Outing to Tewkesbury and GWR Toddington 20th September 2018

The morning was wet and grey, most unusual for our day trips as it is usually sunny and warm.  Our coach was early and we were able to  board quite quickly and start our journey to visit Tewkesbury. Our driver did a good job with the lashing rain and mist.  Near to our destination we were held up for about 20 mins in traffic; this was probably to our advantage as by the time we reached Tewkesbury Abbey, the rain had all but stopped.  We spent three and a quarter hours looking round the cathedral and town, taking morning coffee and having lunch.  Tewkesbury is an extraordinary riverside town; with a rich, vibrant history and a beautiful waterside setting with a lot todiscover.  There is a lovely riverside walk alongside the River Severn, Victoria Gardens still with plenty of colour, boat rides, museums, chapels and so much more to visit.  The Battle Trail  takes you around the ancient fields where the Battle of Tewkesbury was held in 1471. Walk the  Heritage and Alleyways Trail around the town centre to see some of the historic buildings.  Every summer there is a displaydisplay of medieval banners that brighten the streets of Tewkesbury. Each is based on the arms of a person who was involved in the Battle. They are made from cotton ‘duck’ and then hand-painted using modern acrylic paints.  During the winter months they are part of a rolling programme of refurbishment, to keep them looking fresh. Tewkesbury Abbey is world-renowned for being one of the UK’s greatest examples of medieval architecture. Its striking Norman tower and long nave have dominated the Tewkesbury skyline for nearly 900 years. Our members found Tewkesbury to be very interesting and many will go back to explore more of the town.

At 2.30pm we boarded our coach, allowing time for hold-ups, we made our way to Toddington to have a journey and cream tea on the railway. Our train arrived, the steam engine was named Foremark Hall, pulling 8 coaches.  We were booked into carriage B and our places were set out at the tables.  Once the journey had begun we were served two scones each, with jam and cream, and tea or coffee.  We spent a very pleasant journey to Cheltenham, eating, chatting and laughing. After arriving at Cheltenham whilst the engine, watered and ran round the train, some stayed on the train, some walked the platform and entrance pathway to view Cheltenham Racecourse, and the enthusiasts took photos of the engine.  At the end of the journey we climbed back on our coach and had a very good journey back to Carterton, before the rain started again.  A great day out.  Pam

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