I was first attracted to Where? as being born in Shropshire I was instantly intrigued by the book’s subheading ‘Life and death in the Shropshire hills’. Being born in nearby Bridgnorth, I’m still familiar with much of the landscape of the area and has a special fondness and a place I still call home, other than my current home in Wales.
Where? by Simon Moreton began as a portrait to his father, who had passed in 2017, and although the book is filled with art, photographs and archive material what emerges is a heartfelt tribute to his father and the land which held such abundant memory. It’s these memories that shape much of Where? and delving into a whirlwind history of some of the more notable events of the region, with death and intrigue at its fore, there’s always been more to the Shropshire hills than meets the eye.
I’ve only visited the Clee Hills once, whilst taking a wrong turn past Ludlow and Richard’s Castle on my way to Bridgnorth, but even on the wet and misty day I’d inadvertently ventured up to the wilderness of these hills, I was easy to instantly feel a part of this landscape which seems never-ending to the naked eye. The Clee Hills is where much of Where? is set and being where his father once worked at a Radar station we’re taken on a journey through a history of the region, and a touching and deeply personal account of the author’s life, with tales and anecdotes from his life, accompanied with a feast of original art which fills the pages, telling their own story.
Where? is a book about connections and connects the past with the present and the place with his own family and the tragedy which is surrounding them, and how the urgency of modern life can never really prepare us for what is ahead, it’s a book that asks a lot of questions, and in its unique way provides its answers to some of the questions that we may not even have thought of yet, including where are we from? it allows us to, maybe, examine our place in the world, but through its own story paints a picture that indeed “everything is possible”
Where? by Simon Moreton is a truly unique piece of work, embroidering art, archive, photography and memoir, it’s more than a tribute to one man, it’s a tribute to the land which remains a special place. I couldn’t put it down!
- Where? by Simon Moreton is published by Little Toller Books (£20.00). To order a copy go to www.littletoller.co.uk
Founder and Editor of Pilgrim House, currently undertaking a research degree at Bangor University and working on a book on Folklore and early Welsh Christianity. Tom’s other work on music, poetry, health along other writings and images can be found at tomasstanger.com