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Walk 1 Report – Shropshire Installed Masters’ Lodge No 6262

Iron Bridge to Crewe Street via Wroxeter along the Severn Way
Friday, 17th April, 2015

W Bro Ron Gee

Twenty walkers participated in some or all of this 18 mile back lane and riverside tour through Shropshire. Included in this number were the Provincial Grand Master and his Deputy, plus three gentlemen guests, two of whom are prospective Candidates. What a wonderful contrast!  However, we should not forget the 16 other Brethren who invested their time and energy in the dual names of Charity and Fellowship.  Things got off to a perfect start as all travel arrangements went to plan and all arrived in good form for a 9.30 am, fair weather start from Iron Bridge. Thanks are due to W Bro Ron Gee (aka Thunder Brother 1) for transporting some of the walkers to the start and serving as our ‘on call’ rescue and recovery service provider.

As walkers assembled for the official start one could not but marvel at such a fine body of men and their profound sense of fashion!

Walkers to the left and those connected with The Iron Bridge Lodge No 9897 to the right

Walkers to the left and those connected with The Iron Bridge Lodge No 9897 to the right

The walk started bang on time with all assembled in good spirits and sporting a smile. We soon left the hubbub of the road to join a more tranquil riverside path. The first river vessel encountered was a moored faux pirate ship flying two Jolly Rogers, so we mustered our very own brace of Jolly Rogers for a photo.

Jolly Rogers

The walk thereafter switched between road and riverside eventually leading us past Buildwas Abbey which was skirted to the south and west via a farm track, ultimately leading to a gently rising woodland path.

Early Group

A stile was later reached leading onto a lane. One of our number apparently has a passionate aversion to stiles. This took its rise when a well known Brother fought the battles of the stiles during the  Walk to Llandudno in order to complete the last 4 miles of the Day 1, 23 mile walk.  This entailed crossing rain soaked fields, most with long grass, with more energy sapping stiles than there are jumps in the Grand National! “I thought there weren’t any stiles – how many are there?” The question, proposed with a disarming smile, hung in the air awaiting a response. One very brave Brother ventured, some may consider somewhat hastily, that having walked the route some time ago he could only recollect there being the one stile. Inevitably each succeeding stile generated bouts of banter induced laughter.

Sadly, we are not at liberty to disclose the identity the stile aversion sufferer, but we can show images of some of the stiles encountered!!!

Stile Group

This is but one example of the humorous exchanges prevailing throughout the walking day. A post ‘first stile’ respite was taken before following rural lanes through Sheinton where the church was admired; then onto Cressage where our happy band were reunited with the Severn to take a riverbank break.

River Respite

Duly refreshed we continued along the Severn Way shortly reaching the area south of Eyton on Severn when the question of footpath obstacles arose again. The path led us onto the local Point to Point course where a sequence of fences obstructed the path. To go round, or over, that was the question?

At the races

After clearing the jumps the few remaining stiles seemed quite tame by comparison!

Sandie ShawHaving reached the quiet road to Wroexter one of our number sadly retired due to painful boot chaffing. However this was not before W Bro Pete Robinson attempted the 1960’s singer ‘Sandie Shaw’ approach to road walking! If Pete had trod on a sharp stone, no doubt he’d have danced like a ‘Puppet on a String’! In no time at all Petrina Robinson came to the rescue bringing Pete’s barefoot escapade to a close. Onwards all to the Wroxeter Hotel and lunch.

Included in our number was Bro. Ed Hall (and Titch the Chocolate Labrador) who very generously hosted the Group at the Wroxeter Hotel for a hearty bowl of soup and a roll. A modest quantity of beer was allegedly consumed by some!

Bro. Ed is also a key holder for the neighbouring church of St Andrews which is part built from stone taken from buildings within the Roman settlement of Viroconium. An invitation to admire the view from the top of the bell tower was popularly subscribed to, albeit not an experience for those lacking a head for heights.



Views and church architecture much admired, the group reassembled bidding farewell to two walkers whilst welcoming two joiners. Quiet lanes led us to the B4380 and onto Atcham where two walking Brethren bid farewell to ready themselves for a Lodge Meeting that evening. Shortly after Atcham we took to the riverside again to pass under the A5, spotting two canoes approaching us from the north. Resisting the temptation to thumb a paddle powered lift, the group steadfastly continued to trace the River Severn taking turns to carry the Walking Maul in its waterproof bag.

Walking Maul

Leaving the riverbank below Weir Hill Farm quickly arrived in the southeast margins of the town, to tour through Shrewsbury’s Victorian terraced back streets. Crossing the Severn for the final time, we passed by the very Victorian Dog & Pheasant public house. A reconnaissance mission could not be undertaken, as special rejuvenation arrangements had been made for nearby Crewe Street. In no time at all, we reached the walk endpoint weary, but happy and satisfied with our enjoined achievements. Photographs duly taken, the bar beckoned and thirsts were most cheerfully slaked.

End Close up

Happily the two prospective Candidates joined us for refreshments and were later given a tour of the building. Both have since expressed their enjoyment of a good day’s fellowship and we hope to shortly welcome both onto the Square.

PresentationThe following day a goodly number of walkers attended the Installation Meeting of the Shropshire Installed Masters’ Lodge No 6262. W Bro David Tudor very capably Installed his successor W Bro Ian Smith who then appointed his Officers for the year. The ensuing Festive Board was very well attended raising over £300 via the Flowers for a Fiver; a pint glass in a walking boot was also passed round (yes, the boot had actually been worn by W Bro Simon Aucott the day before!) to boost Provincial Perambulation funds. Additionally, personal walk sponsorships are expected to surpass £300.

To round matters off the Provincial Grand Master, the RW Bro Peter Allan Taylor had the pleasure of presenting the Walking Maul to the newly Installed WM, W Bro Ian Smith.

All in all, a very enjoyable walking day founded on fellowship and fun, completed in great, wait for it, stile!

Thank you Shropshire Installed Masters’ Lodge No 6262, particularly those Members who participated in, or sponsored Walk 1. Thanks also to the other Brethren and Gentlemen who donned their boots in the names of Charity and Fellowship.

Walk 1 Walkers

Mr Harvey Greatrex
Mr Tom Perring
Mr Doug Thom
RW Bro Peter Allan Taylor
VW Bro Roger Brentnall Pemberton
W Bro Mark Ashton
W Bro Simon Aucott
W Bro Garry Breakwell
W Bro Jim Brown
W Bro Andy Delamere
W Bro Melvin Gough
Bro Ed Hall
W Bro Peter Haywood
W Bro Dave Hedley
W Bro David Foulkes
W Bro Melvin Gough
W Bro Kim March
W Bro Roger Michell
W Bro Pete Robinson
W Bro David Towers