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 Jacob's Shadow, conclusion
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Rob Carson
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carlisle
United Kingdom


338 Posts

Posted - 24/05/2020 :  07:39:14  Show Profile Send Rob Carson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Morpeth Roll, sheets of paper on a linen backing, would have stretched almost to the top of the Empire State Building though it had been referred to as an Imperial Lavatory Roll. Jacob looked down on the roofs of the town. Just to his right someone had been diagnosed with coronavirus. In a nursing home -just out of view- a resident had recently died. People in the town were galvanized determined to do their best. The man in the ecohouse as he was known sold 'concreatures' garden ornaments from the flower border outside his home. People chose a rabbit, a teddy, or whatever, took a white envelope from the windscreen of his car and slipped a donation to the charity through the slightly open driver's window. This had brought in still brings in hundreds of pounds. Both of his daughters worked with the local group delivering PPE to care workers and essential supplies to the wider community of vulnerable people. The many local businesses working from home delivering to their former customers and adapting to the most difficult of circumstances. Andrew Tait, an accomplished virtuoso performer, signing to people in the town from his kitchen.
The world may, indeed, have 'topsyturvy turned' but there were many people working away quietly trying to set it right again, Jacob thought as he turned to look at the statue of Lord Viscount Morpeth. So many titles. Lord-Lieutenant of West Riding, of sundry other places, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, member of Queen Victoria's Privy Council. Minister for Forests and Woods. George Howard was an honoured guest at the coronation of Tsar Nicholas and was said to be the toast of St Petersburg society -the able kindhearted man whom few people even remember. The signatories to the testimonial scroll, or roll, had their own portentous times to come, the Great Famine of 1845. Personal records prior to the famine had been pretty scrappy. Those names, the location they lived in, their occupations, all would have been forgotten had they not signed as a gesture of respect for, that most unlikely of people. an English aristocrat whom some might have disregarded as an unwelcome, imperious overseer. Culled from their ancestral land by starvation, suicide, and mass immigration they might have been forgotten had it not been for their gesture of generosity to one man. The impressive plinth, plinths can be impressive, standing in Phoenix Park, Dublin, has an inscription stating the statue was erected from public subscription.Blown off by an explosion the statue is installed at Howard Castle The Morpeth Roll, The Imperial Lavatory Roll, was returned to Ireland and went on tour around the country in 2012 and is today regarded as one of Ireland's most important social documents.
Descending down a path deeply rutted by a heavy vehicle Jacob went over to the stone font where the girls had floated the heads of the daffodils. Perhaps, he thought, rather than just a destructive urge this was their own gesture showing respect for someone, or something, they valued deeply and whom they missed The daffodil-heads floating in the pool was their own considered act of remembrance.

Robert Carson

The Morpeth Roll has now been digitized and can be viewed at Ancestory.Com

Rob Carson
Member

carlisle
United Kingdom


338 Posts

Posted - 24/05/2020 :  07:42:34  Show Profile Send Rob Carson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Andrew, of course, sings, not signs from his kitchen, fortunately
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