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Wow – the penultimate day of the month already – and spring is here. Well, I’m not too sure about that last bit as the temperature here in the Calder Valley has been up and down like a brides nightie! Plus, it’s been wet – very wet. But, the garden’s bursting into life which means the seasons really must’ve changed. Having been abroad for much of winter I get confused!

Today’s been one spent at home sorting out the logistics of the next few days. That wasn’t easy as arrangements kept changing although that was no fault of mine or my fellow explorer, Penny McGregor, whom I’ll be meeting up with in Banbury tomorrow to begin our formal visit to the largest HS2 construction site at West Hyde (where the Chiltern tunnels and the Colne Valley viaduct are built from) before free-styling it for the next couple of days. Unfortunately the weather’s not looking brilliant tomorrow which may cramp my style photographically but I’m sure I’ll manage somehow.

Apart from logistics I kept occupied with paperwork and pictures as I’ve still a backlog of images to sort out from the Community Rail Conference at the beginning of the week. The images are tweaked enough that I should be able to finish them off whilst I’m travelling tomorrow – although expect a rolling blog about the trip at the same time. I’ll be travelling Halifax- Leeds-Birmingham (change stations) – Banbury which could be interesting on a Friday…

Now it’s time to call it a day. I popped out to do some shopping and get some exercise earlier and now Dawn’s being a star and preparing the side of Salmon and assorted salad veg I returned with so we can eat heartily and have an evening together before I go away for the night tomorrow.

So, what’s the picture of the day? Good question! I’ll be visiting various HS2 construction and mitigation sites, so here’s how West Hyde looked 2021 before the 2nd TBM was launched just for comparison.

On the 13th July 2021 ‘Cecilia’ was just beginning her journey boring the 2nd of the 10 mile long Chiltern tunnels. She’s now way past the half-way mark. In the background are the factories making the tunnel segments and the sections for the Colne Valley Viaduct. I’ll be here again tomorrow to see this and much more…

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