Unfortunately, the plaque is now obscured by a smoker's gazebo.
Remembering with pride
Unveiled by Boy Holdam,
the First Meeting of the
which took place here in the
Godley Hall Inn
on the 20th April 1984.
Tameside Metropolitan Brother
1st April 2007.
Unveiled by Boy Holdam,
"When walking in rural areas it is not unusual to be escorted off the premises by a farm or village dog, but the dog usually turns back at the farm or village boundary. Surprisingly, the dog that escorted us through the village of Dooega, followed us up the fifteen-hundred foot mountain overlooking the village. During a lunch break on the summit we tried to persuade it to return before it lost sight of home. We shouted and threw sticks at it. The dog turned stick-throwing into a game, bringing them back to be thrown again.
After lunch the dog followed us on the precipitous descent down the far side of the mountain. At the bottom our route lay along the two mile Trawmore Beach. As we reached the beach the weather changed. It had been pleasant, but the heavens suddenly opened. A gale drove the downpour horizontally. Half way along the beach Gallaghers River cuts across the sand. Inflated by the heavy rain, it was deeper than we had expected. A diversion inland to the road bridge would have added a mile to the walk. Either way we would get even wetter. We took the shortest route and waded across, filling our boots.
From the far bank we looked back. The dog had begun to have doubts. It looked at us across the river, looked back the way we had come, dithered, then plunged in. It narrowly avoiding being swept out to sea, the river was flowing swiftly. At the far end of the beach we found the Village Inn at Keel where we were to stay the night. In the bar we ordered Guinness for us, and crisps for the dog. Sitting beneath our table in an expanding pool of water, it looked up The expression on is face said: "This is your fault! You got me into it. Now get me out!"
We explained the predicament to the lady behind the bar. She solved the problem swiftly. Her phone was old-fashioned. Subscriber dialling had not yet reached the island. She spoke to the local operator who put her through to the operator for the village where we had first seen the dog. She described the dog and asked to speak to its owner. The call was put straight through. You don't get that service from a digital phone! The owner was happy to have his dog back, but not pleased at the long drive to retrieve it. The road followed the valley, twice the distance we had walked, four times when you count the return.
The next day was idyllic. We walked to the far tip of the island, saw dolphins cavorting, and watched a basking shark make its stately way along the coast. We lunched in perfect weather on the heights above Achill Head, and marvelled at the 3000 miles of blue and white ocean between us and Newfoundland, the next land west. That day we managed to avoid dogs, but on the third day where was a problem similar to the first.
A dog escorted us out of the village of Keel. Bearing in mind the earlier problem, we did everything possible to discourage it, but it glued itself to our heels. It kept an eye on us as we explored the deserted village of Slievemore, followed us to the top of the twenty-two hundred foot high mountain of the same name, down the far side, and all the way round the coast as far as Achill Sound, but when we reached the bridge to the mainland it turned back.
Perhaps that was it! The island dogs were trying to escort us off the island, or were they just out for adventure? Whatever their motives, the two dogs gave our walking group its name."
but the mainland is this way