There have been sightings of Bownessie (The Lakeland version of the Loch Ness Monster) and the smaller yet no less bizarre Tizzie Wizzie for decades. The local and national papers print any rumours supported by a grainy image with relish. Sightings have come from vicars, from scientists and kayakers. As far as I know no one has ever spotted either of these ethereal creatures through the windscreen. So maybe if more of us left our cars at our hotels and headed down to Bowness on foot…?
Lakeland Legends Reveal Themselves
Remember the day someone spotted
a humpbacked shape in our lake,
encouraging public and media
to drive in and speculate?
All those traffic jams at Bowness
as the stories of giant Arctic char
were topped by tale of electric eel
with a neck as long as three cars.
Talk of this freshwater dolphin
or slick seal without any fins
caused tailbacks as far as Kendal.
They began to sell tickets at Ings.
Could it be the Loch Ness Monster
had set up a home right here?
Various people in kayaks claimed
they’d seen Nessie by Waterhead pier.
Or was it the squirrel-bee-hedgehog?
Had they spotted its mini proportions?
The traffic police on megaphones
advised rubbernecking with caution.
And as suddenly as they got here
everyone abandoned the place.
They left Ferry Nab in their thousands
in search of The Caller of Claiffe.
They hopped back into their vehicles
took their cameras, their kids and phones.
A definite silence descended.
We were glad to be left alone.
And up near the banks of Belle Isle
A three foot swell came to pass
As Bownessie and Tizzie Wizzie
popped up to sign autographs.
Only you and I were present.
So by choosing not to drive
did we open ourselves to adventure
and help bring these legends to life?
There’s no guarantee of a sighting
of the mythical beasts of Bowness.
But a walk on Cumbria’s wild side
increases the chance of success.