Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 15:53 UK
Explosives and life sheep farming
My life and The Malverns
David Brown
Former Malvern Hills Warden

David Brown spend his childhood in the 1940s in and around the Malvern Hills.

At the time there were still quarries active on the hills, which hadn't yet been declared an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Explosions were commonplace, as the the quarries blasted out fresh rock.

Later he became a Malvern Hills Warden, and helped look after the hills, and gave advice to walkers enjoying the area.

My story

Dynamite
At one time explosives were routinely used in Malvern Hills' quarries

When I was a boy - in the 1940s, living at my grand-parents house in Albert Park Road - we roamed the Malvern Hills.

We often climbed up from the Tank Clock, which was not a source of water for the public.

The clock was silent and still.

Waterfall

The channel running up the valley above, built of blue bricks, used to gush with water after heavy rains, and it fell as a waterfall from the rocks.

Quarrying on the Malvern Hills - copyright Malvern Hills Conservators
Quarrying on the Malvern Hills - copyright Malvern Hills Conservators

We used to climb up to the rim of the quarries and lie down looking over, watching the quarry men at work drilling on the ends of their ropes.

Compressed air lines ran around the top of the quarries, supplying the flexible pipes which went down to the men drilling to put in explosives.

Warden

Later I became a Malvern Hills Warden and, after a small ceremony, I and Lyn Ballard were issued with a small round enamelled badge.

We roamed the hills and reported things which needed attention, and gave guidance to walkers if we could.

In those days, Miss Betteridge kept a large flock of sheep by the southern quarry, which kept the bracken down effectively.

Quarrying on the Malvern Hills - copyright Malvern Hills Conservators
Quarrying on the Malvern Hills - copyright Malvern Hills Conservators

The quarry was powered by a huge diesel engine from a submarine, which was about eight feet long, with a big shining flywheel.

It was serviced by a man who worked on it whilst it was running, watched from the open door by us boys.

Smashed for scrap

When the quarry closed, the engine was smashed up for scrap, which was a shame.

There was a blacksmith's shop by Miss Betteridge's house which was used to make and mend quarry tools.

This lovely forge, with its leather foot-powered bellows, was left to be vandalised.

We used to admire all the rows of hand made tools used by the departed blacksmiths and wished we could save them for posterity.




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