Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday 31 May - Severn Valley Railway

A rose between two thorns - a GWR Manor posed between two Southern Pacifics

The Bridgnorth Station Cat lived in the gift shop but came out to see the trains off
We had a great day today.  With a day rover ticket the Arriva bus took us right to the Severn Valley Railway station in Bridgnorth in plenty of time to have a look around and a coffee.
Bridgnorth Engine Shed Yard

Taking the token, ready for the off at Bridgnorth
We took the first train to Highley to look around the small museum there which is well set up for visitors including kids.  I was asked if I wanted to crayon a coloring book.  The collection there is quite varied - locomotives that may eventually be taken to the works to be put back into operation.
Highley station has been impressively restored

I was delighted to see 80079 which was on the Shoeburyness line when I was firing there although I didn't get to fire this particular engine.

Highley signal box

A Manor arriving at Highley
We continued on to Kidderminster, this time with a GWR Manor facing the right way around.

The stop at Kidderminster was quite short and we made our way back to Bewdley with the Manor running backwards.  We passed a game park where we saw a rhinocerous and an elephant.

The stop at Bewdley was, again quite short and we came back to Bridgnorth behind a diesel 33008.
The attention to detail at all of the stations was amazing and the crowds were impressed.  This is a low season timetable today but they were running eight car trains which were pretty full but not overcrowded.

The bus back to Shrewsbury was about 15 minutes late but the ride back through Much Wenlock and over Wenlock Edge made a great end to our stay in Shrewsbury.

Click Here to see all pictures taken on The Severn Valley Railway.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tuesday 30 May - Welshpool and Llanfair Railway

The weather started cool and overcast but it improved during the day and the evening was fine and sunny.  We took the train to Welshpool, walked through the town and caught the steam train to Llanfair.  We were hauled by Countess my favourite because of the glorious Great Western green.
Countess arriving at Welshpool
At Llanfair we met up with Kevin and John and arranged for Paul to ride the locomotive back to Welshpool. A walk through the town brought us to the Goat pub where we had a sandwich before returning to the station where we visited the carriage shed.
Bob was keeper of the menus and talked to his beer


Paul enjoyed the ride back to Welshpool and we caught the train back to Shrewsbury.
This evening we tried a pint of Skinners Mild beer at the Loggerheads.  It was easy tasting but we found it very heavy and difficult to drink.  It was almost as if we had had a meal
Click here to see all pictures taken this day

Monday, May 29, 2017

29 May - Oakapple Day

Today is Oakapple Day and also my birthday.  We found some oakapples on the way to Pontcysyllte.
We found an oak tree with lots of oakapple growths
It was raining lightly in Shrewsbury when we left for Chirk.  It is a holiday Monday so we were able to use our two travelling together card.  The weather deteriorated in Chirk.  The walk along to the Pontcysyllte aqueduct was fine although there were not a lot of canal boats in motion - most seemed to be having breakfast.


We returned straight back to Chirk and walked through the canal tunnel to see the Chirk aqueduct then returned for a coffee and a seat in the dry.

The train back to Shrewsbury was very full indeed with people and luggage in the aisle and vestibules.  Not a very safe operation.

Dinner was at the Armoury, lamb for Paul and duck for me, washed down with Salopian Oracle.  An excellent meal.

Click here to see all pictures taken at Chirk

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday 28 May - Oxford to Cosford and Shrewsbury

We were up early and out of the hotel to have a breakfast snack at the station where we watched some very poor station work which managed to turn an early arrival of a train to Great Malvern into a sadly late departure.
The early morning light in Oxford was good for photography.
Our train to Birmingham International was on time as was the onward train to Cosford.
We were greeted by this Hawker Hunter

There were tanks and other vehicles as well as aircraft

A Hooded Crow was searching for something edible

The aircraft were being given some TLC

The RAF Museum at Cosford was very well set out.  There are three main halls or hangers as well as a number of larger aircraft outside.  There were several areas where kids could play and the whole exhibit was very well conceived and carried out.  I  was disappointed that there was no Lancaster on display and the Spitfire was a full sized Airfix kit, impressive in its own right.  We spent a good time going over the exhibits then had a drink, a snack and an ice cream before taking our time back to the station to catch the one car puddle jumper on to Shrewsbury.

Click here to see all pictures taken at Cosford

Mary and I spent a month at the Prince Rupert hotel on Butcher Row and we checked in in good time to take in some of the cycle racing which is on a larger circuit this year.  It was pleasantly warm and we walked along by the river, through the Dingle Gardens and along to the English Bridge, up Wyle Cop to St. Alkmunds and dropped into the Three Fishes for a pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord. I was greeted warmly by Danny and Wendy who were pleased to see me.
It is unusual to see cattle in the river close to the boathouses.

The river was calm and beautiful.

We munched a pork sandwich while watching the end of the racing and came back for an early night.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Friday/Saturday 26-27 May Travel to London then Didcot and Oxford.

Air Canada sucked us in and blew us out as promised.  The flight was was nowhere near full. Lack of integration at Heathrow Bus Station meant they could only sell us a ticket on the bus to Reading and we had to buy separate train tickets.

The Didcot Railway Centre was very good indeed.  The weather was iffy when we arrived but improved to sunny during the afternoon.  There were several old friends such as Hinderton Hall which was a Didcot engine and Cookham Manor which I seem to remember as a Reading engine at one time. The blue King was well maintained but I don't really like the color.

We traveled on to Oxford where the booking clerk spent a lot of time getting the best price for our trip tomorrow to Shrewsbury via Cosford.

Oxford is pretty warm and the hotel is so so - alright for one night.  I will try and post pictures later.

Didcot  GWRS 2017