? Fury crackles like static in the air. They may not be able to see her but she can still make her presence known.
Bottles shatter. Wine spreads like blood across the floor.
This post is for Cee’s Black and White Challenge. I couldn’t resist joining in again when I saw the theme for the next few weeks is ‘older than 50 years’! Old places and things are some of my favourite things to photograph.
The building pictured is ‘The Ossington’, formerly known as ‘The Ossington Coffee Palace’, and was built in Newark on Trent in 1881 by Charlotte, Viscountess Ossington. Her main aim was to promote temperance. She wished to draw as many of the local farmers and labourers away from the public houses as she possibly could.
For many years the Coffee Palace was run as the Viscountess intended, despite being requisitioned during both world wars. It was finally sold away from her heirs in 1978 and it was after this time that alcohol was first served in the building. Local legend holds that the spirit of the Viscountess was so disgusted that she returned to haunt the place. Her portrait was tossed off the wall, wine crates thrown off shelves and kegs of alcohol mysteriously bled dry with no signs of leakage. When workmen entered the building for renovations they complained of ghostly interference causing the job to take far longer than expected. They heard footsteps on the stairs, tools moved inexplicably and one morning they found the words ‘Get out of my house’ carved into new plaster as if by a ghostly finger…
Colette O'Neill... Environmentalist, Author, Publisher, Photographer. Creator of Goddess Permaculture.
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