by John G7RXS

Originally published: LENS September 1999

On a recent site visit to Markfield, I was a little late arriving due to technical problems which is another way of saying; shortage of petrol. On arrival, I met a man who had looked like he had seen a ghost! He had a pale face with a definite twitch to his features - our Engineering manager. He told me that he had accessed the bunker, disabled the alarm and begun to sweep up the usual alluvial deposits when he had disturbed an apparently sleeping crocodile. I queried this only to be told that this creature was over a foot long with a leg at each corner and a long tail at the end. There was no mention of a head but I assumed it would be at the opposite end to the tail.

I looked closely at David's eyes expecting to see dilation of the pupils indicating that he had been waiting for me in the local hostelry but there was no such indication and he appeared to be perfectly normal, or at least as normal as an engineering manager of a Repeater Group can ever be.

However, being somewhat of an animal expert myself, (I have two cats and am a keen fan of Rolf Harris and his Animal Hospital TV programmes) I descended the ladder into the bunker and found to my amazement - nothing! A quick search between the repeaters also revealed nothing. A quick change of power supply soon restored service on GB3CF and GB3UM, which was the original purpose of the visit, and we returned to the surface and went home.

A few days later I was talking to a colleague who is employed by English Nature Conservancy and was telling him about this strange experience at Markfield when he suddenly became most excited and said that what David had probably seen was a Greater Crested Fire Newt and if indeed this was the case then our entire site at Markfield would have to be designated as a SSSI (site of special scientific interest) which would mean immediate closure to both the public and ourselves.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………..or was I dreaming…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.