The Bridewell, where the army was stationed during the war, was the largest and most impressive building in our district and the more mysterious for housing those not of our nation – much less of our area.
That it was a jail incarcerating criminals or those in breach of army regulations only served to bestow a further air of intrigue upon its inmates. The goings-on behind those high gaol walls were a constant topic of conversation for us.
One summer’s evening, I remember it well, some of our neighbours’ girls were standing talking at Rice’s corner when, all of a sudden, two clothes brushes landed at their feet. Mystified, one girl picked them up only to find a note jammed between the brushes. It was a message from an incarcerated soldier requesting a date!
His vainglorious hopes were never fulfilled.
Mind you, the clothes brushes were much appreciated!