Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Thursday, 7 April 2016


Funny how things click together in my head. Like I said, lost communities fascinate me, and I was actually thinking of one earlier today when I heard about the death of Rachel Johnson, the last native St Kildan.

The village of Tyneham had stood on the Dorset coast, near Worbarrow Bay, for centuries when it and the surrounding land was commandeered by the War Office just before Christmas 1943, supposedly for the duration of the war. The last resident to leave pinned this message on the door of the 13th century church, St Mary's:

Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.

After the war, despite the promise that it would be returned to its original inhabitants, the Army
placed a compulsory purchase order on Tyneham, and it has remained in use for military training since then.

Many of the houses are in ruins now, but what remains of 'the village that died for England' is open to visitors at weekends and during August.

A few years ago, I found this video on YouTube. Overlook the spelling and punctuation errors in the text; it's actually quite beautiful and haunting.

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