A dozen on a damp afternoon

It’s not actually raining, but there are spots in the breeze from time to time. We’re walking around Colemore Green – starting out near the old Astley Abbotts school, past Boldings Pools, down through Chestnut Coppice to the old railway track, then back up to the little wayside shop (we’re out of marmalade!). Under a grey sky, today’s interest is in the detail.

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Thursday 12 May: Staffordshire – a walk from the Satnall Hills car park, near Milford, through the Shugborough estate to find draught Bass in Great Haywood (no, it doesn’t look like rain! The weather’s better than expected too!). We return beside a tranquil stretch of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal to complete a circuit full of interest.

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Less than perfect?

Steady rain all morning (we need it!) – then, the forecast suggested, a less-than-perfect afternoon followed by a brighter evening. By 1.30pm it’s looking pretty good – let’s go for it. The ground will be wet away from a good surface – we’ll stick to Shirlett Lane, for a good leg-stretch and some great views in the rain-washed air.

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Ramsons and rhododendron

Bannister’s and Traps Coppices in May. There’s a big clump of rhododendron in Bannister’s, and in Traps the early purple orchids are in bloom – there are 60 or more flower heads in one small area. The wild garlic is everywhere! Becoming sunnier as the afternoon wears on, it’s very pleasant under the trees today.

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Pleasantly pongy!

Walking down to Coalport, for tea and cakes beside the former china works, now a museum (to answer the obvious question – no, the YHA café serves on everyday earthenware – nevertheless, the cakes are great!). As we plod steadily back up the dingle, there’s a pleasant pong – the wild garlic is in full bloom. Snowdrifts in May!

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Walking back from Buildwas

“Are you remembering I’m out this afternoon?” “Yes – can I cadge a lift?” So – I’m walking back from Buildwas, past the park homes and up from the curiously-named Hunger Dale to cross Benthall Edge and head for home past the hall, down Lodge Lane and across the Fiery Fields. Opportunities for point-to-point walks shouldn’t be missed!

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Purple Pacific

Not sure how 34027 Taw Valley earned this distinction (or deserved this fate, depending upon ones standpoint). Painted purple, and renumbered 70, it will be named Elizabeth II in early June to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee. We were at Bridgnorth station for an hour or so this afternoon (entertaining grandchild) and there it was. I’d better take a photo. Amongst others present: as-yet incomplete standard class 3 2-6-2T no. 82045, pannier tank 7714 ready with a southbound departure and the former D9551 growling happily (they were known as ‘teddy bears’, apparently) as it trundled back and forth.