Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday 30 November - After the Storm

Building(s) of the Day - Grope Alley - named for obvious reasons
The good news is that the worst of the storm is over and the high winds have dropped.  The bad news is that it is still raining.  In town has escaped much of the fury but the high winds have caused problems in the country areas.

The weather was not conducive to going out and we just went down to the Armoury for lunch to use up some coupons which expire today.  The roast turkey and trimmings and the fish and chips were very good.

Mary had a letter to mail and we posted it in the Victorian letter box in the Market Square.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday 29 November - Coach and Horses Carvery

Building of the day - Swan Hill

It has been blowing a gale all day with high winds but not much rain.  Temperatures have been fairly high.  We had a reservation for lunch at the carvery at the Coach and Horses.  We have found this to be good and were not disappointed.  There was a choice of roast beef, lamb, turkey or chicken.  Mary had the lamb while I had the turkey.  We could help ourselves to several vegetables as well as new potatoes and roast potatoes, stuffing, chipolatas, cauliflower cheese.  The roast [otatoes were as good as they get with a thick crunchy exterior and soft inside.  It took a little while to mine through the vegetables to the meat on the plates.  With a glass of sauvignon blanc and a Salopian Shropshire Gold this was a great way to take our minds off the weather.
This board shows the leaders of one of the guilds of Shrewsbury.  They did not meet at the Coach and Horses but the landlord was asked to look after it for them - they never came back to collect it
Sign in the lobby.  I didn't bother to ask about the joke.  It goes like this:
Drunken customer at the bar: "Would you call me a taxi?"
Barman: "You're a taxi."
On this hilarious note we laughed our way down to the river and crossed into Coleham before returning over the English Bridge.  A check in Marks and Spencer revealed the secret location to where they had moved the Battenberg cake.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Saturday 28 November - Birmingham Model Railway Show and Steam on the Main Line

Building of the day - from St. Alkmund's churchyard.  This building has half a lower floor perched above Fish Street
I took a train today to Birmingham International to visit the Birmingham Model Railway Show (Warley Model Railway Club).  In both directions the trains had a lot of standing passengers from /to Wolverhampton. This is a serious malaise on the UK railways where every train needs at least one extra car to accommodate the numbers travelling - and they are forecasting a 20% increase by 2020.

The show was as good as I had expected.  It is enormous and it took me three hours just to walk around and try to see all the exhibits.  With the exception of a few of the larger ones the layouts were all different from those I saw here two years ago,  Most of the layouts are very small but with exquisite detail.  Many were one man operations and several were cooperations from a small number of friends.  All the scales were represented and there were scenes from many different areas outside the UK - Ireland, USA, France, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria.
This is the extent of the layout.
Another small layout with just five switches and a fiddle yard

A two level turntable following a Belgian industrial prototype
The layout doesn't have to be filled with trackwork to provide lots of interest

A lime works
Great Western
Welsh Narrow Gauge
Llantwy had a lot of great details
Llantwy - The local pub at a time when kids were not allowed in the bar.
Llantwy - one of the two operators showed me locomotives he had made from cardboard and his junk box.
Herding sheep on Llantwy
Welsh slate railway

Bkrmingham Model Railway Show
Bkrmingham Model Railway Show
Click here to see all pictures taken at the Birmingham Model Railway Show

On arrival back at Shrewsbury a large crowd was waiting to board a steam special from Bristol via Gloucester and Chepstow.hauled by Stanier Black Five 45407.  The train was a long one and appeared full,  It was dark and raining.  Steam locomotives obviously have a very strong attraction.

As it pulled out 45407 sounded square.  It brought back powerful memories.
The fireman told me the normal way to fire these was down the sides with a little at the back - just like the 2-6-4 tanks I fired.
I asked "How's the coal"
"I've just got on, I don't know yet'"
The engine left with a big train  (maybe 10 coaches) and hauling an idling diesel.

