Monday, January 04, 2010

Ronnie Lane in Shropshire

Writing about the More Arms, a recently closed Shropshire pub, I mentioned the stories of Ronnie Lane (from the Small Faces) and Eric Clapton playing impromptu concerts there and in other equally remote hostelries on the Shropshire/Montgomeryshire border.

There is more detail on the Rod Stewart Fan Club site, which tells us that Lane moved to Fishpool Farm in the village of Hyssington, which is a couple of fields into Wales, just off the Shrewsbury to Bishop's Castle road:

The stories of Lane and his rock and roll friends are part of local folklore. Many remember impromptu performances round a piano in pubs with the likes of Lane, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman.

There are also stories of Elton John and Lemmy from the group, Motorhead, travelling to Mid Wales to use Lane's mobile recording studio to lay down tracks because "it created a great sound."

Those pubs are the Drum and Monkey (now the Callow Inn) at Bromlow and the Miners Arms at Priest Weston.

Charlie Hart, a member of Lane's band Slim Chance, remembers hanging out with a "lethal combination of rock and roll A-list - Clapton, Townsend, Small Faces etc. - and Shropshire farmers".

I have also been told that the counter-culture was strongly represented in Bishop Castle's back in the 1970s but failed to survive the economic problems of the decade.

Thanks to Dave Croker for the picture of Fishpool Farm with the Stiperstones behind it.

1 comment:

Clive Pownceby said...

My partner Jean and myself well remember the '70s version of Bishops Castle! We used to go to Bromyard Folk Festival each September and would avoid motorways by taking to the little-known A roads and byways. We got to know that part of the world quite well. Lots of 'head shops,' rainbows, tie-dyes, hippie chicks n' dogs around. Used to see Ronnie in the Three Tuns in Bishops, either playing darts in the public bar or deep in conversation with people looking suspiciously like poachers and horse-traders. Wish I'd had the bottle to go up and chat.
He seemed at ease and in his element.
Still go to Bishops once a year for the July beer festival and never fail to call in at the 'Tuns' - now greatly poshed-up, n' always give the lad a thought or two whilst raising a glass.