Saturday, 17 March 2018

Brummagem part three

Day three 14th March 2018

A historic railway station and a trip to Worcester

For my third day I decided to venture out of Birmingham and catch a train to Worcester, a city with which I'm familiar but haven't visited for some years. I wanted to see if it had changed and to see some of the bits I'd not previously visited, such as the cathedral. So once again up, showered, out, breakfast (Pret), and this time down to Moor Street station. Unlike the labyrinthine New Street and the subterranean Snow Hill, Moor Street is a traditional station,  a combination of the original station, opened in 1909 by the GWR as a terminus for local trains, and a newer Moor Street station with through platforms, adjacent to the original, which opened in 1987, the two were combined into one station in 2002, when the original was reopened and restored, and the newer station rebuilt in 1930s style. It's certainly the nicest of the three.

Moor Street station

Moor Street station

Moor Street station

Moor Street station water tower
The 11:09 West Midland Railway service took a little under an hour to get to Worcester Foregate Street and is under a tenner for an off-peak return. A walk down through the city centre showed few changes, some familiar shops gone, some moved. The biggest change being the recent big redevelopment of the Cathedral Square shopping mall. Carrying on down to the bridge found the River Severn very full as usual at this time of year. So full that it had overflowed its banks in places blocking the path to the cathedral.

River Severn
River Severn in flood

Worcester Bridge
Next was the cathedral, or as its officially called ,the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Mary the Virgin of Worcester. (No gags about finding a virgin in Worcester please.) Built between 1084 and 1504 it towers over the Severn and contains the tombs of King John of Magna Carta fame, Prince Arthur, younger brother of Henry VIII, and Stanley Baldwin, three-time UK Prime Minister. I'd never been inside before. It's big. Very big. 

Tomb of King John

Worcester Cathedral crypt

Worcester Cathedral interior

Worcester Cathedral interior & tomb of King John

Worcester Cathedral from Cathedral Square
There's little left of medieval Worcester apart from the cathedral, much having been replaced in the 1960s in what some locals refer to as "the rape of Worcester" when the council redeveloped much of the city centre. Friar Street contains quite a few ancient buildings including Greyfriars, built around 1485 and since 1966 owned by the National Trust. I'm a NT member so that was the next place to visit.


The volunteers in Greyfriars were very knowledgeable and informative and able to discuss the long history of the house and its former occupants. Part of the house is still let as a private residence - part of the agreement of its being given to the trust being that it remained in use as a home not just a museum.

Friar Street

Friar Street

Friar Street
After a day in Worcester it was time to return to the station (via Starbucks) and get the train back to Birmingham. The return train went via Worcester Shrub Hill where it stopped for a 15 minute rest, so the trip back to Moor Street was a little longer in duration.

Worcester Foregate Street station
Selfridges Building, Bullring, Birmingham
Back to the hotel for a bit then out again for food and a couple of pints in The Wellington. The beggars were out in force again in the city centre but were at least willing to accept the blatant lie "sorry mate, haven't got any change" and move on.

Day four 15th March 2018

The return home

Checked out after another comfortable night and breakfasted at Pret again, using their Wi-Fi to check the travel situation and to find out how close May and Putin were to chucking nukes about. The train from New Street was only a couple of minutes late and after the usual seat claiming dance made an uneventful journey to Reading, easily making Reading in time for the connexion to Sandhurst. Despite gathering clouds I was able to walk home from the station without getting wet.

It was an enjoyable trip all told and considering I'm writing these reports while watching the snow fall again, well timed weather wise.

I took many more photos than shown in this blog and they can be seen in this Flickr Album

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