Soup Kitchen

Vulcan Bomber XH558 Disappears over Saint Mary's Hall © David Forward

Vulcan Bomber XH558 Disappears over Saint Mary's Hall © David Forward

It was 29th April 2011 and Government had declared airspace over Malmesbury as closed to all traffic. They were expecting high ranking foreign dignitaries to be flying in for a landing at the Cotswold Airport close by at Kemble. Malmesbury Town Council had been informed and had declared a curfew across the whole district. In the town the local Scouts accompanied by Community Support Officers had already begun to round up all the homeless and street urchins of Malmesbury and send them to the Emergency Centre at Saint Mary’s Hall in the dead centre of the town, known as Westport Upon The Hill.

Inside the hall all the detainees were being showered and de-loused then sent through for registering before seated in the Great Banqueting Hall where they were going to be fed their first substantial meal of the year. Lady Prudence Odalis Power was in charge and was busy dishing out the orders in the kitchen. Her helping hands Winnifred Kettlety and Demetria Doolittle were vigorously stirring hot cauldrons of Pigs Broth whilst Kyleigh Poole was down on her hands and knees in the toilets scrubbing the floors.

At the stroke of noon the Great Westport Bell tolled, prayers were said by all, and the order given to tuck into the feast, laid out before the starving wretches upon the trestle tables, borrowed from the local undertakers.

A volunteer table waitress approached a street girl known as Rachel Rockett sat eagerly awaiting her hot broth and asked her if she would like to sample one of Frances Goldstone’s West Street Wonders. Rachel’s beaming eyes dropped in disappointment at the tray held out before her. She took one glance at the florescent luminous green miniature horse droppings on offer and her subconscious thoughts stalled abruptly, she regained her composure and offered up her answer, “If you think I’m going to let one of those things past my delicate lips then you’ve got another thing coming, that’s Bang Out of Order”.

Opposite Rachel sat a lad known as Dave the Trencher, quick to pipe up he called across the spread before him to the waitress, “Guid gear comes in sma’ bulk, I’ll have a plate full please lassie”. Certainly young Gent, looks like you’re the only taker, they’re quite tasty actually, I’ve eaten a dozen myself already.

Everyone was busy tucking into their nosh when a deep low hum accompanied by a high pitched whistle approached from the south, then with the shock of a direct lightning strike, Vulcan Bomber XH558 passed directly over head at 500 feet, opened the throttles fully and commenced a steep climb. The enormous rumble sent every bit of crockery in the kitchen falling to the floor, windows vibrated and many broke, car alarms were sounding off all around and every baby in every buggy was now crying. Patrick Goldstone leapt to the microphone and called for calm, “Don’t panic, it’s only Rock ‘n Roll but I like it”.

St Mary's Hall Soup Kitchen © David Forward

St Mary's Hall Soup Kitchen © David Forward

28 January, 2015
All images and written works by David Forward are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License