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Longhope Little London

 
We’d never heard of Blaisdon plums before we walked up Huntley Hill to have a look down at  (Longhope) Little London.   Apparently, they (the plums) were excellent jam-makers and the hillsides were covered with orchards, 500 acres of them, and the remnants of some orchards still remain.  The Blaisdons were then sent to Sullivans Jam Factory in Guiting Power – over 30 miles away – and the jam went on (maybe) to London.


And that is the reason for the area being known as Little London, according to one informant; nothing to do with Welsh Drovers at all.  As Guiting Power is another 80 miles from London, the story becomes even more unlikely – unless, of course, anywhere with a London connection, however tenuous, was dubbed LL, because no one would realise the distances the plums/jam had to travel.  The only important element was the final destination. 


However, I think I’ll stick with my story: Little Londons were generally speaking a temporary dwelling-place for drovers and drovers’ animals.  The term was adopted either by the owner of the area, to encourage drovers to use it, or by the local population, or by the drovers themselves.  And that’s it!


(I looked up ‘Petit Paris’, just out of curiosity, to see if the same rule applied in France.  Yes, it does, but only with regard to food!  There’s a PP restaurant in Midlothian and another in Los Angeles, with dozens more, I suspect, scattered over the globe.)


The walk, finally: we started at SO 708184 and walked up Hinders Lane, which soon became Gypsy Lane, and up into the woods…and then we turned around.  Hollybush Farm was visible across a field-path, so we returned down the track to the west of Hinders, which turns to tarmac.  (That’s where we met the plum-informant.)  Then back to Blaisdon, where we’d parked the car, along the wide verge of the main road.  (#1-5)


One or two things Chris has reminded me of: seeing the silvery line of the Severn at Arlingham with the Cotswold Ridge behind it in the background and having a view of the Malverns from near Hollybush.  On a better day those could have been good photos but that day, no.


The last thing we expected was the plum story.  He seemed so certain of it, too… 

Longhope Little London image 1
Up Hinders
Longhope Little London image 2
Into Gypsy
Longhope Little London image 3
Into the wood
Longhope Little London image 4
And down again..
Longhope Little London image 5
On to Tarmac