It’s another of those ‘fun’ days on the railways. We were meant to be travelling from Halifax to London on Grand Central’s 10:36 service, but it was cancelled due to a shortage of drivers. Not the greatest of starts as the railways are under pressure this weekend because of the floods and engineering work which meant East Coast services were being diverted via the GN/GE joint line via Lincoln. Instead, the four of us (we’re travelling with our friends Fran and Aubrey) caught a Northern service to Manchester which was bound for Chester. It was one of the few that hadn’t been cancelled, so we knew that it would be busy. I’d hoped we’d have got a 3-car Class 195. Instead, Northern threw out an unrefurbished 2- car Class 158! It was already rammed by the time we left Halifax. We managed to find some space in a vestibule which became more and more crowded as we stopped en-route. It got especially ‘cosy’ when a chap with a bike got on at Todmorden! There were some grumbles, but when he explained that he really needed to catch that train as he was on his way to work (with disabled kids) in Manchester, folk made room for him. Quite why Northern could only spare a 2-car to work this service is a mystery. It certainly didn’t enhance their reputation with many of the passengers.
On arrival in a freezing cold Manchester we opted to get a tram across town to Piccadilly where Fran and Aubrey had booked seats on the 12:15 Virgin Pendolino to Euston, which is where I’m typing this now. Piccadilly was packed with travellers and late-running services. A check on Real Time Trains showed me that many Virgin services were running late. The inbound working for our service was 25 mins down. Quick work by Virgin staff turned the train around rapidly, meaning the Southbound working was only 5 minutes late departing.
We’re now enjoying a few drinks on the train, glad we’re not driving as the road conditions down South are pretty miserable!
Having negotiated our way from Euston via the tube and the Docklands Light Railway we’re now relaxing at our Docklands hotel before heading out to meet up with the rest of the gang before going for a meal at the superb Café Spice Namaste. Once thing we didn’t expect to find was this. It seems the AA are now interplanetary!
I was up before sparrow fart this morning as I have to be in London for a commission with Network Rail at Euston at 09:00, then in Birmingham in the afternoon for the ACoRP AGM.
Right now I’m walking down to Halifax station to potentially catch the second train of the day – if it’s running to time. My connections are tight if I’m going to be punctual and punctuality isn’t great in the leaf-fall season. There’s no rain this morning, which is a bonus. Instead it’s clear and frosty. The gritting lorries have been busy overnight and as it’s quiet this time of morning i’m walking on the roads rather than the leaf-strewn pavements. Yorkshire stone slabs may look pretty, but in the autumn they’re as slippery and untrustworthy as Boris Johnson!
I’m taking a chance and this could all go horribly wrong, but I’m now on the 05:50 from Halifax to Manchester Victoria, which is being worked by one of Northern’s new Class 195s. It was 3 mins late arriving from Bradford and it’s the first service of the day through the Calder Valley across the Pennines, so I’m taking a risk! I’m sat in the front car and it’s freezing! There’s no heating on and the information screens aren’t working either. The Conductor’s apologiesed and explained that the units come straight off Neville Hill depot and “hasn’t got going yet”!
We’ve just left Sowerby Bridge, where I could have caught the train from (and had an extra 15m in bed) but i’d have been without a plan B (going via the East Coast) if the train had been late or cancelled. To be fair, we’re not doing badly. The driver took it easy leaving the station but the railhead conditions musn’t be too bad as he’s making the most of the unit’s superior acceleration and braking.
We’re now leaving Hebden Bridge and I’ve noticed another thing about this unit (195109) which is there’s a real whistling sound at speed. The unit feels very draughty and I suspect it’s coming from the driver’s door!
The whistling and draughts were annoying enough to make me move into the centre car. It’s still freezing in here but it’s not as draughty! Our timekeeping’s not bad. We’re only 2 mins down departing from Todmorden so I’m cautiously optimistic. In the bay of seats behind me are two men complaining about the service Northern Rail have been providing. To say the TOC has an image problem is an understatement!
We’ve left Rochdale 5 mins late. I can feel the wheels slipping here but the driver’s done well. My connection time in Manchester is going to be very tight, but I might just make it. I’ll let you know if I do afterwards! I’m looking forward to sitting on a nice warm Pendolino with a steaming cup of coffee in my frozen hands…
Bugger – missed it! A 5 minute late arrival into platform 6, the furthest away from the barriers that involves a scrum on the footbridge, meant that – despite a heroic sprint across the city centre – I missed the 07:00 Euston train by 2 minutes! I’m now thawing out in coach C on the 07:15 Pendolino which gets me into Euston 20 mins late. I’m sure my Network Rail colleagues will understand!
