Most of the
locals in my pub are farmers, but a lot of people round here keep a
few sheep – not just the farmers.
It’s common land on Titterstone Clee and you need turn-out rights.
I’ve got turn-out rights, but I don’t want any sheep. I
see enough in the car park, bloody things. They crap everywhere, people
get it on their shoes, and they walk into the pub here and get it on
This pub’s called ‘The Kremlin’ because when we first
come here in the late 80s, we used to get Radio Moscow coming through
the jukebox when there wasn’t any music playing. We also got it
on the telephone and the television, beamed off the radio mast on top
of the hill – because from here to the Urals there’s no
high ground. It was quite spooky. Then they moved the mast to the other
side of the hill and we don’t get it any more.
The Kremlin used to be the quarrymaster’s house, so I believe,
before it was a pub, but it has been a pub for about 100 years. It was
designed for the quarry workers and the local farmers, and it’s
still a working men’s pub, definitely. We still have the darts,
dominoes and quoits teams in the bar. But in the summer we also get
a lot of people from Birmingham and the Black Country who come to look
at the views.
Clee Hill people definitely think of themselves as different from Ludlow
down the hill. There always used to be a rivalry. Clee Hill lads would
go down to Ludlow and there’d be fights, and Ludlow lads would
come up to Clee Hill when there was a dance at the village hall, and
they’d be going through the windows. It’s not been as bad
since we come here, but it used to be pretty rough. They still have
trouble at the football club discos here sometimes.
Everyone knows everyone in Clee Hill. Everyone knows everyone’s
family and everyone’s business. They’re all inter-related.
You’ve got to be careful what you say to people, it’s ‘Oh,
he’s my uncle’ or ‘He’s my cousin’.
Most of them would never move off Clee Hill. It’s amazing. Me
and my wife have moved all over the country, and I’ve never been
anywhere where there are so many people that have never lived anywhere
else – and don’t want to live anywhere else. I don’t
know why, they are just Clee Hill born and bred. Not just old people,
but young people in their 30s as well.
I don’t think you’ll see the locals going up and looking
at the old quarry remains too much. But we get a lot of walkers who
come in here and say, ‘How do we get to the Three-Forked Pole?’
– and all that sort of thing. So the history brings people round
here, that’s for sure.
This is the second highest pub in England at 1,400 feet, after the Tan
Hill Inn in the Pennines. Sometimes we get cloud all down below in the
valley, and it’s like looking out over the sea – it’s
beautiful. It can also be foggy as hell up here for days on end and
it’s horrible then. That’s the worst part about Clee Hill.
Drizzly rain and fog, it’s horrible.