From the title you could be forgiven for thinking this is a story more suited to my other website, but you’d be mistaken.

Halifax, an average size town in West Yorkshire is famous for many things, not least of which is the fact that I was born there, and it’s where I spent the first 44 years of my life. However, another of it’s noteable sons was a certain Percy Shaw, the man who invented the reflecting road stud, more commonly known as the cats eye.

“Er, so what?” I hear you cry. Read on.

Yesterday, for the first time in ages, we went for a walk. What with being stuck in due to the snow before Xmas and stuck in again since Xmas with Peter’s terrible cold and the thick fog, I was beginning to climb the walls and needed to get out.

During our years here we have made some interesting finds on our walks. The most memorable items being a pair of gardening gloves, a pair of sunglasses and a TV aerial, all brand new. Once we also found a load of carrots that actually had fallen off the back of a lorry, but today we found something quite different.

Our walk took us along a piece of road that was resurfaced during last summer, and this is the first time we have walked along it since. We were commenting on how nice it was to see a proper job being done instead of the usual patching up, when something caught my eye in the ditch. It was a discarded cats eye.

Even at this great age I’m still a bit odd, and I suddenly fancied the idea of having a cats eye on the gate post at home so that it would catch the car headlights when we came home in the dark, so I scrambled down the banking to retrieve it. “It’s no good having just one set” said Peter helpfully,  “You need an even number for it to make any sense”.

So the next part of the walk was entirely taken over by cats eye spotting. We found another two, but they were inaccessible, or at least I said they were inaccessible. Peter has some very funny ideas about my ability to grub about in wet ditches.

Just when we though there were no more to be found we came upon two in quick succession stuck in a tree! To cut a long story short, by the time we were heading home we had collected 6 sets of cats eyes.

You might think that this story is ridiculous enough on its own but there was a final and rather spooky twist in the tale.

That night we were settling down to watch TV. As there wasn’t much on we decided to go with ‘Dave’ which seems to repeat back to back editions of ‘QI’ 24 hours a day.

We turned it on just as Steven Fry was doing his final piece to camera at the very end of the show. Just in time in fact to hear him utter the immortal words:
“Percy Shaw invented the cats eyes road safety system after being inspired by the light reflected from a cat’s eyes. If he had seen a cat walking away from him that night he would have invented the pencil sharpener. Goodnight.”

Now that’s Quite Interesting, don’t you think?