A walk that was full of surprises...
WHAT do the following have in common: a small marsupial, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Karl Marx?
Answer – As surprising as it may seem, each has a connection with the Dane Valley near Macclesfield.
Local people will know, for example, that stories continue to abound that the picturesque area around the Roaches and Wincle is frequented by wallabies, the survivors of a mob of five Bennett’s wallabies that escaped from a private zoo at Roaches Hall during WW2. The most recent reported sighting on the Roaches website was as recently as April 26 this year when a woman called Sue Bates described seeing “a round, smooth, furry grey/brown mammal” disappear between some rocks between Shaw Bottom and Hazelbarrow.
Before that the most recent sighting on the same website was on September 22 last year in the vicinity of Lud’s Church near Wincle – the same spot where I and a group of fellow walkers from East Cheshire Ramblers saw another of the little Aussie quadrupeds whilst on an evening walk some years ago
Mystery marsupials are one thing but how about a marauding band of Scottish warriors resplendent in Highland dress and faces painted with blue woad?
That was the equally amazing sight that greeted another party of ECR ramblers recently near the Hanging Stone. “We were so surprised that we forgot to ask them what they were doing there,” said leader Michael Murphy. “They were probably from a historical re-enactment society commemorating the 270th anniversary of the Jacobite uprising of 1745 when Bonnie Prince Charles and his army passed through Macclesfield.
“Fortunately, one of our group had the presence of mind to take a photograph of them, proving that we had not stopped to sample the wares at Wincle brewery.”
He added, “To cap it all, as we ascended from the valley of the River Dane passing Bearda Mill, we were astonished to see a bust of Karl Marx staring down at us from an open window in a barn, although what it is doing there we have no idea.”
For further information visit ramblerseastcheshire .org.uk.
●● Hoots mon! ECR cameraman Roger Fielding captured this photo of Highland warriors near Wincle
●● The bust of Karl Marx