Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday 7 December - Telford

Building of the Day - The Wheatsheaf on the High Street at Milk Street.  Freshly painted.  Wonder what it looks like under the paint.
Today was the first day since we arrived in Shrewsbury where there was an appreciable amount of sunshine.  Everything was still very wet from the overnight rain but we looked forward to a pleasant day.

We have never been to Telford or Wellington.  The Arriva bus took us via Attingham through very pleasant countryside.  Several leafless trees stood out against the bright sky looking almost like the Africam Baobab trees.  We saw enough of Wellington from the bus while Telford Town Centre is just an enormous shopping mall, confusing in its complexity,  After a cup of coffee in one of several Costa coffee locations we fought our way into the open air to visit the Telford Town Park.  It won this years award for the best town park in the country, beating Quarry Park, Shrewsbury.  Telford Town Park is a cross between an adventure playground and dense forest.
Telford Town Park
A large lake provided a pleasant walk and there were a number of fishermen trying their luck. Telford is, in effect, similar to the new Lansdowne Park in Ottawa which has plenty of places for people to spend money and is filled with familiar brand stores but nothing of real interest or uniqueness.  Plenty of fast food joints but no interesting funky pubs. One size fits all.

About an hour after we arrived it became obvious that Telford had nothing to hold us and so we caught the express bus back to Shrewsbury in time for lunch.

A walk along the river at Shrewsbury showed that water levels had dropped and the boat hung up by the current against the Welsh Bridge had either sunk or freed itself.  Work crews were removing the flood barriers that had been erected close to the Theatre Severn.  A pair of swans were carefully shepherding their five large cygnets through the fast current, occasionally coming ashore to check out possible hand outs from passers by.

We found a sunny window at the Boathouse pub where we could watch the swans on the river and enjoy the lackm of rain.  The terrace and dock had been underwater but river levels were now down some way.

There is a lot of activity in Quarry Park where work crews are setting up the tents etc for the Christmas Fair which starts on the weekend,
Swan Hill
The lesson learned from today is that neither Telford nor Wellington are worth a second look. In fact, the bus journeys proved as entertaining as the destination.  On the way out two Mormons, one from Italy, tried to convert the passengers  On the way back a man and woman with a dog were sitting at the back arguing fiercely - they had been into something and I think the dog was the smartest of the three.  A lady sitting across the aisle from me leaned over and asked in a thick Jamaican accent,  "Are they allowed to make that much noise?". They finally got off on the outskirts of Shrewsbury although not without much soul searching.

We then had a conversation about how you could tell how clean a Fish and Chip shop was by looking at it from the outside.  She was horrified to learn that there was a H.M. Prison right by the railway station.

Marks and Spencer have an unusual brand of crisp - lamb and mint flavour.  Certainly different but not to be repeated.

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