Ken's ghost story continued ...............

........... and the river at that time was quite swollen. People who were leaving the church on Christmas eve saw the boat with it's occupants travel under the bridge; and that was the last that anyone saw of either Louisa or the woodcutter - they searched and searched, but no body was found.
The following spring, however, two swans appeared on the steps of the workhouse. The workhouse is still standing - the lovely red painted building on the right hand side as you cross the bridge. At that time the workhouse was being operated by some local nuns from Olney, and under the female swan was said to be a bundle of clothing...... and in that bundle of clothing was a small boy, a child that was only a few days old.
All the local people of the town scurried around, and said that this was in fact the love child of Louisa and the woodcutter - and of course, at that sort of time people believed in these wonderful, magical things.......... and that the swans were Louisa and the woodcutter in their spirit form. For years and years and years they came every year from Tyringham at Christmas to that part of the town, underneath the bridge to the steps of the workhouse. There they would nest, and one of their cygnets would die - it was always a male.
These two swans which we constantly see on the Ouse are thought to be the spirits of Louisa and the woodcutter, and the ones several generations later are the descendants of the spirits.
From an original tape by Ken Hollinshead