Ironbridge Weekend - 25/26.07.09
The trip started from the filling station opposite The Swan, Three Mile Cross on the Saturday morning, fortunately all participants looked wide awake, (some thanks to a coffee from the garage). Ian W. & Angie (Pan) Roger (Magna) and Ian S. (CBF1000) were waiting when I (Bob, Pan) arrived at 8.10, Gavin (CBF1000) arrived 10 minutes later, so the six of us set off at 8.30. Weather was good, slightly cloudy, warm but not too hot. We set off along the M4 to junction 15 then headed north on the A419, to our first stop, a Tesco filling station outside Cirencester. Ian S. suggested a truck stop next door for Breakfast so we all piled into Greasy Joes and filled out faces. We Carried on along the A419 to the A417 then a brief stop at Barrow Wake viewpoint, Birdlip, where Roger (we all decided he looked the least intimidating) grabbed two foreign tourists to take our picture. From Birdlip we travelled down the hill where we joined the M5 and proceeded up to Junction 6. There we took the A449 toward Kidderminster and our 2nd fuel stop. Once through Kidderminster we made for the bikersí cafť at Quatford.
A refreshing cuppa and a chat here then on to our destination, The Brewery, Coalport.
We dropped off our bags and had a look around our weekend address, a 3 bedroom cottage adjoining the pub. All were suitably impressed, however there were some complaints about having to walk 50 yards home after a night in the pub; a taxi was suggested. We then set off into Ironbridge. Itís very difficult to tell people just how beautiful the whole area is, so I wonít try Iíll just say, go! You wonít regret it. After a wander around the village and crossing the bridge Ian W. had a sulk because nobody would buy him an ice cream. Long suffering Angie came to the rescue. It seemed rude to let him eat alone so we all had an ice cream. Back on the bikes for a brief guided tour around the museums and on to the boat, down what can only be described as a wooden road uneven in the extreme, an eye opener for all.
After a refreshing and well deserved drink we went back to our cottage, where the six of us were sorely tempted to just sleep off the rest of the day. As luck would have it we didnít and after a freshen up we hit the bar for food and drinks. This is where we were introduced to Roger Coalport and we all took to him right away. A quiet little guy with an enigmatic smile; he was actually a gift to Angie from Roger, our host, and is now an honorary member of our group. He got in on all our pictures; in fact he was an active participant in all our exploits.
Then onto the Woodbridge.
There were a few revelations discovered in the Woodbridge as the alcohol flowed, and if youíd like details I will need cash! More than the subject of the revelations will pay in blackmail fees. I will say the whole day and the evening weíre one of the most enjoyable I have had in ages. We were even reprimanded for our rowdy behaviour; a proud moment in any bikers life. From the Woodbridge we went back to the Brewery for a final drink before bed, well almost all of us, I had more drinking to do.
The next morning the weather had changed for the worse; drizzle followed by rain. But after a hearty breakfast (some more hearty than others) we made the decision to go to Llangollen, after all we were hardened bikers, used to the ravages of the British weather. At a fuel stop on the way (Rogers 3rd), I decided as the pans gauge had moved off the Full mark Iíd top up too. Ian S. left us at Llangollen to catch a ferry to Dublin; from there he was riding on to Northern Ireland. We rode up Horseshoe Pass (another must do) stopping at the top for more photo opportunities. Angie had the jitters on the way up having forgotten just how high it was. Roger was so keen on the views his concentration almost went AWOL and as for Gavin, he was over the moon, coz the sheep were roaming free. Weather wasnít too good by this time and a light drizzle had set in, so we decided the Ponderosa was the place to go for refreshments.
From here after a refreshing drink, we headed back down Horseshoe Pass, into Llangollen, just in time for the steam trains arrival. The beauty of having lots of rain is the rivers and waterfalls are twice as good to look at, and the River Dee was in full flow.
After a brief stop onward to Trevor and the Aqueduct, we approached from Llangollen and those who hadnít seen it before had no idea of the height. All I will say on this subject is, five of us set off to cross the Aqueduct, two made it across and back with pictures to prove it.
The homeward journey was a very wet affair. A5 to Shrewsbury, cross country to Bridgenorth then back through Kidderminster. Instead of going via the M5 Ian suggested the A44 with a couple of stops for fuel and coffees. For me an eye opener, first time along the A44, a very impressive road. It will now be my desired route to Ironbridge.
A huge thank you to everyone who came along and made it a weekend to remember.
Pictures by Roger and Swifty
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