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We’re now back home after a brilliant week in Shropshire. We left this morning but took most of the day to come back in order to prolong the holiday. First off we nipped back down to Ironbridge for breakfast in the hope we’d see the place in the sunshine that was predicted. Sadly, that wasn’t the reality. Low cloud and mist cloaked the area leaving the light looking flat. Even so, we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the town – and a decent breakfast of smashed Avocado and poached egg on toast at a cafe overlooking the bridge.

Bidding adieu we decided to ignore the motorways and cut across country in order to explore. As much as we’ve enjoyed Shropshire we’ve noticed a marked difference to home as we’ve toured the county. Many country pubs are derelict or are intact but remain closed, meaning it’s hard to find somewhere to stop for a drink or bite to eat. In contrast, most of Yorkshire’s establishments have reopened. Why there’s such a disparity is impossible to fathom. We know some of our locals are struggling to find staff. Is the situation worse in Shropshire, and if so – why?

Heading back the first major town we looked at was Market Drayton. As the name suggests it’s a market town. There’s some fine old half-timbered buildings but we weren’t tempted to stop as we’d been spoiled earlier in the trip when we’d visited marvelous Ludlow (and also Shrewsbury). So, we kept driving across country. Passing through Loggerheads (no, really!) to skirt Stoke and pass through Leek before hitting the Peak District. The weather improved the farther North we got, so much so that by the time we arrived in Buxton the temperature felt more like June rather than October! It was so good we decided to take a break and found a pub with a beer garden where we could sit and soak up some rays over a drink and watch the world go by.

Buxton is known for its waters (bottled and spring) but for people with an interest in railways the area’s also known for its rail connected quarries which ship stone all around the UK. Dawn was happy to drive past the one at Peak Forest in order than I could grab a couple of library pictures as the weather conditions were perfect. Here’s a sample.

An empty DB Cargo train backs into the loading area at Peak Forest. Each one of those wagons can carry almost 78 tonnes of stone. There’s 22 of them in that formation. Loaded, they’ll carry 1,700 tonnes. In contrast, an 8-wheel HGC road vehicle can carry just under 20 tonnes, meaning each train like this is taking 85 8-wheeler lorries off the roads. Oh, and that’s before we even think about the amount of Co2 saved, not to mention all the other environmental benefits.

The rest of the trip home was in weather akin to what you can see in the picture. Sadly, it’s not forecast to last, but hey-ho. We’ve had a great break in Shropshire which we both thoroughly enjoyed – and we’ve still got the weekend to look forward to (and a busy week after that)…

I’ve a favour to ask…
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