Owdo me owd butties, thank’ee most kindly for poppin’ in for a brevit.
Now what on earth has Shropshire, the largest landlocked county in the country got to do with mermaids? I hear you ask, well draw up a chair and gather round. Are you sitting comfortably? then I’ll begin.
A long time ago an owd sea captain captured a mermaid and brought her whum to live in the parish of Child’s Ercall. She lived in a pool near the Holy Well* which stands near the River Meese, in the extreme south of the parish. He treated her very well but sadly when he died his family were very cruel to her so she retreated to the bottom of the pool to guard the captain’s treasure.
A Mr P Marshall of Market Drayton recorded the following tale in 1879 and writing in 1893, Robert Charles Hope told a tale that had occurred about 100 years earlier. Two men were making their way to wurk early one morning and on passing the pool the mermaid appeared, well she’d probably got a bit lonely spending years at the bottom of the pool. At furst both of the men were frit, and thinkin’ she ‘ould drag them off to Owd Nick himself they almus run away but as soon as she spoke all of their fears disappeared. Speaking so sweetly and so pleasantly the men fell in love with her there and then. She towd ’em all about the captain’s treasure and that they could take as much as they wanted but they would have to wade in the water to take it off her hands. Well naturally they dashed in and despite the wayter being nearly up to their chins, reached out for the gold, the one mon said to the other mon “eh! Jesus H. Christ mon, if this inna a stroke o’luck” but as soon as the owd mermaid heard this blasphemy didna she scream, snatch back the gold and dive back down to bottom of the pool where we can only assume she still is as ‘er anna ever bin sin since. Now some of you are mebbe thinking this is just a moral tale, dunna blaspheme, dunna be greedy and kip away frum the wayter but her sweet voice can still be heard singing on hot summer days.
Another mermaid was said to live in Vivary Pool near Newport which dried up in the 18th century.It is said that she moved across the border to Aqualate mere as when it was being dredged, wurkers said that a mermaid popped her yed up outta the wayter and said:
"If this mere you you do let dry, Newput (Newport) I will destroy"
*apparently the name Holy Well dunna come frum any miraculous healing properties but frum the above mon’s blasphemy.
Well that’s enough chunnerin frum me me owd butties, thank’ee most kindly to anyone that has read this far, now run along, play nicely and sleep tightly.