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Grope Lane

History of the Shut

So dark at night you had to grope your way along!

But what did you feel beneath your groping hands?

And who... or what... might you meet in the dark?


Who helped Amy create the story

The ideas literally flooded from class 5 of Wilfred Owen Primary School in Shrewsbury.

After being let loose in the shut Amy sifted and assembled their storylines into the tale below.

The class followed up their workshop by creating a cd of their own stories.

creative chaos in shady Grope Lane
The Story Of Grope Lane

One evening, a young lad, about 9 or 10 years old was making his way home through Shrewsbury. It was an autumn evening. The mist had come down and the air was thick and heavy with drops of moisture. The gas lights on the High Street glowed in the mist and he left their hazy light behind and cut up off the High Street into the dark of Grope Lane and started to climb the bank as the walls began to narrow inwards.

The bricks were cold and clammy to the touch and he could see his breath drifting in lazy tendrils. But he had hardly turned the corner and started up the hill when he felt the hairs starting to rise on the back of his neck.

He could feel someone watching, the heavy weight of someone's, or something's, gaze following him. He picked up his pace, but the feeling was still there.

He could hear heavy breathing behind him, the muffled rustling of damp leaves. His heart started to beat faster and he could barely stop himself from running.

Suddenly the wall erupted into whirring and he stepped backwards as a disturbed pigeon flew out in front of him, fanning cold air into his face.

He breathed a sigh of relief and carried on. But then, there was no mistaking it, he could hear footsteps behind him. He turned and saw a black shadow creeping along the wall.

not so scary by day

His nerve broke and he ran. The footsteps galloped after, closer and closer. A huge weight bore down on his body and he felt the cold wet touch of death and then a wet, warm dampness like fresh blood. He screamed out and tried to struggle free. A hand grabbed him and pulled him to his feet. He tried to break free, squirming and flailing, but it was all in vain.

Suddenly the weight disappeared, and a voice penetrated over his yelling, deep and gruff,

"Are you alright lad? Are you hurt?"

The boy cautiously stopped struggling and opened his eyes to find himself looking into the concerned face of an old man.

"I'm afraid he's not much more than a puppy and he slipped his lead."

The boy looked down to see a black Labrador pawing at him, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth.

copyright Amy Douglas 2001

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