Fox cub saved by the bell
One day, I was sent to help Martin at a car sales premises in Helmsley, I had never been to the village before and was surprised by how quintessentially English the town was.
As I arrived, I crossed the bridge and was immediately on the main street, the whole village centre is built out of stone with terracotta pan tile roofs, a main square with shops surrounding it has been used to provide parking and a gothic stone war memorial sits in the centre.
The town is dominated by the ruins of a spectacular ruined castle and a stunning church set upon a slight hill built in the late nineteenth century.
Running parallel to the main street is a small road, to one side there is a deep sided stream with small bridges over it, one side has shops, the other has gardens behind the main street buildings, each has a stone store/building with pan tiled roofs, looking up the road, the church is visible at the far end and the castle to the left, in my opinion, this view is one of the best of any town in Yorkshire.
I arrived at the garage and car showroom, it was not a large premises and the buildings were old, the alarm system had been installed many years previously, we were removing the old and installing a new system. Martin took the control panel off the wall and connected the cable to the external bell to a battery to stop it ringing.
As we worked, the bell tinkled occasionally, we did not think anything of this and just assumed the battery was either low or the temporary twisted wire connection was not good.
As we worked, the new system gradually became nearer completion, the new bell was installed, the new panel connected and power restored, however the new bell tinkled occasionally, and we thought it odd. Dismantling the bell and testing the cable proved that the fault was the cable itself, it had an intermittent short circuit, and we would need to find and repair the damaged section.
Tracing the cable, we could see it disappear into a small hole drilled through an old stone wall at one point, the cable came out of a brick wall when viewed from the other side, it turned out the brick building was not attached to the stone building and there was a few inches gap between, pulling the cable resulted in several feet of cable coming out of the hole, as we pulled we could see teeth marks which were the most obvious reason for the cables failure.
I clambered round to the back of the building, pushing weeds aside I could see into the void between the buildings, to my surprise, a fox cub was stuck some ten feet from the ground between the walls.
I told the garage owner, who said that a vixen with cubs was seen hanging around that day, between us we decided to try and rescue the cub.
The proprietor knew the owner of the fishing tackle shop in town, and with the help of a ladder, some string and a keep net, we rescued the stuck cub pulling it up towards the gap in the roof from where it must have fallen. Letting the cub go, it ran away into the grounds of the castle, the proprietor said, that’s where the mother is, they have been seen regularly in the area.
It felt great having helped, and this was one time when the old cliché could be used as the fox cub was ‘saved by the bell’.
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