Monday, February 19, 2007

No one wants White Grit

The Shropshire Star reports:

A family has been forced to flee after a gaping hole opened up in the ground next to their home in Powys.

Concerns have been raised about the structure of the chalet after an old mine shaft collapsed close to an unclassified road between White Grit and Priest Weston, near Montgomery - opening up a hole 50ft across and 20ft deep.

Police have now sealed off the area amid fears of a further collapse. There are old lead and silver mine workings in the area which are thought to date back to the 1800s.
This will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with this old mining country, which was once known as "The Land of Desolation". What is rather amusing is that, judging by the report, neither Powys nor Shropshire is keen to claim the hole.

Priest Weston is a pleasant little village with an unspoilt pub, naturally called The Miners Arms. It is in England, but White Grit, which lies to the East but by a quirk of local geography is in Wales, is another matter.

It now consists mainly of modern bungalows - presumably because it was possible to get planning permission there as they replaced old miners' dwellings. It also has a little corrugated iron church of the sort that was generally sent out in flat-pack form to the furthest reaches of the Empire. I doubt the Church of England had much joy here amongst the staunchly Nonconformist miners, many of whom came up from Cornwall when the tin mines began to close.

I was once bitten by a Jack Russell in White Grit. I later complained to Lembit about it, but he seemed singularly unconcerned.

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