Beacon Hill

Posted on October 18, 2008

We burnt off a cooked breakfast this morning wiith a sprightly stroll to the top of Beacon hill near Highclere, it is one of the few places I can go to where nothing has changed since I was a child visiting there with my Mum 30-35 years ago. In fact at the base of the hill there is still a smashed fence caused by a perspex sledging incident involving myself and Mark Privett in 1991.

Not having a sledge, I asked my Dad if he had anything in his shed that may work as a substitute. He emerged with a piece of perspex with a hole drilled in it and a piece of string to steer it. “This bugger should do the job” he claimed. With that I set off to Beacon Hill in the snow and ice to test Dad’s invention. I sat on the perspex with Priv and encouraged Keith Reading to give us a push to get us going. It worked……………actually it worked a bit too well as we went hurtling down the hill at an ever increasing speed. Priv whooped with joy, I shit myself!

Halfway down we poleaxed a man and his camcorder (they were huge things in 1991) and knocked at least two children spinning off their sledges as a bemused crowd gathered to witness our impending death. We couldn’t stop and we were now going to fast to jump off, still Priv whooped with joy, still I shit mysef.

Three quarters of the way down and with an audience chanting Oi oi oi oi like an olympic bobsleigh competition, and Privs whoops dissipating as reality sunk in, we hit a hump and literally took off, there was a huge crack (was it Priv’s neck?) and we did multiple forward backward and sideways rolls before grinding to a halt upside down in a bush! I looked at Priv and he looked back at me, and we uncontrollably pissed ourselves laughing, part relief at being alive, part something to do with the big fat joint we had smoked 10 minutes earlier! We looked back, we had actually smashed through the fence and out the other side. It was so nostalgic to see the damage still there to this day, in fact I think I might get a plaque made so passers by and walkers know what happened. “This humble fence was wrecked in January 1991 by two stoned young men named Robert William Lethaby and Mark Privett, they will live long in the memory of the man with a smashed Sony Camcorder, and several semi decapitated children.”

Priv has since moved to Australia to avoid ever having to go sledging with me again, he need not have bothered, it never snows here any more anyway !!!

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