It was a long chain of people that lead us to Dennis’ door. I know Judith Pudden and Marjorie Goss guided me in the right direction.
Dennis was very pleased to see us. Dennis loved company. It was a struggle to set up for recording quick enough. Dennis knew the value of a story. It was a social currency like cake or tea. He spoke and made us warm.
Dennis had worked on the rivers all of his life. I could have picked as many as five of Dennis’ stories but the one I chose was this tale about death on the weir.
Dennis was always known as Bill on the river.
Marjorie said it was his ‘river name’, Emma said there was no such thing. I wish there was such a thing as a ‘river name’.
When we left, Dennis said, come again, please come again, drop by. He had stories left to tell.
We went further into Cromwell. The church was decommissioned; the dolls museum was closed too.
‘I think you can phone and make an appointment,’ said a neighbour with little conviction.
The River Trent and the weir are tricky to find from the main street. We drive down a winding lane that becomes almost too narrow for a car. The landscape opens up to reveal the magnificent weir.
The village is limping on but the weir thunders with life.