Bringing People Together
Hi Gareth, Yes, That is me. When Richmond Park was covered with snow and we could not ride our horses we were detailed for 'Ice Patrol' for safety reasons members of the public were not allowed to go on the ice until Pen Ponds was five inches thick and the smaller ponds, like the Leg of Mutton Pond were three inches thick. Jan Bevington Gillett (A Botanist at Kew Gardens) was having non of this and used to come to the Park to skate, ignoring the Danger notices.. On the day in question my colleague and I went to Pen Ponds and there was Mr Gillett happily skating on the Leg of Mutton Pond. I called on him to come off the ice but he ignored my requests. We then went onto the ice and proceeded to chase him. It was an unfair match, as he had skates and we had our riding boots. After about fifteen or twenty minuets I decided enough was enough. In those days I was in my twenties, so I brought him down with a rugby tackle (although I have never played rugby !!!). At Richmond Magistrates Court Mr Gillett gave a long speech about the 'Liberty of the Subject' Today it would have been about his 'Human rights'. He was found guilty and fined. I read some time ago that Mr Gillett had died. I must admit he was a character. I know what you are thinking 'What harm was he doing? I remember one year the Park Superintendent declared it safe to go on the ice. We had over five hundred people on Pen Ponds. Bryan.
Yes. Mr Gillett does sound like a character! Wonder whether we will be skating this winter?