by Julius Falconer
‘With fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed.’
Percy Bysshe SHELLEY
Hymn to Intellectual Beauty lines 51-52
Nothing was established from the early facts, although these were reconstituted in finest detail, except that the discovery made by the owners of the Hounslow Heath was difficult to explain. That Sunday – 2 August 1964 – it had started to rain heavily in the afternoon, and it was still raining. There were a number of boats in the pound above lock 38: two narrow-boats going down-stream, a cruiser and a wooden barge-cum-butty going upstream. A little after nine-thirty, as night was closing in under a leaden sky, a metal barge announced its arrival and entered the pound. The lock-keeper was none too helpful, as he had relatives visiting. With a wagging of his index-finger, he indicated that he would not open the gates. He had hardly gone back indoors when the skipper, whom he knew, knocked on his window.