Dursley

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Mordor

Mordor, Gloucestershire.

“Dursley is a modest town with much to be modest about”
~ Oscar Wilde

“We must journey to Mordor to destroy the one ring”

Dursley is an hysteric market town in Gloucestershire, Merrie England. The town is situated 17 miles south of the city of Gloucester. Dursley lurks below the Cotswold Edge a limestone escarpment which leaves the town in a state of permanent darkness. As a result it is thought that the town was the inspiration for Mordor in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

To the east of Dursley lies the well known landmark of Cam Peak. This conical shaped hill has always thought to have been the product of natural erosion. Its conical shape was not attributed to volcanic activity until in 1987, it erupted.

Cam Volcanic Eruption

Cam Peak 1987.

Cam peak

Cam Peak

The name Dursley comes from two sources. Ley is Olde English for clearing hence Dursley means clearing in the Durs. Quite what Durs are, no one seems to know.

Despite a population of 6000, endemic in breeding means the locals share only four surnames.

Dursley has been condemned as one of the worst places to live according to the publication, Crap Towns Returns joining amongst others Bradford, Blackpool, Gateshead and the 2017 city of culture - Hull. To this day people who have had a bad experience still speak of going to Hull and back. It has to be said that Dursley's local architecture does not help. A Harrier jet once attempted to land on the library roof mistaking it for an aircraft carrier.

Harrier

Harrier on Dursley Library Roof.

Another architectural gem is Ye Olde Post Office situated in Parsonage Street. This monstrosity was completed in 1940 and subsequently extended to include a telephone exchange.

The townspeople finish all sentences with the work 'look' pronounced lurrk. So they may say 'I am going to the pub lurrk', 'I have just seen a Harrier on the library roof lurrk'.

HMS Dursley

HMS Dursley.

edit Dursley’s History

The Parish Church of St. James the Great dates from the 13th century. The original church spire collapsed in January 1699 during a bell-ringing session which caused casualties. You would need a heart of stone not to laugh.

It is thought that William Shakespeare may have once lived in Dursley. He left in disgust having been bard from a local pub.

The local secondary school, Rednock School for the Sons and Daughters of Gentlefolk was built on the site of a private house which was demolished in the 1970’s. The original house was the home of an army Captain who instituted a breeding programme for the Irish Wolfhound. The breed was then at risk of becoming extinct. The Irish Wolfhound is unique in that it is the only breed of dog that walks backwards and wags its head.

In the 12th century a member of the Berkeley family built a castle in Dursley. The castle was constructed from a local stone Tofu. This had the unusual property of being soft on excavation and therefore easy to work. Later on exposure to air the rock becomes extremely hard. An historian of the day wrote ‘Noe chinke cracke choppe or sinfne at all’. The historian was thought to have been drunk when he wrote this. The castle has long since been demolished and its exact location is unknown. It is believed however that the design was based on the castle at Bounsee.

edit Visitor Attractions

The Old Post Office

The Old Post Office.

Old Post Office Dursley1

Old Post Office Best Side?.

Dursley has a number of pubs including the award winning Old Spot. This pub was named after the Gloucestershire Old Spot pig. The name was derived from the fact that the animal comes from Gloucestershire and has spots on its body. The beers served in the pub are named with a porcine theme. They include Pigs Ear, Old Spot, Hogs Head and Pigor Mortis. Anyone who orders a lager is taken outside and beheaded.

The 102 mile Cotswold Way footpath passes through Dursley and up onto nearby Stinchcombe Hill. Contrary to popular myth walking the Cotswold way has nothing to do with taking mincing steps.

The Market Hall holds a range of markets in the centre of Dursley. A Farmers Market is held there on the second Saturday of every month. Farmers are herded in from the surrounding farms to be bid for by eager town’s people. There is a Craft Market on the fourth Saturday of each month. All manner of sea and river going craft are available for the discerning buyer.

Plans for a comedy festival were cancelled as the locals have no sense of humour. Further attractions include Lidl, Sainsburys, a branch of Iceland and watching the traffic lights change.

edit Religion

Dursley’s religious beliefs are largely pagan. The most important festival occurs at the Summer Solstice when believers dance naked around a Rowan Tree while others deflower goats and sacrifice virgins.

edit Neighbouring Settlements

Dursley Market Hall

Dursley Market Hall.

edit Cam

Cam adjoins Dursley and takes its name from the river that flows through the village. The village is of little consequence containing only six inhabitants. They are known locally as the village people and consist of a Native American, a Soldier, a Construction Worker, a Cowboy, a Policeman and a person who finds it necessary to dress solely in leather.

Their sexuality is a matter of some debate.

edit Uley

Uley is some 2 ½ miles east of Dursley.

The name Uley is thought to derive from a clearing in the Yews. Uley is the location of the renowned Uley Brewery supplying beer to the Old Spot in Dursley. An epidemic of the Tump once swept the area, it came to be called Hetty Pegler's Tump after the first person diagnosed with the condition.

Uley also lays claim to the now little used agricultural device the Uley Long Barrow.

edit Berkeley

Berkeley lies 6 miles to the west of Dursley. Berkeley was originally called Berclea, being Old English for a clearing in the birches. The English were a bugger for chopping down trees.

Berkeley is famed for its Castle where Edward II was murdered. Edward was thought to have fathered 5 children by 2 women but despite this was suspected of being bipedal. He lavished favours on his male favourites Piers Morgan and latterly Hugh Dispensing-Chemist which led to political unrest. Edward’s cause of death was said to involve the insertion of a red hot poker where a poker, red hot or otherwise, should not be inserted.

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