Memories of The Moors Murders #MondayBlogs
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
Despite the changes
All remains the same.
Amongst the blackened heather,
The tufts of faded grass,
grey sheep huddle.
tarnish the translucence of winter light,
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.