September 25th, 2006

Piece Hall, Halifax

Halifax's Piece Hall is the only cloth hall in England. it was opened in 1779 as a place for the Yorkshire wool merchants to do business. Now it houses museums and shops. 

It occupies a site of several acres. There's a huge cobbled quadrangle  in the middle.

In 1972 it was saved from demolition by a single vote in council. Can you imagine that? These days it would be unthinkable to tear down something like this. The 1970s really were a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Friendly Dragon

The first shop we visited in the Piece Hall was a Pagan/New Age emporium called Friendly Dragon (Plug: if you're into that kind of thing they carry a huge stock- robes, athames, wands, figurines, books- you name it.). 

And, guess what? They had a couple of copies of our book* for sale. I thought it was out of print.

So Ailz asked the shop assistant if he'd like us to autograph a copy.

He went to fetch Jan the proprietor and from then on we were treated like celebs.

I felt like a bit of a fraud.

I was asking her about Derek Acorah's visit to the Piece Hall to film Ghost Towns. Such a nice man, she said. People- especially other mediums- run him down, call him a fraud, but she thinks it's because they're jealous.

That's sort of what I think too.

She has this great crystal bowl. You rub round its outer lips and it begins to moan. The moan builds and builds- and if you carried on with the rubbing it would would turn into an unbearable, banshee howl. What a fabulous object!

Want one. 

*The Illustrated Guide to Wicca by Aileen and Tony Grist