Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Snailbeach mines with thunder in the air

The day I first saw the remains of the lead mines at Snailbeach was the day that England beat Poland with surprising ease on their way to qualifying for Italia 90. (Gazza, Gary Linker, Nessun Dorma and all that.)

Which means I can date that experience precisely. It was on 3 June 1989.

A few years after that the white hillocks at Snailbeach were landscaped, but Christina Samson once wrote me a memoir of life in the village back in the 1950s.

The site is tidier today, though even in the late 1990s it was possible to enter the blacksmith's forge and find the tools lying where they had been left the last time they were used.

I was back at Snailbeach this summer. The weather was capricious and there were thunderstorms about.

This made me nervous of sheltering among the remains of the mining buildings as many are patched up with corrugated iron.

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