A visit to Raglan castle on Sunday 30th September
Alan lead the day, and has written this account of their adventures -
Our starting venue of Speech House had to be changed at the last minute after Martin was told a marathon race was due to start from there so we switched to Hopewell Colliery a mile to the west. Hopewell is one of many free mines in the forest and is open for underground tours. Four TR'smet up in the car park but we were only there to investigate the café, it certainly wasn't what I was expecting, tables properly laid, wine glasses, serviettes. Our party must have been impressed as after initially ordering coffees some became more adventurous and a selection of bacon sandwiches and cakes made their way to our table.
The appointed hour came for departure and we headed west via Monmouth and Mitchell Troy to the 15© Raglan Castle where were joined by two additional TRs. The sun broke through and the castle was both rather impressive and picturesque set in the Monmouthshire countryside. During the Civil War Raglan was under siege and after surrender was wrecked by Cromwell's engineers. A large part of the castle walls are still standing and we ascended the towers and were rewarded with good views of the extensive castle. A guide was at hand moving through the grounds telling the history of the castle through the ages.
The Civil War was not the last action the castle saw, Martin recalled how as a young man he attended a discotheque which was held within the walls. Unfortunately when the Monmouth young men encountered the Abergavenny lads, fighting broke out – it is a battlefield after all, where better to sort out and resolve differences?
Eventually we were castled-out and the siren voice of lunch summoned us back to the cars when it was discovered that one TR's ignition switch had thrown in the towel and the prospect of the AA ride of shame loomed. However a screwdriver was brought into use to "assist" the ignition key and the car started and ran faultlessly.
We drove north to Abergavenny before swinging west to tackle Blorenge. For the second time that day fate intervened, the road had been closed to allow replacement of overhead electricity cables. No such minor difficulty would stop a party of TR's heading for lunch, a quick reprogram of the TomTom and we were en route once more to the Foxhunters Inn.
Arriving at the Inn we were made very welcome and rewarded with a substantial and leisurely lunch. All too soon it was time to screwdriver one car's ignition switch once more and head home on a very pleasant autumn afternoon.
Thanks Alan, I'm sorry that Dick & I were away in bonny Scotland, so couldn't join you for what sounds like a great day.