Pestilence, Famine, War and Death

When I was speaking about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the pulpit on Sunday it was with some hope that they might be regarded as merely allegorical figures.

Alas, now I have heard the news that Harry Ramsden’s is to close. Not the johnny-come-lately chain that bears the name, but the real thing, the great Harry Ramsden’s Fish and Chip restaurant in Guiseley.

Clearly the Four Horsemen have ridden through the West Riding this week wreaking their terrible destruction and ruin.

It is one of the portents of doom. It is a sign of the last times. The apocalypse is nigh.

I have rung worried relatives in Yorkshire to console them. We have discussed the alternatives.

There are none.

How lonely sits the city
that once was full of people!
How like a widow she has become,
she that was great among the nations!
She that was a princess among the provinces
has become a vassal.

She weeps bitterly in the night,
with tears on her cheeks;
among all her lovers
she has no one to comfort her;
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her,
they have become her enemies.