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Preparing for the Narrow Boat Cruise

And visiting an Iron Bridge


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2002 An English Narrowboat Holliday & 2002 Heart Attack at Shroud Key & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Cooling towers?

Cooling towers?


On the way up to Llangollen, our daughter noticed the signs to Ironbridge, and thought if there was time we'd come back that way. And there was, and we did. Ironbridge is a town and has in it a bridge made of iron. The bridge is a National Historic Landmark.
Shops on the square

Shops on the square


Directional sign at the end of the bridge

Directional sign at the end of the bridge


Iron Bridge from downstream

Iron Bridge from downstream


This bridge was built with cast iron after a nearby smelter made it an economically feasible material to use. I would not have thought iron was a good material to use in a wet location because of the possibility of rusting, and in fact vehicle traffic is now prohibited on the bridge. But you can walk across to the other side, and there are views up and down the river from the bridge. The Iron Bridge itself is a public access monument
One end of the bridge

One end of the bridge


Looking through the railings

Looking through the railings

4436452-Houses_Ironbridge.jpgLooking down the river

Looking down the river


Iron Bridge from upstream

Iron Bridge from upstream


Path beside the river

Path beside the river

Bob by the wall

Bob by the wall


There are no eye witness accounts are known which describe the Iron Bridge being erected, so the method is a bit of a mystery. After you've taken pictures from a distance, then go and look at it close up from underneath to appreciate how it might have been constructed.
222317854436432-Looking_down..Ironbridge.jpgViewing area from above

Viewing area from above


Bob, daughter and grandson walking down

Bob, daughter and grandson walking down

Looking down on daughter and husband

Looking down on daughter and husband

Looking down on the path

Looking down on the path


Museum of the Gorge is on the other side of the bridge. We did not get to visit this museum as we got to Ironbridge right about 5 pm. The website says that the secrets of how and why the bridge was built "are revealed in an exhibition housed in the original Tollhouse on the south side of the Bridge." The Tollhouse is open 10am - 5pm and is ***FREE***
Toll House from across the bridge

Toll House from across the bridge


There are other museums in the Ironbridge area. The Passport Ticket allows repeat daytime access to all 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums, during normal opening hours, so you can return as often as you like for one year. If after 12 months you have still not visited particular sites, you can return at any time in the future to make one free visit to the sites that you've missed.

The church in Ironbridge is one of the "Waterloo Church" type and it was built in 1835/6 using funds from the Church Building Act 1818.
St. Luke's Church

St. Luke's Church


The tower has a three dial clock, which was made by W. Davies of Shifnal. The architectural style is simple Commissioners' Gothic. The church is oriented in a direction that is the reverse of the most churches with the sanctuary at the west end and the tower at the east end. This is because the land at the west end would not bear the weight of a tower. The living was endowed as a rectory when the parish was created from Madeley in 1847 and is now a united with Coalbrookdale. It is in the Diocese of Hereford which is a Church of England diocese based in Hereford, covering Herefordshire, southern Shropshire and a few parishes within Worcestershire in England; and a few parishes within Powys and Monmouthshire in Wales.
War Memorial

War Memorial


Shrewsbury Chronicle 25th January 1924.
The War memorial has been erected in the market square this week. It is a bronze life-size figure of a soldier in mourning attitude on a pedestal of Cornish granite 8ft. high. It is fenced with Iron pillars and an ornamental chain.
Two bronze tablets are erected one bearing the inscription:
In grateful and undying memory of the valiant men of Ironbridge, who laid down their lives in the Great War 1914-1918. We thank God for every remembrance of you.

