As ducks bob down the river, the bench where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found is cut up for removalby Jay Elwes / March 23, 2018 / Leave a comment
Coffee Lab, on Blue Boar Street in Salisbury, is an artisanal coffee house much like you’d find in Bristol or Edinburgh or anywhere else. Large windows give onto the street. Outside, the 201 bus goes by, followed by a rubbish cart.
“We had the police in here,” says the woman behind the counter. They were in there for days making sure there was nothing dangerous about the place. “They’ve been like my two little mascots,” she says.
A large van backs into a side street and elderly couples pass by carrying their shopping. Outside, a normal day is in progress. It’s not the kind of place where you’d set a spy drama—or any sort of drama.
Twenty metres down the street, the Zizzi pizza restaurant is boarded up and cordoned off—it’s so close that its wifi, “Zizzi Delivery” pops up on my computer. A group of police officers is stationed outside. It is one of the sites at the centre of the nerve agent assassination attempt on the life of the Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal. That puts it at the heart of a global political and diplomatic storm.
The r1 bus goes by, “District Hospital via City Centre,” followed by the 26 for Tisbury. Earlier today the EU announced it would recall its ambassador from Russia because of what happened here.
On the left hand side of the Zizzi restaurant is the entrance to a gloomy modern arcade called Market Row. There are a few restaurants and stores, and down at the far end of the colonnade is Salisbury’s central library.
Inside, the hum of the readers is punctuated by the sound coming from the kids’ area, which is situated by a series of floor-to-ceiling windows. A group of mums with toddlers is singing “Row, row, row your boat.” Signs overhead read “Board and picture books,” and “Children’s library.”
“If you see a polar bear, don’t forget to scream…”
Outside the window, a group of figures stands on a patch of grass. They are all wearing white biohazard suits and gas masks.
On a desk by the photocopier is a pile of notices printed on A4 paper, titled “Public advice for people in Salisbury,” and issued by Public Health England. “You…