SIMON WHALEY

Outstanding Oswestry

I nearly called this piece Oscillating Oswestry, such is the number of times it has moved (from one side of the Welsh Borders to the other). Although it’s most recent move came courtesy of the Ordnance Survey. To find out why, you’ll have to check out the article in this week;s edition of The People’s Friend.

Outstanding Oswestry – The People’s Friend – 4th July 2020 issue.

Oswestry’s history is dominated by farming (and it still is to some extent today). They recognised this by erecting a statue in what was the old farmers’ market. That farmer looks like a right character to me. I bet he had a fe tales to tell!

Livestock Market Statue

Mind you, they clearly like statues in Oswestry. Here’s one of their most famous resident: Wilfred Owen. (Apparently, it’s the only life-size statue of Owen in the country.

Wilfred Owen

Now, don’t think because this is the Welsh Borders it’s raining all the time. (Can’t you see evidence of sunshine in the photo above?) They have palm trees in Oswestry, you know.

Formal Gardens

At one time, Oswestry was home to two railway companies. Sadly, the railway doesn’t thrive in the town, with the nearest mainline station at Gobowen, a couple of miles away. But there are plans to restore what remains of the Cambrian Railway through this part of the Welsh Borders.

The train at platform one … isn’t going anywhere … yet.

But the town has existed long before railways were invented. In fact, Oswestry has one of the country’s finest Iron Age hill forts, which you can just about see if you whizz past on the nearby A5.

Old Oswestry.

There’s a lot of ‘old’ stuff around here. To the west of the town, I discovered the Old Racecourse.

This way, that way, either way.

Ironically, it was the railways that killed off the racecourse. When people could get out of Oswestry they went to other racecourses around the country. Still, if nothing else, it’s a fantastic place to walk today. (And you can walk, you don’t have to gallop.)

Oswestry Racecourse

So why not take a canter around Oswestry, next time you’re in the area? You’ll find it’s a fascinating place!

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