Friday, 28 September 2012

Royal Leamington Spa.

We are now equipped with a car, Enterprise kindly came out from Leamington Spa and conveyed us back to their depot where we did the paper work and took control of a Vauxhall Astra. Nice motor but it has an electronic parking brake, a truly odd and pointless "improvement" that means you need three feet to do a hill start, what's wrong with the good old hand-brake?
As we were in Royal Leamington Spa, a town we had never visited, we had a wander round.

The Royal Pump Room, the basis of the towns fame and growth in the early 19thC., the saline waters were supposed to cure a wide range of medical problems, including stiffness of the tendons, rigidity of the joints and that scourge of the regency gentry, gout. The small village soon grew into a smart town,

notable for its splendid terraces.

By the start of the 20thC. however the town had fallen on hard times as spas' became unfashionable. In his poem "Death in Leamington", from 1932, John Betjaman wrote

"Do you know that the stucco is peeling?"
Now though, most of the centre of town is well looked after and we were pleasantly surprised at how smart it all appeared.

Splendidly ornate town hall.

and it has not been moved back, the old queen is still an inch off true.

Beside the River Leam Jephson Gardens are a pleasant green oasis.

Complete with fountain,

flower beds and

some of the fattest squirrels I've come across.

As to what this is? Three bronze elephants, one with a young lad sitting on it, baffles me.
It made for an enjoyable trip out, we quite liked Leamington.
This may well be the last post for a while as we will be off on our road trip,

Watch this space............


David Evans said...

Very near to the river bridge you took a photo of, is a small road that appears to go straight into the river. This is called the Elephant Dip. It was built to water a troupe of elephants that lived in the town round about the beginning of the C20. They walked down the road and into the river. Hence the statues of elephants.

The statues of elephants and boy is fairly recent and was part of the new shopping mall but was moved to the park when it was re-developed.

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

Thanks David, we noticed what appeared to be a slipway into the river just downstream from the bridge so your info. clears up two things we were wondering about. I am frequently amazed by the amount of esoteric knowledge out in the blogosphere!


Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

I think you are missing the point on the handbrake.
We have a Citroen with one and on a hill all you do is put the car in gear and drive away, as you take up the drive the handbrake releases by its self. You don’t put it off with the switch.

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

After much wrestling I finally worked it out, still seems a totally pointless "improvement", all it does is take some of the control of the car from the driver.