I, personally, contributed to this hoax.
An abalone diver's weight-belt, and home-cast RTV feet, worn by my 6'9" cousin ... Mendocino County, 1975ish :-)
Signed: Not easily convinced by hearsay in Tunbridge Wells.
A paranormal investigator is probing a sighting in Tunbridge Wells of the legendary "Kentish Apeman" - a hirsute 8ft-tall creature with "red demonic eyes". The beast was allegedly spotted prowling the 200-acre Tunbridge Wells Common last month, some 70 years after it scared the living daylights out a couple at the same spot. …
Amazing i the sense that now everyone has a camera in their pocket, in the form of a phone or whatever, you never hear anything like the number of reports you did in the 70's and 80's when, err, we didn't. How savvy of those aliens - just to pick the exact decades when there was no proof other than peoples yarns - to fly all those light years to visit us.
People do see strange things in the UK, including "Bigfoot" type animals. The CFZ (who Neil Arnold is linked to) investigated similar sightings at Bolam Lake in County Durham. People in the US have also seen similar paranormal Sasquatch (they often have red eyes & have even vanished when shot at).
Is it just another 'Spring Heeled Jack' phenonemon? Mass delusion, good story for the pub, bit of excitement sort of thing?
Why shouldn't people believe it? They are preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse.
I think it has escaped from a bizzare secret government genetic laboratory somewhere in the woods.
That's the locally infamous former barman of the (formerly) notorious Sussex Arms (yes, the chamber pots on the ceiling), celebrated for banning one lunchtime Merkin patron who asked for lemonade with his Glenmorangie. After spending several minutes regaling the gawping septic with the finer details of the ins and outs of the distilling process, he ended with "and you want to put lemonade in it sir? Well you can fuck off out of this pub and don't come back - you're uncivilised".
The legendary urgency and volume of his famous last orders call of "go back to your squats and smoke your drugs" was usually reinforced 10 minutes later by the terrifying sight of the owners wife's slippers descending the stairs to make sure patrons departed by 11.20 precisely - most had usually gone by the time the dressing gown and curlers had made an appearance.
Dave went for a long walk after the bar was finally vandalised by developers of the modern persuasion, and is rumoured to have got lost on the common (having not actually left the bar in the previous 21 years), which he now haunts to this day, assailing late night walkers at around 11pm with his famous last orders call.
A fine pub in its heyday, visitors to the Sussex who mistakenly entered the 'back bar' (or properly Kent Bar) on a Saturday night were usually greeted with something that looked like a Roman Orgy reenactment societys training night cum AGM. The pubs informal motto was "If I had all the money I'd spent on drink, I'd spend it on drink".
The pub was the solitary saving grace in a town described variously as "enemy territory" by one black friend from London, "a tory theme park" by another, but probably most accurately as "a graveyard with lights" by Nick Berry (then from Eastenders) when he mistakenly did a panto season there.
You'd admit to coke?? Sinner!
Bert, forgotten him, a seriously mangy hound referred to by one patron as the 'animated carpet' - he had a great nose for coppers doing a bit intelligence gathering. Apart from Nick, that pub had enough hairy psychos in residence to keep the whole planet in Yeti's. Mad Harry, Knuckles, Fester...
A pub like the Sussex is unimaginable these days, but doubly remarkable that it existed in a town with its collective head stuck so far up its own arse.
As good as lived in that pub from the mid 70’s to its “refurbishment” in the mid 80’s. Never once saw any grief inside. The local CID where easy to spot as we all knew the reg plates of the MK2 Escorts they drove and the fact they only drunk half pints. Barbara was great with her “we’ve had your money, now f*** off!” at closing time. One time I moaned at Dave that the fire in the Kent bar wasn’t burning well. He suggested that I buy a large brandy to throw on it to get it going. So I did. Didn’t work….
Back to the “apeman”. For a time a couple of the bikers slept in an old wardrobe on the common. Would freak out the early morning dog walkers as they emerged from it in the early morning mist!
...reg plates of the MK2 Escorts they drove and the fact they only drunk half pints"
You forgot the mirror polished shows and neatly trimmed 'taches. They could always do scruffy dress, but could never quite bring themselves to change the shoes. I remember being quite sincerely accused of being "DS" myself by a seriously pissed guest nutter from the Carlisle in Hastings because I had a watch that was considerably more upmarket that the rest of my attire.
The Sussex really would be worth a book in its own right; I still meet people around the world from time to time who, if you mention Tunbridge Wells, will ask if you knew that "brilliant pub with chamber pots and german sausage hanging from the ceiling.". I'd forgotten Barbara's exact refrain, well remembered.
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