Two months overdue for the very interesting tale of the ‘Artery of Life’ Heritage Trail and then the performance on the 11th of December, what can I say, I’m a busy little swarm of Bees, hence the constant buzzing in my head!.
Actually, it’s good that I’ve had a bit of time to reflect a bit. There’s a few nuggets of Local History that’s fired up my interest in Roman/Saxon times, which is interesting, as Wigg Island Visitor Centre is modelled on an Iron Age Fort- such as the one made by Aethelfleda on the Runcorn side of the Rail bridge in the 10th Century.
After a quick intro to the day, the group met the local ‘Gamekeeper’, an interesting character from the 1860’s who gave an entertaining talk about his job, chasing off poachers and arranging shoots, which with the help of a few ‘volunteers’ was re-enacted! The history of the area was well told, about the Norton Estate in 1860, Duck and Geese shoots and Wigg island in general.
While that trip provided some background, it got me delving into Local History. Since the settlements along both banks grew over time, bringing many changes to the area, I focussed on little snippets of the various periods. From the formation of the Mersey in the Triassic and last Ice Age to the arrival of Romans, Saxons, Vikings and Normans to the area, each making a mark, The Barony of Halton literally so with the establishment of the first (Known) regular Ferry crossing, way before Gerry and the Pacemakers sang about their trip.
I also added bits on the Industrial age and the new beginning with the river being cleaned up, the proliferation of Wildlife and possible future benefits of a new bridge.
The performance itself was fun, note the ‘River Guardian’ costume, as I got roped into some drama as well as the history tour. It is actually the second time this year I have been involved with a performance, after doing Backstage on the School production of The Wizard of Oz. So I think it’s something I would definitely like to do more of, it’s just finding the time! And of course I’m going to expand on my original notes and find other avenues for this Local History phase I’ve gotten into.
Phew- nearly there, almost time for the final blog of the year, maybe on Friday!