Teen beauty spot drinkers are ramblers, not rebels

Teenagers are thick, aren't they?

Teenagers are thick, aren't they writes Dave Burrows.

Not all teenagers, you understand. Most teenagers are pretty ace, actually. Given that they are a bubbling cauldron of hormones and confusion it's amazing that they're not all little so-and-sos (I know I was. I still am).

Dave Burrows

The ones who ARE little so-and-sos, like I said: a little bit thick.

To 'rebel' - whether it be against their parents or other figures of authority - they usually turn to drink. It was ever thus. But times have changed.

In my day it was round the back of Somerfield, a hangover from the '70s when it was the Co-op (for which I blame the Jam's Town Called Malice).

Then somehow, in the 90s, kids started getting thick. The point of beer behind the supermarket (which I didn't do, mum) was that it was dark and no-one went there because the store was closed (remember that? When you couldn't shop for kumquats at 2am?).

But in the 90s the place to hang out suddenly became the kids' playground. Why? Why on earth would you go and sit on the swings to swill your White Lightning? Was this some extra form of rebellion which I don't quite get? As well as sticking it to 'the man' they also wanted to show five-year-olds who was boss.

Now, it seems, even the playground has fallen out of favour - to be replaced by rambling.

Kids now seem intent on enjoying cheap cans of Carling at local beauty spots. The latest in the news is Earl's Hill near Pontesbury. This hill is more than 1,000ft above sea level. It's just a little smaller than The Wrekin. That, in anybody's mind, is a hike. It's the kind of hill people in sensible boots and cable-knit sweaters tackle of a Sunday afternoon.

Why, as a rebel teenager, would you drag yourself all that way to drink you beer? Of course, having got it up there and consumed it, the thicky-thickos are too tired (and too drunk) to carry their empties back down again and so you get their litter strewn across what should be a beautiful part of the Shropshire countryside.

But it's more serious than that. I am, of course, not condoning teenage drinking. It is a dangerous practice wherever it happens. But these idiots are doing it at the top of a hill. They are in a remote location, miles from help if anything goes wrong, and they are unsupervised, which severely increases the chances of that being the case.

So here's the thing, thicky teenage drinkers: stop it. Stop it for many reasons.

Point one - look at yourselves. You think you are rebels, but you aren't, you are ramblers.

Point two - drinking alcohol at the age of 15 doesn't make you cool. It makes you look and act stupidly and it damages your health. You don't care now. You will later.

Point three - you are AT THE TOP OF A HILL. You WILL do something stupid. One of you WILL get hurt. And it will be a very long time before anybody gets to you to help. Maybe it will be too late.

Now I know the teenagers won't read this. If they do so accidentally, they will ignore it. So here's a message to the parents: take some responsibility. Know where your kids are and what they're up to. Summer is here. They're going to be doing this a lot more. Don't fall for their lies.

You are (I hope) more intelligent than them. They, after all, are a bit thick.

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Comments for: "Teen beauty spot drinkers are ramblers, not rebels"


Awkward moment when a teenager reads this. I agree, underage drinking is a no, no. It is against the law for a reason. But its going to happen. Near enough every 17 year old has had a drink. Not to be a reble, but to have fun, try something new. What other things can teenagers do with hardly any money? I think you are being too bias and this article sounds more informal and a joke.


They are not ramblers, ramblers don't leave litter


The ramblers around Stretton seem to drop litter, especially where they park up for the day.

Jamie Burgoyne

I heard about Earl's hill and i know who they were. Just saying instead of going, I was making an Airfix Kit....

Powys Geezer

Don't go sniffing at that glue, now! That's just as bad if not worse.


So kids, please be a bit smarter and go back to drinking behind or in front of the shops or Childrens playgrounds, please carry on shouting obscene language at the old lady walking her dog or picking on a young person who passes you to get home from his/her friends house.

I am sorry, but because the little darlings are going up a hill to drink their white lightening and leaving a few bottles strewn around the area you have decided its a step too far?. I think I would rather pay a litter collector rather than replace broken windows, smashed up playgrounds or even the hospital fees for the attacks that take place when they are intoxicated and become bullies!.

I would pay for a mini bus to ship these little darlings to the top of Ben Nevis if it meant leaving the good law abiding citizens to live a peaceful life..

This young culture drinking should be addressed before it affects the countrysides beauty spots.

Perhaps I am being a bit Thick?.

Andrew finch

Interesting article at a loss why the need to insult? to get your point across? must admit i always thought it was "sea level".

The gathering of teenagers on a local hill is not and should not be a problem for our local law enforcement officers or the "land owner" if permitted.

The drinking by the under age is however, it is to my knowledge been an area for decades for the over 18,s to have a few bevvies and a barbi in the summer months these sort are also prone to littering i am sure.

Local gossip is the majority of these youths were this years leavers ie 16 .

This all brings up the issue of responsible drinking perhaps that should be part of the schools education package? the reality is most of these school leavers will be in the pubs and clubs of shrewsbuy this xmas.

I am also at a loss with the original report where the police said "these youths many of which were not local ? what does that meen ? what is local? what has where you have come from to do with anything??.

Lets be honest when a child leaves school he , she need to take some responsibility for their own actions and find me a parent who knows what there "left school" offspring are 24/7 especially early evening ? .

These youths could have had bags of fizzy drinks and sweets when stopped and better if they had , however i am sure the original complaint was regarding litter on the hill so would police resources have been used just to stop litter louts?.


"what does that meen ?" I always thought it was "Mean"!

Andrew finch

As with the article error, i am sure benefit of the doubt will be given and it will be put down to a typo error.

Not a silly teen

Another point - I live by Madeley. They've built the new Madeley academy on what was once a beautiful green field which was used for all sorts of day outs by teens and familes. Picnics, football, golf...

