To begin with, these pages are for miscellaneous mysteries which have no other category. Therefore, we can’t put them anywhere else. Indeed, if you wish to post an article at Wearside Online, use the tabs above, its easy. Therefore, if you know of some good unexplained stories or a mystery that you want to publicise, choose this miscellaneous category when no others are available.
So, we shall start this miscellaneous mysteries section with this rather unusual story about frozen fish. In fact, to this day no suitable explanation has come forward for it.
On the 24th August 1918 the people in the area of Commercial Road to Canon Cockin Street in Hendon Sunderland could not believe their eyes. Indeed, fish were falling from the sky in great numbers. The fish, that were about three inches long, looked like sand eels. What was more surprising, since it was mid August, was that some of the fish were frozen solid. Moreover, they broke when they hit the ground. Furthermore, no explanation for this phenomenon has yet come forward.
The honoured guests at a banquet held at Alnwick Castle were the Lord of Widdrington and his beautiful daughter Isabel. Sir Bertram of Bothal, one of Earl Percy’s knights, was in love with Isabel. According to the custom of the time, at the feast, Sir Bertram promised Isabel he would perform a deed worthy of marrying her. When the Earl Percy led his knights into Scotland to fight his enemy, the Earl Douglas Sir Bertram saw his chance. Sir Bertram fought well in the bloody battle, but when a Scottish sword struck his helmet from his head, he was badly wounded. He was taken to Wark Castle where he asked for a message be sent to Isabel to come to him.
As the weeks passed, while he recovered, Isabel had still not arrived. So when he could ride again, he and his brother set off for Isabel’s home. When they arrived, they were told Isabel had left as soon as she had received the message. Her family obviously thought she was safe with Sir Bertram. When it was realized that Isabel had been kidnapped, a huge search party set out to look for her. Going their separate ways, the two brothers joined the search. Wandering the countryside, Sir Bertram tried to find news of Isabel when a travelling monk told him of a beautiful princess being held in a tower of a remote castle.
Sir Bertram felt sure the monk was right as the castle was the home of a Scottish Chieftain, a long time admirer of Isabel. After his long journey to the castle, Sir Bertram could not enter. So he sheltered in a cave nearby to watch. Tired and exhausted, he finally saw Isabel in the window of the tower. Then, knowing he had found his love, he fell into an exhausted sleep. Strange noises woke Sir Bertram and he was horrified to see a figure, in a highland costume, helping Isabel down a rope ladder and onto a horse. Sir Bertram brandishing his sword ran to attack his hated Scottish enemy yelling, “Die traitor, Die. Let my lady go.” With that, Sir Bertram knocked the man to the ground with a terrible blow to the head.
Isabel recognized Sir Bertram’s voice and was terrified, but she ran between the two men shouting, “Stop, wait, its your own brother.” But it was too late, Sir Bertram had swung his sword and before he could stop he had killed his brother and Isabel. He was so grief stricken, he could neither feel anything nor move as he lay next to their bodies. He eventually recovered, at least physically, and gave to the poor all his wealth and lands.
With Earl Percy’s permission and his own hands, Sir Bertram built a Hermitage beside the River Coquet. This is where he lived out his life in solitude. In the chapel is an alter tomb upon which the effigy of a beautiful lady lies with her hands raised in prayer. At her feet, a hermit kneels, his left hand to his heart as if in sorrow.
Wearside has many unexplained mysteries of course. So, why not help us to catalogue these. This section is for the miscellaneous mystery stories but there are many named categories. For example, in the Mysteries Section alone we have Ghost Stories and UFO Sightings. So, whatever information you have about Wearside or the surrounding areas, please let us know.