Thursday, May 17, 2012

Alf Jenkins - Titterstone, Clee Hills

Recently Sarah Williams (daughter of deputy head ken Williams) attended a talk by Alf Jenkins on Titterstone, Clee Hills, at the Cleobury Local History Society, Neen Savage. "Sarah says " Alf Jenkins, was born at the Dhustone Inn where his father was publican, wheelwright and undertaker.".

It proved very insightful and Sarah signposted us to Alf's website. 

Both the Clee Hills and the Dhustone Inn have come up in our discussions on here and the Facebook page and most of us have good memories Saturday escapades up to the deserted quarry by bike or bus but by the 60's life on Clee Hills had changed considereably. Alf tells us (on his website)

" Those years saw the Clee Hill dialect diluted, two stone quarries close and the Dhu Stone incline railway become obsolete. There was a population influx and considerable commuting to work."

Alf Jenkins MBE, was born on Titterstone Clee Hills, South Shropshire, England in the 1930s. His home was Dhu Stone Inn, built for miners, railway workers and stone quarry men.

His father was an undertaker, wheelwright, smallholder and publican.

The area was a remote hive of industry with its own brand of farming and unique dialect.

"Alf and his wife Ann have a passion for the importance of social history. As a result they have recorded many local people with links with the past in order to document valuable social and industrial material which would otherwise have been lost forever.

Alf has spent much of the last twenty five years promoting the uniqueness of South Shropshire’s Clees, the only hills in England to be illustrated on Hereford’s famous Mappa Mundi.

Alf is an expert on "The Clee Hills Dialect" so much so that he has been sought after, filmed and recorded for BBC’s Nation’s Voices Project, Midlands Today, Inside Out, Country File (John Craven) Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestshire Radio stations, Open Country (Radio Four), Five Live with Simon Mayo and the Press.

On his website you will find many of his books and crafts.

Sarah also told us " Did you know that Titterstone Clee is the only hill in England named on the Mappa Mundi in Hereford Cathedral? Also that the Elan Valley pipeline was relaid in 1922 and the concrete pipes were made on Clee Hill at the quarry."

So I asked sarah to send him a link to our speculations on the Ghost rail track on the school playground which we've decided must have been caused by the offshoot water pipe from the Elan Valley pipes that run through the lower playing field in the school in case he has any insights about it to share with us.
The link is here. 

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