I nearly had a fatal accident on Boxing Day 2014. While out walking this morning Sunday November 1st 2015. I bumped into Gary the Landscape gardener. We were talking and I mentioned the near fatal accident I had. He told me he had the contract from CCBC to fill the hole in that I fell into. He told me he nearly lost the digger and it took 150 tons of stone to fill in the hole that I accidentally fell into. Dear Reader, I know the incident was nearly a year ago but I was frightened the fact Gary nearly lost his digger and he had to use 150 ton of stones to fill in the hole. The hole must have been been massive and full of clay. My knees began to shake and I immediately thought what if that was a child they would have died.I survived because I am a fit person who looks after her health thank goodness.
Walking 8 30 am this morning on to Gelligaer Common through the two meadows which were white with frost and mist. I noticed the wild ponies were penned in I thought this was very odd, they normally roam all over the common.
I decided to go left at the kissing gate towards Cascade, the mist had lifted, the path ahead was very muddy.
Gelligaer Common, is common land used by walkers, sheep and cattle to graze NOT QUAD OR OFF ROAD BIKES. As I drew near the path disappeared. I watched a flock of Buntings listening to their dry sounding song Tsweek, tsweek. In the distance the Valley was cloaked in low cloud, rain was not far away and the path does not look good.
In the middle of what was supposed to be a path, sits a metal gate I go to the right, I fall into a hole by legs are stuck and all I can hear is a sucking sound slerp slerp. I reach out to the other side, and I grab at the mud but my hands go through the mud liken to butter. My hips and waist disappear I am now frightened and going into shock because I am being crushed my heart races along with my mind. I do not panic but I am afraid and alone. Through sheer inner strength I pull my self from this sinking pit drag myself onto the path. I walked home in shock and anger. I am angry at THE QUAD AND OFF ROAD BIKES. I know a farmer name is David Powell, he drives his tractor on to the common because he has live stock that graze and he is allowed to use the common for this purpose.This is a photo of me in my back yard my walking trousers are black but as you the reader can see they are caked in mud.
photo by Julie Pritchard
I phoned the police in my underwear I wanted to alert them to the imminent danger. They tell me it is a Council issue, I ranted raged at the policeman. Due to this, the police phoned the Council. I showered and waited for the Council Highways man to come. Highways man came his name was Dave, he wore white daps and said he was not a walker I just looked on in disbelief We drove to edge of the common and walked the rest of the way together. Dave walked gingerly did not want to dirty is white daps. Despite feeling ill, my anger dominated my feelings I kept thinking what if children were playing in this area, they would never have found the strength to get out like I did!! As we drew near we saw two cyclist struggling to get themselves and their bikes away from danger.
Dave took photos and I asked can the area be closed off and Dave said to me “See we only have one Ranger covering the whole of South Wales and due to cut backs we at Caerphilly Borough Council have not got the money” I found myself saying “Where is the money CCBC invested in Iceland where is it? How come your Chief executive who’s been on garden leave with full pay for the past two years? Please it is about IMMINENT DANGER at the end of day, not money!!!
To the right of this photo is IMMINENT DANGER!!!! I was out walking again this morning bumped into an old friend of mine Clive Evans, Clive is 78 and still running he is a lovely gentle man. He approached quad bikers 18 months ago and they threatened this kind man, he did go to the police but nothing was done. Clive is too scared to go where I go, I am not scared I am angry I will use this anger in a positive way by protesting. Because this area is a right of way and historical ground where the battle of Gelligaer took place and where Roman soldiers trained.
A big thank you to Gary the Landscape Gardener, CCBC and Councillor Hefin David for listening, helping and dealing with the problem many thanks. The problem as been sorted.
It pays to complain, thank you CCBC.
All photos belong to Julie Pritchard