Saturday, 26 April 2008

Bangers and mash
Waltham Abbey is a charming little town. The Abbey church is worth a visit and so too is the Royal Gunpowder Mills. It is now a museum which opens at weekends during the summer. It appears to be run by volunteers and has the feel of Bletchley Park in its early days as a museum. Entrance is not expensive and the ticket is valid for two consecutive openings, so if you are not confident of the weather make your first visit on a Sunday and the ticket is valid for the following Saturday which gives the Met office time to sort things out for you. There are five miles of canals within the factory grounds used for moving explosives and ingredients around although they are not all in water now. The boats were either man-handled or pulled by unshod horses to avoid sparks. Many weekends there are enactments involving suitably costumed militia firing blunderbuss's and canons.
Amongst the many items of interest is one particularly intriguing listed building.

This is claimed to be the only remaining example of Victorian corrugated iron.
What we generally apply that description to is truly galvanized steel. This, therefore has been listed by English Heritage and the museum is not permitted to interfere with it. However we know what happens to iron if you do not interfere with it, don't we?

In the town square there is a Pie & Mash shop where we enjoyed a dinner of pie, mash, eels and liquor. There is also a tattooist with a sense of humour - the salon is called OUCH! We did not sample the offerings there.

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