15 - Shotley Bridge and Snows Green
Description‘The Road to Albalanda’ By Samuel Tuke Richardson of Darlington c.1896 ‘As the road neared Shotley Bridge it became more romantic, deep glens intersected it at intervals, the last of these was approached by a steep hill to a stream at the bottom where a bridge has of late years been built, whilst on either side of it beautiful larches & silver firs grow in great profusion. Not long after this The bridge at Shotley Bridge was reached but here further progress was barred by the presence of a large woodwaggon with 3 horses in it which occupied the whole structure, whilst the men who ought to have been in charge were busily engaged in drinking on the other side of the water. No amount of Horn blowing had any effect upon them & it was not until the Guard had got down & removed one of the horses bodily that they were able to pass; then came they unto Shotley Bridge and pulled up at the Sword & Crown where the shoeless wheeler was deposited then they drove on to Derwent Lodge where a Warm Welcome awaited them. After lunch a pilgrimage was made to the various places of interest in & around Shotley Bridge. Most of the houses visited calling back to the coachman’s mind the earliest recollections of childhood especially the Park, & Snows Green, the latter place bringing back memories of summer days spent there with his dear father with whom he used to drive from Whickham in the gig sometimes once or twice a week, those were summer days indeed & in the ancient garden summer seemed always to dwell surrounded by beautiful flowers & the only sound the hum of bees, broken only by the measured footfall of Uncle Thomas as he paced carefully up & down the long flagged pavement in front of the house, or plucked a fine Rose for some of his friends, or stooped down to stroke a Bee one of his own hive all of whom he knew by sight. The old green door in the ancient brick wall remained as of yore & it was from this door that they used once more to mount the gig towards the Closing of the day. Whilst Uncle Thomas & Aunt Sarah waved adieus from the Steps above, as they started for their homeward drive of ten miles’.
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