Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Gumley is Leicestershire's Bishop's Castle

I have worked out why I like Gumley so much: it reminds me of Bishop's Castle in Shropshire.

Both settlements have a long main street that runs uphill to a building that is no longer there.

In Bishop's Castle it is the castle: in Gumley it is Gumley Hall.

When I was in Gumley on Saturday I noticed that a couple of the large houses on its only street were looking run down.

That is a shame, but it gives it something else in common with its Shropshire cousin.

One of the things I have always liked about Bishop's Castle is that it is not too perfect.

You will get a run of chocolate-box 18th-century houses and then there will be one patched up with corrugated iron. My mother says this is what Bath was like in the 1950s.

Another of the things I like about it is its pubs. And Gumley can complement that too.

In past years The Bell in Gumley has not seemed welcoming. It was always closed when you passed it and had signs up telling you all the things you couldn't do there. But on Saturday it was open, friendly and appeared to be thriving.

And there is one thing Gumley has that Bishop's Castle doesn't: a green telephone box.

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