Thursday, 14 January 2010

Windy Hill - M62 mythology and saddleworth moor

Scammonden Bridge with its huge cutting looms over the road skeletal, back arched and punctuated with ribs of concrete, it's vast irregularity unnerves. Saddleworth moor is just beyond and, reinforced with repetition, reminds me of the many car journeys, the points along the way at which my Mother would tell me the same stories along the way. The sign bluntly points out that this is the highest motorway in england. 1442ft above sea level,
there seems to be a silent mark of the ascent a few moments before as simultaniously, everyones ears pop at the change of air pressure.

saddleworth moor, where they buried those kids, creeps along beside you. Its not a pretty moor, it looks cold and empty, like a house derelict before its been lived in. The sky meets the ground in a hazy confusion, the road splits to allow for stott hall farm, the sheep look grubby, small and too natural next to the endless stream of mechanical speed, mud is pasted on their wool, the farmhouse, the concrete underpass.

My mind feels the burden of dozens of imprints of this journey, the same words spoken at the same points along the way. I have begun to see, at the pennine way overpass and as the huge cathedral cutting of scmmonden bridge towers above, a naked human corpse, bloated and blue stood upright in the road ahead. My mother's edema ridden body remembered from a hospital bed appears to me, preserved on a road that has formed me. Countless journeys along here, every one either with her, telling me the same mythologies as if i'd never heard them before, or without her and knowing when she'd say it. It is a chemical tic I can't shake, it will live with me forever, her morbid curiosity in the lost childrens' graves now haunts it. Dont dally, think of Lesley-Ann, buried with her plastic beads further down the valley at Hollin brown knoll, her features were preserved by the peat like Tollund Man. As Yorkshire turns to Lancashire, the road becomes lost in thought.


  1. very evocative... saddleworth moor is deep in england's qliphoth...
    have you read emlyn williams "beyond belief"
    john kilbride was abducted on the day of the kennedy assassination, which strikes me as a weird ripple in the space-time continuum... where the 60s became dark...
    interesting cabala jk - john kennedy jk - john kilbride

    oh i'd recommend Gordon Burn "Born Yesterday" the news as fiction, kind of reminds me of this post... he also wrote the ripper biog "Somebody's husband, somebody's son"


  2. Ahh the esteemed Dr Champagne, thanks for your comment...Yeah I read the emlym williams book about it i was about 10, it probably warped my mind somewhat. Fantastic book though. He was a very inspirational writer to me at the time...still is actually.

    Isn't there a chapter in that book that deals with ian bradys notebooks, the police studied them to see if they could find missing children mentioned, I definitely remember john kennedy featuring on the same page as john kilbride. I'll hunt it out to confirm.

    I think i've read that ripper biog too XD When i was going through my obsession with visiting leeds ripper sites...

  3. also phil just linked me to this:

    most bizarre news story ever?