Tuesday, 8 February 2011

She Was A Brick, He Was Her Rock

Two postcards, two sitters: She was a ‘brick’, He was ‘her ‘rock’- but it’s doubtful they ever met. I came across her twenty years ago, in Dalkey, Ireland; and him I found last summer, in Tenby, Wales. Both must be long dead, but they’ve just got married. I’m going to frame them together – put them on my desk, and tell everyone I’m related to them, and that they were an infamous ‘criminal couple’- like Bonnie and Clyde; but instead of blowing up banks, they threatened to blow-up quarries – working quarries. Explosives experts both, they’d send threatening postcards (these postcards – they weren’t afraid to flaunt their identity) to quarry owners - up and down the land - saying, unless a ransom was paid, explosives would be planted in the quarries - their quarries would be blasted.
Crime paid: by threatening to blow-up quarries they built up an empire; they had country houses, and houses in the town, and they collected motorcars like children collect toys (and remember, it was in the days when you had to be rich to own a car). This brings me to their death. They died together, but not as you might imagine, ‘in action’ - killed in the act, in some quarry. No. One Sunday they were driving from their town house to their country house, when someone dropped a brick off a bridge onto their car. They both died instantly. But their legacy lives on - is set in stone -  working quarries still salute them - pay tribute - with a loud siren noise, followed by ‘a two minute silence’, prior to every explosion. 

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