This story concerns a gentleman who was known as Erasmus Gould and who was a trader of spices and also leather goods in the Chestergate area of Macclesfield back in the 1800s. It is said that he had an encounter with a man who was no larger than an infant somewhere in the area between Beech lane and Bluebell lane.
This road which leads to Tytherington was the road which Erasmus had the habit of walking along every Saturday afternoon, and as one of the founder members of the Macclesfield Walking Club he took this opportunity to keep himself fit. It is claimed that he was walking one Saturday afternoon in November when after just passing the entrance to Bluebell lane he noticed this small person or entity sitting beneath the hedge smoking what appeared to be a clay pipe.
The small man asked Erasmus if he could spare some tobacco as his pipe was empty. After Erasmus had overcome his initial shock at being confronted by a fully formed man who stood less than two feet in height he reached down and gave him some tobacco, strangely the small man was able to light his pipe without producing any match or form of ignition.After thanking Erasmus for his kindness the small man insisted he should give him something in return, although Erasmus declined the offer the small man was insistent and handed him a small pebble which Erasmus took from him and then carried on walking down the Tytherington road.
Erasmus carried the pebble around with him in his waistcoat pocket for sometime and more or less had forgotten about it until he related the events to the Vicar of Christ Church, however the Vicar didn’t believe him so he went to produce the pebble which he had been carrying around with him and found that the pebble which was shiny red in colour and no more than half an inch in diameter it had vanished.
Erasmus thought no more about the incident until more than a year had passed and his wife had given birth to a son, she had placed the baby outside in his pram in the sunshine unaware that a cat had climbed up onto the pram and had settled itself upon the baby’s face. Erasmus just happened to look out the window to check on the baby when to his horror he saw the cat lying on his sons face, fearing the worst he rushed outside and brushed the cat aside, to his relief he found that his son was still breathing thanks to a shiny red pebble that had been placed beneath his sons nose allowing him just enough room to enable him to carry on breathing!
The photograph on the left shows the entrance to Bluebell lane which leads onto the road from Macclesfield to Tytherington.