Sunday, June 12, 2016

Saturday 11 June - Ludlow and Helen Mirren

We planned to take the train to Ludlow today but found the station forecourt full of buses as the lines to Hereford and Welshpool were closed for the weekend for planned engineering work. I find it inconceivable that the railway can shut down like this on a summer weekend.  Transport by rail/bus would have been possible but we decided to take the Minsterley Motors bus instead.  The bus was likely more reliable running to a regular timetable.

The bus runs through Church Stretton and serves several small villages along the way. It is a pleasant ride past Long Mynd and there was a party of walkers who had planned on using the train as well. The weather was showery with small isolated patches of very heavy rain.  We were lucky and missed being out in a downpour but the roads were very wet in several paces.

Ludlow was busy on a Saturday and the market was in full swing.
There are many interesting listed buildings here.  We were taken with the elaborate carvings on this one.
The door surround is a little out of square
Walking down to the bridge over the river Teme the weeds springing out of this wall were very attractive
The ducks were enjoying the calm on the river below the weir.  There were a ot of male ducks but the females and young were nowhere to be seen.  The castle is on top of the hill
We walked along the path in the woods to the next bridge.
The roof of this building has a marked sag.
There are several buildings in yellow and black rather than black and white
Back at the market we bought two enormous warm pasties, lamb and mint and beef with potato, carrot and turnip.

The reason for the early lunch was an organ concert at the St. Laurence parish church by Andrew Lucas.  The organ has been well maintained and updated and the concert, with pieces by J.S. Bach, John Stanley, Herbert Howells, Enrico Bossi, Max Reger and Jehan Alain, was very good.  The video screen gave a good view of the keyboards etc. and Lucas gave a short, well written commentary between each piece.  This church is the church of A.E. Houseman and The Shropshire Lad.

This fantastic drone video shows the church inside and out together with music from the organ.

We waited for the bus back in The Compasses a drinking establishment that only had one cask beer. The beer on tap was appropriately named Hobson's. I watched part of the football from France.

This very ornate building is opposite the bus stop.
The ride back was uneventful apart from a few heavy showers.  Many of the people who came in with us were on this bus including a couple with a small dog called "Grace".  At All Stretton the group of tired but happy hikers also joined us.

We had time to unwind before going out to the Theatre Severn where we saw a recording of a live play "The Audience" from the National Theatre.  Helen Mirren was exceptional and we were amazed at the quick changes of dress and character as she portrayed the queen in different stages of her reign.  There was a video during the interval explaining the way the costumes were changed and at the end there was a video of an interview given in New York.  Both added to the enjoyment of the play.

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