Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Why I love the weirdness that is Malmesbury

Malmesbury, ‘the heart of the Swartland’, is an old town – it grew from a few settlements built in the 1700s around a sulphur spring (now channelled, in an ungodly act, under the local Pick’n’Pay centre). It’s full of lovely old buildings and in fact boasts a historical walking tour that visits 19 of these, including the monumental old Synagogue (now the Malmesbury Museum) and a Sir Herbert Baker-designed stately home (now a guesthouse).

But it’s also got its strange side, and it doesn’t come much stranger than the many and various oddities to be found in this one residential street.

The gable guy?

This beautifully ugly little statue takes pride of place in a front garden.

A swan, high and dry.

A somewhat graphic roadside sign for a baby clinic (the baby looks disturbingly newborn, don’t you think? you can almost see the vernix).

Another element in this pic – the de-wheeled shopping trolley doing service as a rubbish-bag holder – was clearly so admired by the neighbours that it's repeated further down the street.

This baboon is a traffic-stopper. And what's with the chain??

And I’ve saved the best for last. This monument to cheetahs on an immaculately kept front lawn originally had a plinth commemorating some or other rugby game. The plinth is now gone but the mommy cheetah and her two babies remain. And if you look closely, you’ll see a fourth big cat crouching nearby – a leopard. And they say you don’t get wildlife in the Swartland any more!

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1 comment:

Juno said...

Love, love, LOVE this post. Makes me want to spend time in Malmsbury. Naah, on second thoughts, I think I'll come to your house for a party Mur.