Well I went for another training run today, wasn’t really sure where I was going to go, I just set out from the house and started running round the lake, at the end I thought I would head up the zig–zags to Bus Stop Quarry, but half way up thought I would see what the film crew were doing. So continued past rainbow to Dali’s hole, and turned right to Seamstress without anyone batting an eyelid.
I eventually got stopped by a Security Guard who said I had to return, and so I offered to run out to Bus Stop, as i ran back I was accosted by a few more security guards, one of which started to run after me with the look of a man who was going to rugby tackle me to the ground, remembering my school days in the first 15 I gave it toes, and he disappeared, only to reappear in the front of a 4×4 truck, with a look of I am going to hurt you on his face, having embarrassed him in a sprint.
To be fair he did what his face was saying and tried and ram me into a barbed wire fence, only my athletic vaulting of the bonnet of the truck stop me being peppered with a host of ‘barbed shaped holes’. When the second and third vehicles overtook and four men jump out I knew my game was up, as two grabbed both of my arms and put me in an aggressive arm lock.
They asked me why I didn’t stop, well I don’t recognise their authority I am afraid, I don’t think the council did the right thing shutting the right of way, and given the recent news that the film company stopping using local hotels the whole its is going to bring ‘millions’ to the area is just rubbish. So far the whole thing has cost local businesses both directly in terms of lost income after cancelled booking, not to mention the lose of an area that has been used for locals and visitors to recreate for decades.
Ever since the mention of this film the landowner or in particular the Facilities Manager seem to have suddenly taken an interest trying to ban activities that have been going on for years. They use the dated Disused Mines Act to state that they need to make ‘reasonable ‘ measures to keep the public out.
Now there is a wide debate into what ‘reasonable’ might be. A low fence with warning signs is reasonable in my eyes, however what is reasonable in a court of law. With alleged plans to construct a 2.5 metre high fence across the front of Dali’s Hole to keep the ‘climbers’ out. Well unfortunately the chances are we can ‘climb’ over it. The clue is in how we collectively describe ourselves ‘climb-ers‘.
Another question I have been opened up to recently is whether the Mines and Quarries Act is fit for purpose anymore. Due to so many outdoor recreational areas being part of disused quarries which at the time just wasn’t anticipated. If we look back at the Dinorwic Quarries the first routes where climbed in the late sixties and early seventies, right after the quarry was closed. Development of the routes has continued until this day.
Over that forty year period there has been very little conflict with the landowners, and over the years the areas has developed as a well know and loved area used for walking, mountain biking, paragliding and climbing, to name the most popular activities. Others have past the time creating amazing ‘art’ installations that eventually crumble back into the fabric of the quarries.
So basically my answer of a silent running political protest was too complex for them to understand, however I question there approach to my capture as I was running, minding my own business when basically I was pursued by five angry men. Why did I run? Wouldn’t you, especially when one has tried to ram you in a truck.
Why they jump on me was apparently because there are many vehicles driving about up the track, well most vehicles try to avoid running pedestrians down. Whilst I accept in the eyes of the law I was trespassing, surely you can’t justify running a man down in a motorised vehicle to collar them for what is a civil matter.
Anyway I am thinking that we should think about arranging a mass trespass, to say that these quarries are as much ours as they are the landowners. We have all used them the dog walkers, the mountain bikers, the paragliders, the hikers and the climbers. Yet because someone is putting money somewhere into the North Wales economy, rumour has it they are shipping many of the crew in from Chester, we are no longer allowed to access them, and the landowner/Facilities Manager seems to want to use this opportunity to attempt to keep everyone out.