In sleepy Rutland, England’s smallest county, rumours are growing that the stygian depths of Rutland Water are hiding more than just the haunted remains of the drowned cities of Nether and Middle Hambleton. Several visitors to Europe’s largest man-made lake have described sightings of a massive creature eerily similar to the ‘Loch Ness Monster’, 350 miles to the north-west. Now, a new business venture may serve to confirm, or dispel these rumours, once and for all.
For many years now, Rutland Water’s iconic pleasure boat, the Rutland Belle, has plied a return route between it’s overnight mooring at Bull Brigg Lane, Whitwell and Normanton Church carrying hundreds of passengers on a 45 minute journey to see Rutland Water’s many attractions, yachts of every shape and size, windsurfers, fishermen and if they’re lucky enough, one of Rutland Water’s famous fish-eating eagles – the Osprey. Now, a new venture, will join the Belle – ‘Rutland Deep Blue’. However, the new craft will in no way compete with the Rutland Belle since its sightseeing tours will take place at depths of up to 110 feet below the keel of the Belle.
Captain Horatio Arbuckle, a sixty-two year old retired Royal Navy submariner and half owner of Rutland Deep Blue refused to be drawn on the subject of the Rutness Monster. “Mainly,” he said, “we’ll be showing our passengers the magnificent Greco-Roman remains of the ancient cities of Nether and Middle Hambleton which now lie at the bottom of Rutland Water as well as scientific tours to see the fascinating Limnological Tower and the workings of the dam itself. Indeed, if we’re lucky, we may see an Osprey strike from a fish’s point of view,” he added, nodding at the Osprey symbol emblazoned on the aft section of Rutland Blue.
Roberto Persanianen, veteran UFO hunter and tireless paranormal investigator was more open however. “Rutland Water is a magnet for UFO and paranormal activity,” the diminutive half Finn, half Italian stated emphatically. “It’s no coincidence that the ‘Rutland Triangle’, drawn between Oakham, Empingham and Manton centers on the ‘U’ of Upper Hambleton on Google Earth,” he added. “I believe that the current resident, the Rutness Monster, if you will, came overland to establish itself in 1974. Pictures were taken, but were seized by ‘Men In Black’ from Leicester and doctored to create the fictitious ‘Sundew Walker’ as a convenient cover story.”
This is not the first time that Rutland Water has been at the centre of controversy in recent years. Recent plans to build Europe’s largest lighthouse to meet Health & Safety concerns, funded with EU money, have caused outrage amongst Rutlanders, the setting up of a protest group RAIL (Rutlanders Against Inland Lighthouses), angry exchanges in the Council Chamber and rioting in the usually genteel streets of Rutland’s second market town, Uppingham.
Whether Rutland Deep Blue solves the mystery of the Rutness Monster or not, it’s already been instrumental in solving one of the most endearing mysteries of last year’s general election. During it’s test dive early this year, in Derbyshire’s famous Blue Lagoon, the submersible found the famous ‘Edstone‘, mysteriously missing since the General Election and which has now been restored to a surprisingly ungrateful Jeremy Corbyn.
Hopefully the final resolution of the Rutness Monster mystery will be welcomed by a more appreciative audience here in UK’s smallest county which will once again live up to it’s motto: Multum In Parvo (Much From Little).