It seems I am not the only politico with a love for Bishop's Castle.
Steve Bassam, Labour’s chief whip in the Lords, has reminisced about his childhood visits to the town for the independent website Castle News:
Bishop's Castle in the 50s and 60s seemed very self-sufficient. It had useful shops like grocery stores, a hardware shop, a haberdashery, a bakery or perhaps even two, an outfitters, a chemist, two or three banks. At one point it even boasted a small cinema. When I visit the town now it still has a few of these useful shops left – along with the fanciful and basically tourist outlets.
But if you look at post cards and pictures from the period, you can see Bishop’s Castle always prided itself on being more than just a place to live. It is the embodiment of a thriving community – and a place with a certain pride about itself.
I suspect that when in the early 1970s local government was reorganised, Bishop’s Castle was rather cross about it, because the small town lost a big chunk of its independence and the ability to run things for itself.