Hungerford Arcade is a very old building and must hold many secrets amongst its original beams and dry timbers. Over the centuries it has had a number of transformations, welcoming people in as a coaching inn, or housing families as a domestic dwelling. For most of the 20th Century it was, as some may remember, a grocers shop and most recently an Antiques Centre. It is no surprise that strange goings on have been witnessed over the years, from unexplained noises to objects being moved during the night, we have had our fair share in this most interesting building.
One such event happened just a few weeks ago as Owners Adrian Gilmour and Hazel Browne and Managers, Alex Rogers and Rita Kibble were working rather late after a busy day. All the customers had gone and Rita and Hazel were upstairs in the office, putting their coats on and getting ready to leave while Alex and Adrian were securing the internal security shutters and turning everything off downstairs. “Rita came rushing down from the office to tell me that she and Hazel had seen a man on the CCTV screen behind one of the shutters I had already secured.” Says Alex. Worried that he had locked somebody in – Alex re-opened the shutters and proceeded with caution into the section of the building that the man had been spotted in. “I looked round every corner and behind every curtain, making myself heard so as not to surprise anybody. But there was nobody there.”
He locked up again and made his way up to the office to find Rita and Hazel staring at the screen. They were adamant that they had both seen somebody on the screen and that he was there just moments before the shutters had been locked. “I laughed it off and suggested that if they saw somebody then there will be footage of him on the computer. I was sure that they were mistaken so I wasn’t expecting to see anything.” So to put their minds at ease, he sat down at the computer and started searching through the recent footage. Together, they watched as Alex made his way around the building, locking up behind him. “We all saw Alex lock the shutter on the screen.” Rita explains, “Then, just as the time when we had seen the figure was approaching, the clock on the screen jumped 15 minutes! A full 15 minutes of footage was missing!” On investigation, no other cameras had the same problem, but none of them were correctly placed to capture the mysterious figure. Everyone went home that night feeling a little uneasy, but with a great story to tell when they got there!