Good god, but Kidderminster is underwhelming.
I would say that I don’t know what I expected, except I do. I expected a gorgeous church right on the canal bank, complete with handy visitor moorings. I expected a town proud of its industrial heritage. I expected a little bit of West Midlands humour and vim about the people.
When we set off, almost a month ago, we had just thrown our plans to go south along the Oxford Canal in the bin, but didn’t know where to go after Market Harborough. The lovely people at Yelvertoft suggested that we head for Kiddie, and recommended the church as being particularly lovely. I was thrilled with that idea, as my grandma worked there in the war and I couldn’t remember ever having been. And so it became a destination. Thankfully not the only one, nor the most important, but still a destination.
Almost as soon as we got here, I wanted out. It might have been the empty stores, but to be honest, the real deal breaker was the utterly horrid Weavers Wharf retail park – where they turned an old carpet factory into a FRANKIE AND BENNY’S.
And we had our first experience with anti-vandal keys, too. (For those of you that don’t know, in places where the kidz like to let all the water out of the locks for shits and giggles, the Canal and River Trust gets its own back by fitting locks to the locks. So you need a special key to be able to wind the paddles.)
So we left, and headed for the burbs of Kidderminster. And lo, the sun came out, and we found a beautiful mooring spot, and Tom used the mooring pins as impromptu but very effective hooks. And peace was restored.