There are plenty of places in the UK you are most unwelcome to visit, i wouldn’t want to place particular focus on Cold Brayfield, but the landscape there has the lure of a nightmare at ground level, even in broad daylight its noticeable somethings not right, pass through there in winter, at night, and you’ll shiver, and think ‘Leave be’
I wouldn’t call it a village, its really just a row of houses, I don’t believe there is anything much there, it was on the main road journey to work where I lived in the 90’s – I had the most amazing motorcycle, a V4 Honda,. That thing was so smooth, and so fast, you could peel off into a corner at 65, and come out doing 90 with such ease, you never felt or even heard the engine, it was like living in the future, the road was fast and smooth too, you would pass through several villages which were bottle necks for traffic, but not Cold Brayfield, you approached it on an uphill bend, under the shadow of trees, and if I remember correctly, could pass the entire place in seconds, before taking the next exit towards work. Ask any motorcyclist why they love to ride – the secret is – look in the mirror and see how fast the past can be left behind!
I would muse to myself, why was it called Cold Brayfield? Perhaps being on the crest of a hill made it a chilly place, I do remember the village nearby, there was a pub called “the Three Fyshes” I was in there one time, the bar was crowded with people who had obviously been to a funeral, when I went to get my beer, I had to pass it over the head of a mourner at the bar, as I did so, my glass tipped a fair quantity down the mans back – and I do mean a fair quantity, I never tipped so much beer over a fellow drinker before without incident – I touched his shoulder and said sorry mate, but no answer, so I gripped the man more firmly and said “I spilled beer down you” but he seemed unaware of my existence, he would be tomorrow morning when he realises his jacket reeks of ale!
I don’t actually think it was the same evening, but this one time we were in that pub and someone said hey boys, don’t ya know there’s strippers in the barn round the back? Well, this had to be investigated, so we paid our £2. entry or whatever, turned out it was girls modelling underwear – the room was packed with men stood on tables trying to get a better view!!
I wondered if the beer would soon soak through to his skin, and I’d have some explaining to do – cro-magnon man is what you come to expect round there – conversations frequently featured “he was attacked with a _____ (insert weapon of choice axe, shotgun, hammer etc) I’m no wimp, but I was glad when we left, you could deal with the odd local psycho, it was when it was a mob that you had real trouble.
One day, my bike was out of action, it needed to be welded, I regarded the situation as near critical, so I was on the bus for a couple of weeks, every day that bus would stop at Cold Brayfield, and this girl would get on, she probably worked in the next village, thats the way things were round there, it was practically medieval, so there was me, without my beloved motorbike, on the bus slowed down to almost the level of the local villagers.
She was pretty, but not like the town girls I was more familiar with, she had straight long hair, I expect it got brushed before she left the house, and that was it – no high heels, boots, fancy make up, stockings, nothing – I smiled her way and she just looked shyly away as she passed me to the back of the bus. She probably had a weird name like Kerin, or something, I figured she probably wanted to be left alone.
In the evening after work, there was no bus, so I’d try to hitch to the next place the bus passed through, one night it was bouncing down with rain, and this car swept up to the kerb, I pulled the door and straight away the smell of cannabis told me this guy was tripping balls if he thought I couldn’t smell it – but there was no way I was turning down a ride, even if the driver was utterly smashed, thats the 90’s for you, I felt my life was in the hands of a lunatic, but without my motorbike, or a girl to go home to, what did I care? Besides, it was raining buckets, and the car was warm and dry!
Next morning, back on the bus, and there she was again, some days she didn’t work, or caught a later bus, perhaps she got a lift on the back of a tractor or something? I wondered what she was really like? Did she like needlework? Or horses? Perhaps she was a fantasist, perhaps she had 5 brothers killed in a dreadful car accident, and wanted me to contact them somehow? Why had this fate befallen me? Here I was, a relatively innocent young motorcyclist, being led into this elaborate trap by these evil yokels?
Well, I got my bike fixed and didn’t have to use the bus again for some time, but eventually, as events panned out, I did find myself back on the bus after a disastrous affair with a blown head gasket, because the heads were moulded into the crankcase, it meant I had to take out the engine, and strip the whole thing down to remedy that situation, and thats where the whole nightmare really began . . .