“There’s an old mine on One Tree Hill!” announced my mate, “If we can find it, we’ll be rich!”
Now, in 1978, Round Hill was known as One Tree Hill and ‘rich’ was one hundred dollars; a fortune to a twelve year old.
That sort of cash would buy a brand new Chopper pushbike (the one with three gears, sissy bar and pirate flag), with enough left over to go roller skating every day of the school holidays!
So, later that afternoon we risked death by multiple snakebite scrambling through the long grass looking for the mine. We found it at sunset, and I was promptly promoted to Head of Mining Operations by being shoved into the dark opening.
The tunnel sloped slightly upwards, then downwards. It wasn’t very far into the hill, so I didn’t need a torch to find the treasure, which turned out to be a cardboard box containing some nudie magazines and a pack of cigarettes.
Unfortunately for us, this glittering hoard was being guarded by three very annoyed teenagers.
They stubbed out their smokes and were about to stub out our lights, when inspiration struck. Pointing at the ground I screamed, “Snake!” which bought us just enough time to beat a hasty exit followed by a potentially leg or neck snapping downhill dash.
Later we discovered that the tunnel wasn’t mined for gold or gems as we’d hoped, but guano aka: bat poo, for making fertiliser. Another rumour that turned out to be, well, crap.