Another calamity has befallen me. The coffee machine’s kaput! This could have been an absolute disaster were it not for the fact the chap in the shop had a stash of coffee bags, so I managed to get a brew after all…
We’ve just left Stoke-On-Trent and the few seats keft unoccupied after leaving Stockport have filled up. This is a peak service so tickets aren’t cheap, but that’s not deterred the many business travellers who’re heading down to London for the day. This train’s now fast to Milton Keynes, so I’ll be interested to see how many alight there.
Weatherwise, we had a cracking sunrise around Stockport but now the mist has settled, marring visibility despite the thin, high cloud. I don’t travel the WCML anywhere near as much as I used to, so I’m going to sit back and enjoy the journey for a while.
We’ve just called at Milton Keynes, which became a bit of a scrum because of the passenger churn. Many left us, but many more joined and this train’s now standing room only. Outside, the weather’s changed too. The sky is clear blue whilst the mist has mistly burned off, leaving a lot of the country and lineside steaming in the warm sunshine.
Phew! part 1 of the day’s been done and I now have portraits of 20 members of Network Rail staff in the can after a busy morning at Eversholt St. Despite arriving 25 mins late we managed to catch up time and get through all the pictures that were needed. I even had a bit of time spare to check out progress on the HS2 demolition work around Euston station and the Regent’s Park estate.
Right now I’m on another Virgin Pendolino, this time a 9-car set working the 13:03 from Euston to Birmingham New St in order to get to the ACoRP AGM.
Sadly, the wonderful autumn sunshine I had on the way down and in London has given away to more typical gloomy weather.
Keeping busy at the ACoRP AGM…
The AGM finished at 16:00 but Dawn and I resisted the opportunity to hang around for a drink as we’d seats booked on the 16:57 Cross-Country service to Manchester Piccadilly. These trains are always packed, so it was worth making use of the reservations.
True to form, there was an absolute scrum to get on the train at New St, then the scramble as people (including us) tried to get to their reserved seats. If there’s one train I actively dislike, it’s these. It’s neither fish nor fowl, neither a proper intercity train nor an adequate local one. The sooner these services are replaced by HS2 the better.
15 mins late, but we’re finally in sight of Manchester Piccadilly where we can abandon this train, get some fresh air and clear our ears of the management bollocks being spouted by the guy sat opposite who’s insisting on having a loud (but ultimately pointless as it’s devoid of any real content) conversation on his mobile!
Having traversed Manchester from Piccadilly to Victoria we arrived to find our train home had been cancelled! We’d have been quicker staying at Picc & coming home via Huddersfield. Adjourning to a local history to drown our sorrows and eat crisps we ended up catching the 19:37 instead. We’re now bouncing our way back to Yorkshire on a Pacer (142018 to be precise).
The end of a looong day! I’ve been up since 04:30, travelled hundreds of miles (and walked nearly 11, burning 3.5k calories), visited three of our biggest cities and taken hundreds of photos, so it’s time for a little relaxation and the chance to enjoy a soak in a bath with some of Islay’s finest whisky as a nightcap. Goodnight!
We’re both up, scrubbed, fed, packed and waiting for the taxi to take us to Halifax station to meet up with our friends for the first leg of our trip to Bruges in Belgium….
Leg one. Having met up with the others we’re now on Grand Central’s 08:09 from Halifax to Kings Cross, a direct train service from Bradford that started running in 2010. Nowadays their 4 five- car trains are packed, even in First Class. Don’t let this picture fool you, just look at how many seats are reserved which will be occupied in the next few stops…
The six of us are spread throughout the train as tickets were booked separately. It’ll be the same on Eurostar, so the only time we’ll meet up is between trains or in the buffet on the Eurostar!
We had a mad scramble in London as some people had breakfast (which was late coming) then confusion at Eurostar check-in as they were overwhelmed by the weight of numbers. With the amount of baggage folk carry nowadays the number of staff and machines available were overwhelmed, leading to stress all round. Passport control was just as swamped. Despite checking in the required 45 mins before we still had to be ‘fast-tracked’ to get to our train on time. This led to confusion as the group got split up. Despite this, we made it and we’re just pulling out now.
Our train is one of the original Alstom built TMST sets, albeit a refurbished one. Our coach (16) only has a handful of empty seats
16:00. (Belgium time).
