AT Christmas, I watched the BBC production of Great Expectations, and in this bicentenary year of the writer, I recalled the story my mother told me that the idea of Miss Haversham could have been connected to Vale Royal.

Apparently Charles Dickens, who penned the story, travelled the length of the British Isles while scribing his classics, writing this one in 1860.

My mother, who was born in 1924, told me that when she was a young girl it was said that Dickens stayed at Stanthorne Hall in the 1800s, and might have used the story line of Miss Haversham from the farm, Stanthorne Lodge, which is across from the hall.

Mum said that there was a room left for years set out for a ‘wedding feast’ for a bride who was jilted on her wedding day and the window of the room was boarded over.

I believe this room faced Birch Lane.

When this occurred, it would probably have been a major event locally in 1860, and if this happened shortly before Dickens’ visit, would be considered as news.

In the 1900s this story could have been within the living memory of when my mother was a girl, and her cousin, who was born in 1921, tells of the same local story.

Mum also said that the bride had a white horse of which she was very fond and was buried close by in the surrounding field when it died.

Are there any readers aware of this story and could add anymore to my tale?

I hope that someone might know as I have ‘Great Expectations’ that they will respond, or will I be left with a ‘Mystery of Edwin Drood’