The Lyme Maze Game

Daedalus escapes the maze


Universal Workshop



A leap such as can be made only in a magic maze lands you in a small field of turf, hemmed in by brambles (and some piles of rubbish).

Ahead is a locked gate. Climb over it, and you're on the remaining piece of the old lane, above the old tunnel. Down to the right, the old cutting seems to be choked with trees. On the left, too, because of intervening vegetation, it isn't as easy as it was in 1985 to see down into the cutting. And that's just as well for the privacy of the people now living in it. To get to where they are you have to turn left down the sloping piece of lane.

(You can of course keep turning back to look at my schematic map on the previous page, as if you have it in your hand.)

There is (or was) an assortment of a dozen vehicles (some of them huge, with others sitting on top) in two tight lines occupying the former roadway. The dogs are noisy, but the people are friendly. Across the entrance of their piece of abandoned road they have a gate, and on it a signboard (actually an old industrial saw blade, eight feet, long, with teeth pointing down) on which is painted "Shady Hollow". It's a fine secluded niche for them to dwell in, but cold in winter, I would think—a deep narrow trench (cold air settles into depressions) on the north slope of a mountain (over which the sun never peeps between October and March) under trees. No, they bravely say, it's one of the warmest spots in Britain. When I met them they had just returned from checking out Bulgaria as a place to live, but decided they liked Shady Hollow better. There are only the three of them living here: Carl, Charlotte, and young Carys. Like many of those loosely known as "Travellers", they aren't really migrants but people living free on an otherwise unused bit of land and making a livelihood. Carl is repairing all these vehicles. Answering his mobile phone and talking with a customer in Shepton Mallet, he says yes, he has the lorry in "the yard".

You might, with the permission of these residents and their dogs, go down through their sloping vehicle-park to take a look at the tunnel. Or retreat onto the lane, where there is one more detail.