Law & Order
Culture, Leisure and Entertainment
Many people took advantage of the fine weather on 24th September
to go out for the day, and some volunteers at Powis Castle were fortunate in
choosing such a good day for their Autumn excursion.
- Weather forecast sunny,
wind cool: we decided to visit the Elan
Valley, which we do 2 or 3 times in a year, using our small motorhome.
We set off 10.40ish, going via Presteigne, Bleddfa, Fishpools Forestry Area
(where we stopped to make a cup of coffee!) Penybont, Crossgates, to Rhaeadr.
Countryside beautiful despite being dry, end-of-summer weather. Had lunch
at the Visitor Centre - not busy, though a number of vehicles parked on riverside
field as well as in car park. Very impressed by the "Radnorshire Henge
2000", monoliths set on a Radnorshire shaped gritted area - hadn't
seen it before (sheep don't seem to respect it). Drove up the Claerwen
Valley - reservoirs rather low water - pause by lake at Dol-y-Mynach and chat
with a lady whose husband is fishing. On to Claerwen Dam (top) and walk half
a mile or so along track in sunshine - the reservoir looked beautiful (pity
about the noisy planes which ruined the peace at times). Headed down the valley
again and set off home about 5.30 - saw red kite, quite low as we left Rhaeadr.
Lovely evening light: paused in layby on Rhis Swydd to brew up mugs of tea,
and so back to the border
- Drove car to circuit
Lake Vyrnwy and take afternoon tea in the tea room.
- We drove to the National Park's Mountain
Centre for lunch - excellent as always. It's a favourite place of mine.
- Met a friend for breakfast at a coffee shop
in Shrewsbury, took along 15 month son. From there spent the afternoon at
Hoo Farm. Son, Tom,
loved looking at and touching all the animals.
- I joined the volunteers of Powis Castle on
their annual Autumn excursion which was this year to Shugborough
once owned by the family of the present Lord Litchfield, now in the hands
of the National Trust. An enjoyable day was had visiting the historic house,
and the county museum which is managed by Staffs County Council and which
concentrated largely on life at Shugborough in the Victorian era. The museum
illustrated how greatly times have changed in the past 100 years, in particular
for the aristocracy, in their struggle to maintain their estates and way of
life, with reduced incomes and much reduced army of servants.
- The coach arrived at Shugborough at about
10.40. We had coffee then visited the mansion - very fine. We had lunch and
then walked to the farm. Back to have a cup of tea and then visit the County
Museum and servant's quarters. An excellent display. I bought some Christmas
cards and a bottle of Shugborough ale!
- The coach left Powis
Castle at 9 and we were at Shugborough Hall soon after 10.30. We visited the
mansion itself, then lunched in the tea room - I enjoyed my Cumberland sausage
with a good helping of vegetables. The we visited the farm and the mill, ten
minutes walk from the Hall. There were several rare breeds of animals, including
a huge Gloucester Old Spot sow, and the animals and the old tools and machinery
reminded me of the farms in Kent I knew in my childhood. After a refreshing
fruit drink back at the tea room we visited the museum, mainly dedicated to
the servants and staff. We left at 4.30 and were back home by 6.50. I looked
at my disks of the 1881 census and found that Shugborough Hall was virtually
empty and that the earl of Litchfield of the time was living in Hampshire.