This is a screenshot from Railway Herald of 2 December which shows 45407 on its way to Shrewsbury earlier on Saturday.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Friday 27 November - St. Chads

Building of the day - St. Alkmund's Close
The back bacon from Appleyards is amazing, almost a foot long and with lots of crispy rind.
There was a lunchtime concert given by the Shropshire Wind Ensemble in St. Chad's church today. 
Beethoven's Rondino in E flat minor was played by the octet of two  each oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoons.  They were joined by a contra bassoon for Krommer's Partita in F major.  The playing was good and the concert was well attended.  The contra-bassoon is a massive instrument that is not used a great deal.  It plays very low notes and was quite effective.
The contra-bassoon is centre right
Shrewsbury St. Chads
Click on the above image to hear the first part of the Beethoven Rondino

From St. Chad's we had lunch at the Armoury.
Sea Bass
Beef bourguignon with apple dumplings
Waffle with apple and cinnamon ice cream
Walking back it was good to see that C.R. Birch (see Wednesday) does keep regular business hours.
Friday evening is bell ringing practice at St. Mary's church.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thursday 26 November - A Lazy Day

Building of the day - Shrewsbury High Street at Milk and Fish Streets.  I just love the gingerbread. Appleyardsn is the second on the left.
Mary successfully completed the first laundry in the washing machine last night, always a chore getting used to a new and foreign machine.
A reminder of my Youth Hosteling days.  I always preferred the brown to the white
It has stopped raining but everything is wet so we decided to stay in town today. We did some grocery shopping and took a walk through the Quarry this afternoon.  We wanted to get some cheese at Appleyards on High Street.  They had a couple of men repairing a broken door hinge so we went to the Three Fishes while we waited to get in.  It would take a long time to taste our way through this cheesemonger.  Cheese and bacon is cut to order and there is a wonderful selection of jams, sauces, chutneys and pickles..  It was warmer today but the rowers must have been cold on the river.
Old St. Chads church

Pride Hill
It was fish and chip night at Cromwell's just down the street. It was quite good for the price. Mary had Chilean Sauvignon Blanc while I had pints of Butty Bach and Three Tuns Pale.

Wednesday 25 November - A Rainy Day

Building of the Day - Roushill at Mardol

The English Bridge
It has been raining on and off all day.  It is not particularly cold but not conducive to long walks.  We went back to the market to sample the dumpling house which, like the fishmongers has room for just 12 people.  
The daily special was excellent,  The dumplings (Ham and shrimp, Bejing and beef) were fresh, very light and cooked to order
The sweet scones had almost all been sold but there were a few cheese ones which were also very good.
 I found some pickled onions and piccalilli and am now set up.
C. R. Birch & Son have been in business since 1909 as an independent hardware store.  Maybe they were closed for lunch but I don't know.
The full story of C.R. Birch is found here:

End of an era as historic Shrewsbury shop to close its doors

We called in at the Three Fishes on the way back where a good number were having lunch.  Mary had her usual Sauvignon Blanc while I went Catatonic, a Salopian Brewery product - pale, strong and with a hint of grapefruit.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday 24 November - Shrewsbury Market

No matter where you look Shrewsbury has an amazing collection of interesting buildings
Butchers Row
The Shrewsbury two story market was open today.  It opens Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and Thursday mornings.  We went in good time to get a seat at the fishmongers, there are only twelve places and it can be difficult to get a reservation later in the week.  The food is fresh and well prepared.

The Cornish crab platter went very well with a glass of Sancerre
Just looking around provides a lot of interest.  We purchased a hand raised pork pie that was made in Ironbridge.

This coupkle were selling very good scones.  They billed themselves as the Original Goon Show
Heard from a couple of men passing by, "So I grabs one of these and throws it at the guy.  It 'it 'im on the back of 'is 'ead and knocked 'im out."  High praise indeed - they were also pretty edible.
 Replete with fish we set out to make a reservation at the muliplex cimema then passed by Sutton Bridge Junction box, crossed the river at Coleham and walked by the river as far as the Welsh bridge.

From Greyfriars Bridge, Coleham, United Reform church on left, Shrewsbury Abbey on right
St. Chads
The Darwin monument across the river from the Theatre Severn can  be seen better this time of year when the leaves are off the trees.