About to arrive in Brussels. It’s been an interesting trip I’ll blog more about shortly once we change yrains, but suffice to say these old trains are tired, despite the refurbishment.
So much for updating the blog on a nice, quiet Belgian train. This is us on a double-deck train from Brussels Midi to Brugges. It’s rammed!
– and relax! We’ve arrived at our hotel in Brugges, checked in and freshened up. Now it’s time to explore. First stop is a liytle var kbown to Tony (Allan) that I’ve just heard some very good things about. According to anither friend it’s like walking into “The Leaky Cauldron” from the Harry Potter films. Expect pictures shortly!
Northern’s new CAF built Class 195s have entered passenger service through the Calder Valley today on the routes from Leeds – Chester and Leeds – Manchester Victoria. Needless to say, I’m out with the camera to capture pictures of this important milestone. It’s the culmination of improvements to the line that have seen the route resignalled, linespeeds increased and platforms lengthened.
I’ll be adding pictures throughout the day. Here’s the first as 195123 picks up passengers at Sowerby Bridge whilst working the 10:22 from Chester to Leeds.
I’ve caught a late-running Chester service which is worked by 195110. These trains are certainly a step-change to the old BR built units we’ve been used to since the 1980s! They’ve far superior acceleration and braking, not to mention all the facilities that passengers have come to expect nowadays, such as power sockets and free wifi. They’ve also got far more seating bays with tables.
Sorry folks, It didn’t turn out to be much of a rolling blog as I was too busy taking pictures! Since I got home earlier this evening I’ve been busy editing them, so here’s a small selection. You can find the full gallery here on my Zenfolio website.
For the number crunchers, the list of units seen in passenger service is as follows. Two car 195002 and 195007. Three car 195103. 195110. 195111. 195119. 195121 and 195123.
It may be Sunday but it’s no day off for me. RAIL magazine have asked me to cover todays 175th anniversary events at Manchester Victoria station. Train services through the Calder Valley are disrupted by engineering work, so ‘bustitution’ from Hebden Bridge Westwards is the order of the day so So Dawn’s given me a lift to Huddersfield so I could catch the 10:52 direct to Victoria. Weatherwise it’s a glorious sunny day and the autumnal colours of the trees look stunning. Let’s see how the day goes…
The event at Victoria’s worth a visit. Outside the front of the station there’s two old Manchester buses and a vintage tram.
Insise there are stalls on the main concourse and upstairs on the mezzanine entrance to the arena. They include the East Lancs Railway and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway society who have an excellent display of old pictures of Victoria station. Many more are included in this commemorative book which can be bought for £5 from their website.
To add to the fun, Queen Victoria herself has dropped in to admire her namesake!
Homeward bound! I caught a packed TPE service from Victoria to Huddersfield, where I had enough time between trains for a ‘swifty’ in the wonderful ‘Kings Head’, one of the two pubs the station’s blessed with.
Now I’m bouncing my way home to Halifax on the generously proportioned 13:52 Huddersfield to Leeds via Brighouse. It’s a 3-car 144 and 2-car 150 lash-up, which means I’m the only passenger in the lead car! No doubt the train will fill up later in the journey.
After getting back home Dawn and I had some quality time together, enjoying on of our favourite walks from home, down the hill and along the canal into Sowerby Bridge. The sunshine had deserted us, but it’s still a lovely walk this time of year as the leaves on the trees that line our route look stunning. We stopped off for a quiet drink and a chance to read the papers in Williams Bar before strolling back up the hill to home, feeling virtuous having spent Sunday active. Now we’re relaxing at home with a spot of culinary therapy. Dawn’s busy cooking a mixture of chorizo, cannellini beans and spinach which is used as a base for a fish dish whilst I’m waiting in the wings (and a chance at the cooker) with monkfish tails ready to go into a Thai green curry.
I’m out and about slightly later today as I was up and in the office at 06:30 this morning, sipping coffee whilst I edited yesterdays pictures and got them to the client before start of play so that they could make their selection today.
