Mystery of the man in the brown mask

note: This article was written for the Tunbridge Wells Courier newspaper by Mary Harris on the 2nd May 2003 but has since disappeared from their website, but luckily a copy has been sitting on my hard disk.

17:00 - 02 May 2003

A Caped crusader was reported to be doing good deeds in Tunbridge Wells during the Bank Holiday break. People watched in disbelief as a man wearing a brown cape and mask "swept" on to The Pantiles to rescue victims.

The Kent and Sussex Courier has received letters from stunned residents who watched as he "came from nowhere" to lend a helping hand on Monday last week.

Although activities with entertainers were organised for the historic colonnade to celebrate the holiday, no traders claim to have employed the services of a super hero.

Counselling and psychotherapy student from Eridge 21-year-old Ellen Neville was having a drink outside Chaplin's wine bar at about 7.30pm.

She said: "Up to the day I had never experienced the strange phenomenon of what most people refer to as the "good old days".


"To my great surprise though a masked man wearing a brown cape rushed past me to assist a woman who was having bother with a group of youths.

:He swept in, broke up the commotion and ran off leaving myself and the woman in a state of shock. We thought it was hilarious."

Miss Neville, who admitted the eccentric do-gooder may have been a mere mortal in fancy dress, added: "Is it possible that we have a local hero? Well done to him, whoever he is.

On the same day Ruth Barker from Mount Ephraim claimed she was "tapped on the shoulder" by the man who returned her purse.

"He said I had dropped it while I was checking my handbag for tissues. If only there were more people around with this kind-hearted spirit," she said.

It appears the good turns were not limited to females, Peter Norfolk of Grove Hill Road even went so far as to claim the man appeared on the end of the rope. He said he had been chased by some youths when the man "shocked the gang so much they ran off. He saved me from a good beating," he said.

Scan of article from The Courier