A walk that was full of sur­prises...

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS - ROGER NOR­TON

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.

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●● Hoots mon! ECR cam­era­man Roger Field­ing cap­tured this photo of High­land war­riors near Win­cle

●● The bust of Karl Marx

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