Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Sad Day at Honister


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.

Honister Slate Mine


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

By the water


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

5 thoughts on “Sad Day at Honister

  1. You’ve made the Honister Slate Mine come vividly to life in my imagination. I think such places are important, teaching us about the working lives and the extractive and industrial processes that go into the making of the economies we take for granted–but often understand poorly. I’m so sorry that the sparkplug who made it go has died far too young.

  2. How very sad. One wonders now what will happen to the mine. Thoughts go to his family. It seems he will be greatly missed by all in your area.

  3. We’re sad up here too as he was the helicopter pilot who delivered Santa to our local Aviation Museum’s Christmas Fair. Small world…

    • ’tis a very small world, I know there is another reader of this blog that had met him too
      I think if you ever come across Mark you’d remember him. The publicist for his company described him as ‘a comet that shone brightly whilst he was here’.

  4. So sorry to hear about this tragic event ~ and feel so badly for his family. It sounds like he lived life to the fullest, but so sad that it ended too soon.

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