Thursday 22 October 2015

Wind, fire and train

You'd never know from most of the photos,

like that of the picturesque aqueduct over the River Tame,

or of the rather boring (IMHO) junction where the Coventry joins the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal at (you guessed it!) Fazeley, where we stopped for water.

It's nearly as famous as Braunston or Foxton, and no doubt the CRT yard and its environs contain wonders for those who like that sort of thing. For me it seemed an odd assortment of buildings, with a couple of nice signposts to make sure you don't get lost.

Why they needed two, I'm not quite sure. Perhaps one for the Coventry Canal, and one for the Birmingham and Fazeley.

But none of these photos can show today's most impressing characteristic – the wind. It was cold, it was strong and at times it threatened to sweep us into collision with boat or bridge or bank.

As if that wasn't enough, there's a significant stretch with "Keep Out" signs warning you that the wood on your left is an MOD firing range. Someone had written "Hare Krishna" at the bottom of this one, perhaps in an attempt to keep the balance.

The identity crisis of the two canals is resolved at Whittington, where a stone informs you that you are no longer on the B & F, but have re-joined the Coventry. There's a rationale for it all somewhere in the mists of history, a bit like the Oxford resuming its northwards run after being taken over by the Grand Union for a while.

For much of the ground (or water) we've covered today, Virgin and other trains have been a pretty constant companion. I don't know whether it's the West Coast main line or not, but it certainly sounds like it. The wind eventually persuaded us to pull over for the day at a very pretty spot. If I'd held the camera straight out of the side hatch instead of along Erin Mae's length, you could have seen the rail track about 200 yards away. We've decided we'll just get used to it. Between trains it's exceedingly pleasant, and the sun is shining.


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