Not a leg to stand on!

234 An­drew Beard­more is ex­pert on all things odd and quirky in Cheshire and he’s writ­ten about them in a new book. Here are just a few odd facts Cheshire Life: Novem­ber 2018

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Your quirky facts about Cheshire re­minded me of a story my grand­fa­ther used to scare me with when I was young. He was in the navy and said one of his friends had been in­jured and lost a leg. This man later mar­ried and em­i­grated to Hong Kong and af­ter a row over a game of cards he was found beaten to death with his own leg. When my grand­fa­ther died, I met some of his old navy pals at his fu­neral, in­clud­ing a man with a wooden leg who had served in the navy and then lived for years in Hong Kong. Why my grand­fa­ther in­vented his griz­zly end, I’ll never know but now I know he might have been think­ing of Sir Arthur As­ton of Cat­ton Hall!

Witches news to me

Sir Arthur As­ton of Cat­ton Hall, near Frod­sham, was de­clared by Charles I to be more feared by the en­emy than any other man in his army. How­ever, Sir Arthur met the most ig­no­min­ious of ends, when fight­ing gal­lantly in Ire­land in 1649 – for he is said to have been beaten to death…with his own wooden leg!

Shown right is a c.30-ton gran­ite boul­der in Mac­cles­field’s West Park which is ac­tu­ally a glacial er­ratic, car­ried south from Cum­bria by ad­vanc­ing glaciers around 12,500 years ago. The boul­der was pre­sented to the peo­ple of Mac­cles­field in their new pub­lic park in 1857, hav­ing been dis­cov­ered dur­ing ex­ca­va­tions nearby. It took a team of eight horses to move it the 1km to its cur­rent lo­ca­tion, af­ter which a won­der­ful brass plaque was af­fixed to the stone, pro­claim­ing its date of place­ment and its ori­gin – the lat­ter claim­ing it had been car­ried south by ‘an ice­berg from Cum­ber­land’ – an in­ter­est­ing in­sight into how science and English county ge­og­ra­phy has since changed! As for the ori­gin of the name ‘er­ratic’, it de­rives from the Latin ‘er­rere’ mean­ing ‘er­ror’ or ‘ wan­derer’ – so in this case, a rock that shouldn’t be there as it has to­tally dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter­is­tics to the rock strata around it. They were once thought to have been de­posited by a great flood, which in a way they sort of were. I was fas­ci­nated to read about the Ch­ester witch tri­als (Oc­to­ber is­sue). I had heard of the Pen­dle Witches, but didn’t know about the three women hanged in Ch­ester. Read­ing your brief ac­count has prompted me to learn more about them Ch­ester’s his­tory in gen­eral. Char­lie Hook, email A POIGNANT NOTE Of all the things I have read and heard about the cen­te­nary of World War One, none has had the same im­pact as the story of Ed­win Firth (Oc­to­ber is­sue). The fact the band are still us­ing his cor­net 100 years af­ter his death was so touch­ing. I’ll be mak­ing sure I hear them in con­cert soon. This is the Pack over the River D Shires Head, wh Der­byshire and all meet. The sp well-known me il­le­gal prize-figh pro­tag­o­nists an hot-foot it over t county bor­der w by of­fi­cials of ot

Quite let­[email protected]­life.co.uk THE FI­NAL LEG ER­RATIC SCIENCE “He spell THREE SHIR THE ALDER

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