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Letter from John Clays sent by email.
Gathurst Past This Way.

Hello Brian

I had a peep at your excellant site today and liked the photos of Gathurst. With my wife Sandy and children we moved to Wigan five years ago and on taking a walk along the canal came to Gathurst for the first time and was inspired to write a poem which I hope you will find interesting.

With Best Wishes

John Clays


River flows through bed of the valley
Flanked either side by feeder foothills
As it has done from beginning
Trees climb slopes
birds fly high

Then man passes this way
with pack horse

Initially crossing course by fording
Later upgraded to wooden bridge
Superseded by parallel cut
Trees climb slopes birds fly high

Two stone arches now span both waters
Hissing headlong rush of steam follows
Iron girder above gentle drift
Trees climb slopes
birds fly high

Out of hillside viaduct traverse
Carrying traffic north/south over all
Not permitting sight of former lives
Trees climb slopes
planes fly high

What if a spaceship hovered
then left?

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