Working in Shrewsbury

Penny W-T By Penny W-T, 7th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>England>The West Midlands & The Peak District

A short description of my route to work that allows people to visualise the locations as I am travelling. Try this yourself with your travel routes.

My journey to the office

If you have to drive to work each day, then your journey, to a certain extent, becomes routine and almost automatic. This I found was happening to me when I began my job in Shrewsbury, so I decided that I should make an effort to be more alert and aware to my route and what I was passing on the way.
My journey to the office takes me an hour and a half and I travel across three Midlands counties to get there. I invite you to take this journey with me, and visualise for yourself, through my eyes, the route that I am covering.
The first part of the journey crosses part of the Black Country borough of Dudley to where it meets the junction with the Wolverhampton borough. A left turn here takes me across open country lanes with pockets of housing and across the southern tip of Staffordshire. The county border sign here tells me that Staffordshire is “The Creative County” but before I have time to muse on that, I am into Shropshire. It is easy to know when the boundary is crossed, whether day or dark, because the road surface is suddenly uniform and smooth under my wheels.

Starting out . . .

Journeys are interesting interludes in our life. When you make the same journey regularly your route becomes familiar, then automatic, and if you are an inquisitive driver then you can spot things that are happening along your way.
So what does my route offer by way of interest ? My main road route takes me through the newly rejuvenating Colley Gate shopping ‘high street’ – once dying and unloved almost, now the shops are re-opening with new faces, bright lights and a new housing complex at both top and bottom of this hillside shopping street.
On through Lye with its relatively new one way circuit through its narrow main street shopping area. This is reputedly the Balti Capital of the Black Country area, with over a dozen restaurants and cafes packed into a stretch of main road less that half a mile in length. This is a popular and often grid-locked stretch of my route at any time of day.
Circumnavigate the centre of Stourbridge and its ring road by cutting through a nearby housing estate, and head through the historic heartlands of our glass industry at Amblecote and Wordsley, then through the busy shopping crossroads at Kingswinford. If I can get this far in 20 to 25 minutes then I know I am on time.

Onto the country lanes . . . .

It is at Himley, with its fine Hall and parklands and its prestigious golf club, that I turn into the countryside. Passing a garden centre, I see a signpost indicating the South Staffordshire Railway Walk route, pass a few houses and a large pub building with leaded glass in its windows, and then I’m out past the golf club at Swindon and into open country. Farmland, fields, hills and trees look beautiful at any time of the year, but exceptionally outstanding in the winter months when they sparkle with frost or the lighter coverings of snow. If they were heavier coverings I would not be there to see them – the first signs of severe road conditions, and this reporter works from home!
Head past a few strategically placed and seemingly isolated pubs (where do their customers come from?), tearooms and one or two farms and then a huge farm supplies business complex where there may be a few large lorries trying to get in and out. Even for country lanes the surface is well maintained. There is one patch of kerbside potholes, but then, on reflection there is no actual kerb edging there, and this is farm country, so the holes are probably the result of heavy farm machinery and these lorries, passing up and down every day..At Sutton Maddock there is the only fuel station I encounter on my route once I pass Kingswinford, and he has a very good litre price at the moment so worth a stop, (usually on the way home) to fill up.

Admiring the scenic views along the stretch of motorway into Shrewsbury . . .

Skirt around the increasing sprawl of Telford along the dual carriageway, passing the huge caravan and static homes complex, the large lake or reservoir and then slip onto the M54 at Telford Centre for a couple of miles before finishing my journey along the still impressive scenic section of the A5. The Wrekin hill looms at the back of me now and the Attingham Park National Trust property is signposted prominently before I reach the main island heading for Shrewsbury.
I cheat at this point and avoid the main town centre signs, heading into the town instead by the ‘back road’ towards Ellesmere and then cutting through Sundorne, past the tennis club and leisure complex, the TA camp and then into the town to Castle Foregate. There are one or two interesting, apparently derelict buildings behind the bus station that catch my eye each time, and which I keep promising myself that I will explore. If I am still on time, I am parked outside the office exactly 90 minutes after leaving my home.

Completing the journey - door to door

Usually my journey is relatively smooth, and unless I meet a tractor or large tanker along the route, it can be fairly event-free. Many of us choose to commute to our places of work these days, some people taking longer, and covering more miles than I do – my journey after all, is a mere 45 miles, and if I could drive ‘as the crow flies’ I could do it in half the time. But I would suggest that there are only a few people who have as pleasant a route as I have to take them to their work.
This is what makes it more fun for me to work in Shrewsbury, rather than in Birmingham or Wolverhampton, which are only 8 or 10 miles from my home, and also the fact that Shrewsbury people are far more friendly to work amongst than the people who have to struggle to get to work in ‘heavy maintenance’ city centres with all their related motoring or transport stresses.
Now it's time for a cup of tea!


Countryside, Routes, Shrewsbury, Travel

Meet the author

author avatar Penny W-T
Published articles on education themes, travel, history and writing techniques. Written a book on WW1 - Gallipoli, and travel books. Run a marketing network for small businesses.

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