Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Shroppie Fly

A day out on the 'Shroppie', the Shropshire Union Canal, to give it its full and grand name!
Sue & I went to meet up with her sisters Angie and Barbara, and their Husbands, Bill and Malcolm. We try to meet up at least twice a year, sometimes slipping an extra one in, usually this time of the year, and ALWAYS at Christmas, so the 'girls' can have their own Christmas party while us lads look on.
As some of the legs today aren't as good as they once were, a flat walk was called for. I don't mind doing a canal, as I quite like them. We all met up at this pub, the Shroppie Fly, and had a quick 'stirrup cup' before setting off on our eight mile walk.
This is the museum next to the pub, a treasure trove of artefacts from the old days of the Shroppie.
Here we go - best foot forward then.

View through the lock.

The sedate and serene towpath in the warm afternoon sunshine.

This boat has sailed its last - it is now fast-moored at the side of this cottage.
This was the ONLY boat were saw on the canal - we were to learn the reason why later on in the pub. The canal had 'sprung a leak' and was in the process of being repaired. All through traffic had been suspended. The pub was losing a hell of a lot of business, they told us.
(Note the sky, see the sheets of rain??)

After seeing that boat, the sky blackened, and we could see sheets of rain heading our way. Incredibly, we reached a bridge (number 80) just in time as the heavens opened and a deluge fell for about 45 minutes, during which time we decided to eat our sandwiches under the bridge, so we didn't even get a spot on ourselves.
I'd like to say what GREAT planning, but it was just dead lucky!

This pretty moth took shelter alongside us while we ate.

After the rains - the gang of six take time for a group shot.

The rain storm left some superb cloud formations in its wake.

As we pressed on through the countryside and small hamlets, we came across this charmingly restored mill. It now makes for a beautiful residence.

Another view of it.
Bill tries his hand at cow-charming (and fails, miserably)
We walked on through the woods.
This is Audlem church

Angie smiles in the face of triffids!

A lovely man-made pond, full of reflections.
Eventually, we arrived back at the pub.
The bar was a canal boat, cut in half - LENGTHWAYS!
Smile please - we then had one of the nicest ever ribeye steaks.
That chef knew his meat alright, and it was cooked to perfection.

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