Rindleford and Bromley

A walk on the far side (we try not to cross the river too often – it’s a strange and different world over there) – through Rindleford and up the stony-sided valley of the Worfe, returning along quiet lanes and the hamlet of Bromley. Not always an easy walk – many of the surfaces are hard-frozen and slippery – but it’s pleasant out on this fine and mostly sunny afternoon.

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There’s a lot of weather around this afternoon! Clear air, an icy breeze, bright sunshine followed by some darker cloud, distant snow showers – and it’s great to be out on the Hope Bowdler hills. They’re no great height but they provide a wonderful viewpoint for the surrounding country, with some extensive views. We can see the Brecon Beacons, more than 50 miles to the south-west, and the snow-topped Llangollen hills perhaps 40 miles to the north-west, beyond Chirk’s eye-catching chipboard factory. (We can also see Wolverhampton some 25 miles to the east, but we won’t go there, so to speak). On days like this, it’s a shame to have to leave the hills, but the sun’s dropping behind a huge cloud to the south-west. Time for home!

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Baucott, Broncroft and Tugford

None of them are big enough to call villages: Baucott is just a couple of farms, though Tugford has an ancient church and Broncroft a castle, no less (and little more). The spasmodic sunshine in the early part of our walk is pleasant; later we become aware that, though the sky above is mostly blue, it’s mostly cloud where the sun should be. The fields are sodden – this is a tarmac walk, along quiet lanes which are in part minor watercourses…

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Figures in the landscape

After successfully recording 61306 Mayflower hurrying along near Allscott (see previous post) we had two remaining needs – a leg-stretch on this fine, cold and breezy afternoon – and lunch (which we’d foregone in order to see the train, which was due at about 1pm). “There’s a little cafe in the woods at Haughmond Hill”. The bacon sandwiches were excellent. The walk was enjoyable – it’s a popular spot, so there are others about, but they seemed to know how to place themselves to lend scale to the extensive views.

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An old friend: 61306 was the last of the LNER’s B1 class in normal BR service, withdrawn in September 1967 and going straight into preservation. I photographed it a number of times on steam specials in the late 1970s (it received the name ‘Mayflower’ in 1976), but for one reason or another we’d failed to meet since then. This week it’s been in action on the Crewe circular test route (driver training? I don’t know): today we saw and photographed it near the site of Allscott sugar factory, getting along very nicely at 60mph or thereabouts. For once, the sun and the wind behaved themselves…

(Click the image for a larger view)

High tide at Attingham

Hardly – tidal waters are much further down the Severn. However, the local rivers are in flood, and where the Tern flows through Attingham Park, it overspills to form a lake, very scenic in this afternoon’s bright sunshine. The ducks and geese seem to be enjoying it too. We can’t follow our usual route today – part of the estate is closed (did the sign say something about herd management? Expect venison in the shop…), so instead we’re just wandering, with an eye to the sparkling waters of Lake Tern…

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