Blog: Dave LeggettHungerford bound

Dave Leggett | 20 February 2004

I’m off deep into the English countryside with Ollie today for a lunchtime meeting with Tony Lewis and Chris Wright of the ‘Interchange News Agency’. Tony and Chris are working quite closely with just-auto these days and we meet up occasionally for a bit of brainstorming and some mapping out of possible future collaborations.

The agreed rendezvous point is a pub/hotel called The Bear in the small market town of Hungerford in Berkshire.  The old coaching inn has a bit of history – it used to be owned by King Henry VIII (he whose penchant for serial marriage led to the creation of the Church of England and the break with Rome). But we won’t be sitting down to a medieval style banquet – most likely it will be a working lunch with ham and sweet pickle sandwiches.

To digress a little, the quiet town of Hungerford is well known in the minds of many on this peaceful little island for being the setting of one of the worst acts of random violence we’ve ever had. In 1987, a young man who liked to play with guns went for a stroll in the town’s centre, shooting as he went. He killed sixteen people. It was and is a shocking event for its random and senseless nature. Following his killing spree he shot himself after declaring it had been like a bad dream.

Now there are a couple of facts in the previous paragraph that I wanted to check a few minutes ago, so I searched the web on the search terms ‘Hungerford’ and ‘killings’. Perhaps not too surprisingly, I found some pretty disturbing stuff. The Internet and the connectivity it enables is a wondrous thing in so many ways, but it has a very dark side, as we all know. It is perhaps analogous to holding a mirror up to humanity – we see everything on the web, the good and the bad. And sometimes we don’t like what we see. Time for a calming cup of jasmine scented green tea and a flick through a car magazine I feel.


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