Magic mushrooms and ghost trains – dawn nostalgia at the Hatches lakes

So today I rose at the crack of dawn this morning to watch the sun come up over one of my favourite places in the world  - the Hatches Lakes in Frimley Green. As a child I used to go for many family walks in this place and have vivid memories of it being really magical. Oddly enough, I also dream about it nearly every night too.

I remember there being a  great variety of mushrooms and fungus that used to grow, in particular, the rather nifty looking Fly Agaric. As a teenager I remember picking Psilocybins there with my friends… which is an entirely different story!

My friends and I used used to climb up an embankment to get to an abandoned train line where (urban) legend had it that a ghost train to go past at midnight. Even finding something as horrible as an old rusty old shopping trolley that had been chucked into the stream was exciting back then. Tragically one summer whilst we were there, one of the local children jumped off a rope swing into the lake and drowned. I remember the flashing lights of the ambulance, the divers sent in to comb the lake and the tree from which the fatal rope swing was attached.

According to my mum and her friend who used to live right next to the Hatches (and who coincidently paid us a visit this afternoon!), the lakes were in fact old mining gravel pits that were flooded on purpose. They also recall when once a hot air balloon landed there by accident and there was another tragic death of a lady that committed suicide and was found in the stream.

I discovered on my dawn visit this morning that sadly the whole place is now private and has been heavily fenced off. With some perseverance (climbing 4 fences) and a run in with some barbed wire and stinging nettles, I managed to gain access and take the following photos. Needless to say, the place seemed desolate and lifeless compared to the magical land of fantasy I once used to think it was…

Antler moss

Antler moss

Barbed

Barbed

Coat with moss growing on

Coat with moss growing on

Condom mushroom

Condom mushroom

Dawn lake

Dawn lake

Dawn path to nowhere

Dawn path to nowhere

Deep cold water

Deep cold water

Fairy mushroom half eaten

Fairy mushroom half eaten

Fairy mushroom

Fairy mushroom

For drowning

For drowning

Grid handle bars

Grid handle bars

Grown over asda trolley

Grown over asda trolley

Hazy sun lake

Hazy sun lake

Hazy sun

Hazy sun

Lake through trees

Lake through trees

Magic faraway tree

Magic faraway tree

Metal thing

Metal thing

Moss on rubber

Moss on rubber

Mushroom

Mushroom

Outdoor wardrobe

Outdoor wardrobe

Overgrown bike

Overgrown bike

Pink and green

Pink and green

Puffa chav coat

Puffa chav coat

Reeds

Reeds

Reflections

Reflections

Snow berries

Snow berries

Swan lake

Swan lake

Swirl of sticks

Swirl of sticks

Tango mushrooms

Tango mushrooms

The chain gang

The chain gang

The dead tree

The dead tree

Tracks

Wrong side of the tracks

Twisted metal

Twisted metal

Under the arches

Under the arches

Vintage diet pepsi can

Vintage diet pepsi can

When nature takes over

When nature takes over

Where a plaque once was

Where a plaque once was

 

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