The man who went up a hill and came down

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the man who went up a hill and came down

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain by Christopher Monger

1917. The peace of a remote Welsh village, nestling comfortably in the shadow of what the inhabitants reverently call their mountain, is rudely shatterred by the arrival of two English mapmakers who have the temerity to announce that the mountain is merely a hill in geographical terms.

It is a difference of only twenty feet - but a greater injustice than the villagers can bear. With smarting pride they band together to keep the mapmakers occupied whilst they set about putting the situation to rights... whatever it takes.

Written and directed by Christopher Monger, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain is a beautifully observed romantic comedy, which proves that mind over matter is still a powerful force for change...
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Published 12.01.2019

10 - Villagers Begin Building -The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain

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Now, 20 years after the film was released, three real-life English surveyors have gone up a mountain and come down a hill after successfully challenging the status of a Snowdonia summit. The three climbers, who measure hills as a hobby, found that Moelwyn Mawr North Ridge Top can no longer be given mountain status as it fails to measure up to official guidelines. The ridge top is 2,ft high, but the surveyors found that it was 23 millimetres short of the 15m required height difference from the neighbouring hill, in this case the main peak of Moelwyn Mawr. The locals are not going to be pleased with us. It relies heavily on tourists, who come to visit the heritage railway, the Llechwedd Slate Caverns and the mountains. There must be a certain degree of error in these things — 23mm could be a mound of dirt.

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The film is based on a story heard by Christopher Monger from his grandfather about the real village of Taff's Well , in the old county of Glamorgan, and its neighbouring Garth Hill. Due to 20th century urbanisation of the area, it was filmed in the more rural Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant and Llansilin in Powys. The film is set in , with World War I in the background, and revolves around two English cartographers , the pompous George Garrad and his junior Reginald Anson. The villagers, aided and abetted by wily local Morgan the Goat and the Reverend Mr Jones who after initially opposing the scheme, grasps its symbolism in restoring the community's war-damaged self-esteem , conspire to delay the cartographers' departure while they build an earth mound on top of the hill and make it high enough to be considered a mountain. In regard to its humorous and affectionate description of the locals, the film has often been compared with Waking Ned , a comedy film written and directed by Kirk Jones. The movie has resulted in a stream of visitors climbing to the summit of The Garth , and the Pentyrch History Society and the local community council have erected a notice on the mountain to explain its real historical significance. One joke in the film which may not be obvious to non-Welsh speakers occurs when a mechanic is asked about a nondescript broken part he has removed from a car, and replies "Well I don't know the English word, but in Welsh we call it a be'chi'ngalw.

The story, which concerned Welsh villagers building up the local mountain to the required feet so that English surveyors who had previously measured it and called it a hill would record it as a mountain, purportedly was based upon a true incident. I was going to Wales in July and decided it would be interesting to locate the village, find the mountain and climb it. Ffynnon Garw was a fictional name. That area, near Cardiff, was too built up to portray village life in The actual filming was done in northern Wales at Llanrhaeadr-yn-Mochnant, located 10 miles west of Owestry. The librarian was both interested and helpful.

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