Before I bring the story "Stanedge Lodge" to its gripping conclusion, here's a pleasant interlude. Think of it as something like an ad break during your favourite TV drama. Time for a quick toilet break or a swift snack or, if you belong to The Cult of the Smartphone, time to check your Instagram, your Twitter or your Facebook feeds.
Before proceeding, may I say "thanks" to the visitors who have been following "Stanedge Lodge".
When I posted about my recent walk past the old shooting lodge, I had no intention of writing a story about it but Steve Reed - currently holidaying in Florida - said " It looks like a setting for a Stephen King novel." and Frances in Harpenden said, "Did you see a ghostly face peering out of a window?" and JayCee on The Isle of Man said, "Stanedge Lodge looks very forbidding to me. Like something out of an episode of Vera" and Jennifer in Florence (not the one in Italy) said, "Stanedge Lodge looks like a haunted manor house in an English gothic novel.".
These remarks got my creative juices flowing and now after three episodes "Stanedge Lodge" is on the brink of its conclusion.
Yesterday I had a two and a half hour walk after parking at Crawshaw Lodge, west of this city. As I was donning my boots, I noticed that I had a distant view of Stanedge Lodge across The Rivelin Valley and up on the moors beyond Redmires. When I took the top picture of hemlock growing by the roadside, I made sure that I got Stanedge Lodge in the background. It's there by the trees on the horizon.
|Shorn sheep above The Loxley Valley|
I set off to Crawshaw Farm, then to Platts Farm, along to the hamlet of Ughill, down Tinker Bottom to Corker Walls and up and along a rough moorside track that leads from Corker Lane to Load Brook, then along two more lanes - Beeton Green and Rod Side back to Clint still basking in his little lay-by.
The circle was complete and so it was time to drive home. But as I headed away from Crawshaw Lodge I glanced again at the moors to the south where Stanedge Lodge is situated - far from anywhere. And I thought about Smithy and Benny with the stubbly chin and Silent Steve and Ralph with the greasy combed back hair and of course I remembered the terror...