Caught the train from Rugby to Birmingham early morning, surprisingly busy, for F’s dental appointment. We then had a chance to have a good look round the redeveloped New Street Station area which is now called, without any hyperbole, ‘Grand Central’. a terrific improvement this is. It used to be by far the worst mainline station in Britain…underground, cold, dark, unloved, scruffy…and now it is a magnificent station/concourse and shopping centre where you wouldn’t mind waiting half a day for a train. Anchored by a new John Lewis, which itself has lots of lovely new touches, we did enough walking to call it a day (after a nice lunch in JL). We escaped with just one new pair of shoes…..Coming from Manchester myself I always think it laughable when Birmingham calls itself Britain’s second city, but even I was impressed. Plus the rest of the central area is well worth visiting with extensive nice Victorian/Edwardian buildings redolent of the period. Bit of a surprise Birmingham town centre….