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Next entry: Something fishy?

Previous entry: The Source of Punk

Friday, 23 May 2008
Follow them home

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Two members of the women’s movement at the University of Cape Town in the mid-1980s went out spray-painting one night. After plastering the neighbourhood with their outrageous and witty graffiti they made their way back to their digs in buoyant mood. Sitting down with a cup of coffee a half-hour later they were surprised by the doorbell ringing. It was the wee hours of the morning, and they were even more surprised upon opening their front door to find two police officers standing on their doorstep.  Fortunately for them their graffiti was about sexual politics (i.e. feminism) and the police did not see it as Political. That probably saved them from prosecution, plus the fact that they were white priviliged students and they immediately volunteered to clean it up. By daylight the next morning it was all gone.

At that time it was dangerous to misunderestimate the apartheid police service. It was a brutal force which took its responsibilities to uphold “law and order” seriously. But its finer investigative and policing skills left a lot to be desired. What puzzled many was how these two young students managed to be caught so quickly?

The answer was simple: The police followed them home. In their exuberance the activists had spray-painted every lamp post all the way back from the scene of the crime to their front door.

What brought this story to mind?

Over the past weeks I have noticed the trail of chalk/lime on the roads around Oxted.  If you drive from Oxted along the A25 to Sevenoaks, you can notice this trail (which leads into Oxted) all the way from the M21. It also leads from the M25 at Junction 6 into Oxted.

At various places there is damage to the roads. For example the damage to the Tandridge Hill roundabout that is visible in the above photograph. The circumstantial evidence suggests that this damage is caused by the same lorries that are spilling the chalk/lime on the roads. Often the damage corresponds with a noticeably large spillage. For instance the following photograph of spillage is taken within a few metres of the photograph above.
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I am not suggesting that the damage and spillage is occuring at precisely the same time (e.g. in the above example) but what is noticeable is that there are bits of spillage with every little pothole along these roads. I am simply pointing out that the road damage and spillage is mostly likely caused by the same 60 to 80 trucks that are rumbling up and down these roads every day.

And ultimately my point is that one can follow the trail in the roads - the trail of damage and spillage. This evening I did just that, and here are some of the photographs showing how obvious this trail actually is.
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And the trails lead to one place, the Southern Gravel Limited site on Chalkpit Lane, Oxted:
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I wonder whether the local authorities - the Surrey County Council and Surrey Police - are intending to ring the doorbell at the Quarry site? Are they going to ask the company to sort out this mess, and will the company agree to comply forthwith?

While they are having this discussion, they could consider the following:

Posted by bigblue on 23/05/2008 at 06:35 AM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (5) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

Those little grey cells have been working overtime on this particular blog. Bravo!

Posted by David  on  23/05/2008  at  05:53 PM

Thanks!
It’s also a subject that I am somewhat annoyed about at the moment.

Posted by bigblue  on  23/05/2008  at  08:06 PM

This is am interesting post but perhaps your memory is deceiving you when you mention “witty graffiti”? I seem to recall that the slogan “Lesbians Are Everywhere” was about as witty and erudite as it got.

Posted by Janet  on  24/05/2008  at  12:39 AM

Perhaps we were deprived of the best because those two wits were caught and had to clean up their work that night.

Posted by bigblue  on  24/05/2008  at  04:27 PM

I think the funny stuff was generally put up in response to the feminist (and leftist) graffiti, which was trying to be serious.

Posted by Janet  on  25/05/2008  at  10:46 AM

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