Oct 8 2011
On routinely visiting our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ (Which is in what we believe to be the former Stables / Garage building to the Hall itself) on Friday morning 7th October, a scene of minor devastation greeted our Training Officer Elaine Gilliland and Trainee Team member John Dickinson upon opening the locked door to our upstairs kitchen room cum equipment store room.
A radio handset had been knocked out of its charger unit and was lying on the floor, a full carton of Long Life milk had been spilt and now adorned a nice smelling wet patch on the floor carpet tiles, coffee and tea ’Tupperware’ containers were scattered around, a tea towel was in the middle of the floor and the ’Head Blocks’ from a spare Long board in store were lying on the floor.
Above everything, rather mysteriously all the fridge magnet letters that so keep us entertained with ’jokey messages’ were no longer on the fridge door but all over the floor.
No culprit could be found in the locked room adding to the mystery.
Neither could any ’holes’ be found in the walls, flooring or ceiling, nor any animal droppings so we sort of discounted rodents including squirrels. (And a search revealed no hiding animals)
Thoughts turned to other causes, particularly the fact that our adjoined toilet block outbuilding had once apparently been the mortuary building when the Hall itself was in use as a Sanatorium.
At least two team members when using this toilet block in the hours of darkness have had ’experiences.’
In one case hearing murmuring voices and in another case shadows moving across the toilet block when no one else was present !
And there was the time when our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE was alone in our main Base / HQ building at night when the Television Set / Video monitor suddenly turned itself on ! (Our Radio Officer at the time put this down to possible electrical interference from some of the radio equipment present in our Base / HQ, some small consolation to our very nervous Team Leader !)
So did we have an undiscovered rodent about the premises or did we have a poltergeist throwing items around.
Elaine and John tidied up the mess, and headed back home none the wiser as to the likely culprit.
This morning, our Training Officer Elaine Gilliland arrived early at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ to prepare for the City Airport Manchester exercise departure a little later in the morning.
Going up the stairs she wondered what might face her today upon opening the kitchen cum equipment store room.
With a little trepidation she carefully unlocked and opened the door to be faced with “The largest Grey Squirrel I have ever seen,” sat there on its haunches looking straight back at Elaine.
Immediately shutting the door, and seeking the advice of former Team member and Pest Control Officer Neil Aspinall, Neil advised Elaine (And all others) to stay out of the room, as Grey Squirrels when feeling threatened could be ’Quite nasty and they do bite.”
With thanks to Neil, he arranged for a colleague to immediately visit our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ to ’rid’ us of our unwanted guest. (We did not want to risk the possibility of ’gnawing’ damage to all our radio charging equipment in the same room plus other items stored in the room)
So poor little Sammy the Squirrel no longer has our Base / HQ as a warm alternative to a windy tree top.
As for how it got in, (And out again and in again) well Neil Aspinall will be kindly visiting our Base / HQ on Sunday 9th October to carry out a little detective work to see just how the squirrel did it.