Be warned - pestilence could be about to strike if the words of an ancient muse come to pass. For the first time in living memory the Gorricks Spring which exits at the Lion's Mouth in Calverton has run dry. And in the words of an ancient muse reproduced in the book Romance Around Stony Stratford:
"When Gorricks Spring flows fast and clear, Stoop down and drink for health is here, If Gorricks Spring should e'er run dry, Beware for pestilence is nigh."
At first Calverton Residents' Association was not concerned about the drying up - it thought the Lion's Mouth was blocked.
But when it opened up the chamber it found there was no obstruction. The association then contacted Anglian Water believing work being carried out in Stony Stratford could have affected the spring. But Anglian Water replied that it had not come across anything during its diggings and was not excavating deep enough to affect a spring. It has now turned to the new Environmental Agency for help - it has supplied a map so the residents association can plot the course of the spring.
It's a mystery.
"It's a mystery," confessed Calverton resident Lucinda Lourie. She said she realised water levels were currently low, but older residents of the village remembered the spring running through the drought of 1976. She said one wag at Anglian Water had suggested the source of the spring may have been a burst pipe which the Anglian Water work had cured - unlikely since the spring is reputed to have been used by monks in the 13th century!
© The Herald, Stony Stratford and Towcester. 8th November 1996.