The Establishment (Part 9)

soddenham-est-7It is advisable that new visitors to this website should read the preceding parts before continuing. This building, known locally as ‘The Establishment’ has been on the periphery of the village for over 80 years. Silently operating behind a stand of trees and accessed by a circuitous route via a cinder track beyond Setchell’s Copse, no-one was seen entering or leaving, and there was no contact in the village by those who worked there.

After receiving the rather threatening letter from a London QC we decided to continue as planned, but with extra caution. With this in mind, I will not be divulging any information that may compromise our investigations, especially with regard to dates, times and security details.


soddenham-est-31On our return the following day, we carefully checked our security, which consists of a number of different systems positioned in strategic places around and inside The Establishment, which let us know if anyone has been around. I’m obviously not going to describe what these systems are, but can divulge that they are are varied, regularly monitored and repositioned.

Mr. P. allowed me to use his voice recorder as I did a round of the security so I could quickly record the condition of each post. This I took for a show of comradeship as I am quite certain he rather treasures his gadgetry. I just hope that my commentary is as clear and concise as his.

Our ‘mission’ today was to gain entry to the first room we encountered; the room that we codenamed ‘The Padlocked Room.’ Armed with an extraordinary pair of boltcutters, Jessie removed the large padlock and pushed open the door. A large dust cloud billowed out (thanks to Mr. P, we were all wearing our respirators) and we stood quietly and waited until it had largely settled before arranging the lights.

Through the now familiar gloom, the room is empty except for a single wooden chair.

There is an abnormal amount of material on the floor, which appears to be compost or soil upon closer inspection. Samples of the material are collected, bagged and labelled for further investigation. Whilst Mr. P was carefully collecting samples, he happened to tread upon something solid and after some fingertip searching through the substance which was about an inch thick, he recovered two small objects that appeared to be bones. These were also ‘bagged and tagged.’
soddenham-est-39 soddenham-est-40 soddenham-est-41

The dust particles had begun to cloud up the space as we examined it so we decided to close up the room and return to the surface. At the junction of the main corridor, Jessie suggested that we take a peek into the ‘open room’ further around the corner. Given that we were carrying the most powerful lights that we had, this seemed like a very good idea.

The Open Room was as we had left it and we set up the lights to examine the space in more detail. The room was larger than we first thought – the room we had seen previously appeared to be just an anteroom to a larger space beyond and divided by a safety glass wall with a steel framed door in it. In the door post was a a tattered pinup and a promotional calendar from 1964 from a Scandinavian company. soddenham-est-36

Inside the larger room was disappointingly empty. The floor was relatively clean and whatever had been in here had been thoroughly removed. Apart from a few random health and safety notices, the walls were clear except for one small patch on the far right wall where there were some butterfly pictures pasted to the wall. None of us knew what to make of this, but we duly photographed it and after a final look around the room, we decided to head back above ground.


It took us a while to gather up the lighting; we had decided not to leave anything behind in case were were ever unable to retrieve it, and with the last coils or cable, Jessie emerged out carrying the chair from the padlocked room! I joked about him needing a sit down but noticed that Mr. P was not amused. He was only placated when Jessie said he thought he would take it back for a better look as there may be clues to find.

We bounced back down the lane past Setchell’s copse in Jessie’s Princess and wondered aloud about what we had found. Once more, we had visited The Establishment, discovered new places and collected some very weird things, without learning a single fact. I promised us a hot platter of weasel vittles and a stand of Witches Brew when we got back to the ‘Teat which was greeted with enthusiasm as we rounded St.Poly’s towards the pub.

Over our steaming platter of tender weasel-based niblets (with a most excellent serving of weasel jelly by Madge Tooley I might add!) and well into our second round of Witches Brew, Mr. P raised the subject of our ‘evidence,’ particularly how we should go about analysing them and issues over possible dangerous or incriminating substances. We mulled this over amiably and seemed to be agreement about most things. As Mr. P went to order another round of Brew from the bar, I remarked to Jessie that we had formed a tight team and that Mr. P had turned out to be more than we could have hoped for. With that, Jessie drained his glass, smiled and said “as long as he stands his round.”

The map has been since been revised to show the latest developments and is currently being worked up into a 3D style layout. Many thanks to Barry Thule for his continued support of the SHSACC, and of course, his mum for allowing him.


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