Is Wellesley Road cursed?

img_2828Having been hit by roadworks and flooding in the same place three times in 12 months, Wellesley Road has again been dug up at the same spot, this time reportedly because of a leaking gas pipe.

Long-suffering residents and shopkeepers are once again dealing with the road being closed. And spare a thought for anxious learner drivers leaving the Wanstead Test Centre and having to cope with diversions.

That poor, poor road. And if it is cursed, who cursed it? There can be only two candidates.

Either the man whose family gave the road its name – the wicked cad of Wanstead House, Mr William Pole-Tylney Long-Wellesley, noted Trump-style manhood bragger (he used to allow himself to be referred to as Mr Long Pole, we learned in Geraldine Roberts’ magnificent book on the subject*).

Or perhaps it is the wronged party, Lady Catherine Tylney-Long, the richest commoner in the British Isles, whose dedication and fortune were squandered by the ignorant oaf. There have been rumours of her tragic ghost wandering the grounds of her former estate in Wanstead Park. Perhaps she has at last sought revenge on the road, hoping perhaps to start a movement to have it renamed.

Or maybe it’s just bad pipes.

(* You can buy Geraldine Roberts’ book here from Amazon. It’s a great read.)