28 JUNE 1963, Page 7

The Lane-Hogs

Sir Alan Wilson's committee on noise pro- duces its report next week. I doubt if it is likely to have had under review the case of the farmer who the other day was fairly heavily fined for peppering with a shotgun several cars involved in a nocturnal `rally'; they went on roaring past his remote house in a steady stream, and in the end he lost patience. A retired brigadier got into the same sort of trouble a few months ago, though I don't think he actually opened fire. Both men were in the wrong, but I sympathise with them. The old winding lane which is the main means of access to my isolated house is a favourite venue for rallies of one sort or another. I am not sure which type—the nocturnal or the diurnal—is the more objectionable. Forty or fifty cars growling past one's bedroom at one o'clock on a Sunday morning, their lights flashing through the windows, are bad enough; but almost more uncongenial are the daylighters, who either paint huge mystical numbers on one's trees or fix to them, with three-inch nails, big printed notices— 'Special Clue. Name the horse buried at map reference 004988.' Although they have been doing this for years, nobody seems to have told them that nails in growing timber are in the long run the cause of damage and perhaps danger in a sawmill; but they can't really believe that the legend `C47' painted in shocking pink letters a foot high on a beech tree improves its appearance. I suppose they all have a jolly time, and that it is curmudgeonly to resent their occasional intrusion; but if masters of foxhounds behaved with the total lack of consideration for anybody's interests but their own which is shown by most motoring and motor-cycle clubs, a lot of packs would soon be in difficulties.