Monday, 28 September 2009

It all began with a postcard...

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As many of you may know, the previous incumbent to the post of Professor of Applied Folkology at St Desmonds, Oxford was none other than the famous Lord Alfred Storm-Petrel. After his sad demise at the hands of an enraged bull-fighter in the college precint last summer (see Oxford Intruder issue 55, dated 26th July 2008) it fell upon me as his replacement to undertake the difficult job of cataloguing his affects and bank accounts. It was whilst alphabetizing his vast collection of victorian seaside images that I came upon this postcard lanuguishing at the back of a volume entitled Bathing Machines Close Up

The greeting on the front reads, charmingly I think, "Wish You Were Here - A warm welcome awaits you on the Shanty Isles"

Upon the back there is simply the monogram (sic)- "Ruddy faced Shanty Island women await a new arrival"

I ask you, how could one resist such a temptation? The Shanty Isles! The name is synonymous with romance and folklore. And so it was that I set about my research, my one aim to discover all I could about this mysterious land, it's inhabitants, and whether or not they needed a blog(they did).