Friday, 16 September 2011

The Grey Lady of Chetham's

Does Chetham's have a ghost?

That's often the question that people ask when they enter the medieval building through the dark stone cloister, ring the ancient bell on the heavy oak door and climb the winding staircase to the Library with its towering book-lined wooden presses. Certainly, rumours abound of a mysterious 'grey lady' who hovers in the passages connecting the Library reading room with the secret stairwell leading to the Minstrel's Gallery.

Evidently, the search for this particular truth has exercised many over the years, as this 'untouched' photograph of 1927, taken by local photographer R. Walker Berry, indicates. In a letter to the editor of 'Our Journal', he relates: 'knowing the camera's aversion to "terminological inexactitudes" I exposed a plate on the entrance to the Minstrel's Gallery, and the enclosed print shows the result'.

What do you think? Why not come along to the Library and see if you can see anything unusual?