Into Birmingham again – up the Stratford

Life has been a touch hectic recently so blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. This one’s about what we were up to in June so just a touch out of date!

After our wonderful encounter with the Evesham Morris Dancers we headed for Stratford. We’d visited a couple of times before and done most of the touristy stuff but hadn’t managed to see anything in any of the theatres. This time we visited the smaller Swan Theatre which was showing a rather bawdy farce called Vice Versa. It’s a reworking of a Roman play by Plautus. I’m not a big fan of farce but this was a brilliant production – very energetic and extremely funny. Much to the delight of the American lady in the seat next to us, the main character was mysoginistic and self aggrandising, with more than a few references to Donald Trump.

We tackled the 16 locks out of Stratford on a boiling hot day and it was tough work!

By the time we’d crossed the Edstone Aqueduct (the longest in England) we were more than ready to moor up in Wootton Wawen for the night.

EdstoneAqueduct

The following day, another hot one, and another 17 locks to do to get to Kingswood Junction but this time we had help. We were joined by Kirsty and Boris and their assistance was very welcome.

We met Kirsty and Tug when we did the BCN 24 hour marathon Challenge and it was great to get together with them again and share a meal cooked by Tug on board their boat. Boris was obviously feeling the worse for wear from our day’s exercise and spent most of the time snoozing while cuddling his favourite toy.

BorisSnooze

Another hot day, another 20 locks and another great helper. There was a volunteer at the bottom of the locks and he helped us up the whole of the Lapworth flight, cycling ahead and setting each lock so that we weren’t hanging about at all. Perfect!

The disused guillotine lock marks the junction between the Stratford and the Worcester and Birmingham canals. We turned left here and headed back into Birmingham for possibly the last time this summer.

For some reason, on our numerous previous visits, we hadn’t got round to visiting the Cathedral. When I discovered that it boasts an amazing series of Edward Burnes Jones windows it was an omission that had to be corrected.

The four windows are remarkable. The east window depicts The Ascension…..

BurneJoneslastjudgement

BurneJonesdetail

…and the west end is dominated by these three windows depicting the Nativity, the Last Judgement and The Crucifixion.

Crucifixiondetail

My photographs do not do these incredible windows justice. If you find yourself in Birmingham, make your way to St Phillips Cathedral and see them for yourself – they are truly stunning.

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