16 April 2024

Frightening news

Well, this is it – the last editorial I’ll be writing from number 1, Seaside Road.

Next week we’ll be producing the paper from 2, Hubert Street, otherwise known as Owthorne Manor, the former home of Southgates Accountants.

As we’ve said before, this is a temporary move, just for a few months, while we find premises nearer or on the main high street in Withernsea.

And Halloween is approaching, so this is an appropriate time to mention the fact that we’ve learnt our new home is, apparently, haunted.

We were given this startling news by local historian Phil Mathison, who phoned especially to tell us. (Actually, I think he was checking up on the sales of his books, but still, it did seem like he relished giving us this information.)

After receiving this bombshell we carried out extensive research on Facebook. We spent whole minutes trawling through past comments, and it turned out there had been quite a few over the years, including stories of children heard running around upstairs despite there being no one up there, ghosts unplugging vacuum cleaners, and mysterious stains that wouldn’t disappear.

We have talked about staging a Most Haunted-style overnight investigation, but then abandoned the idea almost as quickly because we’re bound to just prank each other so we’ll never be sure whether it’s a real ghost or just a colleague being daft.

If you do want to experience a few proper scares, though, head over to the lighthouse, which will be, as it always is at this time of year, transformed into the Frighthouse on Tuesday, October 31.

Anyway, we’ve already had a few technical hitches ahead of our move, including missing the broadband engineer who didn’t think to give us prior warning that he’d be there at 8.30am one morning, so we’re relying on 4G for the first few days. Given the recent issues with mobile coverage in Withernsea this makes me more than nervous, but I’m assured by our IT guys that we should be OK.

The office has also been a bit chaotic lately, to say the least, as we’ve been tripping over numerous boxes while trying to ring all of the various utility and service companies to tell them of our move or cancel accounts we no longer need.

Anyone who’s moved house will know what this is like – why does it seem to be nigh-on impossible for most firms just to change an address on their system? When it’s a business it appears to be even harder. Some of them won’t process anything until they have all of our birth certificates and a pint of our blood.

And the phones have hardly stopped ringing as firms who’ve got wind of the building’s change of ownership want to try to sell us their energy, phones, internet, security, you name it. Among all this madness the paper’s still coming out… somehow.

We’ll see you in Hubert Street. Friday will be emotional… and there will certainly be some beverages drunk to toast our time in Seaside Road. We’ve had great fun here – now begins a new chapter in the long history of the Holderness and Hornsea Gazette.