Leaving Aberystwyth

Those of you familiar with Malcolm Pryce’s Louie Knight novels will be know all about the seedy underworld of Aberystwyth, and erstwhile archetypal Welsh seaside town. Those who fall foul of the police or the courts, or even worse, the Druids, by the most unmentionable or heinous of deeds have but one option. To leave town – forever. Over the years this has been formalised. You catch the first rise of the day up Constitution Hill on the cliff railway watching the rooftops get slowly smaller as it inches up the hill. Few railway rides seem longer. At the top you write a postcard and attach a special stamp, sold from under the counter, and post it. It will be collected and delivered that day, to family, police station Arch-druid or whoever. You then turn your back on the town, never to be seen again, perhaps scraping an existence on the beach at Clarach Bay before moving on. Back in the town it will be like you never existed. You will be redacted from any mention. Photographs are destroyed and records burned. The term for this is ‘Exigistence’. You are less than a non-person; you never existed.

The stamps feature scenes associated with the cliff railway overlain by a large X. The cost has risen over the years from 50p to £2. The postcards supplied have been adapted from old railway posters and are supposed to rub irony into the wound.

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Leaving Aberystwyth

SK NumberTypeDescription
32123950p Camera Obscura - grass-up green
32224075p The carriage ‘in action’ - blood on your hands red
323241£I The carriage ‘in reverse action’ - fools gold
324242£2 Cliff Railway promenade terminus - anaemic red
325243Postcard 1
326244Postcard 2

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