It’s the evening of 11th January 1880, at the Cock Inn, Southwater, where the meeting of the Society for the Prosecution of Thieves is being held, a meeting that has occurred there monthly for many years.
Unfortunately, the usual agenda has been disrupted due to the untimely death of the village policeman, whose body was found in the pub’s garden. Attendees of the meeting have been asked for their help to find out what happened, and identify the killer.
The evening was organised, and the story was written by landlords Lynn Peters and Roy Wheeler. Character roles were written, and full Victorian costumes were prepared for each of the 24 participants who were split into 6 teams and given the background story to allow time to start to work out who the culprit was.
Each team was then given map references to a series of clues hidden around the village. A number of clues were hidden at various locations, for the team to find and bring back. With their lanterns in hand, they set out to various locations around Southwater to locate the clues.
After some time to review the clues, a delicious chicken stew was served, and each team had time to sit down and discuss their theories over dinner, before reaching their final conclusion as to who the murderer was, the murder weapon used, and where the murder took place.
Members of the winning team were Ted Ansel, Chris Couper, Sam Booker and Paul Stimson, who correctly worked out that the murder had been committed by the butcher near the entrance to the country park.
The Cock Inn is a former 17th Century coaching inn situated on the Worthing Road in the heart of Southwater, serving real ales and award winning Guinness, hosting live music and disco events throughout the year. Visit their website at www.thecockinnsouthwater.com for information about events and further images of the event.
Report and pictures contributed by Laurence Madill.