Monday, 30 July 2007

Day 10 - Prees to Leominster

25th July

Although not particularly sunny, the day was bright and dry. Tom had to remain behind with Len and me, while we went in search of a new bike.

There wasn't a suitable bike in the shop at Whitchurch, but the proprietor recommended Stan Jones Cycles in Shrewsbury.

We were also unsuccessful in getting the washing done. There was no laundry on the Prees campsite, and the launderette in Whitchurch closes on Wednesdays.

George, John, Josh and Josh set off while we were away, so I have no group photo of them for this day, but Len and Tom posed at the gate before our departure.

Tom picked out a bike but we had to wait for his Dad to arrive from Cheltenham with the cash to pay for it. Little did we realise how difficult the roads were, after the torrential rain of a few days previously.

While we were waiting, Tom discovered the art gallery and museum across the road from the coffee house accommodated in William Rowley's magnificent Elizabethan timbered house. Rowley had also added a very substantial brick house next to the timber dwelling. Len and I went over there too. The displays could do with a bit of revival. I was looking for the Geology of Shropshire which I remembered from my first ever Physical Geography field trip based at Church Stretton, but the descriptions were too brief and not local.

On the other hand, I was very impressed with the remains retrieved from the Roman town of Viroconium at Wroxeter, just five miles east of Shrewsbury and have resolved to go there when I can. Viroconium was the fourth largest Roman city in Britain and was probably established as a military base on a route leading to Wales.

We didn't set off from Shrewsbury until almost five pm and discovered that the rest of the party had arrived at Leominster Youth Hostel before we had. This was a good hostel with the usual cooking facilities, a laundry, which saw heavy use night and morning and a free wireless network for the Internet. Everybody gathered round my laptop that evening to check their email.

Photos show Tom and Len at the gate to the Green Lane Farm campsite, Tom choosing a bike at Stan Jones Cycles in Shrewsbury and the swollen waters of the River Severn flowing beneath the Welsh Bridge.

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