Unveiling of Triffid Alley - page 3

The Oxford English Dictionary
triffid
,
n
. one of a race of menacing plants, possessed of locomotor ability and
a poisonous sting, which threaten to overrun the world. Hence used allusively
of vigorous plants, or
transf.
of anything invasive or rapid in development.
The Day of the Trifids: Chapter 8
Behind the back room lay a small yard, and across that a door in an
eight-foot brick wall. I had grown cautious. Instead of going straight
to the door I climbed on the roof of an outhouse to prospect. The
door, I could see, gave into a narrow alley [Triffid Alley] running the
full length of the block. It was empty. But beyond the wall on the far
side which seemed to terminate the gardens of a row of private
houses, I could make out the tops of two triffids motionless among
the bushes. There might well be more. The wall on that side was
lower, and their height would enable them to strike right across
the alley with their stings. I explained to the others.
'Bloody unnatural brutes,' said one. 'I always did hate them bastards.'
I investigated further. The building next but one to the north side
turned out to be a car-hire service with three of its cars on the
premises. It was an awkward job getting the party over the two
intervening walls, particularly the man with the broken arm, but we
managed it. Somehow, too, I got them all packed into a large
Daimler. When we were all set I opened the outer doors of the
place, and ran back to the car. The triffids weren't slow to be
interested. That uncanny sensitiveness to sounds told them something
was happening. As we drove out, a couple of them were already
lurching towards the entrance. Their stings whipped out at us, and
slapped harmlessly against the closed windows. I swung hard
round, bumping one, and toppling it over. Then we were away up
the road, making for a healthier neighbour hood.
David Ketterer, Honorary Research Fellow,
University of Liverpool, and local Hampstead
resident, has been instrumental in having TRIFFID
ALLEY recognised as a memorial to John
Wyndham. It is the only known memorial in
existence in the UK to the man who gave the world
triffids.
Further details of the campaign to have TRIFFID
ALLEY recognised are included on the new Triffid
Alley website at:
TriffidAlley.com
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