Sorry – it’s hardly original. The eagle-eyed will have spotted one or two not-very-cryptic photo captions relating to Ironbridge power station, which operated for the last time just over four years ago. Since then, it has been decommissioned, and now is undergoing demolition. So far, such work has not been obvious, but this morning, at 11am, the towers came down. They were so big that they always seemed to be nearer than they were – the closest was about 2/3 of a mile away from our vantage point, the furthest not far short of a mile. Just before 11, we heard warning sirens – and then the towers began to fall. The boom of the explosive charges, like the crack of thunder following a nearby bolt of lightning, came when the towers were well on their way down. Yes, we know why, but the laws of physics can easily be forgotten in a moment of excitement.

Now they’re history. The intentionally salmon-pink towers were quite an icon in this part of the world, and it was a sad sight to see them being reduced to rubble (and an awful lot of dust!). However, the Severn Gorge already looks more rural, like it did in the early 60s, and when the chimney and turbine halls have gone, the riverside here will look completely different, in closer accord with a greener future.

To the Wrekin!

For complex (and mildly embarrassing*) reasons, a walk on the Long Mynd became a walk up the Wrekin. The hill is lower and the walk shorter, but it’s not an inferior substitute – it provides us with a very enjoyable leg stretch and a good place to sit and enjoy our sandwiches. Afterwards, tea and cake in Much Wenlock replace the intended refreshments in the Carding Mill pavilion – similarly, not at all inferior. A most enjoyable little outing!

*I forgot my boots!

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December days

First day of December – and first day of (meteorological) winter. They’re short, but when they’re dry and sunny, it’s good to be out. It’s a familiar route for us – out past Hurst Farm pools, down through the field (a significant part of which came home on our boots) to Shore Pool, and back up the estate road past Aldenham Park. Most enjoyable!

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It’ll soon be Christmas

1st December: yesterday evening the lights were switched on – we’d better go and record the jolly scenes. There’s always a good turnout for this event, weather permitting – which it did. It’s cold, clear and dry – perfect for the fireworks, and once it’s over, we’ll head swiftly for home, pausing only to record one local resident’s personal take on the season (with a donation box for charity). Merry Christmas from Broseley!

There’s no-one here!

We’ve had lunch, the rain has stopped and the sky has cleared, so we’re taking a stroll from Ironbridge to the top of Coalbrookdale and back. It’s a pleasant afternoon – mild, bright and mostly dry (it’s trying to rain when we get back to the car). But where are all the people? There’s no-one else on the bridge, the Wharfage is deserted, Coalbrookdale’s quiet. Most unusual!

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To Calton Hill and the museum

Monday 18 November: there’s a clear blue sky, but it’s an icy cold morning at Newhaven harbour. The walk, this time up the old railway track to Scotland Street, warms us up, and by the time we’re atop Calton Hill, we’re positively glowing. The views, especially to Fife and the Forth, are extensive, but it’s busy. “Let’s go and spend an hour or so in the museum”. Perhaps we’ll get a bite to eat there too? We’re distracted by the wonders on display, and soon it’s time to make our way back to Waverley for the train journey home.

National Museum of Scotland