Monday, 16 November 2009

Trevone Bay and the Hole

To the west of Padstow, just around the headland, is a small village called Trevone Bay. For me, the best feature of the bay lies on the grassy slope leading up to the cliffs on the east side, and it is at this feature where an aquageist exists.
Trevone Bay's unusual feature is not visible from ground level so as you begin walking towards the cliffs its sudden appearance is a breathtaking surprise.
What you see is a collapsed sea cave, in other words, a huge hole in the ground, about twenty metres from the cliff edge, spanning approximately 20 metres across and approximately 80 meters deep. From the south side of the hole it would be perilous, but just about possible, to climb down to the bottom, unlike the north side where it's a sheer drop to the rocky bottom.
At high tide the water gushes in through a tunnel carved in the cliff-face.
The last time I travelled to Trevone Bay I arranged to meet up with Philip in the local pub where he works. Philip had found out about my aquageist investigation and contacted me personally. He told me that he knew of some strange occurrences he wanted to share with me. Naturally he garnered my full attention and I had to meet him in person.

I took my Dictaphone to the meeting at Philip's local and recorded the conversation we had at the bar. What follows is a transcript of the meeting.

Andy Wright: So Philip, here we are at your place of work. It’s a lovely cottage pub with horse brass adorning the beams, that customary but all too rare soothingly soft orange light and an open fire complete with the crackling of burning timber - there's even the pub's collie lying down at my feet. So Philip, tell me about the strange occurrences you’ve experienced here at Trevone Bay.

Philip: It began a few years ago, during the summer season, usually between 7pm and 9pm, with these holidaymakers running into the pub, all out of breath, telling me to call the coast guard immediately. When I asked them what’s happened, they’d tell me there’s a young lad trapped at the bottom of Trevone hole shouting for help.

The first time it happened I phoned the coast guard without hesitation. A helicopter was sent out. When it got to the hole there was no lad at the bottom. The tide had come in so they thought maybe the lad’d been washed out to sea. A search party worked through the night and by the morning no body was found and, weirdly, no body was reported missing.

It wasn’t long after that fiasco when it all happened again: a bloke burst into the pub out of breath saying a lad’d fallen down the hole and he’s shouting for help. This time I asked to be taken to the hole.

AW: Why?

P: For all I knew the last one might have been a hoax. There's people out there with a sick sense of humour. Anyway, there was no lad at the bottom of the hole. The bloke couldn't believe it. At that point I come to the conclusion that something abnormal was going on.

That same summer the same thing happened about 8 times. Then one day I decided to check it out for myself and went to the hole. I remember nobody was on the cliffs that day and sea mist had began to set in. I remember getting a bit nervous too. Even before I reached the hole I could hear these faint cries for help. When I looked down the hole I saw the young lad they'd all been talking about, dressed in shorts and a football shirt.

AW: What did you do next?

P: I ran down to the beach then walked back up to the hole again. He'd gone.

AW: Did you go there again?

P: Yes. I had to, just to check I wasn’t going mad. But I wish I hadn’t.

AW: Why?

P: Because when I went to the hole again I could hear the faint cries, but they weren’t just cries for help, the cries were saying ‘Philip, help me! Philip!’ Now that really freaked me out! How the hell did he know my name? I went there again though, but the third time had to be the last time… that ghost, or whatever it is, is a malicious bastard!

AW: Why ‘malicious’?

P: Because when I went to the hole for the third time, I heard ‘Philip, help me, help me, Philip, help’ as I expected. I went to edge of the hole and looked down but I couldn’t see the lad. I turned to go back and nearly had a heart attack. He was standing about 5 meters in front of me. Then he started to approach me, holding out his hands, then, I don’t know what happened next, I blanked out or shut my eyes, or something. When I opened my eyes again he wasn’t in front of me or down the hole.

AW: So you got a close look at him?

P: Yeah, I got a good look at his face and you know what? It looked familiar. I went back to the pub that night and sat where you’re sitting right now. I had a shot of tequila and tried to regain some composure, I was shaking a bit and that face, I kept picturing it, it was so familiar. Then it dawned on me. I turned around and, see that wall behind you? Look at the photograph second up from the centre. Actually, bring it over here.

(I did as he said and walked over to the wall behind me adorned in photographs from all eras, pictures of farming, school classes and drunken nights in the pub. The second up from the centre was a b&w group photograph of a football team.)

P: This is a picture of a local football team. It was taken in 1963. The lad that I saw is the one on the back row, third in. I’ve tried to find out more about him but nobody in the village wants to talk about it him-

Unfortunately the Dictaphone stopped recording at this point.

Phil proceeded to take the photograph out of the frame. He showed me its back. The name of each player was written down except for one that had been scribbled out, the player on the back row, third in. He held the photograph up to one of the bar's lights. I could just make out the name, Phil Nicholas. Philip told me that was also his name, and that he was born in 1963, the year the photograph was taken.

I remember Philip's parting words. He said if I was looking for a logical answer, he had one piece of advice for me: don’t look.

[photos to follow shortly]

1 comment: