As I get to the second half of the alphabet I think I may have to travel a bit further to find stations starting with certain letters. For’ O’ I chose Oldfield Park, a suburb of Bath and an easy hop from Cardiff with just one change at Bristol Temple Meads. And may I say what a fine station Bristol Temple Meads is. I had enough time for a quick wander around and to admire the architecture. On the way to Oldfield Park the train passed through Keynsham, with strong historical connections to Cardiff as there used to be an area called Roath Keynsham, an area of Cardiff once owned by Keynsham Abbey.
Oldfield Park is a small but attractive little station. My train was gone before I had an opportunity to photograph it so I wandered around the station looking at the cherry blossom tree and the notice board which told me that the station opened in 1929. It also told me a fact I would never have guessed in a million years, that Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie lived in exile here between 1935 and 1941 having fled Mussolini’s occupation of his country.
I indulged myself in quite a few of my hobbies today. I found eight geocaches, a trig point and a few benchmarks. But that’s not going to make very interesting reading for the lay reader so I’ll skim over the details. I also had a haircut. There is something quite exciting about having a haircut somewhere different. Go on. Try it. You may surprise yourself.
Looking at the map I wandered quite a way. I took an old railway track, now a footpath, for a while and found a few caches. The buildings looked very different from those of South Wales. These were all built of the local sandstone. Oldfield Park Junior School looks like something out of a fairytale with its copper dome and weather vane, although looking at it I don’t think it is a dome as it doesn’t have a rounded yop. Must have another name of some sort – Christmas cake icing like?
After getting my hair cut I strolled up Twerton Hill to see the trig point and admire the view. The flush bracket and plug have long gone but the spider is still present. Doh! There was me saying I wasn’t going to mention my hobbies.
I headed for bath now, over the river Avon and via one of its most famous landmarks, the Royal Crescent. These 30 houses, designed by architect John Wood, were built between 1767 and 1774. It was a marvellous day to visit with not many people around and great views of the houses. I sat and had my dinner here, as you would.
After that I wandered down into Bath itself. It was a lot more crowded here. I haven’t been here for many years but some of the memories of the sights came flooding back as I strolled past the abbey and down to the riverside. The Pulteney Bridge is a bridge over the River Avon is indeed spectacular. I spotted the Royal Mineral Water Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, something I had come across in recent years when researching a doctor from Cardiff who trained here.
The last geocache of the day required me to fond the plaque commemorating the crowning of Edgar, the first king of all England in 973AD here at Bath Abbey. Never heard of him till now but I liked the fact he was called Edward the Peaceful. It would be nice if more world leader had that suffix.
Date of trip: 23 Mar 2019
See progress to date: A-Z of Railway Stations