Shield falls off Coronation Street

“Straight out of that small square stance a slender crack rises and runs alluringly to a great overhang, leftwards a boss of rock abutting against it, bulging, cut away, and held on by God knows what – the Shield,” (Jim Perrin – Hard Rock, describing the penultimate pitch of Coronation Street) On Saturday 5th October after three ascents in the day and two ascents during the week the famous ´Shield´ on Coronation Street in Cheddar, decided to part company with the traverse it has impeded for so long. Fortunately it gave up the ghost whilst the second was climbing and fell clear of the party on the pitch below. This party failed to complete the crossing of where the Shield had been. The Shield now lays in pieces embedded in the ground at the foot of the climb where, fortunately no-one was stood. Many pieces were grabbed by souvenir collectors! Earlier in the day there had been several parties standing about at the bottom of the route waiting their turn to climb! There have been two poor seasons at Cheddar and as a consequence many routes, even Coronation Street have had few, if any ascents for about three years. Coronation Street is graded Extremely Severe. It is 385 feet long with 5b climbing. The Shield was on the penultimate 5a pitch.Chris Bonnington and A. Greenbank climbed the first ascent in March 1965 for TV. “Created for sensation, it remains a sensational creation.” (Jim Perrin, Hard Rock)