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An old friend: 61306 was the last of the LNER’s B1 class in normal BR service, withdrawn in September 1967 and going straight into preservation.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…

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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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Kites over Cardington

An afternoon that improved! Dull and damp at first, the sun came out for the last hour or so: low, strong and golden, a spotlight creating at times unreal effects. Kites? Well, they keep moving around, making them difficult to count and photograph. Certainly five, probably six – maybe more. Twenty years ago, seeing just one kite in the Shropshire sky would have made it a red-letter day!

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Beating the rain

There’s wet weather around – heavy showers are forecast, possibly with hail, for later this afternoon. We’ll have an early lunch and get out sooner than usual – perhaps we can beat the rain? We needn’t go far: Willey should be fine, in more ways than one.

Less than an hour after we’re home again, it’s started. Great timing!

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A long look around Cound

Playing with a long lens… We’d intended to go to Attingham, but when we saw several hundred other cars parked there, with yellow-jacketed wardens waving us off to far-flung corners, we realised that it wasn’t going to be a quiet wander. Cound was busy too – five other cars in the Guild Hall car park…

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