Whilst doing so I caught up on the days news. Apart from the usual Brexitshambles, HS2’s in the public eye as the Oakervee review is allegedly going to be published ln the 19th. What’s interesting is to see how much public support there is for the project. The North’s politicians and business leaders like the CBI and BCC are queuing up to say that any downgrading of the project would be very damaging. In contrast, the dwindling opposition to HS2 is very muted. The remaining campaign group, StopHs2, have neither the money or the recourses to do much. Their ‘Campaign Director’, Joe Rukin spends most of his time playing “Swampy” with the tiny bunch of protestors in woodland camps on the phase 1 route. The penny slowly serms to be dropping that Phase 1 isn’t going to be cancelled and the carrying over of the phase 2a Hybrid Bill onto this Parliaments agenda is sending signals that no-one expects that to be shelved either. The only questions are over phase 2b – hence all the lobbying from the North’s powerful lobby.
There are a few dissenting voices in the North. What’s mildly depressing is the way some here still play regional and party-political politics with a chip on their shoulder about London. They simply won’t accept that HS2 isn’t all about the capital. The positive thing is they’re very much in a minority and have no credible alternatives to offer, just obfuscation and yet more delays.
As a Lancastrian who lived in London for 25 years before moving to Yorkshire I find this envy and resentment of the South both frustrating and (ultimately) self-destructive. It’s daft, not least because many of us “Southerners” were former Northerners who made the most of the opportunities London and the South-East had to offer, rather than sticking with Northern parochialism and the feeling that the North’s “hard done by”.
A case in point was a discussion I had with someone complaining about the fact HS2 tracks wouldn’t reach Newcastle or Teeside. I asked him to make a positive case why they should. All I got back was resentments and political conspiracy theories. Now there’s no doubt the North has been ignored sometimes, but when all it does is moan and say “it’s not fair” it’s easy to dismiss. Concrete evidence of WHY investment in the North should be made and the benefits it’ll bring are harder to ignore, which is why it’s great to see the North’s political leaders embracing the opportunities “Northern Powerhouse” can bring rather than dismissing it as a political stunt. If only others did…
The frustrating thing is there are many inspirational people in the North and some fantastic things happening. If only we could ditch this Southern envy!
I scribbled the above whilst changing trains at Hebden Bridge. I’m now aboard a 2-car Class 150 heading to Victoria to see some of the Northern Rail investment all too often ignored by some Northern politicians because the ‘wrong’ political party wrote the cheques for it! I’ll also be popping back to Piccadilly for a couple of hours to (hooefully) add a few more assistence pictures to the collection. Watch this space…
Passing through Manchester Victoria I couldn’t help noticing how railway enthusiasts have returned to it’s platforms nowadays. A small group of them huddled at the East end of platform 5. For many years few bothered due to the steady diet of DMUs with an occaisional freight. Now, with a resurgence of freight and loco-hauled passenger services, plus new Nova 2 units snd Class 195s, it’s become a place to visit again!
As the weather changes, so do plans. The miserabke weather we’ve been having over the past few days has given way to sunshine and the opportunity to catch some outdoor shots, so Piccadilly’s been postponed. Instead I’ve been getting shots around Manchesters rapidly changing city skyline (pix will be added later). Right now i’m bouncing my way to Wigan aboard an ostensibly ‘stored’ Northern Pacer (142046 for the number crunchers) which has presumably been resurrected to make uo a stock shortage. No doubt the picture will soon change again. Next week the new Class 195s are due to take over Leeds-Chester services, which (in theory) allows more Pacers to bite the dust before the December deadline.
As we approached Bolton I noticed that the huge red brick “Beehive Mill” that’s adjacent to the line and been wmpty for years is in the process of being flattened. Cotton mills were an important part of Lancashire’s past, but they’ve no part in its future. Hopefully in 2019 the site can be put to better use.
I’m taking a short break in Wigan to get some sonshine shots before heading back across the Pennines. Here’s my chariot, which is looking well for a ‘stored’ train!
What a difference a few hours can nake to the weather! As I headed home through Manchester the sun was beating through cloudless skies and turning rail tracks into golden ribbons. I couldn’t resist stopping off at Victoria for an hour to capture some scenes and the opportunity presented by a flag-waving lookout stationed at just the right place on a platform end. I’ll ad some pictures later. Right now i’m on a busy Class 156 heading to Leeds via Brighouse as the 17:37 off Victoria.
I’m on my way to Manchester from Huddersfield as I’m going to be spending much of the day working at Manchester Piccadilly doing people pictures for a client – although I’m sure a few train shots my find their way onto my memory card whilst I’m at it!
Like almost every day this month the weather’s dull and wet with low cloud at a height of just a few hundred metres, hiding the tops of the Pennine hills and giving the Colne valley quite a claustrophobic feel. Apparently, this October is on track to be the wettest since records began, which is no surprise. I can’t remember another one where the rain’s been so persistant or the showers so heavy. The climate’s changing and all but the most dogmatic and blinkered climate change denier can see that.
