Friday, December 5, 2008

222. Tootle Rock.

Several times I have mentioned Alton, in Staffordshire, where I spent my teenage years. It really was quite a magical place, with the grand house, Alton Towers, hidden among the trees, and the Castle, towering over the valley. But there were other, lesser, atmospheric delights.
 'Tootle Rock' was one of them.

The photograph depicts a canon such as the Roundheads used, during the Civil War.


They called it 'Tootle Rock' for the words slipped off the tongue,
But it was known as Toot Hill in the days when the world was young.
A flat rock jutted out above the valley far below,
In a way that urged me to take a stone and give it a mighty throw!
I listened for the falling, and, finally came the thud,
As it landed far below me, 'plop!', down in the river's mud.
I pretended I was Icarus, though I didn't dare to fly!
I felt so poised, so elevated, free and young and high.
They told me of the legend that added to its charms;
How Oliver Cromwell came there in the days when he took up arms.
How the Roundheads perched their canon exactly where I sat,
Above the river on a rock that was firm and table-flat.
Someone showed me indentations that, surely, the canon made,
And I felt I heard the warlike cries and I saw a flash of blade!
What a way to learn of history! Even if the tale were false?
It was the 'feel' that mattered, more than any history course.


Kay Dennison said...

Gotta love history!

Bear Naked said...

That sounds like a wonderful place to spend your teenage years.
Bear((( )))

mrsnesbitt said...

Alton Towers! yes we know of it but have never been. Jon did a job over at Flamingo Park! Remind me to tell you about it sometime, it was some engineering work he did on a ride called "The Rocket!"


Anonymous said...

Stella of the lovely surname Heritage !! writes

Tootle Rock - a favourite place to take the current boyfriend - many happy hours and memories !!

Kat said...

That's the difference between others and you. The 'feel'.