Disappointing Duchess

Don’t get me wrong – it’s great to see 6233 “Duchess of Sutherland” in action on the main line, on the “Great Britain XII”. But today she’s coasting, and the sun’s gone in. As the long train disappears under the bridge, we can hear the exhaust as the driver opens the regulator, and when a couple of service trains pass, not many minutes later, the sun is shining.

“While we’re out here, let’s go and look at the Central Wales – there’s a train due soon”. The former station building at Hopton Heath is no longer in railway use, but still looks good beside single-car 153 327 as it pauses briefly on its long journey to Swansea.

Cirrus over Cound

It’s a beautiful day! The sunshine is bright and warm, and the deep blue sky is decorated with wispy cirrus clouds. The fields will still be muddy, so we’re keeping to quiet surfaced lanes near the village of Cound. There’s a donation box for parking by the Guildhall, and there’s a second-hand book shop too. It’s open, but there’s no-one there, just an honesty box – 50p for paperbacks, £1 for hardbacks. Wonderful!

St Peter’s Charity Bookshop

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=355890&Y=304016&A=Y&Z=120

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.

Wrapped up

It’s cold this afternoon – I need a leg-stretch, but I’ll need to be well wrapped up. Perhaps the bridge at Ironbridge was cold too – it’s certainly well wrapped. I’m wondering if there might be signs of spring, but other than the bulbs coming up in the garden, the only spring I’ll see today is the ochreous flow by the iron bowl sculptures near the river bank. There’s iron in these hills – which is why the wrapped-up bridge is here…

Project Iron Bridge – English Heritage