• Judith Barrow Author

Memories of The Moors Murders #MondayBlogs


Moors murders - Credit: Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org


One memory from childhood has stayed with me. In fact it was the stuff of my nightmares at the time. Our small village, Greenfield, on the edge of the Pennines,where I grew up, is the last village before Saddleworth moors. Although a wild and magnificent area, it has unfortunately, become renowned for its connection with the notorious Moors Murders.


It was a time of fear, of apprehension, of bewilderment. When, eventually, it was discovered that the bodies of those poor children were buried only a few miles away it seemed unbelievable. And yet it was so.


We watched the lines of police searchers on the television, knowing that they were so near. We became used to seeing them in the village, but never used to hearing about the day to day despair and discovery. My uncle was one of those policemen; he, like many of his colleagues, lived with the memories of the details of those horrendous acts for the rest of his life.


Like most people of my age it was the first time we'd heard of such cruel and despicable crimes. Over the years,the memories returned time and time again whenever the names of the two murderers or those children were mentioned on the news.

Like many people it haunted me. Still does.


Years later I wrote this poem


Police searching on Saddleworth Moor for victims of moors murderer Ian Brady in 1965. Credit: PA


Missing on Saddleworth Moors

Still missing.

Despite the changes

All remains the same.

Amongst the blackened heather,

The tufts of faded grass,

grey sheep huddle.

Yellow clouds

tarnish the translucence of winter light,

release rain.

Ghostly images - lines of figures

Struggle over uneven terrain,

silhouetted against the sky:

listening to the sighs.

In perpetual search.

Rain carries whispers of the missing

as it drains through Pennine peat.

Tracks of water move silently underground,

lurch from dark passages

into the open streams of summers,

dancing over rocks

green with the film of watery years.

And the fear that flows

around crevices and stones

to reach the River Tame

sustains the whispers.

Despite the changes

all remains the same.


The Moors murders were carried out by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley between July 1963 and October 1965, in and around Manchester, England. The victims were five children—Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans—aged between 10 and 17, at least four of whom were sexually assaulted.


 

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