Misery, suicide and ghosts- a pleasant day out in Chipping
I like the concept of a walk until I have been actually walking for a bit, slipped in some mud and had a bit of a fight about being lost. Then I see something like a deer or an abandoned cottage and I like walking all over again until I slip in some mud and get a bit lost.
This walk was in Lancashire Tea Shop Walks, a book that must be about two decades old and it was not the teashop or the walk that attracted me although that is how I presented it to my partner to get him to drive there. It is a good old fashioned tale of misery, betrayal, suicide and ghosts. Which is also licenced.
Lizzie Dean, a servant at the Sun Inn in Chipping was having a romance with a local man. He dumped her to marry her best friend in a true cliché of wankerness and on the day of the wedding, rather than make gestures as to the small size of his cock from her window overlooking the church, slag him off on Facebook or go on the Jeremy Kyle show, it being the 19th century, she chose to hang herself and her ghost is well reported as being said to haunt that very same pub.
I feel sorry for Lizzie. There is now a Lizzie’s Lounge in The Sun and although I wandered wide eyed around the pub hoping something ghostly might happen, there were only well priced pub meals and posters advertising a Halloween event featuring bats. It was a nice pub though and even nicer for having completed the six mile walk in the aforementioned Lancashire Tea Shop Walks.
A woman came in when we were there and when told about the sausage hotpot, asked grimly how big the sausages were to which the confused teen attempted to measure with his hands and then perform a clumsy chopping motion.
The walk itself was soggy, muddy but ultimately wonderful due to a sudden fold in the hills opening up into a heathery glen, the sort of one you just want to lie spread-eagled in and shout ‘aaaaaah’ at the skies. It is muddy though so I do not. There are wooded copses of the sort that hide bodies and treasure, creepy glens of stunted trees where surely wraiths must glide when not disturbed by the sound of an argument over which way is next whilst holding a sodden charity shop guide book and there are crumbling barns. The fells overhead are magnificent and it is like being in a budget Glencoe.
Back in Chipping, we peruse the village store which is antiquated and excellent, selling local cheese, faded birthday candles and Wispas. There is another pub, The Tillotsons Arms that ahem, has to be explored/drunk in and I am delighted by its gothicness until realizing it is preparing for Halloween and the skulls are not permanent. It is a friendly pub though with decent ciders and awards by CAMRA.
On the way back, we go to see Lizzie’s grave. According to her suicide note she wanted to be buried at the front of the church so her ex lover and friend would have to step past her grave every time they went to church, which has to be the ultimate in passive aggression.
Oh Lizzie. Seeing your grave you made me realize you were real and I apologise for nosing excitedly for your unhappy ghost. You were too dignified in life and I suspect you regret it bitterly now that your only outlet now is to attempt to spook over a Meal For A Fiver menu.
You should have just killed them both.