Late Late VE Day Celebration
4th July 1987 - Southwold Bogtrotters MCC
A party 100+ feet underground? Why not?
In a hillside near Bath there are tunnels dug, originally as a chalk mine, but extended to store munitions during WW2. (Allegedly some early nuclear weapons as well.) Many side tunnels off the main ones, people could easily get lost down there and never be found. Surprisingly, none of the participants of this party disappeared, despite the levels of alcohol in many of those involved. People were permitted to take tents for sleeping in, but many opted to crash out down below.
Quite why the 'Boggies' chose this site, or this name for the party is lost in history, but it was a good laugh.
Most of the organisers wore uniforms from the 1940s, (from both sides!) The thing about tunnels that deep is that they remain at a constant temperature, whatever the outside world is doing. What it was doing was not a lot.
It was a rather dull July day from what I can remember and my club, (Telstar BC - Pete Cresswell, Foxy, Eddie and myself), took our sleeping bags down and located a secluded corner to dump them before joining the party.
The centre was in a wide area with a disco, makeshift bar and a few chairs. There was also a huge gas cylinder connected to a space heater, which only managed to warm the immediate area. There were a few guided tours of some of the less-unsafe areas of the network, but quite a few passages were blocked off. I was surprised that there were proper loos, which seemed to be plumbed in, which was a great relief.
There were even some silly games, involving plastic sword and shields, while balancing on an upturned bench. At various points, these swords became air-guitars or cricket bats. All very strange.
Eventually it was agreed that the gas was about to run out, so it was probably a good time to crash out. The Eloi went to their tents up top, and the Morloks amongst us crawled into our pits.
Since we hadn't seen daylight since we entered the subterranean world, it was difficult to gauge the time without a watch, and impossible to tell when it was time to get up, so one of the organisers came around shouting at people at some reasonable time in the morning.
There was some limited catering outside, so we managed to grab a bacon sarnie, or something, before shooting off home, back up the A4.
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley