In which they walk on jam

October 26, 2009 at 11:06 pm 2 comments

By Marie

On the first Sunday in October the Manchester Zedders were pleased to join the LRM for a loiter around Didsbury. We had already zedded the gates to hell so no new squares for us, but it was nice to do it as a group.
at gates to hell
Fletcher Moss and his haunted house were already known to us, his house had apparently had quite a reputation before he took it on. Servants refused to live in it because of noises in the night. We had heard that this was later shown to be caused by tightrope-walking rats pitter-pattering along the cords for the servants’ bells, but according to Alan, facilitator of this month’s wander, the skeptical Mr Moss found no logical explanation for the strange goings on in the haunted parsonage and concluded that his dog Gomer was freaked out by a spirit.

Alan had some info on the church nearby. In the 12th century it was recorded as having “antiquity beyond memory”. The very phrase just thrills me. Say it out loud to yourself, savour it, whisper “antiquity beyond memory”. I love it. We have good reason to think that a church this old was probably Christianising some ancient holy site. Did the ghost of some spirit, no longer given homage, return to bother poor Gomer? We will never know.
st james didsbury

We took a look around the parsonage gardens, we found this stone.
millstone
Perhaps another clue about our mill by the Mersey. We told other loiterers about our quest to find a mill which had disapeared from the A to Z between 1997 and 2005.

The parsonage gardens had a lot of yew trees, as is right and proper for a holy site with antiquity beyond memory. As we wandered, the fallen berries mixed with fallen needles to create a substance a bit like…well… jam. It stuck to the sole of our boots in a layer an inch thick and was difficult to remove. Jam Jam Jam. Walking on Jam is a weird sensation and I was glad to scrape the stuff off me and move on into Fletcher Moss Gardens, where we were looking for mushrooms and berries. In France, so I’m told, if you pick mushrooms in the wild you can go to a pharmacy and the pharmacist is required by law to tell you which are edible and which are not. We love that they take their food that seriously, it tells you something about the priorities of a nation. The Germans, bless em, have laws about beer that are older than their country. Anyone want to tell us about any endearing British laws?
fruit and sky

We found an amazing bench in Fletcher Moss Gardens.
me on bench

it had some lovely detail
bench detail bench monster chocolate i sat on more bench
Very nice. I like this because of how different it is to other memorial benches. It is a collection of someone’s favorite things, an attempt to hint at a person’s personality and in so doing keep their memory alive in those it delights.

I have a fear of having a memorial bench dedicated to me, and then the inevitable dereliction of my bench as I am forgotten.  Liam is going to endeavour to prevent any bench dedications, should he survive me. This will not help, of course, if we are both killed in some horrific zedding-related accident. What disturbs me about some memorials is that they seem to underline the reality that the person has faded from memory. As a student, I lived in William Thompson Halls of Residence and the only time I paused to wonder who Willy Tom had been, was to reflect on the irony that no one seemed to know. No benches please. Not even lovely ones.

It may also be worthy of mention that the café in Fletcher Moss Gardens was once home to the headquarters of the Plumage League. “What was the Plumage league?” we hear you cry. Founded by women in 1889, it campaigned against the slaughter of birds for feathers to be used in the millinery trade. At the time, nearby Stockport was the hat-making centre of the known world, so it is fitting that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds should be able to trace its origins here. Plumage League tho, a better name I think than RSBP.

Having worked up a thirst, we headed to The Didsbury for refreshments.

More photos here

Entry filed under: zedding trip. Tags: , , , , , , , .

In which they do not star in The Wire Mainly Manchester

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Richard  |  October 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    The Plumage League eh? I bet they ruffled some feathers back in the day. Badoom-tish.

    Reply
  • 2. parklover  |  November 8, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I love reading the dedications on park benches, there’s one in Queen’s Park in Heywood that brings tears to my eyes. It’s dedicated to a greenkeeper who worked nearly all his life at the park and died in his 40’s (as memory serves me). One of the bars in the SU when I was a student was named after a former student who had died tragically young. There was a nice little sign up telling you about him. Then the bar had a refit and it was renamed something meaningless. I remember thinking how offensive that must be to his family and friends.

    Reply

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