Sunday, 27 February 2011

2011 - Day Out 5: Whittles Worcestershire

Date: Saturday 26 February 2011

Time for the second outing of the year for the WARP's and we aim to have a little ride around Worcestershire travelling on local Whittles routes. Time to meet up and I make my way to Stourbridge Town to meet up with the rest of the gang. After purchasing my £2.60 return ticket to Kidderminster I catch the Parry's People Mover, or as I like to call it, "The Dodger" up to Stourbridge Junction. Upon arrival, I wait a few minutes on Platform 3, when Mr UK Buses and Mr WME arrive after finding out that they were on Platform 2 for a few minutes. Our "normal" train arrives on time at 0919 and we board and find Mr Lunn towards the back end of the train. After stopping at Hagley and Blakedown we arrive at Kidderminster, where after alighting we have a walk down Comberton Hill and through the town centre, with a brief diversion to the toilets close to the library for Mr Lunn, to the bus station situated by Tesco's.

It is just a short wait until we get our first bus, and we board Service 11 and purchase our Whittles day ticket costing £5.50 for unlimited travel all day on Whittle services, and after a short journey, passing the Severn Valley Railway station along the way, we arrive in Bewdley. With a bit of time to spare we head off for our first visit of the day to "The George Hotel", a Wetherspoons, and entered via a door we did not know about. A bladder stop is needed by myself so I go to the back of the establishment and up the stairs and realise that I have walked into the ladies, so I quickly exit and find out the gents are at the front of the building, and I must admit that the ladies in "The George" are quite posh. We finish our non alcoholic round and make our way to the bus stop to visit our next location of the day.

Its not to long before our next bus arrives, and it is Whittles service 125 to Bridgnorth. We board and we are on our way with a bit of "D9" driving being demonstrated by Mr Lunn as we make our way through Button Oak and Kinlet before reaching our destination of Highley. We alight at Highely and as we walk up the road, we discover that we got off a stop early, Mr UK Buses is up to his tricks again - I can remember him doing this on our last visit to London, with me getting the blame again. Anyway, we make our way up the main street and it starts to rain, so we time it right to take cover underneath the bus shelter, the one that we were supposed to get off at, with Mr WME walking ahead to see if he could make any discoveries. After a few minutes he returns and he states that there are no open pubs in that direction, so to kill about half hour, we have a little walk round the village, eventually popping up by the church, and Mr Lunn has a sneaky "visit", we then find out that we have done a loop and arrive by the bus stop we alighted at earlier. We see a sign for the Severn Valley Railway station at Highley and have a little wander in the direction and find out that it looks quite a distance, and with time getting on, we make our way through the village again and wait for our Service 125 back in to Bewdley. After waiting an extra few minutes, the bus arrives and we make our way to Bewdley via Kinlet and Button Oak after our "Highley  Disappointing" visit to the village.

Upon arrival in Bewdley it is time for lunch and we make our second visit to "The George" where we get a table sorted ready for our lunch. After a perusal of the menu we make our choices and we guess each others choices before Mr WME and myself make our way to the bar to get our food order, which is delayed by the fact that Mr UK Buses choice is not available, Mr UK Buses mentions that a letter may be arriving soon at Wetherspoons headquarters. It is not too long before our food arrives and we munch away. Stomachs have been fed, so just before we leave it is time for Mr Lunn to take his customary bladder stop and upon enquiring, I point him in the direction I went earlier - he is out of sight, and the gang can let out the laughs, but fair play to Mr Lunn he takes it in his stride and does inform us that he did his business before he came back down to us, I also ask him if he used the sofas that are provided in the ladies room, how come they can get all nice mod-cons in their loos - I think a letter to Wetherspoons is on the way from myself and claims of sexism!

