Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A Long Dark Journey and the story of the Kidsgrove Boggart.

The final push to Harecastle and then we came under the railway bridge and confronted the dread portals

that lie below Harecastle Hill, the tunnel keeper took our details and waved us straight in and we plunged into the stygian gloom,

haunt not only of Cerberus and Charon but also of Kit Crewbucket a.k.a. the Kidsgrove Boggart.

A last despairing look behind and the darkness claimed us, the roof lowered,

the smaller bore weirdly outlined in an eerie green glow,

while strange growths, the colour of dried blood, hung from the roof.
Surely if old Kit were about she would materialise here? But no smell of frying bacon.

The bore became smaller until we felt like a piston fitted in a cylinder, the roof only inches above our heads.

The halfway point, perhaps we would escape without a visit from the Boggart.

The water is stained deep red from the iron ore in the rocks of the hill, or is it the blood of the murdered woman? She who accepted a ride from a passing boatman and was foully murdered in the tunnel, her headless body cast into the cold, cold water, her restless spirit doomed to wander the tunnel, eternally searching for her missing head.

The wall here is shrouded in a white coating, perhaps it echoes to the groans of the dead.

Oh how pleased we were to reach the end of the subterranean journey, because it is said that if Kit Crewbucket were to come aboard your boat as you traversed the gloomy depths she would, dah dah!!! Cook you a fried breakfast? What sort of spook is that? But that is the legend and like all good legends it has absolutely no foundation in fact. But why let facts spoil a good story?

The south end of Telford's Harecastle Tunnel, finished in 1827 because Brindley's could no longer cope with the traffic.

The south end of Brindley's original tunnel, long closed due to subsidence, it took eleven years to dig and at the time, in 1777, was a marvel to all, the longest tunnel in the world.
We're now moored at Westport Lake, pleasant moorings for an urban area.

We counted thirty-two goslings in this raft, we're getting over run with the things.

Watch this space.............

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