Andrew O’Hagan

On Monday morning, Dursley is full of talk. Half way down Silver Street, at the Aphrodite café, a couple of women sit bleary-eyed over mugs of coffee. The plastic seats are bendy with age, the air is freezing up, and the caramel logs are sweating in their cage on top of the counter. ‘They might not even come from around here,’ says the woman with the Alice band. Her opposite number sniffs in agreement. They are talking about a group of travelling vandals, said to reside in Dursley. Two young trees have been broken on the Innocks Estate in North Nibley; tiles were ripped from the bus shelter, and Councillor Ray Manning – hero of the moment – has removed a broken seat. I pick up a copy of the Gazette later on, and see there is more. A £300 Amaco mountain bike (‘with 21 gears, coloured purple and black’) was stolen from a garage at Clingre Farm, Stinchcombe last Saturday. The theft is mentioned on page two and again on page four.

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