The Neglected Mountain weekend 2022
Our aim for this event was to replicate, in so far as it was safe and practicable, the three journeys to Bishop's Castle made by the 3 pairs of Lone Piners in The Neglected Mountain.
31 people participated in the event, beginning with supper on Friday at the Station Inn, Marshbrook, where we enjoyed their regular Butcher's evening.
There was the opportunity on Saturday to opt in to follow one of the routes devised by Mr Morton, taking advantage of the annual Bishop's Castle Michaelmas Fair later on, just as in the book the children enjoyed the Fair in the Summer holidays.
1. TOM AND JENNY [CYCLING]
“With the help of your bicycles find the quietest place under the sun. Look for a buffalo and find out what’s good for you.”
2. DAVID AND PETER [WALKING]
“Make a day of it and enjoy yourselves. Up and over the Long Mynd, whichever way you like, cross-country to the Hope Anchor, where you will find a meal ready for you, and then up to the Devil’s Chair. From there you can make your way to Bishop’s Castle as you will.”
3. THE TWINS [BUS]
“Walk down to Onnybrook at once and catch the 11:50 bus to Ludlow. At the top of Broad Street, on the left hand side, just below the Butter Cross, is a café. At any time after 12:45 go in and ask for Mrs Martin and you will receive something to your advantage. After 'two o’clock you may proceed to Bishop’s Castle any way you like, but you must not take more than one bus. Not even changing buses is allowed, but if you find can find one that goes all the way you are at liberty to use it. No more money than that enclosed (two half-crowns) is to be spent. You may take Macbeth.”
Although the Michaelmas Fair was cancelled at the last minute, because of the national mourning for the death of the Queen, there was still much going on in Bishop's Castle. All three groups enjoyed their day.
The cyclists began at Ingles Farm, stopped off at the Station Café in Craven Arms for ginger beers, continued to Clun for lunch (and more ginger beer) at HQ3 Clun Castle, diverted to visit Bury Fields Farm (though they didn't encounter Lady) and continued on to Bishop's Castle, where Alf Ingles kindly transported the well-used bikes back to the farm for collection later.
The walkers started up through the State Forest, making their way along the top of the Long Mynd, stopping off at the Gliding Club for refreshments and passing Pole Cottage and Pole Bank, before descending to lunch at the Hope Anchor (The Bridges) at Ratlinghope. From there, most were collected by a vintage 1950s bus and taken on to Bishop’s Castle. A small group continued up to the Stiperstones ridge, along past the Devil's Chair and down Mytton Dingle to Stiperstones Village, from where 'Charles Sterling' gave them a lift on to Bishop’s Castle.
The third group was picked up from Ingles Farm by the Boulton's vintage bus and taken to Ludlow for a town tour and a wander round, ending up at The Feathers for lunch. The bus then took them all the way to Bishop’s Castle, avoiding the need for them to hitch hike and meet Robens en route.
Everyone gathered for supper at The Three Tuns Inn following enjoyment of vintage vehicles, a craft fair and various stalls, plus live music in the grounds of pubs like The Castle Hotel. The vintage bus then took everyone back to Ingles.
On Sunday there was a visit to the Stiperstones Lead Mines. Some were taken in to the Day Level, others watched a video and enjoyed wandering round the site. Sunday lunch at the Stiperstones Inn rounded off an enjoyable weekend.