It’s a wonderful film, so please…no sequel

With a new cartridge loaded into our Halina Super 8 cine camera, my sister and I once made a short film about four children who fly to the moon in a home-made spaceship (consisting of a ZX Spectrum resting on an upturned laundry basket, housed inside a small shed in Watford). Like budding Paul Whitehouses we played two characters each. My sister played Vicki and Karen (one, a chilled out hippy type, the other, a pigtailed saboteur with some kind of sneezing allergy), and I played McKell (key character trait: to exude effortless cool like Officer Carey Mahoney) and Philippe (the brains behind the lunar rocket, with a name that made him sound like a flamboyant, French hairdresser).

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The end of mystery

In 1983, as a fresh-faced young Cub, I traveled to Waddecar Scouts Activity Centre for an exciting weekend of camping and tree conservation. Long before Bear Grylls was appointed Chief Scout, with his dark vision of tearful young boys bedding down for the night in hollowed out camel carcasses, we unfurled our sleeping bags onto a network of bunks in the comparative luxury of a Swiss chalet-style hut, where we swapped scary stories by torch light.

To this day, the one story that stays with me from that weekend – forced into our impressionable young minds with such relish by our Scout chaperones – was the tale of ‘The Devil’s Horseshoe’.

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