Quarry Land

Interviews & Portraits

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Jim Parker, quarryman's son, Brown Clee Roddy Yapp, hill farmer, Titterstone Clee Phil Collier, radar station engineer, Titterstone Clee Di Bryan, local historian, Brown Clee

‘Dad left school at 13 and went straight to work in the Abdon quarries – this was in 1914. They’d start work at daybreak, and it was an hour’s walk up the hill before he’d even started to swing a big hammer and a shovel. And they’d be out in all weathers – it was one hell of a job ...'

'It's only a matter of time before someone is killed on Titterstone Clee. In the last four years, I have
seen three old mineshafts collapsed in. Some are 50—60 feet deep, if not deeper. They are capped with a brick dome, that's all. They aren't filled in ...'

We don't really have any dealings with the other people who use the hill, like the farmers. We have our compound and that's it. Sometimes the sheep get locked inside for a few hours. It's quite useful, they keep the grass short. The farmers never seem to want to reclaim them ...'

'There's one track we often walk down through the conifer plantation, and all the way down there is dhustone just dumped there in Victorian times, perhaps to make the heavy wagons more manoeuvrable or to stop them slipping on the steep and often boggy slope ...'

Mike Bradbury, head forester, Brown Clee David Stockwell, manager, Clee Hill Quarry Maud Massey, hill farmer, Brown Clee Nic Adams, landlord, The Kremlin Inn, Clee Hill village

'Most of the pools in the woods were created for ornamental reasons, and to create employment for local people — estates used to do that in the 19th century. Of course labour was very, very cheap in those days. There are still parts of a Second World War bomber in one of those pools ...'

'The hill is quite unreal in some respects. Everybody knows everybody else. The majority of people in Clee Hill village today had parents and grandparents who lived here, and many of them would have worked in the quarries in the 19th and 20th centuries ...' 'Before the war, our sheep used to lie down on the railway tracks and they were quite often injured. If we found one, we’d carry it home to get better. Father had two poles with some sacking to make a bed. He and Mum would carry the sheep down, and I used to trot along by them, just a little girl ...'

'This pub's called the Kremlin because when we first come here in the late 1980s, we used to get Radio Moscow coming through the jukebox when there wasn't any music playing, beamed off the radio mast on top of the
hill — because from here
to the Urals there's no high ground ...'

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