I was saddened to hear today of the death of Mark Weir, owner of Honister Slate Mine in Borrowdale, Mark aged 44 and father of three, never arrived home yesterday evening, after setting off from the mine, piloting his own helicopter. He was by all accounts, a charismatic, dynamic and ambitious man, who was passionate about Cumbria.
Mr Uhdd and I met Mark after the Mountain Marathon of 2008, here is what I wrote at the time
One thing Mr Uhdd wanted to do whilst we were staying in the Lakes last week was to return to the Honister Slate Mine, to pay for the drinks and say thank you*. As Inspector Gadget pointed out in the comments on my post, Mark Weir the owner of the Slate Mine sounded really angry on the BBC radio reports that the event had gone ahead on Saturday and it’s fair to say that since then, he has come in for a lot of flack from some areas of fell running world for his outspokenness in radio and TV interviews (but not for the generous hospitality and aid given by him and his team). Mark was on the desk when we called, we spent quite some time talking with him about the whys and wherefores of the event and its subsequent fallout, he also showed us photographs taken on the day that helped me see just what the conditions were like.
I’m not in a position to say if the event should or shouldn’t have gone ahead, but listening to Mark with his extensive knowledge of the winds that are unique to that pass (he’s a helicopter pilot) and a lifetimes experience of living in the area I came away with a much better understanding of why he felt as strongly as he did.
Sympathy to his family friends and the staff of the Honister Mine