Two Mark Masons Go in Search of the Hidden Secret  (gem)
Now here’s an interesting tale, do you remember those two intrepid shed builders and expert decking repairers,(not)  Fletcher and Fletcher who only took a couple of months to complete the job, well it wasn’t our fault really even though I still have one of the door panels to fit, which took nearly twelve months to arrive. We have a new adventure to tell you about.
Entrance at bottom of Meadows Ave
The Way Ahead
Fast Flowing Weir and Bridge
Cold Water
Working at the back of the Hall one rainy afternoon I turned around to find to my surprise an elderly man with a long white beard facing me, now I don’t know if he was a Mason, but he said “ Here son a little gift for you, a map to a secret” aye up, my initial thought was son, then a map!! I turned round to place the map inside the back door and when I looked back he was gone.
A Dark Tunnel
The swirling Mersey
Norton at Counter
Later in the day I sat down with a cup of coffee, a drop of whisky, feet up and thought now then where’s that piece of paper gone. Well, it wasn’t where I’d left it looking outside there it was on the floor wet and muddy, a lot of the writing had run but I could just about read some of the words, going back inside I placed it on a radiator hoping it would dry out then I could flatten it to see what it was all about.
Alas Poor Yorick
Norton’s Happy Now
This Looks Good
A Peaceful Day by the River
An hour later with some careful handling I managed to get it flat, the ink had run but I could clearly see it was a map! It made its way through Urmston eventually to arrive at the mouth of a road called Meadows Ave, I carefully traced it down to where it led off into the countryside, on it went with lots of twists and turns before running alongside a river, eventually it arrived at a location marked with a big X, I thought I’ll sleep on this and tomorrow my nephew and I can go and check out this map just like Indiana Jones.
Let me get at that sausage roll.
Riverbank Coffee
Love and Laughter Sign
Wouldn’t Like to Fall In
The next morning was a bit overcast but at least it wasn’t raining (yet), I had as usual a bottle of Dandelion and Burdock just in case we had any emergencies, my trustee camera and two folding chairs (the legs aren’t what they used to be) Off we set, found Meadows Ave and proceeded forward, pretty soon we were in open country with lots of horses in a field at the side of us, not really my favourite animal since the Police as they are very big and tend to push you about and stand on you. We came to a stye and ahead of us was a powerful raging river however the map turned us left which was fine with me.
The Sausage Roll Gems
The Gem Owners
The Daring Searchers
On we went through a forest, getting caught on brambles, still with the river on our right (we found out later that it was the Mersey) another ten minutes and we had reached the location marked with the Big X. . . . .
What did we find well It was an ex container now known as “Riverbank Coffee”, not so much a secret but definitely a hidden gem, in fact I have since learnt that it is known locally as “Urmston’s Hidden Gem” It is fully kitted out as a spotless kitchen and café, the owners Jackie Kilcourse and Dave Smith were very pleasant and friendly, it is in an enclosure and under normal circumstances has lots of tables and chairs laid out in what is a wonderful quiet, peaceful setting. 
The Map
We had coffee and two sausage rolls which honestly were the best I have ever tasted, we set up camp at the side of the river watching the ducks and the fast-flowing water, what an idyllic location.    
Then it was time to go, we will definitely come back, well worth the walk in the fresh air then the reward an excellent Coffee and a Big Sausage Roll.   
If you don’t live too far away it is well worth just driving into Urmston, parking up, find Meadows Ave opposite the Lord Nelson, and in no time at all you will find yourself in some really lovely open countryside, if you are feeling energetic you can walk for miles, no vehicles lots of wildlife and not too many people, eventually the paths go left or you can cross the M60 near to Sale Water Park where there is a brilliant restaurant called The Boathouse overlooking the lake, not too expensive and great food.   Stay Safe We Will Get There in The End.
Words and pictures by Austin Fletcher, P.G.Stwd.