The other bronze tablet bears the names of the fallen...
The sculptor for the memorial was, Mr. Arthur G. Walker.
The monument was moved to the other side of the road, to provide a bus bay, this upset many local people. Local folk lore says:
” In the square he was looking towards the railway station to see his pals returning”.
”He was looking towards his beloved river Severn

Parking sign

Parking sign


We got there late in the day - so late that we didn't have to pay for parking- the meter refused all our money. Our daughter called our son-in-law about 1700 from the parking lot to say we were about 2 hours from home. After we walked around a little, we decided to eat there at the Iron Bridge Tea Rooms.
Tea Rooms at dusk

Tea Rooms at dusk


The downstairs room seemed full so we went upstairs - this was another place where the waitresses really had to run up and down the stairs. We were one of the last ones there, leaving at 18:43 I think that it is mostly for lunches. I had a cottage pie, Bob and our daughter had a steak and ale pie and our grandson had a children's meal. I had bread and butter pudding for dessert, Bob had an ice cream sundae, and our daughter had coffee. We brought dinner home for our SIL. This meal was £33.74 including a tip of £3.50 ($48.11 without the tip for the 5 of us, which I thought was extremely reasonable.)

July 25th, 2002

Our daughter walked in to work again (as she did on Tuesday because the buses don't run that early in the a.m.), and we took the car and went to the Gloucester Waterway Museum with our grandson. The museum is one of our grandson's favorites (he is 8 years old), and we also thought it would be good preparation for the narrowboat trip we were taking starting on the next day. Our daughter gave us directions for the Shop Mobility place where we could have parked free (my mother used it), but I didn't feel as disabled as that. So we paid £3.00 for parking. We left late because I was writing up our previous days for the home folks

We got to our goal (the National Waterways Museum) about noon after getting lost a couple of times. I was still very nervous about how close Bob was to the left (he was driving the Rover which is RHD), but I think it was pretty much unnecessary - I was just nervous. He did hit another curb, but managed to miss a child of about 3 who jumped out into the street in front of him, causing the mother to yell (loud enough that I could hear her) "You stupid child.. " etc. I would have said she was the stupid one to let a toddler that age be close enough to the road when her mom was far enough away for that to happen.
792167-Thursday_July_25_Gloucester.jpgNational Waterway Museum

National Waterway Museum


After we parked, I saw a huge gaggle of middle school kids about ready to go into the museum, so we stopped and ate lunch at the museum shop first. Our grandson had a milkshake (which is a bottled drink and not ice cream) and chips, I had tea (85p), quiche and a jacket potato, and Bob had a tuna sandwich and Sprite (lemonade). The bill was £8.55 ($13.60). Then we went to the museum £12 for 2 seniors and one child.

We did all the interactive things. This included investing in a canal company (I lost all my money), designing a canal (I did this with my grandson - the first time we did it the computer came back and said something to the effect of "I can't believe that they are allowing you to be in charge of this project - you need to go back and work under an engineer as an apprentice", working a lock (on the computer) by doing things in the correct sequence, and designing your own canal boat. Our grandson also had a list of things to look for and write down the answers to questions about them, which he turned in at the gift shop to be eligible for a drawing. It was sponsored by a chocolate company.
Grandson marking his answer sheet

Grandson marking his answer sheet


There were also exhibits on the canal navvies (some boys went to work as young as 8 - the same age as our grandson), cargos, a speeon dredger, a coal hoist, a lock gate (a real one - unfortunately so dark that it was hard to take a picture of it, information about leggers (when the canal boats couldn't be pulled by the horses through tunnels, the men lay on their backs and walked the boat through - was called legging), and a painted ware gallery (something like Pennsylvania Dutch work). There were also cruises available, but we didn't take one. After we got home (we are getting better at finding our way back to the house), Bob walked up to the store.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 09:52 Archived in England

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Comments

One of your daughters lives in Wales wuth her family?

Your first photo has those nuclearpowerplant towers in it which made me think that it would be really interesging to work in one. Not as an actual employee, but just one week or two with someone who knows his trade so you would get general idea how things works :)

by hennaonthetrek

No, my daughter was in England on a job exchange for three years. Her youngest child was still in school and was with her. We went to visit them, and she drove us around to places we wanted to see. Wales was one of the places I wanted to see.

We have a nuclear power plant in the next county over and I'm not sure it would be such a good deal to work in one.

by greatgrandmaR

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