We used to spend holidays on the East coast where the A1 road and the mainline railway cross a burn in a deep valley – a dean as it is called.
It’s been a crossing point for centuries – there is a succession of historical bridges spanning the centuries.
In WW2 it was seen as strategically important – it was thought German commandos might attack from the sea. The area was heavily fortified and a military camp built beside the bridges.
The defences included landmines on the beaches and around the burn mouth.
Someone told us that there might still be uncleared mines on the shore and in the dunes. Bear in mind that this was the late sixties -so less than 25 years after the war.
Clearly we interpreted this as a challenge rather than a warning. We therefore set out to find our very own land mine.
One day we thought we were in luck – unearthing a rusty metal disc which looked to us to be a land mine. Not that we’d ever seen one – bar in war films and in Commando comics.
Just in case it was one we did the logical thing. We threw rocks at it.
Well, maybe it wasn’t a mine, or maybe it was a dud but there was no huge explosion. No small boys ripped to pieces by the merciless blast. No dripping shreds of human flesh hanging from the alder branches.
A bit of a let down really.