Luckily, I’ll be working under a station roof, albeit a rather leaky one! Still, let’s be grateful for small mercies. I always enjoy working at Piccadilly as the staff are a great bunch of people who take a photographer in their midst in their stride. So, let’s see how the day goes…
Whilst I was passing through Manchester Victoria one of TPE’s new Hitachi built Nova sets arrived on a Liverpool Lime St – Newcastle service. Sadly, both sets in service today were unbranded, which is a shame as the new livery suits them far more than the existing fleet of Class 185s
Today’s office – and it’s been a busy one, photographing Network Rail staff offering all manner of assistance to passengers. From carrying their heavy suitcases, pushing wheelchairs or helping VIP’s (Visually Impaired People).
As usual, the staff have bern brilliant, but so have the passengers. No-one’s said no to having their picture taken and some have been really chatty. Every one of them has praised the staff at Piccadilly and the assist system in general. What I found interesting today was how the Network Rail staff I was working with were overwhelmingly young people compared to when I did the same series of shots (for ATOC as RDG was in those days) back in 2005.
I’ve knocked off for the day and begun to wend my way homewards, pausing here and there to get shots of some of the stream of new trains coming into service on a weekly basis. Here’s one of Northern’s new CAF built class 195s at Oxford Rd.
I had a ‘pit-stop’ at the Stalybridge station buffet on my way back to Huddersfield in order to have a ‘swifty’ and use their wifi to upload some pictures to my website. The buffet was its usual convivial self but what I hadn’t expected was to bump into one of the young men who works for Network Rail whom I’d been photographing earlier. He’d finished his shift and (like me) had stopped off on his way home. As we were both out of work we had an interesting chat. He was in stark contrast to my experience on the platform whilst waiting for my train, which was like being in a Victoria Wood sketch. The area was dominated by a young, overweight woman dressed in her best ‘Primani’ shouting into her phone at a female friend whom she had on speakerphone. Most of it was verbal diarrhoea, apart from the memorable line “I’ve just spent four and a half years in prison and he didn’t writ me once”…
I’ve escaped the delights of ‘Stalyvegas’ and returned home to put my feet up, so there’s no more blogging from tonight, just a couple more pictures from the day.
Having been busy at home this morning I’m escaping from the office for a few hours to get some pictures of the latest investment in rail in the Leeds area. You know, the stuff Joe Rukin of ‘StopHs2’ claimed back in 2018 wasn’t happening as there’s no rail investment for the next 20 years “anywhere on the network” because HS2 had sucked up all the money! You can watch him lie through his teeth here.
It’s not an ideal day for getting out and about as the weather’s pretty crap, but I’m under time constraints as there’s a lot to see in the next month. The changes in the rail network are ramping up as more and more new trains are introduced and work continues to expand the network. On the bright side, the rain means there might be some good shot reflection shots to be had. Let’s see how it goes…
As you can see, the weather’s best described as “changeable”!
As is my wont, I’m taking the scenic route into Leeds! I changed trains at at Bradford and walked between the two stations. It breaks the monotony of taking the same route all the time and gives me chance to see something different. I’ve added to the detour by taking a trip out to Ilkley, where I’ve not been for a little while.
I’m heading to Leeds, honest! I’ve just got sidetracked as it were. After Ilkley I stopped off at Baildon, which is a station on the single track link from Guisley to Shipley. The original station building still survives, although it’s been vacated by the tyre company that had been using it. Despite that, the stations environs are kept looking smart by the local station friends group. I’d not been here since 2010 and there were a couple of photo opportunities (despite the weather) so I decided to stop off.
18:30.I’ve finally made it to Leeds after even more detours and an Aire valley rail service that’s suffereing from lots of delays. It was worth it. The new station concourse may still be a work in progress, but it’s looking good! As well as the cleaned up concourse the old gateline has been removed and a new oone comissioned which-whilst it might be slightly smaller, provides much more room for folk as they flood off trains in the morning rush.
Having got a selection of useful shots I’ve called ot a day and I’m heading home, bouncing my way from Leeds to Halifax aboard a Pacer bound for Huddersfield. With the teething problems associated with the new CAF built units, I wonder how long these sets have left?
On October 21st the CAF 195s are meant to take over the recently introduced hourly Leeds – Chester service, which will see the first of the units operating passenger services through the Calder Valley. This should free up a few 150x type units to displace more Pacers.
