It’s a one train hour journey from my base to Stratford-on-Avon. Normally  the train is pretty empty and it’s a peaceful and picturesque journey though the Warwickshire countryside. I boarded the train at Birmingham Snow hill at 11:27 and was surprised how few other passengers also did – good start!

After 3 minutes in the tunnel under central Birmingfham the train made it’s first stop at Moor Street station. I think that a fair percentage of the Birmingham population then boarded the train – every seat in my carriage was occupied. This is not a problem in itself except when a family of a mother, a baby of about two weeks, and 4 children with average age of less than 4 invaded the four seats across the corridor from me.

The mother was holding the baby and on the phone whilst the children ran riot trampolining on the seats and shouting, nay screaming, in a sugar induced frenzy. No restraining influence was forthcoming from the mother. There was nowhere for me to go so I had to stuff paper hankies in my ears – with little effect.

At Stratford it’s a 15 minute walk to the park where the Worcester and Birmingham canal meets the River Avon and where the event was being held.

(Click on images below for a larger view.)

Happy crowd along the banks of the AvonThe place was really crowded, the sun shining and the mood joyous (we Brits love the sunshine and start smiling and stop winging when it happens!).



Garry and Teresa Stacey and friendsEnjoying the atmosphere I found a group of friends of Gary and Teresa Stacy from Welford-on-Avon. I had met them last year at the connection between the Droitwich Barge and Junction Canals in Vines Park, Droitwich, and they appear in my slideshows of these two canals.



André Cornhill and Viv on their stall

Amongst the many stalls I chatted to André Cornhill and Viv on their Narrowboat Art stall. André decorates objects with his paintings in the traditional canal manner of flowers and castles. He told me that this small business is more a hobby than a day job. They visit a number of festivals during each year. You can see what they do on their website I liked the products so much that I bought a decorated plate – unknown for me (usually I find spending painful!).

Everyone was well entertained with performances by many events including Morris Dancers and bands/singers, comedians and jugglers.

Later I walked back to the station sporting a huge farm-made ice cream from a sweet shop in the main street. Arriving at the station I cursed inwardly as I spotted the unruly family from the trip down. Luckily I managed to find a seat in another carriage.

An enjoyable outing, all in all.