Steam in the streets

Sat. 13 May: as part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, around 30 steam road vehicles – traction engines, steam rollers, steam lorries – have assembled at Blists Hill – and at 10am, they’re off to explore the local roads. They’ll be coming up Bridge Road into Broseley, down the High Street, then down the Ironbridge Road and off to the Half Moon for lunch. At 2pm, they’re off again, past Craven Dunnill’s, over the level crossing (it’s an awfully long time since so many steam engines crossed here!), past the Black Swan and back across the river. I’d better get out with the camera – record this wonderful one-off event, and perhaps incorporate some of the local landmarks to complete the picture.

After lunch…

We’ve walked to Ironbridge (easy – downhill!) for lunch. Now we have to pay for it – with a most enjoyable walk back up through the woods and across the fields. It was supposed to be overcast today, but the weather wasn’t paying attention to any forecasts.

Walking back from Wenlock

It’s become a good standby – bus to Much Wenlock, walk back. We might have gone further afield, but the weather forecast wasn’t great (so, inevitably, the weather was better than we expected). Spring flowers are beginning to appear in the hedgerows, there are spring lambs in the fields, and it’s warmer than it’s been for a while. There’s only one downside – the tea room at Benthall Hall isn’t open on Mondays…

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Down the lane

Barely a cloud in the sky this afternoon – can’t stay in! A walk down to Coalport will fit the bill – it’ll certainly be worth avoiding the cold wind, though that will mean avoiding the sun too. Can’t have everything!


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Shirlett: a Christmas leg-stretch

25 December: a day when we get out, weather permitting, for a walk and a breath of fresh air. On this Christmas Day, there’s no shortage of the latter – quite a stiff breeze, though the route we’re following will be sheltered. It’s certainly not cold – 13C according to the Met Office. It’ll soon be dark though – better get back to the car, and head for home and Christmas tea (featuring, among other things, a rather fine locally hand-built pork pie). Merry Christmas everyone!

We were here (Streetmap):


Coalport on a grey afternoon…

…so we’ll do it in black and white! It’s a pleasant circuit, down to Jackfield by hidden paths in the jungle, then across to Coalport and along the old railway track to Coalport bridge. We cross the Severn again and walk along the other old railway, before joining Pound Lane and heading for home.


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Mostly floral

We needed a leg-stretch – down to Coalport, perhaps, for tea and a piece of that rather-nice choc chip shortbread they sell at the youth hostel… There’s colour in the field edges and the hedgerows, but beyond, the landscape is in its grey mid-summer mode on this warm afternoon. We’ll concentrate on the flora, mostly…


The bank holiday rain has cleared – we need a little leg stretch. A quick tour of the Jitties might be fun… It’s quiet this afternoon – the high street exceptionally so, providing a rare car-free scene for a few moments as we head for home.

Note for grammaticists and pedants: Some of the names may be possessive (e.g. Maidens Jitty – it’s a local name, so perhaps it is the jitty of Maiden. Alternatively, it could be purely informational…) However, none of the signs have apostrophes, so I’ve left them off the captions (whether they should be there or not).

Taking flight…

Sunday 24 April 2016: let’s step back just over 12 months: “He’s sent us vouchers for a helicopter trip!”. The facial expression said it all – I think she nearly took flight there and then… With a busy summer ahead and lots of unknowns, we didn’t get round to redeeming them until the autumn. The first booking was cancelled due to the weather – as was the second, and the third, and… (it’s reassuring really). Eventually, we made it, and with plenty of time to get used to the idea, “we” were quite looking forward to the flight. “Is that it? It’s tiny!”. Yes, a very modern-looking (I’m no expert) little four-seater job – driver and three passengers.

We’re flying from Halfpenny Green – “Wolverhampton Airport”, though its WW2 origins are still pretty obvious. We’re strapped in (car-type seat belts) in minutes and away – and despite the clattering of rotor blades while we waited to board, it’s quiet and peaceful (thanks partly to the headphones, I guess) – a very relaxing way to travel over the Shropshire countryside, bobbing and swaying gently in the breeze, with little sense of forward motion. First we’re heading for Bridgnorth, then turning to fly above the Severn, passing Stanley Hall, the fishing lakes at The Boldings and Apley Hall. Soon Broseley is over to our left, and in moments we’re above Ironbridge. As we pass the power station, we begin to turn back, viewing the huge bends upstream in the Severn before buzzing Benthall Hall and skirting Broseley again. Staying west of the river, we’re soon looking down on Bridgnorth, then Chelmarsh reservoir and, crossing the river, Dudmaston Hall. Not far to go now – losing height again to make a gentle landing back at Halfpenny Green. What a great trip! Many, many thanks, T. “When can we go again?” ‘Nuff said!

Walking back…

…from Much Wenlock to Broseley, after a ride on the no.18 bus. The spring lambs are out and about, but there’s not much gambolling going on – it’s too cold, despite the warm (but intermittent) sunshine. It’s not very quiet either, especially between Wenlock and Benthall Hall. We passed more people than in our last half-dozen walks – mostly teenage schoolchildren on some kind of organised outing – and a dog near Wyke was noisily expressing its displeasure at being kept in a cage. I think I would too.

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