Hellfire and Damnation!

I had a lovely spooky time yesterday at the Hellfire caves in West Wycombe. I was on a bit of a jaunt to the cinema with some old school friends (I’m from a village near High Wycombe) and the next day, I thought I’d take a walk into West Wycombe. Now West Wycombe is nothing like High Wycombe, it’s preeeedy! The place is owned by the National Trust and it’s like stepping back to a distant age. Anyway, around the 1750s there were a successsion of crop failures, and to provide the villagers with employment, Sir Francis Dashwood, local baron and 18th century party boy, paid them to excavate the caves and build a road to High Wycombe. He then used the caves for his wild parties and secret societies! So I paid my fiver and had a wander. The costumed dummies/tableau were pretty lame, not up to Tussauds standards, but if I ignored them, I could imagine the caves and passageways full of cavorting revellers. I so want to play there sometime. I think it would be great and it already gets hired out for corporate functions. We’re thinking of creating a halloween show, with ghostly ballads and poetry readings and the caves would be a perfect setting! The place is even said to be haunted!

Nasty Nursery Rhymes

I’ve just been listening to an online radio interview with Chris Roberts, who wrote a book about the real meaning of nursery rhymes. Interesting listen, covers taxation, prostitution and Henry XIII. I’ll never lisen to Goosy Goosy Gander in quite the same way again!