Dear folks,recently I entered the Crossbones Graveyard site in Southwark Street
.The side door is open with no lock.I was surprised to find the gate open,and as I was giving an overseas guest a walking tour of the area we entered the site for a quick look around.
Firstly,several diseased-looking dogs ran at us,barking loudly and frightening my guest.(The yard is scattered with hundreds of piles of dog excrement).
Then two men emerged from the old industrial building in the North East part of the yard,both wearing dirty clothes and looking worryingly aggressive.One held in his hand a syringe of the type used for doctors` injections.The other held,or rather`brandished`, ametal pipe or bar,and this man begantelling us to "F**** ***** out of our *******ing yard" etc,I cannot do justice to his language,suffice to say,with the dogs barking out of control,we feared for our physical safety.Then the man with the syringe started shouting at his companion who retreated muttering what sounded like death threats over his shoulder.
The man with the syringe(whose clothes appeared to be smeared with excrement)apologised for his friend who he said was "sick".He said that he and four or five friends were living in the "sheds" and a couple of them had mental health problems and all had at least one drug "habit".Then he asked us for some money.I said maybe,but could we see where they lived?
He led us to the door of the large shedsand we popped our heads in--then after a few seconds we withdrew,for the smell of excrement was indescribable.In the room I had seen were two women,one middle-aged and one younger,and they were lying on what appeared to be piles of decomposing rubbish on the concrete floor which again was smeared with excrement whether animal or human I don`t know.
Our host explained that the older woman lived there and the younger one was "waiting for gear" which I took to mean her drug of addiction. He then asked us if we wanted to score as we were in the right place and there was some "wicked brown"availible.
He then demanded money from us again.
I thought it wise to give him a pound,and as he accompanied us to the side gate by which we had entered,I asked what sort of facilities these women had.He explained that there is no plumbing of any sort and they have to use the ground as a combined toilet,bathroom and kitchen. Then we left.
I would like to beg someone in authority to sort out this terrible situation.
My guest has gone back to America to report that medieval conditions exist in 2004 a stone`s throw away from London Bridge.
There is clearly a serious hazard to public health.
These people need health and treatment.
There is heroin abuse and trafficking occurring.
A permanent resting place of thousands of human remains is being defiled and desecrated.
I have informed the police and the council about this visit in the hope that something may be done.
Any suggestions,on a brighter note, for POSITIVE,beneficial uses (even temporary until developmenet) of this sacred and historic site?