Friday 5th April 2013
One day in the 1990’s, a group of young men, ( though ‘men’ might not be a particularly appropriate description) came driving out of Bournemouth intent on causing trouble and strife. They robbed a petrol filling station just outside New Milton and careered off through a maze of lanes and country roads. When they heard the police sirens, they decided to dump the money. The ringleader stopped the car, saw that strange, tall concrete tower, ran into the Hordle churchyard, and hid the money under a bush. Not noticing the plaque on the wall.
The next day the ringleader decided to return and recover the money. Now, he really wasn’t very clever and struggled to read maps,he drove around all day until early evening when he noticed the unmistakable tower, and then Hordle churchyard. He then found the bush and the money. It was as he turned to leave that he saw something terrible at the churchyard gates. There was a tall, gaunt , angular figure of a woman, wearing a long, black Victorian dress and a large, black bonnet with a feather pointing vertically upwards….and she was jumping – up and down – up and down. Now, if a woman is wearing a heavy Victorian dress you can’t see whether she is bending her legs at the knees or not – but you would swear that this apparition was not bending it’s knees: it was straight and rigid and there it was jumping – up and down – up and down.
The young man panicked and ran off in the opposite direction, and each time he looked behind there she was jumping up and down –up and down, always at the same distance and never looking as if she was moving. The young man kept running and stumbling, across a field and then the tall gaunt looking tower, Peterson’s Tower, appeared in front of him. Being terrified and not thinking straight he headed for this tower. A blind alley, and silly move on his part.
He stumbled through the open doorway and dragged himself to the spiral staircase. He came to an empty room, crossed it to the next spiral staircase. He stopped and looked behind and there she was in the doorway, still jumping – up and down – up and down. Then to the next room and again there she was jumping – up and down – up and down. And he continued up the thirteen levels and each time he stopped and looked, there she was, still jumping – up and down – up and down and never getting any closer. He came to the iron ladder that led up to the roof.
Now the Peterson’s Tower is being used as mobile phone mast, and in the final top room was all the transmitting and receiving equipment. As the the young man scrambled up the ladder and across the room, the ‘Jump to Glory Jane’ shade passed through the receivers and transmitters, and fizzled and crackled and then jumped off into cyber space.
And ideal ending to this story would be that the young man followed the shade by jumping off the roof to his death. But he did not. The police found him the next day crouched in a foetal position and gently rocking back and forth, apparently both laughing and crying at the same time.
He never made any sense since and was put into Tatchbury Mount Hospital, mental hospital, in nearby Calmore. And it was said that he never found peace again. The tall gaunt man made tree that was being used as a mobile phone mast, sitting amongst all the trees of the grounds of the hospital was the view from his window. Perfectly straight branches, and trunk, tall and gaunt and rigid and at night looked just like ‘Jump to Glory Jane’ Was she jumping – up and down – up and down.
Folk lore from the Forest lives on and adapts to the age. Like a tree it continues to grow and even when the old oak has fallen, new branches will grow from the trunk.
My next post the Sway tower/Peterson’s,,,,