Fiction Ed Shirley’s Story Starter this week takes us to Soho Square in the ’50s.
Most of you know by now that I usually go out for a walk at lunchtime, weather permitting. And, kindly, it usually does.
Today was chilly but actually perfect walk weather: clear and bright, not windy, and very refreshing.
I usually drop my weighty shoulder bag off at the car on my way out rather than lug it round with me.
Today I spent a few minutes on my phone, browsing this and that.
And I came upon the most delightful little film clip on YouTube of London’s Soho Square in the late 1950s.
The voiceover was one of those tirribly, tirribly well-spoken English voices that the BBC always specialised in.
Even better, the musical accompaniment was an accordion with a real jaunty attitude.
The story starter fairy
The clip — in colour, as it happens; superb — recorded the people, the businesses, the markets . . .
And what was especially charming was the way the character of the music kept up, with a little French flair here, a Spanish tra-la there.
It was fifteen minutes very well spent.
And then, on the way back to work, I passed two women in the graveyard opposite the office — my usual shortcut — talking earnestly.
“When I move down to London I won’t know how to act . . .” is what I heard as my ears flapped their way by.
Isn’t that intriguing? Put that together with the film clip and a story begins to roll out before you.
I think I may just have had my first visit this year from the Story Starter fairy.
As ever we’re looking for a number of different lengths at the moment, in our standard range: 1000, 1200, 2000, 3000 and 4000.
But bear in mind that we use only 17 per year at 4000, 34 per year at 1000, and 52 per year at 1200; 300 per year at 2000 and 200 per year at 3000.
I know what length I’d try to write . . .
If you want to watch it as research, perhaps, click here for that YouTube clip.
To pick another story starter from our back catalogue, click here.