Road Trip - IronBridge

Posted: Thursday, 4 July 2013 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

It has been hotter than a Jalapeno pepper for the last week and whilst sane folk head for the beach to cool off with a refreshing dip in the English Channel I am heading due North towards the historic town of IronBridge.
It is often quoted as the "Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution" mainly based on the idea that Abraham Darby perfected the technique of smelting iron with coke, in nearby Coalbrookdale, was the first place in the UK smelting cast iron.
The area became quite an industrial hotspot and nearby Madeley Wood (also know as Bedlam) rang to the sound of heavy engineering and the night sky was lit by the forges. It must have been a terrifying sight in 1801 when Philip James de Loutherbourg, painted Coalbrookdale by Night.

Image of the painting Coalbrookdale by Night, showing a blast furnace at night time.
Coalbrookdale by Night - a terrifying sight in 1801

I wonder what those engineers would have made of the skibikes sitting in the boot of the car? With their TIG welded aluminium frames from Taiwan, ski mounts from the USA and skis from Canada and the USA. Perhaps they might scoff that so much technological endeavor has gone into creating such toys.

Tomorrow, my playthings are getting an outing at Telford Ski Centre, one of the many dry ski slopes that are dotted about England, Wales and Scotland.
But the Telford Ski Centre is unusual for two reasons; firstly it is still using Dendix matting, one of the original dry slope surfaces, but most importantly it is the first ski centre in recent years that has been asking to try out skibikes and see how they fit in to the mix of sliding activities.