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Saturday 14th January
RAR 255
COVENTRY'S GBG

Meet at Greyhound, Sutton Stop, 12 noon
Sunday 5th February
HW 55
SNOWDROPS AT ALLESLEY

Meet at The Brooklands, Kingsbury Road, 12 noon.
Saturday 18th February
RAR 256
STATFORD TO WELFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am (X18 takes 1 hour 35 mins!!)

The No.27 bus leaves Welford at 3:16pm and arrives Stratford 3:29pm (opposite Maypole)
5:50pm arrives 6:12pm
6:09pm arrives 6:46pm

The X18 bus leaves B439 (Binton turn) at 3:19pm arrives Stratford at 3:56pm. This stop is supposedly 20 mins walk from Welford.
3:49pm arrives 4:26pm
4:24pm arrives 5:01pm
4:54pm arrives 5:31pm

The 6:30pm No. 460 National Express arrives Coventry 7:00pm
Saturday 18th March
RAR 257
WELFORD ON AVON TO BIDFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives B439 (Binton turn) at 12:07pm
Saturday 15th April
RAR 258
BIDFORD ON AVON TO HARVINGTON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives Bidford 12:11pm
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RAR 237 Bourneville

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Today we meet at Coventry Station at 10:45am and catch the 11:02am to Birmingham New Street, where we change to the 11:.42am and arrive at Bournville at 11:.54am. Then a short walk brings us to Cadbury's factory, where we take the path to Cadbury World. This takes us between playing fields and the factory, over the Bourne Brook, which is the local stream that is still used for cooling water and brings us to Cadbury World for 12:15pm. We can stay here for 30 minutes to visit the shop and buy cheap chocolates, or go to the cafe for refreshments, or visit the free exibitions. It is not worth going into the main exhibition as this is expensive and takes hours to get round.

Suitable loaded with cheap chocolates (don't forget your backpacks!) we can set off at 12:45pm. From here it is virtually all parkland as we follow the Bourne Brook upstream to Northfield. On the right we pass a huge bell tower with exposed bells. Surprisingly, this is Bournville Junior School! We walk through Bournville Park, where we saw a treecreeper, just a few feet away, on our survey. Perhaps treecreepers are getting used to human presence these days. Then a short distance along Hay Green Lane we enter Woodlands Park. Across the next road we are in Valley Parkway, where we saw a jay close up. Who would have thought that suburban Birmingham would be so rich in birdlife?

Across another road we pass an old mill with its millpool. Then we cross the next road and enter Victoria Common. From here we follow Great Stone Road to Northfield where we arrive at the BLACK HORSE at 2:15pm. The Black Horse is something special. It is Grade II Listed, one of the greatest inter - war reformed pubs, on a truly vast scale, a part stone and part half timbered stately home on a Birmingham road junction. It was designed by architect Francis Goldsborough for Davenport's brewery and built in 1929. According to Birmingham Pubs by Crawford, Dunne and Thorne 'Nothing built later approaches the swagger and panache of the Black Horse'. If you look at the rear elevation there is even a timber framed gallery inculded, as in Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire.

One good thing to say about Wetherspoons is that they saved the Black Horse from what looked like terminal decline. I remember it being very run down on previous visits. Perhaps they are the only people capable of making a success of such a large pub these days. But could they not have turned it into a Wetherlodge? Being a Wetherspoons it stocks a range of local ales, including Slaters and Blackheath beers. Is the Black Country so called because of all the black beers made and consumed there?

From here we can catch any of the frequent buses back into Birmingham City Centre for a return train. With Cadbury's and a Wetherspoon this would make a good walk for families. From Coventry station we can reach the City Arms in Earlsdon at 4:30 - 5:00pm for a 'wash-up' meeting.

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