At the weekend E and I walked up to the High Street to find a cordon manned by the police blocking our way. The blue and white ribbon extended around the Northern Rock building, across Laburnum Avenue, around Subway, over the High Street to the Townhouse, and back to Northern Rock. Buses and cars were being directed as far away as Cullercoats to get around the obstruction.
We wondered what had happened. I leant towards armed robbery, E towards an electrical fault. But short of approaching one of the police to ask, there didn't seem to be a way to find out. Before the News Guardian comes out this Thursday, that is.
It took a bit of nebbing on Monday, in the end. I asked at the Co-op. Shrinking news. E was right, though the police had feared a gas leak at first. Some cabling had been disturbed and it could have been a gas pipe, but wasn't.
The cordon was down by the end of Saturday, but little plastic rag-ends remain attached to signposts at the street-corners, like old Christmas decorations. I expect they'll be there for some time.