Self Congratulation – Never A Bad Thing.

Great news for fans of the warrington-online.com Facebook  page! Well, not great, perhaps, but quite good. And maybe not news, either, if I’ve

Is that Warrington? No, it's swans, see.

already told you… Anyway, 2 posts at warrington-online. com have been rated as excellent; Discovering Warrington, and Vampires in Warrington. OK, they each only received 1 vote, but the important thing is that it wasn’t MY vote!. So, here’s the plan. So far we have 2 votes for the posts, and 141 spam comments. If my maths are correct, each of the 21 fans of the page only have to have 7 friends each, and we’ll have more fans than spammers. Yaaay!!

Billy No Mates

So please make a start by recommending this page to your other friend. I mean, who has 7 friends?

Vampires In Warrington

Vampire or Werewolf?

Is this anything worth giving up an afternoon’s drinking for?” muttered Bill Warrington as he staggered blearily along Bridge Street in search of Vampires and Zombies. A story had recently appeared to his editor in a dream, suggesting that vampires, werewolves and similar had been seen indulging in secret beer-drinking rituals in Warrington’s underground caverns. The information, which came from an unusually unreliable source , suggested that a series of cellars connecting  Warrington Station with a secret location was the scene of some strange goings-on. Whether these cellars these cellars were originally constructed as part of storm drain Bunker leading to the Manchester Ship Canal, or were a lost branch of the famous Williamson Tunnels, was of no interest to anyone.

Bill had been tasked to manufacture (investigate , surely? Ed.) a story about the descendants of the tunnel builders,a zombie-like race, known as Irish Navvies, who never saw the light of day. At least when sober.

Lots of important people who know all about Warrington have denied that there were ever any such tunnels. One bloke in a pub drinking a.Vampire’s Kiss said he couldn’t care less. It appeared that there was no story about Zombies.

.But Bill had a source of information on Vampires.

Tracking Deep Bite to his lair in a booth in Porters Ale House was an easy task for a hack with Bill’s drinking habits. He found him sitting there wearing a pair of Grouch Marx spectacles and moustache, drinking a long ale.

But the initial reaction of Warrington’s foremost authority on underground culture was to deny any knowledge about anything.

Worldly-wise Warrington wearily withdrew a wodge and wafted it in front of the dubiously disguised Deep Bite. “Is there something in this hand that would make you remember about vampires?”

Deep Bite:

First thing I have to say about vampires. We do NOT… I repeat NOT… Sparkle in the daylight. Last thing I want to hear is another mortal swooning over Edward Cullen!

Bill W:

It has been reported in the British Psychological Society, that Vampires may be classified as succesful psycopaths who are ruthless, callous, fearless and arrogant.The report says that thanks to their superior self-control and conscientiousness, rather than landing in prison, they end up as company chief executives, university chancellors and Queen’s Council barristers. What do you say to that?

Deep Bite:

There are a lot of famous people who are actually vampires. You can tell who they are, because to make them look ‘normal’ they have to apply a LOT of fake tan. I can not tell you their names however, as we are all sworn to secrecy, however, If I say “Cheap as chips” or “Supermarket Sweep” I think you will know what I mean.

Bill W:

OK, how about this, then? Leading vampire expert Stephen Marche, writing in Esquire magazine on 13th Oct said,“Vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men.” He went on to say “vampires are normal. They’re not Goth, they’re not scary, they’re not even that weird.”

Deep Bite:
W
e do not like the emo clique at all. They are annoying beyond compare. We are not as dangerous as people might think however. Yes we do bite, etc… however the Were’s are worse, with all that hair, all over their bodies.

And its not just the Werewolves, there are weres of pretty much every creature out there, including the weresquirrell… You can spot them easily by there huge red beards and their strange habbits when eating nuts. To try to blend in, they often just call themselves ‘furries’.

At this point our reporter made an excuse and left.

As he drifted off into the night, Bill wondered what the physicists Costas Efthimiou and Sohang Gandhi would have made of these revelations. After all, they had recently published a report proving that vampires didn’t exist.

They argued that, if vampires had first appeared on 1st January 1600, then the human race would have been eaten up by June 1602. They had gone on to say;

Another philosophical principal related to our argument is the truism given the elaborate title, the anthropic principle. This states that if something is necessary for human existence, then it must be true since we do exist. In the present case, the nonexistence of vampires is necessary for human existence. Apparently, whomever devised the vampire legend had failed his college algebra and philosophy courses.”

Obviously, they never met Deep Bite.

Since this story first came to light, a significant silence has settled on Warrington, which has more than 100K residents. Not a single one has commented on this story. A conspiracy? Or something even less sinister?

Discovering Warrington

 

Map of England and Wales, showing Anglo-Saxon ...
Image via Wikipedia

 

“D’you hear that, lads? We must be nearly there now.”

