The Ghurkas were here
Yes really and in a very unusual setting. Abbey St Bathans, almost more than Hutton, is the sort of place that 'time forgets' to borrow from the language of Newcastle, Norn Iron's tourist people when signposting sights of obscure interest around the town. Rather like Hutton, Abbey St B is not really on the road to anywhere and when you have got there up a steep winding one track road traversing grouse moors you have to make sure you are looking out of the left hand window otherwise you might miss it completely. A pity if you do as it has a really good restaurant and a pretty church. The only human life you are likely to see on the road up are beaters with flags rousting out the grouse for stockbrokers to shoot and on the way down the odd body of an unlucky city banker mistaken for a game bird-not a crime to shoot one as bankers are still in season (up to mid-December). No need to rush. Stocks seem unlimited.
What has this to do with the Gurkhas? There is a very narrow footbridge across the Whiteadder which was apparently erected by a Gurkha squadron to connect the Left Bank with the Right-or in this case possibly vice versa, near the church. You can read the sign about the engineers by clicking on the appropriate image. Some of the glorious scenery may have reminded these Nepalese visitors of their own country although the Lammermuirs are not on the same kind of scale as the hills around Kathmandu. And how on earth did these soldiers get involved in Abbey St B in the first place-a peace keeping mission to separate the Stockbrokers from the City Bankers? Or were they retained by the Grouse Protection Society? The narrowness of the bridge may have been quite deliberate. Any plump city banker, bulk increased by his Barbour and the excellent lunch from the Riverside Inn, would have found it very difficult to cross the footbridge at any speed (or at all) when being hunted by a vengeful bird loving Gurkha. And the erudite old Etonian, being so hotly pursued, will have known all too well that once a Gurkha's Kukri has been drawn it only can be replaced in its sheath after it has been blooded. In the absence of Royal Blue Blood that of a senior stock broker or 'someone in the city' will do
just as well
Labels: Abbey St Bathans, Grouse, Gurkhas