|25 Aug 2013||Mike||John|
The Woodbridge Inn, which is located 2 miles downstream from the famous Ironbridge, is set in its own grounds stretching 5.5 acres down to the river Severn and providing extensive views of the Coalport Bridge, and must be one of the most idyllic locations to start one of our hashes from.
Forsaking tradition, and with regard to the small numbers of walkers (Kathy, Nina and Rew) it was decided to walk the trail as one group, and Mike duly led us along the south side of the river towards Ironbridge.
Mike said the route may take longer than usual as there were so many interesting things to see en route. He didn’t disappoint us, as we made stops at various antique emporiums, bric a brac stalls, estate agent windows. and passed a plethora of very tempting riverside pubs.
On route we passed the old factory buildings of Maw & Co (once the world’s largest tile manufacturer) which now have a new lease of life as the Maws Craft Centre, housing 20 independently run studios, holistic therapists, craft and design businesses. Many of the resident workshops specialize in producing unique designs and gifts and also undertake commissions.
Further along the route was the Jackfield Tile Museum decorated above the window with examples of their tiles.
The famous Iron Bridge, is a 30-metre (100 ft) cast iron bridge built across the River Severn in 1779 by Abraham Darby III. The bridge is noted as being the first of its kind, fabricated from cast iron, and being one of the few which has survived to the present day it therefore remains an important symbol, representative of the dawn of the industrial age.
Mike must have become distracted by all of these diversions, so that to Kathy’s horror, the bridge we meant to take, was passed. This meant that the next opportunity to cross the river was now at the Ironbridge, itself. This was considered by most of us a welcome extension, as the planned route would have avoided the highlight of the walk.
Not everyone was happy, though, and several times “a Bridge too far” was mentioned as this extended the walk by a mile or two.
To round off the walk, lunch awaited us at The Woodbridge Inn, and a pleasant hour or two was spent at this wonderful riverside location.
Many thanks to Mike for a splendid trail and for organising a superb weekend.