Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Railway's Revenge

We made an early start from the top of Braunston locks, being away by 7.30. However early I go up or down this flight the shop at the bottom lock always seems to be open, and today was no exception.
Neither can I resist taking a photo every time I pass by, so inviting is this row of canalside buildings.
Today's plan was for me to go as far as Rugby on "Sunshine" and then catch a train home while Bernard continued to Brinklow where the boat was booked in for some much-needed work on the engine at Rose Narrowboats.
Approaching Bridge 59 on the Oxford Canal on the outskirts of Rugby we saw a bus cross the bridge and disappear into the nearby housing estate. Having done my homework, I realised that having made a tour of the estate the bus would then cross the canal again heading back into town. I hadn't been able to find out where the bus stop was, but we soon spotted it - on a road running parallel to the canal, but on the offside (non-towpath side). Luckily Bernard was able to get Sunshine near enough to the bank so that I could jump off and he was just throwing my luggage off after me when along came the bus! Luckily it had to stop anyway to allow someone to get off, so I was able to shout a hurried "goodbye" to Bernard and jump on board; arriving at Rugby station less than 10 minutes later.
Rugby station, with a "Virgin" train on which my ticket wasn't valid.
At the start of this trip I had "cheated the railways" by buying a return ticket to Northampton when I was really making a single journey to Market Harborough, saving £20 in the process. 
The special  £10 day return to anywhere on London Midland Trains offer was still available so I presented my downloaded internet voucher at the booking office and handed over my £10. The booking clerk gave me a ticket and I put it my wallet, right next to where the £10 note I had handed over in exchange had been - and there it sat until I got home with no one at Rugby or Hereford stations or on either of the trains I caught via Birmingham asking to see it. So, on the way out I got one over on the railways by buying a ticket I didn't propose to fully use but coming home they managed to sell me a ticket I didn't really need! Honours even, I suppose.

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