Water under the bridge

Rather a lot of it… Mostly Welsh water, this – the rain hasn’t been especially heavy here in Shropshire. The “big bends” near Leighton are almost invisible – look carefully to see the current in the normal river bed. It’s the same at Cressage bridge – the flood plain is a lake, and if the water rises another inch or two, it will be over the road. Flooding here is not uncommon, but this could be the last opportunity to see the disused power station above the waters. Perhaps, in some way, that’s symbolic.

To Ironbridge

We’re walking down to Ironbridge this afternoon, past some of the sculptures which once stood at the power station (now closed). If we follow the paths through Workhouse Coppice we can then descend through the woods to the bridge. The busy Wharfage takes us to the antiques centre (one of us is looking for a gift – the purpose of this little outing), then we’ll head back to Broseley up the steep Bridge Road. We’ll have to shelter from the rain first – there are one or two showers about…

Shropshire was once noted for its damsons – they seem to grow everywhere. One of the saddest sights is the windfalls rotting in the gutters. Few people seem to want them today – what a shame!

Beside the Severn to Hampton Loade

An easy stroll this afternoon – Hampton Loade and back – out by the riverside path, back past Chelmarsh reservoir. It’s a fine, sunny and warm afternoon, with puffy little cumulus clouds putting some detail in the sky. We can sit at Hampton Loade station, where we can watch the trains go by and perhaps have an ice cream. Perhaps not – the shop’s shut, but the trains are running and there’s (a very small amount of) chocolate in the camera bag. That’s what they’re for, isn’t it?

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Round the bend at Shrewsbury

After yesterday’s walk in the hill country, we went for an almost-level walk this afternoon, following the Severn downstream from the weir to below Belvidere bridge. The river follows a looping course here, so that, though we’ve walked getting on for five miles along its bank, it’s only about a mile and a quarter back to the car when we leave the water’s edge. Starting from the abbey, we head for the footbridge and the weir. At first it’s fairly busy, but as we move away from the built-up area there are fewer people about, and it’s very pleasant and easy walking. We enjoy brief glimpses of a couple of kingfishers as we approach the railway bridge at Belvidere. We don’t see them again, though we do see two or three trains humming along. Our return from the river takes us past the Column, where Lord Hill surveys the scene, looking smart after a recent wash and brush-up.

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Quiet flows the Severn

Weds. 10 May: we’re out for a leg stretch, on a perfect May afternoon. It’s warm too – perhaps we could cast a clout or two. I’ve never been sure whether the saying relates to the month or the May blossom of the hawthorn, which is truly “out”. We’re walking down the lane to Lower Severn Hall – there we’ll cut across to the river, and walk back along the bank as far as the Apley bridge, then return along the old railway track and up through the woods. There are one or two other people about, but it’s certainly quiet beside the Severn here.

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Down by the river

There’s a spring in our step today: meteorological spring began on Wednesday, apparently, and there’s spring in the mild air of this mostly-pleasant afternoon (there are a few raindrops too, but who’s counting?). We’ve parked beside the very quiet Colemore Green road, and we’ll walk back along the road towards the houses, where a footpath descends to the old railway line, just across the Severn from Apley Hall. Now we’re walking along the railway trackbed (the riverside path will be very muddy) – sadly, it’s more than 50 years since trains ran here, and they (almost certainly) will never again run here. We can only walk so far along the track – nearer Bridgnorth, it’s disappeared altogether beneath the carefully-mown grass of the golf course – so we’ll return to the lane and walk back to the car.


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A showery Sunday

We’ll head for Shrewsbury – we won’t be too far from shelter if the rain comes on. The showers could be heavy and thundery, according to the forecast. They weren’t, of course, though we did shelter under the English Bridge for a couple of minutes. There’s much more sunshine than shower, in fact, and the quieter streets of the town are at their best in the warm autumn light.

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