The old mines

There were many small coal mines in this area in early industrial times, and many of them had associated primitive railways or wagonways. One such, of which no trace remains, was known to exist as long ago as 1605. Others have left some visible traces – a wagonway connected the long-disused Caughley colliery, where we’re heading, to wharves on the Severn. An obviously-engineered way forms part of the footpath through the mine site, and the wagonway also ran along what is now a driveable rough track. Nearby, the Caughley china  works was in operation from 1775 to 1799, when the business was transferred to the works down in the valley at Coalport. Fragments of unglazed scrap porcelain are scattered around the modern memorial.
Once again, it looked like rain; once again, it didn’t!


Showery Shirlett

We walked this way exactly a month ago, on 17 April, in fine spring weather. Today, the weather is showery (yet again!), and some of the showers could be heavy. Our jackets are waterproof, and a cap will keep me dry on top, if the worst happens. It doesn’t, fortunately, and near the top of Round Hill, feeling warm, I take it off. We’re rewarded within a minute or two by a brief light shower of soft hailstones, which stops when I put the cap back on. Must take it with me more often!

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Harton Road

We’re walking along the Harton road from Ticklerton, passing along the way the site of Harton Road station. The railway closed almost 70 years ago – but there’s the old station, just visible through the trees, looking well-maintained and well-loved. From Harton, we’ll head towards Eaton, passing early purple orchids and a pair of gobbling turkeys. Crossing under the route of the old railway again, the sky behind us is looking ominous – and then there are a couple of deep rumbles of thunder. We’re almost back at Ticklerton – will we stay dry? Yes, we made it! (One of these days we’re going to get soaked…)

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A green world

It could rain this afternoon: it’s trying to rain as we put our boots on, but it should only be light – we could stay dry. As we leave the car, a few drops are falling, but by the time we’re in the woods, it’s stopped. Nevertheless it’s damp underfoot, and everything is moist, rain-washed – and green! In the woods on Benthall Edge, the world is green – it’s a great place to be.

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Daughter of Amaryllis

We were given the mother several years ago. She’s been flowering merrily ever since – and producing pups around her base, which have been carefully potted-on. Now daughter no. 1 is in flower (and daughter two is close behind)…
The remarkable blooms – two of them, with a third on its way – are between 8 and 10 inches (200 – 250mm) across.

Photo notes: I used ‘Post Focus’ mode on my camera – it takes a short 4k video burst while varying the focus, then its clever software combines the sharpest parts of each frame. Wow!
Walk notes: Yes, we were out this morning, but the sky was grey and rain was threatening, so the camera stayed in its bag…

10% chance…

… of precipitation, according to the Met. Office. (Does that mean there’s a 10% chance that it will rain at some time during the hour – or that it will probably rain for 6 of the 60 minutes?) It did rain (very lightly), for perhaps no more than 6 minutes – at just the right time for a chocolate stop under some leafy trees… Other than that, a fine afternoon, a little warmer than of late, and very pleasant in the quiet lanes around Church Preen.

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Staying dry

It could be tricky… There’s a short sharp shower just as we’re getting into the car, but we could be lucky after it’s passed… With bright sunshine (at first) and puffy white clouds, it’s a technicolour day, perfect for this wander around quiet lanes near Kenley and Harnage Grange. The most extensive view, to the border hills, sadly is hidden by a tall hedge – but the camera, held high, can see over it… Lastly, there’s cake to be had, to round off an enjoyable afternoon (and we were lucky – stayed dry!)

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