Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Quietest Place Under The Sun

The little town of Clun lies in deepest Shropshire, close to the Welsh Border. In the mid 60's when I first stayed at the Boar's Head it was as quiet and remote as it always had been and will ever be. Clun had the rustic charm of communities which we only read of in pre war novels but seldom find in reality. The town had more fascinating "characters" than even the most imaginative writer could dream up.

Walter lived in a wooden hut with his chickens and was permanently dirty. His coat tied with a rope, his dog with a string. The Home Guard on their 1964 outing to Blackpool washed him in the river before allowing him on the coach. They lost him in the resort and it was 3 days before he returned home.

The deaf mute, who was constantly begging matches for his clay pipe was still going strong in the 90's. He could be heard roaring, his only voice, as he tottered home late at night.

For the annual show, the sheep were cleared from the castle and marquees erected. The small tent housed the marrows and leeks; the larger served beer to the entire population, packed in and happy.

The museum seldom opened its doors. The curator, the retired constable would open up for you if you called at his home.

The cafe had shelves stacked with beans and spaghetti and a counter for sweets. Children always asked for something from the back and rifled the display while the proprietor was away.

I woke each morning to the sound of a shot and a squeal as yet another pig was butchered at the shop opposite.

Honey was made next door to the inn and the hotel opposite served only sour beer to the rare customer in its dank and dusty bar.

The road to Newtown climbed steep and narrow and at its peak was a pub which served beer to the dry Welsh on Sundays. Mostly though, patrons were kept away by the landlord and his shotgun.

Across the river stood the church at it's commanding position. Picture hatted of course, the vicar's wife with committees to chair.

The bus came once a fortnight for shoppers and Shrewsbury fans. It was a long walk the rest of the time.

David Easton

" Clunton and Clunbury, Clungunford and Clun are the quietest places under the sun"


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