So we strolled down to Stamford station on a Tuesday morning for the 10:05 departure to Birmingham. The platform was quite full of waiting people: train travel from Stamford really is becoming very popular, but the train was only two coaches long. We did all get seats (ours were reserved anyway), but one or two passengers were standing later in the journey, although never for long. Longer trains, more trains (or both!) are needed on this route.
At New Street we had over half an hour between trains and we took the opportunity to have a coffee break. This was the first time we had changed trains here since the rebuilding of the station, although I had been here a couple of times before and could't help noticing that helpful signs had now appeared on the platforms advising that changing trains is best done at the "B" end of the platforms (that is, I happen to know, via the "red lounge", which serves all the platforms), but I did not notice it until we had left at the "A" end, which involves a lot of going through ticket barriers ... The coffee was good, though, and we had plenty of time, but not too much time, to get our connection to Oxford. This was a through train to Bournemouth (mental note made that this is probably the easiest way to Bournemouth if we ever decide to go there...) and was a four-coach Voyager unit.
|Towpath walk, peaceful and interesting, with pubs|
|Crossing the canal|
The Wednesday saw us walk along the river (Thames, or Isis as some prefer to call it) and then get the bus back and visit the unique Pitt Rivers Museum, which really has to be seen to be believed: I have been an officiating chaplain to the forces but do not think I have ever seen so many firearms in one place as I did at this museum, which covers every aspect of human life all over the world and through the ages. Well worth a visit.
|The Eagle and Child|
And so it was time to return home and we set off to the station via the back streets of Oxford, unfortunately through the rain, and awaited our train to Birmingham where another simple change took us home to Stamford. We had a few moment longer for the change this time and spent it looking at the shops in the new Grand Central shopping centre above the station - worth a visit itself.
We must return to Oxford, as we so often say of many places we visit. I have some country walks in mind - they have been on "the list" for some time - but they need better weather.
We never did find a dead body, nor a red Jaguar**.
*The Morse novels were written by Colin Dexter, a native of Stamford where nearly all of my adventures begin. As it happens, I read Last Bus to Woodstock as we returned from our first adventure in Switzerland.
** The red Jaguar was introduced by the TV series. In the novels, Morse drives a Lancia. We didn't see many of those, either!