Royal Oak

Thurs. 25 May: a visit to Boscobel House. It’s where King Charles I hid in the oak tree in 1651. The oak’s no longer with us, but a descendent is there for visiting. It’s looking decidedly tired, though beside it stands its successor, grown from one of its acorns and planted there 350 years later by the chap who may one day be King Charles III. We have to bide our time outdoors, until a guided tour has finished, and then we can explore this interesting old house.

Boscobel House (English Heritage)

Morville Dower House

Sun 21 May: a splendid garden, and memorable cream teas!

The Dower House Garden at Morville

Attingham indoors

Fri. 19 May: can’t remember when we last looked around the house at Attingham. Have we ever?

Attingham Park NT

Flying Scotsman

Fri. 19 May: 60103 “Flying Scotsman” is due to haul “The Cathedrals Express” south from Shrewsbury. I’d better go and see that. It’s a day of sunny intervals – there’s plenty of blue sky, but quite a lot of cloud too. These trains can sometime run a little late – but not on this occasion. It was one or two minutes early through All Stretton, which was a great pity – if it had been on time, the sun would have been shining…

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.

Quiet flows the Severn

Weds. 10 May: we’re out for a leg stretch, on a perfect May afternoon. It’s warm too – perhaps we could cast a clout or two. I’ve never been sure whether the saying relates to the month or the May blossom of the hawthorn, which is truly “out”. We’re walking down the lane to Lower Severn Hall – there we’ll cut across to the river, and walk back along the bank as far as the Apley bridge, then return along the old railway track and up through the woods. There are one or two other people about, but it’s certainly quiet beside the Severn here.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=371365&Y=296926&A=Y&Z=120

Bluebell wood

They were just beginning to come into bloom last time we walked this way, just a fortnight ago – we thought a check was in order. They’re not at their best yet, but coming along nicely. The sunshine was warm enough to persuade an orange tip butterfly to pose for us – but only for one photo…

Steam on a cold day: Tornado

Not that we felt the cold – we arrived at Cosford just minutes before Tornado. Hauling “The Red Rose” from London Victoria, it was stopping to drop off visitors to the RAF Museum. Soon it was away again, accelerating quickly with its 11-coach train, and making a fine sight despite the sleety rain.

A cold afternoon

Murky too! Not a day for the hills, and it’s wet underfoot. The paths at Attingham Park are well-maintained – we can get a leg-stretch there. Many others have had a similar idea, though they’ve thinned out considerably by the time we reach the far perimeter. There are some attractive reflections in the Tern, and there’s some wonderful bracket fungus on a tree near the entrance. It’s still there when we return…

Attingham Park NT

map

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=355090&Y=310136&A=Y&Z=120

Windy afternoon…

…but bright and sunny – we’ll have a leg-stretch, but we’d better avoid the hill tops. We follow the lane down to the Severn valley, which is well-sheltered, but mostly in the shade…

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