A trip on the Severn Valley Railway and a tour of Bridgnorth.

Between two weeks of cold relentless rain on a warm sunny morning, Group A, U3A History, met on the Severn Valley Railway station platform in Kidderminster to board the train to Bridgnorth, where we were greeted and introduced to tables laden with homemade cream cakes and scones (SCONE  before it was eaten and after - SCON) Those of us in the observation carriage had an excellent all round view of where we'd been and we decided the royal WE was Nita, who duly played her part with royal waves to all. Some of our ORDINARY colleagues in the next carriage joined us having a laugh although Geoff had lowered the tone a little with historic ambiguities. We passed historic halts and stations with railroad snippets from our SVR man.

At Bridgnorth, we were joined by Derek, our very knowledgable guide. 

After crossing the bridge, he pointed out caves where civil war soldiers, storage, and contacts had been hidden and later on had accommodated local residents. Walking further on, we stopped by the river to hear the history of Bridgnorth as a busy port for barges, boats and Severn trows. We inspected the grooves made by ropes pulling or mooring craft, sometimes by horses.

Full of cream teas, we were quite relieved, that our talk about the dozen or so pubs that sat side by side up a VERY steep long hill, did not include visiting them, but merely described how they filled up, from the bottom up when boats were safely docked!

Next, we needed to go up to the higher town - thank goodness! - in the funicular (cable car). This was not only a relief, but, fun! 

When we got out, Derek told us more about how Royalist the town support was, and the importance of the Greek styled church. Inside the door an extremely large painting of Mr Telford presided over the vestibule to reinforce Derek's word's of his influence on the wealth of the town's industries. The Decca recording company site was nostalgically pointed out by him as his former place of employment (along with one of our members) from the Town Walls Walk. The view over Lower Town was STUNNING, the history of the large thick walled castle, very little of which remains in the beautiful park up there now was fascinating, and by the looks of the many cannonballs which hit and have left their marks, stands with pride to continue support for our royal sovereign. O could we have killed a cuppa?!.....

We said "Goodbye" to Derek as he sent us off to our own devices. 

Now.. Where do you think we all headed?

Of course, too risky to waste time looking for a teashop !

It was all downhill to the railway, and we all remembered the lovely mug of Rosie Lea the SVR do!

The sun was still out so we plonked ourselves at the rear of the pub with our selected beverages. Our train pulled in, and out of it poured group B, full of anticipation for their cream tea en route back. We smugly thought of all the walking they had to do yet with spritely Derek to earn it! 

What a lovely day it had been! Although we were now reduced to being 'ordinary' trippers, we noticed more of the wonderful views without the distraction of a cream tea, AND got to our vehicles just as the rain started!  

Another wonderful, entertaining and informative trip.

Carole Clements