Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sunday 28 May - A Lazy Day

It was a holiday weekend but the Three Fishes was not busy
There was a dire weather forecast for today - heavy rain at times with thunder and lightning, Sure enough the thunder began around  0600 and it rained heavily during the morning. However, the sun came out around lunch time and it was hot for a period before another bout of rain later in the afternoon.  In between we managed a drink at the Three Fishes, some grocery shopping and an excellent carvery lunch at the Coach and Horses - the roast potatoes were even better than normal.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saturday 26 May - Linda and Frances leave

Another fire insurance Badge, also on Shoplatch
This morning we determined to walk along the river from the English bridge towards the Welsh bridge.  The weather was better than yesterday.

We made a detour through the Dingle where some of the colors were a little muted as a result of the effects of yesterday's rain. We had coffee/tea at the Loopy Shrew and a burger at the Lyon's Den.  After that there was just time to pick up their bags at the Lion and take a quick look at the castle.

We all had a great time together and it was a shame that the weather didn't cooperate. It turned cloudy when they arrived on Thursday, rained all day yesterday, and was cloudy and drizzly until they left when the sun then came out and shined brightly.

The town was very busy being a Saturday. There were a great many "convicts" from the prison dressed in dayglow orange running around on a treasure hunt. They were being pursued by warders in dark blue uniforms. There was a lot of congestion around the roast meat sandwich shop on the hill away from the station.

Friday 25 May - Shrewsbury in the Rain

Plate of the Shropshire and North Wales Assurance Co. whose records date from 1780.
On the wall of a building at the bottom of Shoplatch 
It rained all day today - in consequence the only picture I took outside is shown above.  Linda and Frances were here for the day so we had to do indoor things.  We had lunch at the Coach and Horses where an anticipated small sandwich turned into a fairly large plate with salad, chips and Yorkshire pudding.

The market provided a great deal of interest.
The main floor can be best appreciated from the upper level
A great addition is the Gin Palace - Gindifferent.  They have some 90 different gins and the server was very knowledgeable


The tasting went well and a second course was necessary.

As the market was closing we opened our umbrellas and found a shop selling old comics and other bric a brac  before walking up Pride Hill and looking at the view from the car park of The Parade  Shopping Centre, formerly the Salop Infirmary.

From there we took water lane down to the river and walked along to the English Bridge.

Dinner this evening was at the Tudor House.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Thursday 24 May - Linda and Frances Visit

My second cousins, Linda and Frances, arrived by train from London and we met them on the platform. The forecast was for rain but we had only a few drops and it brightened up towards the evening, 

We started with a light lunch at the Bear Steps
 After checking in to the Lion we had a walk through town into the Dingle where the rhododendrons put on a good show.

The Hole in the Wall
After visits to the Boathouse and the Three Fishes we finished up at the Armoury for dinner where one of the starters were macaroni cheese balls, breaded and deep fried.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wednesday 23 May - Ludlow

Our original intention was to take the train to Ludlow. I bought the tickets but when we got to the platform the train was badly delayed and they were terminating trains at Cwmbran of all places because of the electrification work. With these sorts of delays who knows what it would have been like trying top get back. I went back to the ticket office and got a refund, then we walked over to the bus station where the hourly bus to Ludlow was waiting.  It was cheaper to take the bus than the train even with the 30% seniors discount.  The bus took longer but the sun was shining brightly and the ride was full of interest.

Ludlow was looking its best as there were not too many tourists around.

Although the castle looks impressive from the outside there are great banks of stinging nettles which look awful

We walked down to the River Teme and walked along between the two weirs. It was idyllic in the clear blue sky. We watched a hawk come gliding over hunting for small animals or birds. It was driven off by several angry crows but came back later to be attacked by several swallows.

Very few families of ducks at present

Dandelions may be a weed but they are beautiful in their own right


Back in town we came across these 1737 down spouts on a house.

Lunch was at Ye Olde Bull and was not memorable. It was funny to see lasagna served with fries and a large hunk of garlic bread and a small salad on the side. The beer and the wine was not bad.

After a late lunch we visited the Parish Church then caught the bus back to Shrewsbury.

The bus takes an indirect route so as to serve some of the small villages such as the Strettons (Church Stretton, All Stretton, Little Stretton. The lanes are very narrow and there are occasional delays waiting for a vehicle to come to a convenient passing point.  A bus coming in the opposite direction had to back up for about 40 yards at one point. Yesterday a man was trimming his hedge using a ladder which was placed in the road itself which the driver managed to avoid.

Click here to see all pictures taken at Ludlow

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tuesday 22 May - Craven Arms, Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

Another hot and sunny day. Just right for the bus ride to Craven Arms and a wander through the Discovery Centre along by the River Onny. The spring flowers were at their best and we enjoyed the walk. There were few visitors apart from one school party which stayed close to the main building. Most of the people we saw had wet dogs carrying toys in their mouths.  One couple had three dogs, two quite young and one 15 years old suffering from arthritis.  They all enjoyed the water, the older one was slow but still swam after the toy as long as the others were held back to give him time. We have been here many times and enjoy the rugged wildness.

There are kingfishers and kites here. We saw neither. The kingfishers would have been frightened off by the joyful swimming of the dogs.

Back in Shrewsbury I came across this quiet close just around the corner from where we are staying.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday 21 May - A Day on the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway

The sunny and hot weather continues. Charles Spencer picked me up early in the morning and we went straight to Cyfronydd crossing where I made a thorough inspection before moving on to Llanfair Caereinion.  I had suggested Monday for this crossing work because no service trains were running.  However, there were two round trips for steam driver experience using Joan, the lovely red locomotive. On top of this, the railway was taking delivery by road at Welshpool of a restored Hungarian car and sending out a second similar car for work.  It turned out there was a lot of activity on the railway.
Joan on the driver experience train at Welshpool later in the day
My reason for being here was to inspect all the railway crossings of public roads and to make recommendations.  As well as Cyfronydd I looked at the crossings at:
- Dolarddyn Road
- Castel Caereinion
- Coppice Lane
- Cwm Lane
 and finally we stopped at the private crossing at New Drive
At Dolarddyn Road we caught Joan where the fireman is returning to the locomotive after flagging the crossing.
Joan returning to Llanfair at Cwm Lane
We returned to Llanfair for a sandwich lunch and then went to Welshpool where I was able to watch the fun as the Hungarian coach was taken off the low loader lorry and a second coach was loaded away. The work on the "new" coach is excellent and the railway will proudly be putting it into service this weekend. The skill of the lorry driver in backing his low loader on to the ramp as well as the knowledge of the railway crew was impressive.
"New" coach being moved into position in the Welshpool yard

Pulling the "new" coach off the low loader using a barrier wagon

The "new" coach safely on W & Ll rails

In the bay platform at Welshpool
Chattenden was the motive power for this work assisted by Joan to allow a straight forward swap between the "new" coach and the one going out.
The outgoing coach has been pushed on the low loader and the lorry driver is securing it for its road journey

The "new" coach was brought back to Llanfair Caereinion by the diesel for all to admire
Throughout this exercise the work was assisted by Lucy, a beautiful black Labrador with her purple ring toy. The crew would take it in turns to throw her toy but at critical periods she was put into the Welshpool signal box so as to be out of the way.