Assize Matters

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A Fairy Tale

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Once upon a time there was a grand historical building, in the centre of a small but beautiful Wiltshire town, called the Assize Court. For many years the processes of law were carried out within the stern Bath stone walls of the court, and many folk were sentenced in the dock.  Some walked under the Ionic pillars to freedom, some to death and some to endless captivity.  All human drama was there.  Tears were spilt, reputations were ruined and children were left fatherless.  Justice was seen to be done.  But then one day, as is the way of things, it became obsolete; the last sentence was delivered, and the doors were closed.  It stood, slowly decaying, for year upon year; a strange symbol of dereliction in the beating heart of the town.  And now, and then, good folk devoted much energy to finding new hope and purpose for the building.  Nothing came to pass.  The people were met by brick walls and stonewalling.  The people gave up the fight.  It crumbled.  Years, and yet more years, passed.  Good folk tried again.  No joy.  More brick walls and stone walling.  It crumbled.  Again, passionate people rallied, and tried to make sense of it.  Again, brick walls and stonewalling.  It crumbled.  Until, one day, it had crumbled beyond all hope.  At which point the land was used to build houses and offices.  And yea, verily, as some had prophesied, someone made a large pot of gold.  And lived happily ever after.

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by Gail

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