The NHS in Wandsworth was on standby last night amid mounting fears of a public health emergency caused by pigeons defecating over the walls of the National Opera Studio in Chapel Yard.
The much-loved historic building, long the centre of the borough's cultural life, has come under siege from terrifying avian forces in recent months. To the passer-by who gently ambles through one of Wandsworth's most prestigious thoroughfares, nothing is amiss. The ochre-coloured edifice shimmers resplendently in the evening sunshine, welcoming eager concert-goers into its ample bosom.
'Ooh I come to all the recitals,' said pensioner Gladys B. 'Some of the singers are very dishy, you know! They have such strong manly voices... I'm only a frail pensioner, and my life generally involves pushing trolleys round shopping centres in search of cat food and custard creams, but I can honestly say that the National Opera Studio's lunchtime concerts have given me a new zest for life - and how much more edifying they are than traditional OAP pursuits such as playing bingo!' Reginald W. of the Anti-Lust Alliance said he was shocked by suggestions that ogling took place at the Opera Studio, though he generally supported the singing element.
But unbeknown to all but the most vigilant visitors and passers by, the National Opera Studio's pretty stained glass windows have become infested with fearsome pigeons, whose copious excrement is spattered unattractively over the surrounding brickwork and now lies caked onto the venerable building's exterior walls. 'It is a horrifying sight indeed,' commented one member of the Chapel Yard Residents' Association whose apartment overlooks the squalid site. 'And the situation has just got worse and worse since the Liberal Democrats entered government in 2010. It was in their manifesto to tackle avian faecal matter, but that soon got conveniently forgotten when they cosied up to the Tories.'
There were claims last night that the National Opera Studio's staff had been spotted throwing titbits out of the window to the pigeons, in stark contravention of health & safety rules. And local resident Demerera S. said she feared an escalating public health crisis - with untold repercussions for vulnerable infants and frail pensioners.
'If nothing is done to scrape those ghastly faecal deposits off the NOS brickwork, who knows what kind of dreadful plague will emerge to haunt us, just like in medieval times,' she warned - shuddering as she contemplated the dreadful scenario. 'In fact I'm sure I just saw a rat scuttling about the yard, ready to pounce on the very next passer by.'