Day 5.3: Purple DNA in Bridgnorth

More stuttering and stalling and stopping, and we arrive in Bridgnorth.

I’m feeling more than excited, because I know that there are many, many souls wandering the streets of Bridgnorth, who are fortunate enough to have inherited some of my ancestors’ DNA.

Whoever I happen to bump into, or even just catch a glimpse of, will be a cousin of mine. I know this because has informed me that the surnames Gregory and Holloway at one time became conjoined, and were responsible, at least in part, for my father, and for my maternal grandmother, Nanna Jean Cool, and for the something that is now me. And the Gregorys and Holloways can, at some point, claim descent from such prestigious surnames as Corbet, Littleton, Holloway, Mountford and even Tudor.

All of my  descendants will be easy to identify, as they will all be wearing purple hats. The young ones will have ginger hair, courtesy of William the Conqueror, and the older members of the species will have tell-tale-once-was-ginger signs; their noses and hands will as freckled as chicken eggs from Sainsbury’s free-range breeds.

If it’s difficult to spot the freckles, due to my deteriorating eyesight, it’s no matter, because I have some very-expensive binoculars at my service. It’s only right that I should make use of them, after they were delivered back to me by the lovely waiter from Oswestry’s Asian Spice restaurant.

Arrival at Bridgnorth
I’d like to say that my first impression of Bridgnorth blew me away: rows of quaint terraced cottages adorned with ivy and guarded over by the bell-ringer of the local church. But, for some reason, my mind is filled with another bizarre image:
Did cousin Anne Boleyn, have a penchant for purple hats too? And is there anyone out there, who fancies getting out their crochet hooks? I can’t pay you, as writers earn an average of somewhere around the region of £9,000 per annum, but it’s all in a good cause. Call it compensation for the wrongful execution of ancestor Annie!
But I digress, and you want to know about Bridgnorth. Bridgnorth is a beautiful town, with or without the presence of purple hats, and a lot of time is spent puffing and panting up steep inclines and twisty pathways. We left Mother and Uncle Cool behind in the café in Much Wenlock, so one would think that Jay Cool would now be able to run up and down the hills of Bridgnorth unhindered. But, not so. Not so, because I, Jay Cool, have inherited Mother’s dodgy knees, varicose veins and arthritic feet and I am, after all, in the midst of a mid-life-why-am-I-falling-apart-before-I’ve-read-all-the-books-I-want-to-read-and-visited-all-the-places-in-Shropshire-and-Staffs-that-await-my-arrival crisis! Hence Hubby (a decade older than me and still sprightly – the b******!) has to push me a bit (a lot) and the sprogs have to whine at me a lot, in order to get around the place and take it all in. So, here is a selection of some of the snaps I managed to fit in (quite a lot, actually, as the taking of the snaps gave me lots of reasons to take long pit-stops whilst on dodgy drop-slides):
As you can see for yourself, Bridgnorth has a plethora of buildings, some mini and some grand. Personally, I have decided to park my new car (stuff the stop-start Sandero!), next to the red-brick palace on the bottom left. It looks large enough to be home to my book collection, so I’ve sent the Hubby back to Suffolk to pack up my book shelves ready for relocation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly moving in; this is going to be my library. In the meantime, I will set up my sleeping accommodation in the grand Tudor mansion overlooking the green (top right), set up my sprogs in their own luxury cells at the town prison (must be located in dungeons below the town gates (bottom right), and book myself a permanent table at the quaint Tudor café (top left), so that I can write my bestseller whilst being served tea and cakes. The eventual publication will be bigger than Harry Potter. J K Rowling did, after all, have a crying baby ensconced in a pram next to her; whereas I, Jay Cool, and blogger extraordinaire, will be childfree. Hubby?
Yes, I guess you would have to ask after his whereabouts. But, worry not – he fits into the plan! Hubby will be sitting waiting in my limousine, ready to chauffeur me about between library, Tudor mansion, prison visits and café!
This might all sound like wishful thinking, but I’ve found a church, and it’s unlocked, so even as we speak, I’m setting up a hotline with the granter of all wishes. When I manage to prise my cranky knees away from my prayer cushion all that one could ever want will be mine and mine alone!
Hmmm … nice tapestry! Perhaps my Auntie Holloway was handy with the needle and thread. It’s a bit scratchy on my knees, though! Reminds of the tapestry that my …
Oh, yes. I’m supposed to be praying.
Must focus.
“Dear Lord Jesus. Please bless thee souls of my Aunties Holloway, Littleton, Tudor, Gregory and ….”
“Mum? MUM!”

Copyright owned by Jay Cool, April 2018

All pics of Bridgnorth are the author’s own.
All other photos are labelled as free for re-use by Creative Commons’ Licence:
Purple hat on severed head available at
Chicken in purple hat from

Published by The Silly-Savvy Salopian

Freelance writer and descendant of the cave dweller and outlaw, Humphrey Kynaston. Banished from Shropshire for my eccentricity, I have made my home in Suffolk. I write poetry, short stories, travel journals, comedy gig reviews and non-fiction articles. My wish is to write my way back into the heart of my birth land. All writing commissions (and free holidays in Shropshire!) considered.

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