Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Tottenham Outrage and Fortean Times

"The Tottenham Outrage," I said at work yesterday, looking through my notebook.

"What's that?" asked the writer of Arse Online, no doubt suspecting it referred to a disputed penalty award in a North London derby.

Not so.

Earlier this year I went to see the exhibition Churchill and the Anarchists at the Museum of London Docklands. While there I made a few notes on things to look up when I got home, and the Tottenham Outrage was one of them.

The Outrage was an armed robbery and double murder carried out by two Latvian anarchists that took place in Tottenham in January 1909 - a couple of years before the Siege of Sidney Street. Indeed, the furore it caused was a large part of the reason for the authorities extreme reaction to events in Sidney Street.

Anyway, I left work and went into the W.H. Smith's on Leicester station. There was a new issue of Fortean Times on sale. I bought it, opened it and found an item headed "The Tottenham Outrage". It turned out to involve sightings of the ghost of one of the victims of the Outrage - 10-year-old Ralph Joscelyne.

Spooky, you might say. Even Fortean.

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