amwriting, genre, Pagham-verse, The Crows, world building

Pagham-on-Sea: New Estate Fashion

Where is the ‘New’ Estate?

The ‘New’ Estate, properly the Queen Mary Estate, was built in the 1963, begun on the tenth anniversary of Queen Mary’s death. There was some further expansion in the 1980s and then the final phase of building around the time of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, 2002. The newest section of the estate was named Jubilee Estate.

The first few families to move in were attracted to the train station and opportunity to live near the sea but be able to access London and ‘civilisation’. The Estate was an eerie place at first, on the edge of the town and with blocks of flats that no one was yet living in, and so the children of the first influx found themselves with little to do, except explore.

Urban legend has it that a group of these kids, nicknamed the Famous Five, went up to the Iron Age ironworks that was destroyed by a freak meteor crash in the Roman era. Not knowing the stories about the area, or having heard them from older locals but not giving them credence, the children dug out some of the rocks in that area, known as the ‘farisee stones’ or ‘fairy stones’ (‘farisee’ being Sussex dialect for ‘fairy’), and took them back to the Estate.

meteorite

Urban legends diverge regarding exactly what happened next.

Some put the blame on the budding scientist of the group who did experiments on the stones, childish ones, yes, but caused some sort of reaction; others blame the ‘witchy’ girl, who (they say) used the stones in a Ouija board experiment; others say it was the properties of the stones themselves, that the children did nothing wrong except in taking them away.

Whatever the truth, not long afterwards the stones were thrown away, and this is a common point in all the legends. The stones disappeared, but something, from that time on, lurked in the dark places on the Estate where no light reached. Anyone, adult or child, who stepped off the well-lit paths into the shadows, were found dead and desiccated the following day.

Outrage quickly built to fever pitch as the police could do nothing. Eventually, better lighting was installed and people learned to avoid the dark places. In the 1980s there were protests about the expansion of the Estate, but the journalists who went to investigate the rumours and wild local speculations went missing or were paid off, or found themselves unable to print what they found out unless they were writing in a mocking or satirical vein. Only conspiracy magazines would publish the actual stories about an invisible entity sucking the lives out of people in the shadows.

By 2003, the Estate, including the newest part, Jubilee, was ringed by a high wall surrounded with floodlights and CCTV cameras. The CCTV is recorded but the office is usually unmanned.

The fashion in the Estate today is reflective and neon – LED lights are used on bicycles, cars and motorbikes, the brighter and more highly-coloured the better. Accessories are also glow-in-the-dark or reflective, or LED-based.

img_3463

Hi-Viz and reflective fashion items range from £10-£150, and can be bought online or in lots of national retail chains. Other common (and cheaper) accessories include glo-sticks, fairy lights and pin lights from Pound shops. They can be turned into belts, necklaces, head gear, or sewn into clothing.

As a result, quite a few of the young people on the Estate have Etsy shops selling these kinds of accessories and make them themselves for friends and family.

 

For my post on Werewolf Punk, click here!

 

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