Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fire on the Stiperstones

The front page of today's Shropshire Star has a photograph of yesterday's fire on the Stiperstones:
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service reached the hill at 3.30pm yesterday after receiving a call from Lara Sproson, landlady of the Stiperstones Inn, who was alerted to the blaze by walkers at 2.45pm. 
As 72 firefighters, six fire engines, two off-road vehicles and two support vehicles arrived, flames quickly fanned out across the hill burning gorse and undergrowth dried out by the recent sunny weather. 
Fire service area manager John Das-Gupta said that after initially beating the blaze back, firefighters were forced to wait and let it burn unchecked because of the hill’s steep slopes.
The report says the fire was finally brought under control at about 10 last night and the Star also has a gallery of photographs of the fire.

Funnily enough, I came across the following tale in Once Upon a Hill: The Lost Communities of the Stiperstones only the other evening:
During the Second World War, the area lay in direct line for enemy bombers travelling to Liverpool and Manchester, and on one long-remembered occasion in 1941, incendiary bombs lit up the hillside along the whole length of the Stiperstones. 
I remember the hills being bombed during the war on more than one occasion. There was once when they bombed across the Devil's Chair to above Mrs Cook's [at Blakemoregate]. The dropped some high explosive bombs, which caused big craters on the Stiperstones, and they also lit the hills with high incendiary bombs, which they dropped first. I think they were under the impression they had got an ammunition dump, when in fact it was on the Bishop's Castle road. They went and bombed down in front of Central Stores and an incendiary bomb went through the roof of a cottage on Shop Lane [in Snailbeach] - Derek Rowson.
He also remembers people sheltering in the old mine workings while the raid was taking place.

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