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Round Britain Rally Part 10

Narrow Boats and Wales

You last saw us home having failed to do Scotland and with us reviewing our plan for the rest of our holiday.
By Saturday the weather had improved and there is a landmark in Kent at Broadstairs that’s calling for our attention and looks about right for a days ride.
So off we go for a quick blast down all the main roads A11, M11, A25 over the Dartford crossing then the A2 to Ramsgate and Broadstairs.
The landmark is a tower called the Crampton tower after Thomas Russell Crampton who designed locomotives, railways and was responsible for one of the cables under the Atlantic; it’s a museum and no prizes for guessing it’s a railway museum.
We take the pictures and look for a watering hole then a quick blast home via a reverse route 320 more miles on the clock.
Sunday sees us off to Wales via Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Shropshire once again all main roads A11, A14 and M6, the old Revere loves it showing that it’s got long legs to eat up the miles.
We swing around Coventry to Alcester and Coughton to find a wayside cross, local help is needed and we are soon pointed in the right direction, awful spot to stop to take the pictures without getting run over but Anne manages it alright, well I had to hold the bike.
Next is Tardebigge in Worcestershire to take a walk along the bank of the Worcester – Birmingham canal past colourful narrowboats on what has become a lovely summers day, through a boatyard where several of these boats are being restored by their owners, we stop and pass the time of day with some of these folk and find the enthusiastic way they talk about their boats and the keenness to get the details right shows just how much they are like VJMC members, just different machines.

   That leaves Quatt in Shropshire, a VC memorial cross in the village churchyard no problem to find and there’s a sign for food at the village pub so we sit down to a good home cooked meal on the banks of the river Severn with the river on one side of us and a small railway line on the other and watch as a small steam train chugs by filled with happy waving kids.
It’s an idyllic spot to take a break but needs must it’s getting late and we need to find a decent B&B yet, we’re near to Leominster before we spot one and it’s full but they give us a couple of numbers to ring and we are lucky with the second one and with the light fading fast we book in, nice room, soft bed Ahhhh!, another 270 miles done they aint arf mounting up.
Another nice morning finds us on our way down the A44 to Clifford and its castle, but first we need fuel and pull into the first station we see only to find they no longer sell petrol only autogas, the next five we pass are all shut and pumps boarded up or have NO PETROL signs thank goodness for a decent reserve.
I hadn’t realised it but seemingly petrol stations all over the country are closing their pumps and relying on shops and repairs to keep going as there’s not enough profit in petrol, well that’s their story.
We eventually get fuel when we arrive at Clifford and so ask the way to the castle, following the directions we soon find it but it’s now on private property no admittance signs the lot but we can just about get a shot of it, or at least it’s ruins, even if we are in danger from the owners dog that is doing it’s best to lick us to death.

This county Hereford has two landmarks and we are soon on our way to the next one a London tube train on the side of the road at Broadoaks, yeah right, we ride up and down the same piece of road where we are sure Broadoaks is located passing the garage several times and I eventually pull in to ask for help and it goes like this “ Hi can you tell us where Broadoaks is please”  “ this is Broadoaks mate I expect you’re looking for the tube then” “ah yes that’s right” he grins at us knowingly “ ar there’s bin lots of you looking for that, you’re in this rally thing then “  “ yes that right err you know where it is then” “ no they sold it off and towed it away”.

Well that’s that then all we can do is take a picture of anything with the village name on it a road sign would do “aint none mate only place that had Broadoaks on it was our canopy ““had ?” “Yeah we’ve had it repainted and the writing aint been done yet” we take a picture of the garage anyway and hope for the best (we got full marks)

On our way once more and at last we enter Wales and head straight for the first Welsh landmark in Monmouthshire, the mounting block at the Skirrid Inn as here we should get a meal, nope closed on Mondays oh well take the picture and press on to Pontsticill, Powys and the Brecon railway they’ll have a tea room or something, nope closed on Mondays so are the local eateries seems it’s no good being hungry on a Monday in this area.
On towards Brecon looking for a B&B as we go, we find a nice one at a reasonable price and they tell us where we can get a meal in Brecon where we get huge steaks with all the trimmings and drinks for the princely sum of £6 each, now that was worth the wait.
Next episode we will be going deeper into Wales to find a steel kite and the worlds smallest brewery, see you there.




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