Griff Rhys Jones BBC1
Images below of Griff Rhys Jones on location!
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Mountain - Griff Rhys Jones
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Exploring Britain's high places
Michael Joseph an inprint of Penguin Books
Click here for Honister Rambler Map!
"There's nothing as restful as a slow bus, especially a stopping one." Alfred Wainwright had written.
The following morning I felt in need of a little homely security and took comfort in a bus. At nine o'clock I waited at a stop by a bridge in the rain with Barry Surtees and Bush the dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Wainwright always took the bus home after one of his walks, which had to finish by nine, so that he could guarantee a ride. And (parp, parp) a slow bus is an excellent way to travel - the feeling of community, even when empty, the dignified rumbling progress, the sense of being slightly, peripherally joined to other people's lives.
We were on a 'Special' for the telly, so the only other two passengers on the bus were Ted and a man with glasses. They were both officials of the bus company. I didn't mind. It was a stately carriage. We held up the traffic and trundled on under dripping trees. The Lake District morped beautifully from dark, sculptural oak wood to delicate fields to high heather and bracken and grass, and then out on to a bleak upper level where a huddle of sheds and car parks in an appropriate utilitarian setting announced that we had arrived at Honister Slate Mine.
I got off and walked into a shop. It displayed 1001 uses of slate: bottle holders, bottle coolers, carvings of fairies, house numbers, knives, cheese boards, serving platters, whole fountains, worktops, poetry, key rings. One thousand and one uses of a four-million-year-old lump of compressed Volcanic Ash. I think, but I'm not sure that I spotted a roof tile in there somewhere. This was once, of course the one and only use of slate.
Barry and Bush, the Marketing Arm of the Enterprise, introduced me to Mark Weir, the owner. Mark had trained as a helicopter pilot. His Grandfather had worked down the Slate Mine. Mark was flying over the site one day and said to himslef, as you do, "I could start that mine up again and run it myself." So he bought it.
The Marketing Arm of the Enterprise
(any complaints over Marketing - contact him!)
Bush after a day at Honister "A stiff drink and a dark room for 8 hours is a necessary pre-requisite!"
Griff Rhys Jones Book available at Seatoller Barn VIP and other leading bookstores or click here to purchase on line!
"Why does he insist on calling me 'Bush'? I guess with a name like that he must be Irish!"
Watch out for ITV Trinnie & Susannah coming soon!