It was a very wet day when we set off to walk around Dove Stone Reservoir on the edge of Saddleworth Moor in Oldham, Greater Manchester. We thought we would have the place to ourselves but the people of Greater Manchester are made of sterner stuff and plenty of them were out for a walk even in such inclement weather.
This bench with its lovely dedication, ‘After clouds sunshine’ caught my eye. This is a Latin proverb, post nubila phoebus that reminds us that after bad times come the good times. The phrase is also the motto of the University of Zulia, one of Venezuela’s most important university. Here the motto represents the re-opening of the university after 42 years of closure for political reasons.
I hope that I have found the correct obituary for the Bessie Skye this bench remembers. The Bessie Skye (and it is a beautiful and unusual name) I tracked down was 90-years old and died in Cardiff in south Wales, a long way from Dove Stone Reservoir in Greater Manchester. The obituary tells me that Bessie Skye was a much loved mother of seven children and was a great-grandmother. A Just Giving page reveals that £570 was raised for the Stroke Association in memory of Bessie Skye from the Cardiff half marathon in 2012. Why Bessie Skye ‘lived, laughed and loved’ at the beautiful Dove Stone Reservoir isn’t clear but someone out there will know more of her story.