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Bashall Eaves is a village on the edge of the Forest of Bowland, perhaps the most under-ratedly beautiful part of England.

There, in 1934, Jim Dawson was murdered on his way home from the pub. The police were met with a wall of silence that was never broken.

I first went there 50 years later, to meet my own unresolved mystery.

Bashall Eaves

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse18 Sep 2013

After the war that took the fathers,
But before the next
Had taken their sons,

A man was murdered here:
Shot with a hand-moulded bullet
Fired from a home-made gun.

The village knew killer and killed
But bled the mystery bit by bit
Deep into Bowland soil.

Young, I came long after,
To the old stone houses
Enclosing a triangle of green.

Breathless and rosy cheeked
A girl I'd never met,
And never saw again,

Handed me a single red flower;
Then, smiling, she walked away,
Knowing this village keeps its secrets.