WHAT HAS TONGUES WAGGING IN SLEEPY VILLAGE?
AREAL life Vicar of Dibley- style village has been rocked after a parish council meeting claimed a woman has opened a brothel.
Idyllic Marston Magna was mentioned in the Domesday Book, the novel The English Patient, has a female reverend – and doesn’t even have a shop.
But rumour is rife among its population of only a few hundred people that a local lady had opened a house of ill repute.
Details of the brothel emerged at a parish council meeting – which had been due to discuss unsafe manholes and the state of paths.
But it raised allegations a house in the historic Somerset village is being used by a prostitute.
At the meeting a concerned local spoke out to say they had suspicions about a “brothel/drugs den in the area”.
Locals say they read about the claim in the subsequent village newsletter and yesterday appeared to confirm the situation.
They said the woman in her 40s has lived there for a few years but had recently become ‘very busy’.
They say how “strange men” of all ages – from older businessmen in suits to younger men in work wear – are seen going to and from the alleged brothel on a daily basis.
They say the men are often carrying flowers and deodorant.
No one answered the door at the property yesterday but speculation is already flying around Marston.
Reaction in the village is mixed - with some seeing the funny side and others not.
One local said: ‘We haven’t even got a shop – you can’t buy a pint of milk or a loaf of bread. But now apparently you can pay for sex.’’
A note in the local parish magazine in November read: “A resident.... raised the issue of a suspected brothel/drugs den in the area.
“They have contacted the police who have visited several times.’
One resident, a 26-year-old mum of three, said it has made her want to move.
She said: “My children ask me ‘why has she got so many boyfriends?’ and what is going on. As soon as one man goes, another one comes.
“They cross each other on the path on their way in and out. I’ve seen some men take flowers and gifts with them.”
Mum-of-four Michelle Hackett, 42, said: “We often see men going in and out. And they are all different. There’s loads of them.
“I’ve even seen some men spray deodorant on before going in.”
But one elderly resident, a villager for around two years who wishes to remain anonymous, has seen the “comical” side to the saga.
He said: “It has been the local gossip since it was in the village newsletter. It’s laughable to think that men are going in and out of there.”
The Parish Council magazine also said officials were liaising with the local Yarlington Housing Group.
It read: ‘Yarlington have also been advised but are unwilling to take any action.
‘Chairman of the parish council Fred Monson will raise the issue with Thelma Mead, the local PCSO.’
Another local, Colin Gilman, 36, was taken aback when he heard the rumour for the first time.
He has lived in the village for three years and described the claims as “very odd”.
Colin said: “It comes as a massive surprise to me. I didn’t expect it at all. I haven’t heard anyone say anything about it down the pub.
“It’s a normal quiet village and isn’t the sort of place you’d expect to find a brothel.”
A local dog walker, who has lived in Marston Magna for 12 years and wishes to remain anonymous, says she heard about the rumour from her next-door neighbour.
She said: “I don’t see masses of people come and go so if she is doing it, I don’t see or hear anything.
“There are lots of families living here so if she is doing it, it is a concern.”
A Yarlington spokesman said an investigation into the allegations is being led by the police.
They said: “Yarlington does not tolerate criminal activity in its properties whatsoever.
“As these alleged activities are of a criminal nature, the investigation is being led by the police and we are working closely with them to help with their investigations.”
Reverend Barbara Stanton of St Mary’s Church, Marston Magna, said she was unaware of the situation.
It comes as a massive surprise. I haven’t heard anyone say anything about it down the pub
LOCAL COLIN GILMAN
Claims that sleepy Marston Magna is home to a brothel are the talk of the village. Below, the parish newsletter