Story Starter: V.R. Postbox


Lovely old Victorian postbox. down Catbrain Hill, Bristol.

I mentioned I was down at one of our writing workshops in Somerset this week….At end of day when our guests had gone home, I went for a walk down Catbrain Hill, just round the corner from the hotel. I’ve learned it was once a village, and set in to one of the cottage walls was this postbox. V.R.! I don’t recall ever seeing one this old before. So, I snapped it, as I do, with the feeling that it might make a good Story Starter.

Filton Airfield lies at the bottom of the hill. Look it up. You’ll read that it’s had an interesting history. Does that feed in to the story?

Of course I was curious about the name itself: Catbrain. But no, nothing to do with cats.  Wikipedia tells me it’s from the Middle English “cattes brazen”, the soil type of the area, a rough clay mixed with stones. Another story ingredient?

I can hardly wait to see the stories that this one prompts; I think they’ll be fascinating. Still 2000 or 3000 words, please.

I did take another pic, this time of the back of the information leaflet in my hotel room. It’s a list, but such a bizarre list I can’t imagine what the phone/conversation/thought process was of the jotter-down! I might quote it sometime but for now, I’ll add in another, more conventional list I found jotted on an orange Post-it I found on the floor here one day: Butter, Radio Times – crossed out, with one cross covering both. Bordeaux, Claret, Pizza, salad, Rose, Provence – grouped together by being crossed out with one cross over all. It intrigued me. So specific about the wines!

So, you’ve got two Story Starters for the price of one today!  And if you’re new to my blog and wonder what the Story Starter series is about, I explain it here.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.

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