Thursday, April 20 – Gawsworth

A lovely day, I must not miss this. So off I went with no real idea where I was going to. Through Stretford to Didsbury and Cheadle and on the Wilmslow road I ran, through Wilmslow and Alderley Edge and uphill along the beautiful Congleton road. I passed by Nether Alderley, an ancient hamlet which still retains that old world air, and at the Cyclists Rest Inn, I turned left along the Macclesfield road. Half a mile further on I turned right up a steep hill at a finger post pointing to Henbury Moss. By the side of a wood I sat down to lunch, afterwards dropping down into Bluebell Valley, a beautiful glade with a fitting name – the whole was a blue carpet, waving gently in the breeze. I paused awhile here before dropping further into Gawsworth. Arrived in the latter, a pretty secluded little place, I started to look for ‘Maggotty Johnson’s’ grave.

I had not far to look. In a little spinney in the heart of the village lies the remains of this unsavoury-named man, who, wishing to be buried away from the ‘lashing tongues of women’, directed that he should be laid here. He must have been unfortunate with the opposite sex! From here I proceeded to Macclesfield, and then on to Stockport. Adlington Hall, the ancestral home of the Leghs, lies off the main road to Stockport. To it is attached the famous song ‘The Melodious Blacksmith’. Charles Legh, the owner of the Hall, was out walking one day with Handel the musician when they heard the melodious notes on the anvil of a smithy. Handel immediately returned and wrote and played the score of the above. The Hall also saw service in the civil wars. I returned via Didsbury, back home at 6.30pm.

49 miles, 6.75 hours