Week 9 day 59 – Thursday 21st May

  • 19 minutes level 16 (bike 1)
  • Max heart rate = 164
  • Calories = 224 (total so far 20044)
  • Distance covered = 5.96 miles
  • Sets incline bench and squats
  • Total distance so far = 750.74

Bit of a scorcher today and despite the air conditioning, pedalling is hard work – not surprising as David has only one other client (male) who can pedal at this level. However, I kept to the plan and managed to maintain the new level and keep going for one more minute. This pushed the mileage up to 5.96.

Back in time again today for the music, listening to Seal, Best 1991 – 2004. Kiss From A Rose is probably the song we most often associate with them but there are many great songs on the album. Well worth listening to if you need something to keep your legs spinning.

Still heading in a south westerly direction, we are now bypassing Bristol and today I make it as far as Warmley. Intriguingly, the name derives from either forest glade by a weir or glade infested with reptiles!

The village appears to have expanded around Warmley House built by William Champion when he established his brassworks there in 1746. He also developed a cutting-edge method of producing zinc which was known as The Champion; an important milestone in industrial history. The whole factory was shrouded in secrecy but thanks to two Swedish industrial spies, historians have been able to piece together a lot of what went on there. 

Unfortunately, Champion ran into financial difficulties and was dismissed by his partners. The site was sold on a couple more times and eventually changed use to the manufacture of pottery. However, Warmley is the only remaining 18th Century industrial complex which covered all stages of metal working, from the smelting of ores to the production of finished articles and the whole site is now a conservation area.

Champion’s House is Grade II listed and is a nursing home. The windmill and the associated buildings are now the Kingswood Heritage Museum, with a variety of displays of local industries and social history, and the Clock Tower, which had been used for the manufacture of pins, is now used for community purposes.

For steam railway enthusiasts, it would be worth stopping off at the Avon Valley Railway. Opened in 1869 by the Midland Railway as a through-route between Birmingham and the South Coast, it was later closed under the Beeching Axe. However, a small part was preserved by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. Three miles of track have been re-laid, locomotives and carriages restored, and the sound of steam can once again be heard along the Avon Valley. 

Every cloud….

A beautiful garden and a hankering for travel can be hard to reconcile, given that the best times for both can be in the spring and summer months. One ‘advantage’ of lockdown is that not a single dazzling display or morsel of tasty produce is missed. In previous years Mary has been absent for a lot of the summer, for some of the best displays and one particularly busy summer, the next door neighbour was the only one to enjoy the prolific strawberry crop. No danger of missing anything this year!