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The 14:23 from New Street

For a bit of variety, I caught the train to Longbridge with the aim of walking to Moseley by following the River Rea to Kings Norton then the canal to Edgbaston before hitting the streets for the final stretch to Moseley.

I caught the 14:23 from New Street and arrived at Longbridge about twenty minutes later. 

I didn’t go directly for the Rea but sought out Hawkesly Drive and some unusual architecture. Walking along parts of this road, you could think that you were somewhere in the American Mid West with it’s clapboard houses. It’s part of Austin Village named after the motor manufacturer who imported two hundred pre-fabricated red cedar wood houses in 1917 to house the extra workers employed building tanks for the war effort. At intervals are traditional brick semis to create fire breaks.

Birmingham Alabama ? 

Leaving America behind, I crossed under the railway which I had recently passed over, going through a road tunnel with a height restriction of only 5′ 3″ and joined the River Rea walkway.

Soon after joining the walkway which is also National Cycle Route 5 it started to rain, a feature that was to stay with me for most of the day.

After a few navigational hiccups approaching Kings Norton, I was on the very familiar towpath heading towards the city centre. After Bridge 74 I had a choice of routes; continue along the cycle route or stay on the canal. A month ago the canal was closed by the university but I was hoping that it had reopened when I decided to stay on the cut.

I continued past Bournville ( for Cadbury World ) and Selly Oak and was delighted to see that the towpath was open as I approached University station. The whole section between Kings Norton Junction and Birmingham is now properly surfaced which is a vast improvement as this stretch used to be very rutted and muddy.

I exited the canal system near the student accommodation at Mason Way crossing a rather flooded Church Road. Reversing a section of the Birmingham Canal Canter, I ended up on Pershore Road near to the Edgbaston Cricket Ground. A short walk up Park Hill brought me to my destination, Moseley.

10.8 Miles in 2:28 – not too fast as I was still recovering from yesterday’s assault of The Malverns.

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