Thamensian: ‘I fear the shock will stay with us all for a long time’

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I’LL be honest with you, I was going to avoid the big subject altogether this week and go through with my original intention to review The Star and Garter.

Sadly for you this literary gem will now have to be postponed until next issue because on reflection I feel obliged to comment on events at Ireton Court last weekend.

If I am a Thame commentator then what else can I possibly comment on this week?

I might be over sensitive but to me it seems the whole town is still numb. It’s as though we thought events like this could only happen in the real world, not in our own little town.

Bad things don’t happen to Thame as a town. Other than Peter Andre, obviously. The fact that the two ladies who died both lived and worked in our town added to the collective disbelief.

They were part of a town that has developed its own community spirit and character.

OK it’s not perfect, nowhere is, but I love living here and suddenly the nation’s media have been portraying us in a completely false light.

We have not, overnight, become a hotbed of crime. The nearest we usually get to an ‘incident’ is the occasional drive-by shouting. You get tutted at if you put the wrong bins out.

But if you read the national papers on Monday it was hard to recognise our quiet market town.

Mind you, the paper I read had little to gain from the truth; they had the name wrong, the marital status wrong and even the gender of one of the children wrong.

Quite impressive given the amount of time they spent trying to wheedle details out of the neighbours.

I had to drop somebody off just round the corner last Sunday and was appalled by two things at the crime scene.

One was the number of satellite trucks beaming the story to the news stations.

But I think I was more upset by the crowd of people lurking by the crime scene tape. What were those people hoping to see?

The rest of us did the right thing and left the family to grieve alone. Our thoughts are very much with the children and the friends and family. Mostly the children, though.

I trust that they will live many miles away from those terrible memories which will slowly fade for all of us.

I believe, certainly hope, that the children are too young to fully comprehend what happened.

For the rest of us, I fear that the shock will stay with us all for a very long time.