Yesterday saw the centenary of the end of the first world war with a walk up to Pots and Pans to the Cenotaph overlooking the Parish.
It was somber weather with our fully kitted out with waterproof gear, and this year we did not run to the Cenotaph as Claire’s foot is injured and is being rested. We parked on the road below the traditional route to the memorial and trudged up with Ted the Terrier. Yet the mood was nhappy, with children chirping cheerfully and dogs galore. This was thanks, a celebration and not a time in which to be sad. A time to remember a generation, people we have no connection with at all, and a war I don’t think we can rationalise and a way of life we have absolutely no understanding of or connection with.
Pots and Pans is the local name for a rock formation that sits above the ancient Parish and where the Cenotaph sits. It can be both bleak and stunning in its location high on moorland and a bit of a trek to get to. But a windswept place in which to clear the mind as you think of local lads who never came back.
After the service we headed to Broadstones, a cluster of rocks that contains a trig point marked on the OS map as “Syke’s Pillar” and about one and half miles from Pots and Pans. Traditionally the Saddleworth Runners trot to the Cenotaph for the service and then to “Syke’s Pillar” for 12 noon to toast lost friends, including the war dead with whisky and food. The trig point is named “Sykes” in memory of one of the founders of the fell running club. By this point the weather was poor and Ted had been uncomfortable with the sound of shotguns clay pigeon shooting in the vicinity; yes, on the centenary of the end of the first world war… So yours truly scarpered to later be caught up Claire and others as we headed to Jo and Bren’s, friends who live beneath the memorial, for bacon and sausage butties, tea and cake.