When Jen and Abigail moved into the neighbourhood no one told them that on every other Wednesday during the summer months residents were expected to dress in Victorian costume for the benefit of the tourists. The economy of the town depended on foreign visitors, and the revenue generated made a large contribution to preserving the historic character of the area. Some residents entered into this weekly ritual with enthusiasm. Jen and Abigail learned of the obligation when they were visited by a small committee of local women, all in their costumes, with a retired male vicar in tow. The delegation impressed on them the importance residents attached to authenticity in the weekly recreation of a Victorian ambiance. ‘We were thinking,’ said one of the committee, ‘that you might pass yourselves off as sisters, a pair of spinsters keeping home together. Or better still Veronica here could spend the day with you, posing as a widowed aunt, just to give your household a respectable, period feel.’




Simon Collings
Photo Nick Victor

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