23 October 2011 (Sunday) - Western Heights Open Day

I was woken by a text message from “My Boy TMasking if I was awake. What answer did he think he would get at 8.30am on a Sunday? But we leapt into action, and with the house guests alive and raring to go, ‘er indoors TM did a full English breakfast for us. That went down nicely.

And then with Brian and Rachel following, we set off to Folkestone to collect more of our party before parking up at the Western Heights car park. A dozen of us were raring to go, and those who’d arrived at the car park first had found an interesting hole in a wall. To be precise, not so much “in” as “under”. So half a dozen of us scrambled into the hole to have a look-see. It’s become something of a tradition to “boldly go”. We found several linked rooms, and a couple of corridors leading off into the distance.
With this fully explored, we scrambled out, and then found what (at first sight) looked like a rabbit hole. After a bit of discussion I remained of the opinion that it was a rabbit hole, but when “Daddy’s Little Angel TMdisappeared into the hole I found myself reconsidering. So I scrambled into the hole myself. This one was rather disappointing – having forced myself into one of the narrowest holes I’ve (so far) been in, there wasn’t much to be seen inside. Mind you, getting out was quite tricky. In the end Stevey grabbed my hand and forcibly dragged me out. But it achieved the desired result.

From here we went to the St Martin’s deep shelter. It’s one I’ve visited before, but some of our party hadn’t. And so we spent an enjoyable twenty minutes underground before making our way to the Drop Redoubt. The Western Heights Preservation Society were staging an open day, and we saw re-enactments with proper muskets being fired (oh – they were LOUD!), we watched a chap having his leg amputated, we swapped insults with the actors, we got told off by the actors. It was a really good day out. We really must go to their next open day.

And then with time pushing on, we went down the Grand Shaft. Built over two hundred years ago to provide a short cut for troops to get from the Western Heights to Dover (and back again), it’s quite amazing to behold. I’ve never seen a triple spiral staircase before. Going down was easy enough, but coming back up nearly killed me. And as I struggled up I met an ex-cub who was having no trouble going up and down the stairs, and said hello to more of my loyal readers who were there as well.
It would have been good to have got round to the detached bastion again, but we’d run out of time. We shall have to go back later.

Pausing only briefly to laugh at Chris (who’d caught his “flowers and frolics” on a railing) we made our way back to the car park and home.Having said goodbye to Dave, I then slobbed about for a bit. And after a cracking bit of tea I went back to NeverWinter. Zombies have over-run the graveyard. They do that…

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