Today we took the bus into Tamworth to visit the weekly market and purchase some fresh fruit & vegetables as well as have a look around the town. The outside market spreads across the centre of the town and was very busy. In the main shopping precinct we met up with Guide Dogs promoting Sponsor a Puppy and had a good chat to them and later came across two working Guide Dogs with their young owners and child.
First we went into the imposing St Editha’s Parish Church which dates back to Saxon times 1,200 years ago when Tamworth was the capital of the kingdom of Mercia.
June decided to light a candle whilst I admired the lovely roof and colourful kneelers. Unfortunately my phone camera does not do the roof justice as it is a work of art.
The Town Hall in Market street was built in 1701, and was paid for by Thomas Guy, the MP for Tamworth. The Town Hall was initially used for civic and social functions, and so was an important building for the town. Over the years the hall became too small and was extended on a number of occasions. The clock was added to the hall in 1817 by Mr John Robins. A group of musicians were playing inside the hall and the Staffordshire Regiment were gathering outside to march through the town as part of the 125 year celebration of the Assembly Rooms. They had a Staffie as a mascot complete with elaborately decorated coat. The statue at the front is of Sir Robert Peel MP for Tamworth.
We then found the Castle high up on a motte and overlooking the celebration activities in the grounds below including Jousting, Archery, and other medieval activities. Overlooking the River Tame, the site has been fortified since Anglo-Saxon times, when Ethelfleda, the Mercian Queen, built a burh to defend against Danes (Vikings); it served as a residence of the Mercian kings. Rebuilt and enlarged by the Normans, it is today one of the best preserved Norman motte-and-bailey castles in England. The Castle has the second largest motte in England, after that at Windsor Castle.
The Jousting course with all the lovely flowers along the terrace. Not sure what Darth Vada and his friends were doing there though.
We went back to the boat for a late lunch and were then visited for afternoon tea by Lottie and Andrew some old neighbours who now live in Tamworth. We had a good catch up and they left about 5pm.
After dinner James and Debbie from Nb. Lois Jane who were moored nearby invited us in for a glass of wine and to meet the new addition to their family, Dudley, the 11 week old Patterdale Terrier. He is such a little character and June could not resist a cuddle.
Sunday 26th April
This morning we reversed back to the water point and filled the tank. Just as we set off 2 more boats came round the corner wanting water so we had just timed it right. Once filled we moved across the canal to moor next to Nb. Lois Jane; Dudley, and of course, James and Debbie joined us for morning coffee. Ecco and Dudley had a great time playing as it was the first time that Dudley had been able to play with another dog. Dudley was not interested in the chew Ecco was eating but just wanted to lick around her mouth and she put up with his antics very well. I think she enjoyed the attention really.
It was then time for us to leave and so we said a sad farewell to Dudley, James and Debbie and headed for Sutton Road bridge. They are on their way to the Alvecote Festival on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd May where they will sell their turned wooden and acrylic speciality pens and other wood turned items.
We moored up just before the bridge and headed to Sainsbury’s for a couple of items and came away with a rucksack full. After a quick lunch we headed off towards Whittington. On the way we went through fields of Oilseed rape and the pollen blowing off it made breathing difficult. In the distance was the TV and Radio Mast at Sutton Coldfield so TV reception would always be good around here.
We spotted the Little Chimney Boats (we have one of their excellent chimneys) as we neared Hopwas and as we passed they came out to wave and have a quick chat. All was well with them.
Although there were several boats moored at Hopwas there was still space outside the Tame Otter pub.
As we approached Peel Farm large areas of Poly Tunnel had replaced the open fields we had seen last time we passed by.
Found a nice spot to moor with open views across the country and enjoyed the afternoon sun although the wind was still cool. I walked Ecco into the village and lots of people were sitting outside the pub enjoying their beer and the April sunshine.