June 13th, 2008


Observed on the hill

I am reminded that I found another commentworthy thing on Kit hill yesterday.

One thing you do have to look out for on the hill is that there are a number of old (19th century and earlier) mineshafts here and there. They are all surrounded by big walls or fences, there are not that many of them and some of them have gratings over the top as well as being fenced/walled, so they are not that dangerous as long as you are aware of them and keep your eyes open. Or so I thought.

Today I was walking past one at a distance, when I saw an oldish bloke climbing over the wall into the top of the shaft. I wondered what he was up to, so I went a bit closer and saw he had 2 dogs with him, one with its feet up on the wall in a 'where has my person gone?' kind of way.

So I called to find out what he was up to. And what he was up to, was fishing out the dogs' ball, which he had accidentally chucked over the wall, and got stuck in the vegetation growing around the top of the shaft!

I stuck around till he had climbed out again, to make sure he didn't slip and got out OK, but I was a tad flummoxed.

The wall was a good 6 foot tall and the shaft is well away from any path, so if he had slipped, likely nobody would have heard him call for help. And those shafts are *deep*.

4 things:
1) playing ball with dogs right next to a mineshaft. Ok, there's a wall, but still, there are acres and acres of hill NOT next to the mineshafts, so why...?
2) climbing into the mouth of a mineshaft!
3) someone lost a dog earlier this year into one of the mineshafts (not that one though I think). The dog died. :-(

I utterly failed to say any of these things to him, obviously. I am useless.  Surprised, but useless. Still, this does mean I have another post for my 'loons' tag...4