NTBHW June 2013 Shropshire – Much Wenlock

The weather was simply perfect from our start point at Ye Olde Withy Trees, Bamber Bridge, on Friday 7th June, to when we all got home on the Monday following. Bacon barms and tea/coffee were provided by Bob & his wife, (Landlords) and the cars, all shiny and fettled, drew a number of admirers from the locals and passers by. The Lancashire Evening Post was in attendance, and a report with photographs appeared in the LEP on the evening edition of the 10th June

All the cars managed to get away by 10.45am, including an MGCGT driven by  Bob, the landlord, who was joining us for the 1st night. And so with roofs down  in glorious sunshine we headed off along the old A49 trunk road through  Wigan & Warrington town centres to enjoy the old industrial landscape of the past. Our 1st stop was at the Cholmondeley Arms at Malpas, for a cool drink and some lunch, before our final leg into Much Wenlock and the Raven Hotel, where a reserved car park facility was provided. The hotel was of a high standard, and the staff were very helpful. The food was top class, and I think it is fair to say that we all had the very best of everything during our 3 night stay in this historic town.

Next morning, with blue sky overhead, we set off on a brief run to Blists Hill  Victorian Village, where selective parking for the cars was arranged. With the club banner up, we set off to explore life in an industrial Victorian setting for the morning, seeing carpentry as it was then, candle making, and other interesting processes of the day. Working steam engines provided power for many of the small workshops.

Graham & Julie joined us on our return, and after lunch we headed north east  to the RAF museum at Cosford, where the cars parked up outside Hangar No. 2. An air show was to take place the next day, and several aircraft were in the sky practising for the event. Some of the exhibits were outstanding. The TSR2 was my favourite, as this aircraft was way ahead of its time, and was pulled by Harold Wilson’s government on getting into power in 1966, just as it was about to enter service.

On Sunday, we embarked on a circular run of some 84 miles heading west  through the glorious Shropshire countryside. Over the cattle grids, and the moors with wonderful scenery. Our coffee stop was at the Long Myndd Hotel, in Church Stretton, a beautiful small town with character shops. The hotel was a hidden gem, perched high on the outskirts above the town, with great views over the rolling hills. Fortified by coffee and biscuits we set off again and encountered the proper Shropshire lanes, where speeds were down to 20mph in parts, with hidden bends and oncoming drivers cursing as they faced 16 MGs.

Lunch was arranged at the Baron in the village of Bucknell, a perfect spot to  relax in the sunshine, before heading back on the last leg to Much Wenlock. Several of us saw the one and only airworthy Vulcan fly over our heads trailing its jetstream of dirty smoke from its 4 Bristol Olympus engines, on its return to Cosford. Wow! What a sight!

On Monday, about a dozen members went south to Malvern for a guided tour of the Morgan factory. I didn’t make this trip, but Gordon was very enthusiastic and thought it well worthwhile.

Bill’s organisation of this trip was outstanding. Every detail was sorted. Parking was arranged wherever we went. The hotel was superb. The tulip maps were perfect. And the weather was good. I speak on behalf of all those who came on this trip, and would like to thank Bill for making it such a wonderful weekend.

Godfrey Dennis.