Above: These winter views are from Corrie’s collection of old postcards.

An old lady in a red shawl with her basket of shopping walks beside the Goyt.

And the Cat & Fiddle Inn in deep snow – which was probably the ‘lone hostel on the barren moor’ mentioned in the first line of the poem.

There’s one word I can’t decipher – on the 5th line (click to enlarge). It looks like mimic, but this doesn’t seem to make sense.

If anyone can offer any other suggestions, please leave a comment below.

The Goyt Valley in the depths of winter can be a truly magical place. A few years back I walked into the valley from Buxton because I didn’t want to risk driving down the Bunsal Incline when it was deep in snow.

Approaching Errwood Reservoir, I heard this ghostly sound echoing across the landscape. It took me a while to figure what it was – the ice on the reservoir gently moving and creaking as the morning sun rose in the sky. It was a sound I’ll never forget.

Mike recently forwarded me this poem he found in the Sheffield Weekly Telegraph from January 10th 1885. It starts with an introduction;

A favourite valley of mine is the dale of Goyt which separates Derbyshire from Cheshire, and which it has been my pleasure to visit, enjoy, and describe, under various aspects, many times.

As “one touch of nature makes the whole world kin,” there is no wonder that I have been delighted with the following sonnet, which there is no difficulty in guessing is by Mr C. E. Tyrer, a member of the Manchester Literary Club:

A winter walk

(Dedicated to my companions on Dec. 26th, 1884)

From the lone hostel on the barren moor,
And the grim-featur’d snow-fleck’d uplands wide,
Down the deep clough we turn by th’ infant tide
Of a bright babbling stream,* whose pure
And mimic(?) falls to fairer thoughts allure
Than fit with winter. Nor is charm denied –
Green bilberry sprays and fern-fronds droop beside,
And on the brown hill slopes the pines endure.

Above us Nature’s savage solitudes;
Below the rattling forge, the busy mill,
The smoke-wrapt city and its human stream;
But here a little in these dim fir woods,
By this clear mountain brook, we linger still,
And shape in winter’s depth a summer dream.

*The Goyt

Topic tags (click for similar posts): Newspaper & magazine cuttings | Writers & poets