52. Snake Attack!
When you consider just how congested the capital is, how on Earth do so many mysterious creatures suddenly appear within the hustle and bustle of it all? We've spoken of huge birds, wolves, mystery exotic cats, pigs in the sewers, seals in the ponds... and now... snakes!
Adders are of course common in the UK, but for a handful of other relatives to suddenly appear in London over the course of a few days is downright weird – but that's what happened in the May of 1920. There had been several severe thunderstorms over the country at the time, many houses were destroyed, but had some of these obliterated residences spilled their menageries?
At Gower Street, Central London, not far from the British Museum, crowds flocked outside a Dr Michie's house, claiming to have seen a strange snake. Of course the doctor, alarmed by the gathering folk, came outside and investigated the slithering menace, which he then caught. It was said to have been a venemous snake from Egypt, and had possibly escaped from the home of a student at the University College. However the following day in Sydenham, more people were put to a panic when a snake was observed in a garden and then killed by the local postman. The London Daily Express of the 28th May reported on the beast which turned out to be just an adder.
On the 29th at Store Street, close to Gower Street, a butcher saw a large snake making its way along the path. He caught the snake and it was photographed for the Weekly Dispatch of the 30th. Then, on June 2nd there was a bigger commotion, this time at the Roman Catholic Cathedral at Westminster, where a traffic-stopping snake was seen by many people. The creature approached the terrified crowd of on-lookers but was then pounced on by three men. In the Times of June 21st it was also reported that an unsual snake had been killed at Willesden in North London.
Coincidence... or simply the unpredictable way of nature ?
Photo by Neil Phillips on flickr