Oh god I remember the days trying to play golf on that field. It was beautiful! I, however, sucked.

Getting rid of all these nice places I went as a teen is just making it worse and I'm watching it get worse.

Oh - And there were bins around that field which we did put our litter in when going home.

Just saying.


A lot of kids discover alcohol when they're not legally old enough to consume it. A lot of us did the same when we were that age. I don't remember anyone needing medical assistance or getting hurt bar the occasional vomit. We feel compelled to be responsible and not condone it, but the fact is such behaviour happens and has happened for a long time It's one of those grey areas and pretty much a modern day rite of passage, as unsavoury and unevolved as that may seem. At least we tidied up after ourselves, mind ;)

Nothing story, nothing article. First World problems with a rural bent. I'm sure there are more pressing issues to mull over.

eva land

I'd call this letter rambling Dave, not containing the quality or well thought out points we expect from someone who purports to write for a newspaper.

We actually have an equally serious problem of drinking excessively with almost all age groups though the older generations tend to reveal their problem by the overflowing recycling boxes every fortnight. The fact they have a home to do their imbibing in in privacy doesn't mean the overall problem is any less,infact it is more often a less social activity and contributes to domestic disputes.

The elderly too create a massive strain on the NHS with combining consuming alcohol with drugs that they have to take for various reasons and the consequential increase in falls that result in hospitalisation are immensely costly.

So what is your point?

Is it the leaving of litter in a local beauty spot or the actual choosing to socialise somewhere attractive and private with a good view?

I'm with you on the leaving litter which seems to be an ongoing problem with almost all age groups in our country, unforunately.

Stating young people are thick just seems poor journalism

It is almost tempting to say all journalists today are thick, but just looking back at certain tabloid articles shows that it has always been the case that some are.


Good work eva land. Well said.

Mr Poole

Dear Mr Burrows,

I find the tone of your article frankly offensive and condescending, not to mention the errors in grammar and spelling. Does no-one proof read your copy before publishing?

As a former teenager (about 20 years ago) I fully support young people getting out of our town centres and housing estates and going off where they cause less noise and irritation. I think you have probably misjudged the opinions of the general public on this matter.Of course litter is a problem, and if these people are littering then something should be done just as when adult builders fly tip rubbish at beauty spots. I do think however that the issue of remote drinking, merriment and fun in isolated places is not something you should be concerned with.. Every weekend thousands flock to Wales in the summer to stay in remote locations and many of them drink, (shell island ring any bells?) bad things can happen to people any time any place (see Fabrice Muamba) I hardly think this is a reason to stop people enjoying life. Parties, drinking, sex, and even experimenting with soft drugs are all rites of passage in modern Britain. As "responsible" adults we should be educating, supporting and providing open communication so that our young people feel they can talk and express themselves without fear of being berated for "joining in".

Should you require anyone to check your copy prior to publishing in future i will be happy to oblige... SEA you later.. :)

Colin Dodd.

Mr. Poole, glass houses and stones sir.

I see punctuation is not your strong point, quite a few commas missing. Humble pie time methinks.

Colin Dodd.

Nice article Dave.

To all you moaners-----cheek and tongue in??

Y Mab Darogan

If the police know they are drinking alcohol in beauty spots and breaking the law they should be arrested and parents fined 1000 pounds for misbehaving children.


The Original Jake

It isn't against the law for under eighteens to drink in public places, except where bylaws forbid it - which applies to everybody.

Police can confiscate the drink and move people on, but they don't have the power of arrest.


hey Dave, I think you you may have had a few more corners to you than you'd like to admit as a teenager. Nothing has changed mate, loads of us used to go up the

Wrekin, Police dont like walking up the hills or hang in the kiddies park (you could sit on the benchs and swings you see).

kids will always drink under age as someone posted its a right of passage.


Congratulations Dave on getting this much vitriol in your direction. All you need now is to get that editor from Catholic Truth back calling you a 'so-called journalist' or whatever it was and your work will be done.


Playgrounds have been turned into car parks. Youth clubs have been closed. Mosquito ultrasounds have been placed outside shops to repel teenagers. We don't like them, we don't engage them, we call them 'them' as opposed to our children, never by name as we would adults that misbehave.

Tarred all with the same brush, told not to drink in a world that has made alcohol into a glamorous necessity for a good time, preaching them what we don't practice, calling them thick: and you still wonder why they take to the hills? They've heard us ok. Not seen, not heard, just leaving rubbish behind as a comment on what they think of a society that does its best to exclude youth yet spends millions on botox.

Just saying

I see this reporter never commented on the litter left at the Wrekin New Years Eve which I doubt wasn't just teenage kids. I walked up the Wrekin early New Years day and the amount of litter, beer cans, bottles, food containers and poppers was unbelievable.

Silly Sarah

I am impressed that they still have the fitness required to get to the top of the hill.


disgusting litter louts, we need a deposit-refund scheme in this country and we need one now, the government must act on litter and packaging now


I agree it might be more dangerous and littering is not acceptable, however, did it occur to you that stupidity is not the reason they are going to these beauty spots. It is possible they would just rather be somewhere a little nicer than 'round the back of Somerfield? Just a suggestion.

Also, "thicky-thickos"? That's probably why you are writing for the shropshire star not the times.


Not a very good article at all. Just shows you have low intelligence when you have to resort to insults to help get your point across.

You've not spoken to any teenagers to get a balanced view by the looks of it.

FYI... a lot of cops will tell underage teenagers to go drinking somewhere away from the public such as in woods or fields were there will be no complaints of noise etc.

They aren't doing anyone any harm. They are doing what the cops have suggested to them. OK they could take their litter with them but so could most adults who throw their rubbish away in the streets. Litter isn't just a teenage problem.

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