We make our way down Bewdley High Street and wait outside The Angel, for our next bus, Whittles Service 11 to Stourport. The bus makes it's way to Stourport, when Mr UK Buses comes up with a good idea, and we alight the bus just before one of Mr UK Buses previous places of employment, The Brinton Arms. Mr WME decides to have a walk into Stourport to have a look around, whilst the rest of us settle down for a while in this establishment. Whilst in the pub, I try and get a cheap round in whilst Mr Lunn is taking a bladder stop, but he soon pipes up and I get him a drink, when he emerges from the toilet, the correct ones this time! We soon get a text off Mr WME and we make our way into Stourport to meet up with him, and we end up at the bus stop by The Wheatsheaf public house, with Mr WME emerging from the bottom half of the town. We have a few minutes to spare before our return Service 11 arrives to take us back into Kidderminster. A quick journey ensues, with the swapping of drivers along the way.

Enjoying the lounge at The Queens Head, Wolverley.
We arrive in Kidderminster and we wait by the town hall for a few minutes before our next bus arrives. What's this? Mr Lunn hasn't made his usual visit to The Swan to make his customary use of the facilities. Whittles Service 5 to Franche arrives and we board to get to our next destination of Wolverley. After a quick journey we arrive and alight by Wolverley Church, where we take a little walk and we arrive at one of our favourite drinking establishments, "The Queens Head". Drinks are ordered and it is decided that we make use of the pool table. A few games are played, with Mr UK Buses deciding to try his hand at magic and mysteriously makes the black disappear, this seems to answer a question from our last outing where the black ball had once again disappeared. With the pool games out of the way, we find out that we haven't got enough time to visit the "other" Wolverley public house, "The Lock", so a "half round" is ordered and we spend a bit of time in the lounge, a room that we have never used in this establishment on previous visits, and find out that we have missed out on comfort. Time for a "cheers" photo (see left), and we make our way back past the church to get our final bus of the day, Service 5 back to Kidderminster.

We arrive in Kidderminster just in time for tea, so we alight the bus just by The Swan Centre, where a short cut is used through the centre to get to our next Wetherspoons, "The Penny Black". A quick bladder stop is needed before we make our way down to the bar to order our drinks. The pub is quite busy during the early part of the evening and we find a table where it is down to Mr WME and Mr Lunn this time to make our food order. A short while after our food arrives and Mr UK Buses recovering from the shock of myself having something different off the menu, modestly priced Fish and Chips. Whilst we are busy eating our food we hadn't realised that the staff are in fancy dress - Police woman, fire woman - and we also distracted by a show of legs from other customers in the pub. Food is going down well and after another bladder stop, we make our way through Kidderminster and crawl back up Comberton Hill to the railway station for our train back home.

Disaster strikes, we arrive a couple of minutes late, so we have just under half an hour to wait for the next train. We think it is a bit stupid to wait in the cold, so it is decided to visit "The King and Castle", the public house and one of my personal favourites, situated at the Severn Valley Railway station at Kidderminster. After our little warm, we make our way across the forecourt to the modern day station and whilst waiting the final few minutes, the gang decide on dates and possible locations on our next outing. The train arrives and we board for the short journey to Stourbridge Junction, stopping off at Blakedown and Hagley along the way, and it is a good night to Mr Lunn who stays on board to alight at Rowley Regis, whilst Mr UK Buses, Mr WME and myself quickly swap platforms for our "Dodger" back into Stourbridge Town. Not too long to wait and a brief journey gets us back into Stourbridge Town, where Mr UK Buses spots our Black Diamond Service 276 back to Norton waiting by the railway station, so after a quick goodbye to Mr WME, we get a bit cheeky and ask to board, which the driver lets us, thus saving a walk down to the stop situated in  Birmingham Street. We give a little wave to Mr WME as we go past, whilst he makes his way to his bus stop.

Another good outing, with a bit of a let down courtesy of the weather, and a bit of disappointment with our visit to Highley. An April date has been set for the next WARP outing, the first one of the year in British Summertime, lets hope the weather has a summer feel to it.

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