Over the Moor, Take me to the Moor.

... and I'll lay me down Large and Dark.

 

While on holiday we decided to take a trip to Bleaklow a 2,077ft summit in the 'Dark Peak' area of the Peak District and, behold, here is the summit cairn just to show we made it to the top.

 

There were two inspirations for our expedition - the first being to visit the remains of a Superfortress which crashed near the summit on November 3rd 1948. Sadly the crew of 13 perished - all the more tragic as they were due to return to the USA three days later.

 

The flight was to transport payroll money and mail from Scampton in Lincolnshire to Burtonwood near Warrington and was flown in low visibility. Had the course been 100 ft higher the crash would have been avoided.

 

While the bodies of the crew and anything of value/salvage were removed after the crash, the rest of the wreckage was left and is still largely visible today - the nature of the environment means that preservation extends to fabric from the seats, webbing and suchlike and it's quite a sobering moment to see the debris field.

 

The presence of the wreck is largely unknown to the majority of people who brave Bleaklow and it was only through an article in a walking magazine we subscribe to that we came to know about it.... it's even visible on Google Maps which also gives an indication of the terrain. Bleaklow is a large sprawling summit and isn't somewhere you'd nip out to for a Sunday afternoon stroll.

 

The other reason for the trip was for me to retrace the route I took some 25 or so years ago when I walked the Pennine Way with my dad - having travelled up to Edale the previous day and conquered Kinder Scout we spent a night at the Snake Inn before crossing Bleaklow and descending into Longdendale and Crowden Youth Hostel.

 

The weather was perfect for this stage of the Pennine Way as the peat had dried to an almost sawdust like quality - the next peak on the route being the aptly named Black Hill who's summit is a vaste area of naked peat bog and we were glad of the firm support underfoot. East of the summit of Black Hill is Holme Moss television transmitter which is visible in the distance on the large and dark view...

 

.. and beyond Black Hill, although not visible here, is Saddleworth Moor where the graves of three of the children killed in the Moors Murders were found.

 

Whenever I think of the moors in this area the song Suffer Little Children by The Smiths comes to mind. One of the first songs Morrissey wrote with Johnny Marr it was the B-side to Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now and remains one of my favourite Smiths tracks.

 

Bleaklow is a sobering place for many reasons - both historic and natural. A place to pause and think (but only in good weather).

 

I'll leave you with the Morrisey's lyrics and to...

 

... enjoy.

 

Over the moor, take me to the moor

Dig a shallow grave

And I'll lay me down.

Over the moor, take me to the moor

Dig a shallow grave

And I'll lay me down.

 

Lesley-Anne, with your pretty white beads.

Oh John, you'll never be a man

And you'll never see your home again.

 

Oh Manchester, so much to answer for.

 

Edward, see those alluring lights?

Tonight will be your very last night.

 

A woman said: "I know my son is dead

I'll never rest my hands on his sacred head".

 

Hindley wakes and Hindley says

Hindley wakes, Hindley wakes, Hindley wakes, and says:

"Oh, wherever he has gone, I have gone".

 

But fresh lilaced moorland fields

Cannot hide the stolid stench of death.

Fresh lilaced moorland fields

Cannot hide the stolid stench of death.

 

Hindley wakes and says

Hindley wakes, Hindley wakes, Hindley wakes, and says :

"Oh, whatever he has done, I have done".

 

But this is no easy ride

For a child cries

"Oh, find me ... find me, nothing more

We are on a sullen misty moor

We may be dead and we may be gone

But we will be, we will be, we will be, right by your side

Until the day you die

This is no easy ride

We will haunt you when you laugh

Yes, you could say we're a team

You might sleep

You might sleep

You might sleep

But you will never dream"

 

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Taken on September 15, 2009