Saturday, 23 March 2013

Sheep May Not Safely Graze

Two churches are in the news this weekend although there is quite a difference between them, ignoring Rome and Canterbury.  Both in their way have a message for our times.  The first is St. Peter and St. Paul’s at East Sutton, Kent and the other the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, which will be another post. 

East Sutton is a small village one would have thought far from media interest.  But at the end of the 19th Century one of its more prominent residents was John Corlett, a newspaperman, proprietor of “The Sporting Times”, more popularly called “The Pink ‘Un”.  Also, the village was the country home of the respected Filmer family, baronets once significant political figures.

It is in the news because Vicky Pryce has been sent there, to HMP East Sutton at the old house to serve out her sentence having been found guilty of perverting the course of justice.  Her trials were something of a debacle.  According to “Private Eye” this week, between her lawyers and the Sunday Times contact for whom she was a source she was shopped and sunk.

Long before the village was best known as the location of a property once called The Pleasure House.  In the 1890’s this had housed the local vicar and his family but later was the location for Alice Keppel to meet with King Edward VII for some of their extra marital assignations.

They lived in a happier time when the press was more circumspect in dealing with the Royal Family and in the UK were rarely if ever pursued by posses of photographers looking for a fast but revealing shot.  If only because the camera’s of the period were heavy and slow.

East Sutton church has a relatively ordinary set of memorial inscriptions but there is one close to the entrance of the main churchyard which tells onlookers to gaze upon the graves with respect because they will be joining the occupants soon enough.  This may not have been noticed by the photographers who have congregated there because it overlooks East Sutton Park or HMP East Sutton. 

There has been a row between Professor Greenslade, Emeritus Blogger to The Guardian, no less and the British Press Photographer’s Association, over the intrusion of the photographers at East Sutton and their behaviour, he says they are paparazzi they say, honest Guv’ we are just doing our job:

The Park has advantages over the usual urban prison but is not a “cushy number”.  There is proper full time work to be done with real plants and animals because the farm has to supply a number of local outlets with reliable and good quality products, meats, salads, vegetables and garden plants. 

But the photographers had better be careful.  Not only is there The Curse of East Sutton as on the memorial they have treated with scant respect, it may be soon that it is the time and season on the farm for those learning the traditional trades in husbandry to get out the butcher’s cleavers, the shears and the big secateurs.

They could find out what the word “bullocks” really means.  Now that would make a good story; never mind the pictures.

1 comment:

  1. "the farm has to supply a number of local outlets with reliable and good quality products, meats, salads, vegetables and garden plants."

    No value burgers?