WHAT HAS TONGUES WAG­GING IN SLEEPY VIL­LAGE?

Western Daily Press - - Front Page - JACK LONGSTAFF [email protected]­erndai­ly­press.co.uk

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

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