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Nellie Longarms


What's the story about?

"Nellie Longarms and Jenny Greenteeth are fabled creatures of the bog, whose lives are as tangled as the water weed they know so well. They inhabit a dark, wet and mysterious place, full of submerged secrets."

"Rose and Millie stumble into their hidden, damp and mossy world and find themselves embarking on a puzzle-solving adventure which leads them a merry dance throughout their exciting summer holiday whilst staying with their grandparents near Wybunbury Moss in Cheshire."

Nellie Longarms is a children's story based on the facts and folklore of the Cheshire Village of Wybunbury.

The story is intended to appeal to children of about 10 years of age.

It is a work of fiction and characters are imaginary. However:- 

  • Wybunbury, pronounced “Winbury” by locals, is a village in South Cheshire.

  • Wybunbury Moss with its floating raft of peat exists.

  • The leaning tower of Wybunbury is a well known Cheshire landmark and engineers who worked on the Pisa project in the latter years of the 20th Century studied Victorian methods of stabilizing Wybunbury tower.

  • A long lost treasure was found locked in an old tin chest in the leaning tower (1969).

  • The tower bells still ring (2007) – practice on Thursday nights.

  • Wybunbury Delves School was endowed by the local Delves family.

  • Sir John Delves fought with the Black Prince at the Battle of Poitiers, 19th September 1356.

  • When older members of the Wybunbury community were children they were warned of the dangers of the Moss and of Nellie Longarms who lived there. Perhaps present day Wybunbury children are similarly warned but newcomers to the village, in its new housing projects, may not be aware of her.

  • Jenny Greenteeth did a similar job to Nellie and kept village children away from farm cess pits and similarly dangerous and watery places.

  • The fig pie race is still (2007) an annual event.

  • The waters of Tom Wall Well, also known as Tam Wall Well, were believed to have healing properties. The well’s original site is now overgrown but the spring still runs.

  • Jenny Greenteeth seems to be generally known and occurs in the folklore of various parts of Britain. As far as I am aware Nellie Longarms is peculiar to Wybunbury Moss.

John Bailey, 12th February 2007


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