And there was still a good half an hour to kill before our bus was due to leave Barker Street bus station.
So what did this ramshackle collection of 10-year-old boys do in that half an hour? We went over to the museum at Rowley's House to hang out among the Roman relics, the Dark Ages detritus and the Norman knick-knacks.
I'm not sure how much this rubbing shoulders with history contributed to our education, but we saw the museum as a little sanctuary, especially when it was cold outside or raining.
All these years later, the future use of Rowley's House - surely Shrewsbury's single most iconic building - is in the headlines.
It could, following a £1 million revamp, become the new headquarters of the town council. And this might very well be a good use for it as the town's museum is finally moved across to the Music Hall. But it is funny how things turn out.
By the end of the 1990s it was becoming apparent that the destinies of three of Shrewsbury’s most beautiful and most iconic buildings were now intertwined. Plans were being drawn up for the future use of the Old Market Hall, Rowley’s House, and The Music Hall.
At the time, the first of these, the Old Market Hall in The Square, was redundant, its last use having been as a magistrates court. It was in a poor old state and badly in need of some tender loving care.
The second, Rowley’s House, was still being used as a museum and art gallery.
The third, the Music Hall – tired and worn-out but still well-loved – was the town’s ageing theatre.
Curiously, these three very different structures – the first Elizabethan, the second Tudor, the third Victorian – were now pieces in the same game, and each piece in turn would come in to play. You might almost say it was an example of the domino effect.
Because within a few short years, the Music Hall would first surrender its film theatre element (“The Cinema In The Square”) to its near neighbour, the Old Market Hall (and Shrewsbury’s film buffs would quickly get used to the venue’s cool new moniker, the OMH.), and then the Music Hall would give up its “live theatre” element to the multi-million pound brand new Theatre Severn built just across the river at Frankwell.
All this shifting of services would naturally prompt the question: So what is to become of the dear old Music Hall. And the answer was: We’ll turn it into the town’s museum. Which, naturally enough, then prompted the question: But what will become of the existing town museum at Rowley’s House? And the answer: Mmmm. Good question. This one would take a little longer to work out.
Fast-forward to November 2012 and we find Shrewsbury Council considering moving from its current home in The Guildhall in Frankwell into Rowley's House, originally the timber-framed warehouse of the 17th century merchant William Rowley (and later the haunt of mud-spattered schoolboys).
An exciting £10.5 million restoration project at the Music Hall, due to be completed next year, should give Shrewsbury the museum it deserves while leaving Rowley's House high and dry. And this prompted Peter Nutting, leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, to say last week that the council had ambitions to move into its own independent building rather than stay at The Guildhall which belongs to Shropshire Council.
“We believe we should be in our own individual building and have a freehold of our own,” said Councillor Nutting. “There are a number of options including Rowley's House.”
Councillor Nutting said an exercise was under way to see if the building would be suitable for the council's needs, but that even if it were found to be suitable, a £1 million revamp would be necessary. It would need a suitable council chamber and a lift to the upper floors.
Mmmm. I feel sure that English Heritage would have something to say about the idea of a lift being put into a 17th century building!
But that debate is yet to be had.
Oh, yeah. And the Guildhall in Frankwell, by the way. Well, there's talk of transforming the unwanted council chamber into a wedding venue.
So, to recap . . .
If all this were to go ahead, that would mean that the old magistrates court is now a cinema, the old theatre is now a museum, the old museum would be a council headquarters, and the council headquarters would be a wedding venue.
I do hope you're taking notes.
I will be asking questions later.