The Heart Of The Sun

Grand orgue de la cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Annonciation de Nancy

Grand orgue de la cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l’Annonciation de Nancy

Episode 16

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Stravinsky was dancing, in the old railway tunnel under Holloway, holding his flute and playing his latest jig he called, Le Sacre du Printemps – The Rite of Spring. He was planning to perform with Albrecht Aldhelm, and his pal Bernard Basevi, down at St John’s Bridge during the week to drum up business for their show to be held in the Abbey the following week. Out side the tunnel the sky was almost completely overcast with swirling big black boiling clouds, passing over from the south-west, with just one break, through which the sun was forcing its way in onto the town, producing an inverted fan of rays so strong up against the blackdrop, they almost looked as if they were painted on with liquid gold.

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was now marching up and down the tunnel like a Majorette, hurling his flute spinning towards the ceiling then catching it and continuing to play a passage he called ‘Dance of the Earth,’ and then he noticed to his right, crumbling stone in the wall of the tunnel. Igor ceased to flaut and wandered yonder to investigate, lo and behold he heard a loud banging and breaking through the wall came John and Paul who had dug a shaft joining the Abbey Crypt directly to the tunnel. Igor enquired what exactly were they up to, and where had they come from. John and Paul now explained Roger Bish Griffin’s latest plan for raising Waterloo Portaloo restoration funds, and his agreement with the Abbey of a fifty fifty split, their half going towards the reconstruction of all damage to the Abbey resulting from ‘The Great Shock Wave of Beorhtwold’s Bog.’

The Bishop’s plan was to open a Cellar Café under the Abbey in its crypt and call it ‘The Tarantula,’ with access from the railway tunnel. Customers would arrive in monster sized Mad Max and Lions Tour super buses from Bath-upon-Zen, park in Willis’ Long Stay car park down at Cowbridge, board the scenic light railway to the tunnel, and take his new electric escalator up the shaft and into the Abbey crypt. There they would have the options of refreshments, visit the Abbey and the town above, or take his other stupendous connecting tunnel under Malmesbury to his new Athelstan Museum, and its now World Famous exhibit – the original TARDIS.

One slight snag though, the TARDIS was still being retrieved from Beorhtwold’s Bog out on Malmesbury Common, but they fully hoped to have it completely restored, and in a completed museum, and also a brand new Café Apocalypse to be renamed ‘The Tarantula,’and relocated from the rear of the Abbey, to down below in the crypt, increasing its size ten fold. So what do you think of Roger’s ‘Big Plan’ then, Igor asked Paul. Stravinsky replied, sounds like a ‘Graveyard Smash’ to me. John then asked Igor what he was doing down here too, and he put his flute to his lips and began playing a piece for Tunnels by his friends ‘Toccata and Fugue.’

Igor didn’t hear John and Paul bid him farewell as he was now reaching the end of the tunnel and gazing out towards the receding flood waters across Tom Rich’s meadow. John and Paul had clambered back up into the crypt, then emerged in the Abbey itself and were now sat at table number four chatting with Sarah who had brought across cups of tea and cakes, a well earned break from their journey to tun-hell and back. Sarah enquired about the Waterloo Portaloo, John said the latest he’d heard was ‘Two Bridges’ and ‘The B of The Bang’ had finally recovered all of it, and it was now back at the museum, where they had ‘called in’ the local Boffin and TARDIS expert ‘Ellie The Telly,’ to put it all back together again.

Ellie Langtree © David Forward

Ellie Langtree © David Forward

Who’s ‘Ellie The Telly’ enquires Sarah, oh she’s ‘Two Bridges’ daughter, she’s apprenticed to Fabricius Fabrizio, the bloke who invented it. So Ellie is the Doctor’s “companion” then! That’s right, she does all the maths while he does all the physics, I suppose she’s just as much the brains behind the Waterloo Portaloo as he is. One without the other and it wouldn’t be going anywhere. So why is it going in the museum then says Sarah. John looks at Paul and says, we’re not supposed to tell anyone but we could trust Sarah, couldn’t we? Paul’s looks back in agreement, and finished the secret, they’ve built a new one. Sarah’s eyes light up with an expression of great pleasure. Brilliant, she says, now I can cadge a lift back to Scotland. Why do you want to go to Scotland Sarah? I want my ‘Normal Chicken’ back.

In walks Igor having finished his flaunting down in the depths of Holloway, and pulls up a chair at table number four with John and Paul. What’ll it be then Igor, coffee, tea, asks Sarah. Igor replies very cheekily, a tea please my darling beautiful nymph. And with that Sarah skips back towards the kitchen. Hey Igor what’s this we hear about Mahler, Holst and you then. Oh we’re forming a Chamber Orchestra, were going to give performances down in the tunnel, yea you know Rick Wakeman, the organist down at the United Reformed Church, he’s written a piece specially for us, he’s called it – Journey to the Center of the Earth.

So we’ve got Roger ‘The Bishop’ of Salisbury, beavering away under Malmesbury Town creating TARDIS Tombs, Tunnel Tunes and Café Catacombs, and we have Normal Chickens, Polish Chickens and Giant Chickens. All we need now is a brand new ‘Thousand Pipe’ organ: the whole East Wall of Malmesbury Abbey could be where the giant pipes go, that would be a neutral decoration and quite within keeping with many other Abbeys and Cathedrals, and I know just where we can get all the lead to make its pipes with. The collapsed Abbey Spire, there’s 30 tons of lead there doing nothing. The new spire should be covered with thin sheet copper, it would look great when it oxidises to green. Yes what Malmesbury Abbey needs is a unique and beautiful pipe organ to fill the East Wall. Then I shall commission the TARDIS to ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun.’


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“Any resemblance between the characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle.”

29 October, 2017
All images and written works by David Forward are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License