Insidious Art And Serpentine Rites, a split 7″ with The Infernal Sea, contained the first new material from Old Corpse Road since November 2012 – and hence, since this video series started. When I knew that the 7″ was in production I arranged with the band to release an accompanying episode of Tales around the time of its release, as a piece of handy extra promotion. And, once Three Swords Records had the 250 copies of the 7″ cleared for release, so also was this episode ready to sail. And it starts with the band’s newest track.
0:00 – The Sockburn Worm: “The beauty of this story is that it is one of the least documented yet well known tales from around the area and as such many of the details are shrouded in mystery.” The legend tells of the slaying of a dragon, or a wyvern, or some other similar mythical creature by John Conyers, in the 11th Century, or maybe the 14th or 15th. The actual details are as clear as the mud in the Tees, so I take five of the current line-up of Old Corpse Road to Sockburn to investigate; we encounter the graves of both the Worm and of John Conyers, and I get a chance to show that studying Latin at GCSE 19 years ago wasn’t a waste of time.
29:21 – Hell’s Kettles: one of Old Corpse Road‘s earliest compositions, referring not to Satan making a cup of tea, but to some sinkholes at Oxen-le-Fields, just south of Darlington. Some say they are bottomless; others also allege that a cart of hay lies deep in one of the Kettles, complete with horses and the man who owned them. Can it be true? I figured the best way to find out was to build a device that owes more to James May’s Man Lab and Scrapheap Challenge, so I can actually take a look in the water without getting too wet. We will see how that pans out.
52:08 – Hob Headless Rises: the picturesque village of Neasham, beside the Tees between the sites of the two legends visited so far, provides its villagers with sanctuary from a headless goblin that terrorised the road to Hurworth-on-Tees. Hob Headless, it is said, could not cross the Old Kent Bridge into Neasham – but the bridge has been replaced, so are Neasham’s residents no longer safe? And what of Hurworth at the other end of the road? You’ll also find out what other demon has been exorcised form Neasham in recent times.
Hammer of Retribution Productions: http://www.thorcast.co.uk
Old Corpse Road: http://www.oldcorpseroad.co.uk
Inaccurate transcriptions of the Latin epitaphs on the Sockburn graves can be found here:
Both of these were at least helpful in providing the final translation found in this video.
The Sockburn Worm poem, by James Conway, 1872:
Gazette & Herald: “The secret life of the hob”
Fern Hill Brewing’s Hob Headless Porter
This contains the recipe that will allow any reasonably skilled brewer to recreate the beer; a further update gives tasting notes, for those who really want it.