Wednesday, 5 October 2011

An unexpected find

I’ve had a fairly random start to my day today.

For the past few weeks I’ve been missing the swifts screaming around the house tops as they hunt and the swallows twittering as they swoop around me as I stroll across the marshes, but they have been replaced by the geese as they gradually arrive in ever increasing numbers and gather in the estuary. It’s all part of the changing seasons. Sadly, with the geese come the men in camouflage with their shooty bang sticks and I tend to take a different route straight up the cycle path and back to avoid being shot!

Yesterday I was hacked off to find two of the wildfowlers’ vehicles parked on the cycle path, leaving room to squeeze by but, nevertheless causing an obstruction. I took a photograph on my mobile phone and carried on my walk, grumping to myself.

Today I passed one of the cars parked in a different place, but the other was again across the cycle path. I thought nothing much of it and continued on my way, somewhat grumpily.

As I returned about 30 minutes later (a short walk!) I could see the car had gone. Imagine my horror as, when I passed the spot they’d been parked, I find a gun, discarded by the side of the track onto the marshes!

What to do.

This was urgent, but perhaps not an emergency? 999 seemed extreme.

I don’t (but will soon!) have the local number for the police in my phone, why would I ever need that?

I couldn’t raise the occupants in the cottage across the road (they are always in, why not today?!)

If  I took it home to keep safely whilst contacting the police I would then be illegally in possession of a firearm. Not good.

So, I rang TTS for advice.

He contacted the RAF police for me and they arrived about ten minutes later. They in turn contacted the local plod and we sat and waited. And waited. And waited.

After about ten minutes, the wildfowlers returned, claiming to have been horrified at finding a gun missing and returning immediately to find it. They realised they weren’t going to get away with this ‘mistake’ as soon as the local bobbies arrived.

About an hour after my find, I was “Free to go” and made my way home.

It was a totally bizarre situation, I would never have thought I would find a gun, just lying on the ground. I felt quite sick at the thought of what could have happened if it had got into the wrong hands.

And I’d always thought it a bit of a dull walk…


James Boulter said...

Many years ago on a train in India there was an army guy on the bunk opposite me. He got up to go to the loo and left his machine gun laying on his bunk................

Louise said...

Ahh! That's scary.

I've just been told the rifle I found was still loaded. I'm feeling a bit sick.

Alan R said...

Dangerous eh. Funny how they have a habit of going off when they are pointed at objects like cars parked across cycle tracks!
Just joking officer honest.

todays word- chali. how spooky.

Louise said...

Horrifying Alan. I'm sure the vast majority of people who could have found it would have behaved responsibly, but the local children often visit the marshes, including my own boys. What if...? Doesn't bear thinking about.

chali, spooky indeed!

Alan Sloman said...

It might have been worth mentioning that the vehicles had been bocking the cycle path too, so the local force (sorry, "service") can have a word about that too.

There are some weird people out there; I can never understand why anyone would want to go about shooting creatures for fun.

(Word = "goeshou" - almost goose shoot)