I spent a few days amidst the broken stones of Derbyshire this week just gone. I was hosted by my trusty companion McHat and we embarked on a little adventure to see if we could chip away at the walls of time. I was unsure how best to do this, but felt that a nearby Roman Road would be a suitable starting point.
As we bumped down a muddy track in search of this ancient pathway I remembered that Nigel Kneale had penned a script called The Road. In this chilling tale an eighteenth century village is disturbed by noises in the woods. Learned men arrive to investigate, one believing it must be the ghosts of long-dead Romans returned to haunt the living. He erects paraphernalia to "distill" out the spirits but finds that the truth is far more strange and horrible than he had imagined.
Silence greeted us as we clambered out of the vintage Land Rover. The road stretched out across a natural break in the landscape where fields met a sultry wood. There was, alas, no sign of any ancient intelligence, monstrous or otherwise. However, I found a token to help me - a heavily rusted staple embedded in a rotting post. The metal would, no doubt, be saturated with whatever memories this place held.
With the little treasure in my pocket we left, our brief imprints pooling with those of our forebears. We headed for a place so choked in history that we were certain to encounter what we were searching for...