I’m back home in the warm and dry and not a moment too soon! It’s a foul night! The rain started the minute I got off the train in Halifax and it’s not stopped since, the wind’s sprung up and all I can hear is the rustling of the trees and torrents of water running off the terraced garden walls outside my office window. To finish, here’s a small selection of shots from today. You’ll be able to find the full set on my Zenfolio website tomorrow.
I’m out and about with the camera today, hoping to make the most of a spell of sunny weather to get a selection of client and library shots. Dawn gave me a lift into Huddersfield which was basking in beautiful sunshine but right now I’m ln a Trans-Pennine service heading West into Lancashire where I seem to have hit a weather front. The entrance to the Standedge tunnel appeared to be in fog, so my plans may have to be fluid. Let’s see how the day goes…
Perhaps I was a little too optimistic with the weather, but for once, the rain Gods have smiled on me. After leaving Huddersfield I headed for Mossley, a station on Trans-Pennine line in Greater Manchester. There’s some great photo locations around the village, so I headed for a couple of familiar locations where footbridges cross the line with rather scenic backdrops for the pictures. I ended up playing hide and seek with the sun, but for once it played ball just as the train I was after appeared. Here’s the shots.
Within a few minutes of getting these shots the sky turned dark and threatening, so I decided to beat a hasty retreat back into Mossley. It was a wise choice. I was within 200 yards of the station when the clouds burst and we were treated to yet another torrential downpour!
Right now the skies are clearing again and I’m deciding on the next move – possibly back towards Huddersfield. Let’s see…
After a brief foray to Manchester to check out the light I’m now back in Mossley where I’ve grabbed a couple of useful shots of trains passing along the back of the homes and shops on the main road. The fact the railway is literally knocking on people’s back door causes such space constraints that you get scenes like this!
Whilst waiting for photo opportunities I made the mistake of checking the news too see the latest on the Brexitshambles. It is not good. The British (or more correctly, the English) have humiliated themselves in the face of European unity and the unwillingness of the EU 27 to cave in to Johnson’s unworkable ‘plan’ – and I use that word in the loosest sense. So now the blame game is in full swing, as it was always planned to be. Now we have the pathetic sight of the Leave campaign resorting to crude nationalism and German bashing. It’s sickening, but entirely predictable. Most Leavers don’t have the nous to see this is Schrodingers Brexit, where we can simultaneously have “taken back control” and be ‘bullied’ by the EU (and especially by Germany). It’s the ultimate in fcukwittery, but nothing surprises me about this country anymore.
After crossing the bider back into Yorkshure I tried for a few shots around Marsden, then Slaithwaite, onky to find locations I used just a few years sgo are now obscured by tree growth. It’s one of those things that makes me laugh about the Woodland Trust’s scaremongering campaigns. I’ve been living in Yorkshire for less than a decade, but in that time I’ve seen tree growth rise and spread. Look back at old photos of West Yorkshire from the 1950s and the growth of woodland is even more apparent. I was left with just one option, go higher up the valley side. I’ll add pictures later. Of course, by the time I’d climbed a sodding great cloud appeared, but at keast kniw I know where I need to be in the future!
Right now I’m heading back to Manchester to get a few blurry night shots to add to the library. There has to be some advantages to the nights drawing in…
– As Rod Stewart sang, only this night is going to be akright as it’s the annual ACoRP community rail awards. This year it’s being held in Telford, Shropshire.
Right now I’ve a few hours off to explore before the big event. I’ve never been to Telford before, so after breakfast I had a wander. Built as a new tiwn back in the 1960s you can see that the motor car featured heavily in the town’s design. It’s sprawling and features a lot of car parks. That said, obvious efforts have been made to provide plenty of footpaths and even some cycleways to compensate. I don’t think the place will win any architectural awards tho’…
Not having long I popped down to Wolverhampton for a flying visit to grab a couple of shots before heading back up the line to a place I’ve not visited since 2005, the delightful Codsall station. The old station building was converted into a pub many years ago. Run by Holden’s brewery, it’s a delightful place to visit for a pint, a sandwich and a browse of the railway memorabilia that decorates the walls.
Sadly, the weather’s not been kind to me. I’ve managed to get a few shots for the library, but now it’s time to head back and get ready for tonight and a very different style of photography…
Right, it’s time to head for the big event. Suitably ‘suited and booted’ and with all the camera kit checked and ready to go I’m off for the staff briefing…