Dear Friends and Students—I think I did, and met with plenty of opportunities to ride on them this weekend. Coventry is close to the center of England (just a little south and west) which, to this American, sounded like some distance from London. After all, I had to take 3 trains from Bath to get here so it felt like quite a long way. In actuality, it is only 89 miles.
When my friend Titus invited me to an event called the Goodwood Revival Meeting (not the bible thumping, tent type I first envisioned), I said, “Sure." Turns out, it was all about classic cars. Makes sense as Titus owns about 40 of them. “Do I need to wear anything special?” I asked, knowing some English events can be quite posh.
“No, your jeans will be fine.” It turns out that the majority of revelers dress up in 1940s and 50s era attire from mechanics outfits, to military uniforms, dresses with standout skirts and chic WWII classic wool suits complete with pearls. In fact, trading in vintage clothes occupied many stands… along with all the classic cars and classic car races, and even an old-fashioned, coal-fired Carousel. I think my friend set me up by not explaining all this to me and I told him so.
The train part of this report comes when one goes to buy a ticket. It is Coventry to London, change train stations via the underground and then out to Chichester, which is south of London near the coast. It took a couple of hours to get there and then a couple of hours back. The next day, I headed northwest to Southport, a seaside resort on the Irish Sea. Another couple of train changes and another couple of hours gave me lots of opportunity to enjoy the English countryside at my leisure. Is it no wonder that when I drifted off to sleep that night, I could feel the rocking motion of the train still?
In-between was a short hop (by comparison) to Birmingham where I saw their lovely Cathedral and lit a candle for my mother. It was a fab weekend, but I am staying in Coventry next weekend and accepting no invites! It will be my last weekend here before I head back to London then out to Richmond where the National Archives are and the next stop on my journey of discovery.