Rhubarb and Spanish

Wednesday 21 March: If, as a child, I’d had a threepenny bit (3d, that is, not 3p) to spend on sweets, there was a fair chance that the selection purchased would include a piece of “Spanish”. That’s what we called liquorice, and though its origins might well have been Iberian, the sweets were probably made in or around Pontefract. Just a little way to the west is Wakefield and the “Rhubarb Triangle”, still notable for its forced rhubarb. Today, armed with Northern Rail day rover tickets, we’ll be travelling around the area of rhubarb and Spanish. It’s a “Rail Diaries” outing – a web page will follow shortly…

I’m on the train

"Bellerophon" leaving Bewdley
“Bellerophon” leaving Bewdley

A visit to the Severn Valley Railway’s spring gala, on the one day that’s likely to be springlike. Just for a change, I’m on the train, though there are some photographic opportunities. Here’s a taster – a “Rail Diaries” entry will follow in due course.

Not yet…

Mid-March – any signs of spring? Very few – just a couple of hawthorns with a few buds opening (and possibly wishing they hadn’t), otherwise, the trees are still very bare. We’re walking to Benthall Hall, returning past the bluebell wood. Their green shoots are coming up, but we’re several weeks away from the flowers. At least the days are getting longer – it will get warmer.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=365865&Y=302501&A=Y&Z=120

Nesscliffe and The Cliffe

The road through Nesscliffe village is much quieter since the A5 bypass opened, though up on the hill the traffic noise from that bypass is somewhat intrusive. As we wander on around this little group of low sandstone hills, away from the road, the sound fades. It’s quiet here – although the afternoon is dry, it’s grey and gloomy, and there are few others about. Nesscliffe Hill is wooded, with few viewpoints; The Cliffe is more open, and though of insignificant height (157 metres – that’s 515 feet) the views are extensive. That is, they would be, on a clear day…

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=339110&Y=320151&A=Y&Z=120


Rain, hail and snowdrops

We needed to call into the shops in Ironbridge – “We could walk down, have lunch and walk back the long way”. We did! It’s not warm, but we soon warm up, and it feels pleasant after last week’s Siberian snowfall. There’s a possibility of showers, apparently, maybe of hail or snow – and yes, there’s hail (which bounces off) and a little rain (which doesn’t). After the rain, the skies clear – to reveal more shower clouds approaching. We’d better not hang around.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=368730&Y=301831&A=Y&Z=120