The other day I had lovely feedback from someone who’s just started reading Visiting Lilly. Part of his enthusiasm was that he lives locally to Farnham, and knows all of the locations, so instantly gained a sense of belonging to the story, and of it being about people he could relate to.
Now, I’m fully aware that not everyone lives near Farnham, Surrey, UK.
For those of you who don’t I shall build a sense of location, periodically adding new photos, so that you too can see the places that DI Jake Talbot and Frankie Hayward visit.
Our first stop on this virtual tour of Farnham and surrounding areas is Farnham Police Station, where Talbot works. Built in 1963, it’s now due for demolition. The irony is that I started writing Visiting Lilly way before the police began their scheme of selling off prime location buildings and streamlining police infrastructure. Of all things, ‘Retirement Living Apartments’ for the elderly are to be built where Farnham Police Station once stood. I think I’ll give them a call and see if they have space for Lilly, because they sound much more pleasant than Mellow Acres in Guildford, the dreadful care home she’s living in when Frankie first tries to visit her.
From Visiting Lilly
“On the side of Farnham Police Station are bas-reliefs of rural life, and this is the scene from Visiting Lilly when Talbot stop to look at them.
On his way to work, Talbot took a drive past Hayward’s to check that his window had been fixed and that Charteris had shifted his vehicle. The key he’d confiscated had been from a dark BMW. The only visible cars matching that description were tucked away on hard standings, bright rays of hopeful sunshine bouncing off their polished paint work. Hayward’s house looked secure, and Talbot wondered if his cat had come home—a good point of human compassion to open their next conversation.
Farnham police station looked grim as ever. Talbot speculated whether anyone had ever found the pigs allegedly hidden away in the rural bas-reliefs decorating the exterior. He’d often looked for them, wondering if the myth held any truth. People wanted to be part of the same tribe, see what others saw, point and say, ‘there are the pigs’.
So who was pointing at astral travel and visiting people in the past? Who was believing in that?”
Cast in concrete by Rachel Brown and Carol Hodgson, 1961. A series of panels illustrating Farnham’s agriculture and the Bishops of Winchester, Farnham Castle and Farnham Park.
Can you spot the pigs? Or don’t they exist?