L&M's Photo - Graphics & Crafts Website

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Useful tip: Teach children the correct way to swear by making them wallpaper the lounge (especially around the window). It worked with mine.

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The Tower

I always rise well before breakfast when we stay in Jersey and walk briskly along the cliff tops to Groznez Castle. The route takes me past numerous reminders of the German occupation. The marks they left on the island are literally set in stone. Gun emplacements and underground bunkers litter the coastline. It is easy to think back to those days and picture the soldiers who manned them.Direction finding tower photo

One outstanding structure is the Target Direction Finding Tower perched on the cliff top at St. Ouens Bay. The tower stands perhaps one hundred feet high and has a vista of nearly all of the lonely North Jersey coastline. I have paused there many times on my solitary walks to the ruined Castle. If I had been walking there during the last World War my approach would, no doubt, have been monitored by a soldier manning a machine gun. The barrel would have been pointed at me through one of the ominous looking gun slits set into the side of the circular tower.

The early morning sun shone brightly promising another hot August day. I was on my way back to the hotel after touching the ancient Castle walls. I stopped for a while to examine the German tower once again. The size and strength of it has always impressed me. Tons of concrete, hard labour and possibly even lives must have gone into its construction. I went round to the seawardside of the building to gaze at the view that the Germans must have looked on all those years ago. A slight slip filled my shoe with a few small chips of granite. I tried to ignore them but it was clear that walking would be painful without getting rid of them.

With a sigh I sat on the roof of the bunker attached to the tower and took off my shoe. A mans voice came from somewhere behind me.

"If you had proper boots on you wouldn't be troubled with that" he said.

"You're right" I replied banging my shoe on the concrete roof "I really am going to buy a pair one of these......" my voice trailed off. Something was wrong. Something about the words? Yes maybe that was it. Possibly it was that I hadn't heard any footsteps approaching on the gravely surface. There had been no one at the tower as I walked towards it. I slowly turned around.

Momentarily I thought someone was there, but no, there was only the tower, the rocks and the sea. No sign of anyone. Then a faint smell of tobacco smoke filled my nose. Laying on the ground a few feet away was the still smouldering remains of a cigarette. My skin began to crawl as realisation dawned and fear set in. The voice had spoken to me in German and I had understood it perfectly. Even more incredible was that I had replied in German. A language I know nothing of!

I slipped my shoe on and, without tying the lace, ran. After a while I sat exhausted on a rock and gazed back at the distant tower standing out against the skyline. I hoped that I had imagined the whole episode. The implications of it's reality could dispel a lifetime of scepticism. I swore that I would never risk visiting the tower again.

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