Weary grunts and the splash of oars were the only response as the helmsman, Cnot, steered the longboat toward the sound of the river going over the weir. As he took stock of the surrounding countryside, he dared to hope that this time it would be different, that this time he would finally make his mark.

Coming as he did from a long line of Norse sailors, he was used to the rough and ready humour of his comrades as they went a-viking round the Celtic seas. But the worst thing any of his cousins had to put up with was being told to ‘paddle yer own Canut”. As a growing lad, he had had to learn not to cringe at the never-changing repartee that followed when he was asked who he was, and had to reply, “I’m Cnot, the Explorer”.

But in his mind’s eye, the weir and its approaches segued into the burgeoning town he fondly imagined would be called after its founder; the homestead of Cnots’ people – Cnottingham.

History, however, had other ideas.

In the centuries that followed,settlers and invaders of various denominations would arrive at this, the shallowest point on the border river. Adhering to the yet-to-be-written rules of internet communication,  they would uniquely reference the location of their site at a nodal point to which all traffic would have to be bussed, M6 permitting.

Strangely, in spite of this protocol, none of these early arrivals were in fact American, although they evinced many of the same qualities, including a mania for naming things. So what did they call this place? Stay with me, this may take some time.

The pre-Roman inhabitants, Danes, Anglo Saxons, and anyone else who happened to be passing by knew that river valleys produce good farmland.And so they established their farmstead, or ‘tun’ in Old English, next to the river dam, or ‘wearing’. With a sense of the bleeding obvious which subsequent generations were wont to overdo, the settlement was known as ‘farmstead by the weir’ – Wearingtun.

When the Romans came along, they established their craft centre and curio shop at Howley, a mile or so downriver. Sadly, in his holiday reports for Baedecker’s Ancient Britain, Julius Ceasar gave no indication as to why they shunned the original location. There are those – xenophobes I calls ’em – who hold that Italian logic could not cope with the fact that a solid Roman road, or Via, was pronounced that same as a river crossing. Be that as it may, Wearingtun seemed set fair as the winner of  Name That Town.

And then the Normans came and cocked it up.

Gallicly ignoring the name by which the parishioners of St. Elphin’s knew their town, and having more trouble with their ‘l’s and ‘r’s than a Japanese in a laurel shrubbery, King William’s clerks left the name to posterity in the Domesday Book as Wallintune. This inclined Angevin and Plantagenet kings to think that the place had something to do with Hadrian, and that Strathclyde, north of the border, started in Lancashire.

No change there, then.

To be fair to the French, if we really must, they could have been misled by the court of King Edward the Elder which,  a few years earlier in 923 had established a fortified city, no less, at Thelwall, less than a mile or so upriver. Being blessed with linguistic savoir faire, or so they would have us believe, they perhaps deduced that a wall of thels, or planks was connected with the downriver settlement.

But, just like their rugby, they only got one half right. Had they consulted their Funk and Wagnall (Continental Edition), they would have realised that the name Thelweale referred to a plank bridge, not a wall, across a deep pool, or weale. The pool in question being the Mersey, as any Scouser knows.

This river, the Meares Ea, or Border River, had marked the boundary between Mercia and Northumbria even in Cnot’s day, and so was of considerable strategic importance. It had always been the practice of early rulers to award the governance of the wild frontiers to the more powerful of their warlords, mainly on the assumption that if they were fighting the barbarian hordes, they were less likely to be plotting to overthrow the sovereign, seated in stately, soft Southern comfort.

In their turn, these Marcher Lords would appoint senior members of their household as castellans and revenue officials, or reeves to look after their various forts and county holdings.

How appropriate, then, that by the time of the Tudors , the High Shire Reeve of the district, with his castle in Bewsey, was the latest scion of the Jeeveses-in-residence to the Earls of Chester, one Sir Thomas le Boteler. He it was who, by the diligent taxing of his county, in 1526 left enough money in his will to endow one of the earliest grammar schools in England.

The Viking founders were old bones by then, of course, and never even had a look-in at the Naming Game. Poor  Cnot. If only he’d spelled his name with a K and found a ford instead of a weir…

But these are the vicissitudes of language – a vowel added here, a consonant dropped there – much like a mediaeval version of Countdown. By the time Noll Cromwell dropped by and enfranchised an ethnic restaurant in the cottage opposite his old mate Granby’s pub, the township had settled on the spelling and decided to be called Warrington.

All things considered, though, it could have been worse for Warringtonians. An ironic chronicler with a crystal ball and an eye to TV ratings might have been tempted to call the town Cnot’s Landing.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=4379&picture=scary-castle”>Scary Castle</a> by Shari Weinsheimer