Filed: ABC Wednesday

T is for Telford

Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron

The trouble with ignorance is that you seldom know what it is you don’t know, or so one of of my childhood teachers taught me. But this is excusable, he said, because no-one knows everything. True ignorance is when what you think you know turns out to be a no-no. (Are you keeping up at the back?)

I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago when we visited Ironbridge in the town of Telford in Shropshire. It is famous as the site of the world’s first bridge made of iron. It was built in 1779 by Thomas Telford, or so I thought, but I was truly ignorant. Read more ›››

S is for Starchaser


A few weeks ago I featured Newton as my ABC post, mostly looking at its dim and distant past, but the place also has an eye on the future as the home of the Starchaser project.

It was founded in 1992 to compete for the Ansari X Prize for the first non-government organisation to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within a two week period. Read more ›››

R is for Rainhill Rocket Railway

Rainhill Station

On the face of it there is nothing remarkable about this photo of a train pulling into a suburban station, but the place does have historical significance for this is Rainhill where rail travel began. Rainhill is a village midway between Manchester and Liverpool and in 1829 it was the venue for the Rainhill Trials, a pioneering competition to decide a suitable design for use on the world’s first inter-city… Read more ›››

Q is for Q Inn and Queen

Adelaide of Saxe Meiningen

In the last ABC Wednesday series, I featured The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn in Stalybridge which has the longest pub name in Britain, but the town also boasts the shortest.

The Q Inn on Market Street and photographed left has a Blue Plaque in recognition of the fact that it is certified by the Guinness Book of Records 1995 as having the shortest pub name in the United Kingdom. Read more ›››

P is for Park Bridge and Pike

Solsticve Sunrise

Park Bridge is a heritage site in Tameside, an old industrial area nestling in the countryside and the starting point last December for a winter solstice walk to Hartshead Pike.

The photo shows a an owl carved atop an old tree at the Park Bridge Heritage Centre, based at what were the stables for the Park Bridge Ironworks. Read more ›››

O is for Otterspool


Otterspool is a little over a mile from where I live and as you can see from my photo, it is a pretty, tranquil place. Or so it may seem.

What you don’t see is the busy A627 road behind me as I stood on the bridge over the River Goyt, where Otterspool Road becomes Dooley Lane.

The social enterprise company, H2oPE, has put forward plans for a community-owned micro-hydro plant to harness the power of the river waters. Read more ›››

N is for Newton

Not the bloke who invented gravitas when he had an apple shot off his head while composing the theme tune for the Lone Ranger. This N is for Newton, a place not far from where I live.

There are quite a lot of Newtons in the world as you can see from this list on Wikipedia, or this even longer one at A Vision of Britain. Read more ›››

M is for Mighty Mite

Dust Mites

As it is the week for M on ABC Wednesday, I thought I might write about the mighty mite, with thanks to the QI Book of Animal Ignorance.

Mites are eight-legged members of the spider clan and after insects are the most diverse group of creatures on the planet. Over 48,ooo species have been identified so far, but this is probably just a fraction of the total. Read more ›››

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