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This England - - News - DAVID HUNTER

Amongst the many fine build­ings in the Wiltshire town of Marl­bor­ough’s main street, is one with its up­per storey hand­somely dec­o­rated in brick­work amidst tim­ber fram­ing. A black-framed win­dow is sep­a­rated by four carved coats of arms with dates of sig­nif­i­cance to the town or the build­ing: 1408 Henry IV, 1577 El­iz­a­beth I, 1657 Oliver Cromwell and 1687 James II.

But what re­ally caught my eye was the barge board bear­ing the date 1925 (pre­sum­ably the date of restora­tion) and a quo­ta­tion: “A word fitly spo­ken is like ap­ples of gold in pic­tures of silver.” Not hard to track down, it’s from the Book of Proverbs Chap­ter 25, Verse 11, but why here? Does it re­fer to some long-gone dis­pute in the street mar­ket be­low, or a gen­eral homily to the good peo­ple of Marl­bor­ough? Per­haps some­one will tell us.

Bi­b­li­cal quo­ta­tions on high above a shop in Marl­bor­ough, Wiltshire.

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