Got up a little later today. The destination was about an hour’s car drive away and the walk was due to start at 10.30am.
We decided to have breakfast at a Little Chef on the way. However, when we entered the restaurant we were told that there would be an half-an-hour wait for any food. They were short staffed – let down by someone. We decided to make do with some sandwiches from the garage (petrol/fuel station) next door.
We arrived only a few minutes ahead of Julia & co. We then arranged for one of the cars to be located at the end of the walk so that we would not have to walk back along the road to return to the cars after we had finished the main walk and had a meal.
Snailbeach is a mine (or at least the name of the village associated with the mine). To quote from that site: ” Snailbeach was the biggest lead mine in Shropshire and it is reputed to have yielded the greatest volume of lead per acre of any mine in Europe. Underground mining ceased here in 1955 but it is reputed to date from Roman times and the surface buildings are the most complete set in the district and probably the country. Although the miners mainly extracted lead ore (galena), smaller quantities of Barytes, Calcite, Fluorspar, Silver and Zinc were also obtained. ”
Host Father’s brother has been associated with restoration of this mine for many years. Today they were having an open-day and taking visitors into one of the mine levels. Host Father had done the trip before so he looked after the dog whilst everyone else got kitted up with lights and helments.
Unfortunately, Mutty did not have any walking boots and the spare wellington boots did not fit. She had just trainers. She and Younger Host Sister (similarly attired) rolled up their jeans and marched into the mine. Their trainers and feet got very wet and muddy. Mutty’s socks turned from white to brown. They did not complain though and got on with the walk.
The Stipperstones, is a series of ridges in Shropshire and is a Nature Reserve. There is also a village of the same name and we chose to walk from Snailbeach to The Stipperstones Inn over the top rather than along the road.
Host Father found this very hard going. We climb a significant height on a steady slope. However most of us were too hungry to make it up the last stretch before we turned to the downward path to the pub. The path down was very steep in places and had a lot of loose rocks and pebbles so we had to be careful walking down.
We all had a reasonable meal each and then headed back home. (Actually. Older Host Sister went off with Julia & Co. to visit their relatives nearby before being dropped off at home. This meant we had a bit more room in the car with just four of us and the dog.)
We introduced Mutty to that most British of TV programmes, Doctor Who. It original version of this ran for many many years first appearing in the same year as Host Father was born. Production stopped in the 90’s – the show was getting tired – but a new version was aired this year that takes full advantage of modern TV production techniques and computer graphics (it is a Science Fiction show by the way). We think Mutty is a fan. She watched two episodes, only another 11 to go.
The Host Sisters were sent off to bed. When Host Father picked the film Moulin Rouge Mutty expressed some excitement so we sat down and watched that with the full benefit of the surround sound system (which would have stopped Older Host Sister going to sleep but she is used to that).