The Witch is Escaping from her Grave! Quick, get a Boulder!

“The Witch is Escaping from her Grave! Quick, get a Boulder!” Now, whilst these might not be the exact words spoken on that fateful day in 1705 when Meg Shelton, the Fylde Witch, escaped from her grave for the SECOND time, someone must have said something like it. Meg Shelton, aka the Fylde Hag, aka the Woodplumpton Witch died in 1705 when she was crushed between  barrel and a wall. She was buried in the churchyard of St Anne’s Church in the Lancashire village of Woodplumpton. As Meg was renowned for having the ability to change shape at will, escaping from a grave might not have been too taxing a problem for her. Perhaps she changed into a worm and wriggled out? She was duly reburied and…..yes…….our Meg escaped again. The solution for her THIRD burial was to dig a deep and very narrow shaft, put her in it headfirst and seal it off with a large boulder. The worthy villagers reckoned that if she started digging when she was headfirst in her grave, then she’d go deeper and deeper. Meg’s grave is Close to the church. (I didn’t know that witches were buried in churchyards, but hey! what do I […]

Springtime Came Yesterday and Left Again Today

Yesterday was Springtime. I know this because a butterfly told me. It was the first butterfly we’ve seen in the garden this year.  The battered condition of this Small Tortoiseshell is a testament to its having survived the winter.  I suspect that today it has gone back into whatever warm place it likes to call home.      We went into Preston for lunch and, as it was such a nice day, we parked down by the river and walked up through Miller and Avenham Parks into town.       Warm enough to sit in the sun:  But not warm enough for me to discard winter woollens just yet. (Current weather here right now is: wind, heavy rain, chilly, i.e. WINTER) I know that a lot of us bloggers in the northern hemisphere are awaiting springtime.  The one who instantly comes to mind is Liz at  Dot Knows!   Why not pay her a visit at Elleturner4.wordpress.com Her blog promises: Fab photos, witty asides and light hearted humour….  If you enjoy wildlife, blue skies and general joie de vivre, you won’t be disappointed.  

Tree Framing Church monochrome Black&white gravestones churchyard

C is for Churchyard and Church Spire

C is for Churchyards and Church Spires I went out this morning looking for a witch’s grave.  Meg Shelton, known as the “Fylde Hag” or the “Fylde Witch” was  buried in 1705 in the churchyard at St Anne’s Church in the nearby village of Woodplumpton.  And I found it! I found the boulder they put over her grave to stop her escaping (for a third time). But that’s for a future post.   I’ll need to do some research to try to find out how she managed to be buried in consecrated ground; so far I’ve not discovered much.  I did get some photos of the churchyard though.   I saw this notice just as I was about to lean on a headstone and took heed of the solemn warning:   There’s a Right of Way for walkers through the graveyard and into the fields behind the church. You might just spot the  Public Footpath sign:   Many of the graves in the old part of the churchyard date from the 1800’s:   This morning’s church, St Anne’s in Woodplumpton doesn’t have much of  a spire (though it does have a cupola topped with a weather-vane); but St Michael’s in […]

Rock-Hewn Graves and Nettle Tea Bags

A Visit to Heysham I’m hoping that “Rock-Hewn Graves and Nettle Tea Bags” is the only post in the whole of cyberspace with this title.  If it is then that should make it especially OddBall for Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge this week. Why am I thinking of an unused title? No particular reason other than how many combinations of words can there be?  And will we ever run out?  Probably not in my lifetime! The graves and the tea bags are closely connected as we saw both of them within half an hour of arriving in Heysham on a day-trip last year. It’s only 40 minutes up the road. Heysham is a large coastal village on the Lancashire coast. Whilst it is a ferry port for ships to Ireland and the Isle of Man, and has a nuclear power station nearby, the old part of the village is very quaint and set apart from the newer developments. It could be the setting for a 1950’s TV drama.  Rock-Hewn Graves Around St Patrick’s Chapel are the remains of eight rock-cut graves hewn from the headland, several of which are body shaped and have rock-cut sockets, possibly for wooden crosses. It is […]

The Causeway RSPB

Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve: The Path to the Lower Hide

Although the weather forecast threatened rain and poor visibility, we took ourselves up to Leighton Moss mid-week. Its about an hour’s drive away. We had to return a  bird-feeding station for the garden we’d bought there a couple of weeks ago. It was a very nice one in natural wood but would have been far too big for its allocated space.  The hangers for bird food look just fine where they are now on the trees.  The garden birds aren’t complaining at any rate, judging by the rate they’re getting through their suet blocks and peanuts. So much for the weather forecast!  It was a lovely day: quite warm and sunny.  And that’s not a usual combination for NW England in February. Leighton Moss is an RSPB reserve (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). It is situated on the edge of Morecambe Bay and in the Arnside and and Silverdale  AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The reserve contains the largest reedbeds in North-West England and is home to some rare birds such as breeding bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers. All of which we have seen at various times. On this visit we took the path from Lillian’s […]

Cleaning the Carousel and other Oddballs on Blackpool Pier

OddBalls on the Pier Just before the schools’ February half-term week’s holiday, there is feverish activity in our local seaside resorts.  The Showzam Street Festival will hit Blackpool again, the Pleasure Beach will open and everyone and everything will come out of hibernation. Cafés will put tables and chairs outside for those souls hardy enough to brave the elements (or who want a quick puff on a ciggy). But before all this can happen, there is some serious cleaning to be done. After the mid-term holiday, some amusements close down and then there’s a massive Spring Clean in time for Easter. Cleaning the carousels on one of the piers involved a man with a ladder, an orange bucket, a sponge and green Marigold gloves:     It’s a tough job testing the SkyDiver, but someone’s got to do it:   Mr HotDog has been dusted down:   With a bit of luck the sky will stay this blue for the rest of the holiday week, even though the temperature isn’t much above freezing when you factor in wind-chill:     To see a great selection of OddBall posts from fellow bloggers, why not head to Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge.

Solitude-by-the-Sea on the Fylde Coast

Solitude-by-the-Sea  In winter it is easy to find solitude on the Fylde coast.           WordPress Photo Challenge: Solitude   

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