On our return from Wales at the turn of the year the coach driver decided to have a quick detour so we could stretch our legs and grab a coffee. He chose Stratford-upon-Avon, birth place of a rather well known Tudor poet and playwright.
Some of you may think I’m a philistine but the thing is, I’ve never read any of the works of Mr Shakespeare. My secondary education didn’t require such a high level of learning, after all we were only being readied to work in field or factory. However I do like a bit of history. We wandered into Stratford’s centre and took a stroll down the pedestrianised Henley Street. Here on your left is the Bards birthplace, a fine old preserved Tudor building complete with the obligatory tourists taking selfies and, oddly, a lady dressed in period costume sitting in an upstairs window. When you glance around the house looks somewhat out of place. Surrounded by modern emporiums such as ‘Ye Olde Hamlet Starbucks’, ‘Ye Olde Macbeth McDonalds’ and ‘Ye Olde Othello Betting Shoppe’. OK not the real names but you get my drift and what on earth a Harry Potter gift shop has to do with Shakespeare I can’t fathom out. We continued our walk, past the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (not my favourite piece of architecture) and came to the river and canal, this is more like it!
The Warwickshire Avon is, to me, a big river. We have several rivers in Norfolk but not as wide or long. The Avon rises near Naseby in Northamptonshire and flows 85 miles (137km) south/west to join the river Severn at Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire.
I do have a fascination for old canals, some of you may remember this post https://blhphotoblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/big-city-manchester-canals/ Nowadays these man made waterways are used for gentle boating holidays but their origins were far from romantic. Dug by hand, mostly by Irish ‘Navvies’ at the start of the industrial revolution, the canal system was designed to transport goods and materials in bulk across the Country. This was when the roads were little more than dusty cart tracks. The coming of the railways killed off most of the canals including the Stratford-upon Avon. Construction started in 1793 on the 25.5 mile (41km) canal which heads towards Birmingham and has 56 locks to raise or lower the barges. By 1945 the southern section was un-navigable. It was restored by the National Trust and re-opened by the Queen Mother in 1964.
Why use mono images? Well colour just didn’t cut it on a gloomy day. Several bloggers use mono images and this inspired me to try and I rather like them.