Friday, 7 July 2017

The Severn Bore....

Monday 3rd July 2017
Gloucester Docks to Tewkesbury Town Moorings
13.25 miles, 3 locks

No we did not view the Severn Bore, the River Severn, however, once they open the doors to Gloucester lock

and you travel along the east channel of the River for about 2.5 miles where the un-navigable west channel joins the east channel (The Parting) to become the one river again

which becomes wide

with high sides and rather boring(!)

There must be a problem with silt at the "Parting" as almost blocking our way on to the main river was this set of dredging machinery 

It is amazing how low in the water the lighters are when full - you would not want too many waves!
This is about a mile or so upstream where the silt is discharged

This small sailing boat tacked across from one side to the other several times, thankfully stopping before there was a disaster.

The monotony is broken when you get to the lock at Upper Lode just before Tewkesbury where we joined Waka Huia's travelling companions - two boats we had been 'leap frogging' with for many days.

We had decided to break our journey in Tewkesbury whilst they continued on to Upton upon Severn. The lock keeper had given us the go ahead to moor below the lock into town on the moorings the big hotel boat (The Edward Elgar) uses

Thankfully we did not stray too far too soon as the lock keeper was advised that Elgar was, unexpectedly, going to arrive at 17:30, so we would have to move up to the town moorings, so up Avon lock we went.  Unlike the French lock keepers last year, here they are far more helpful and do not expect crew to get out of their boats to deal with ropes.  A hook on a rope is passed down for you to place your rope on and up it goes, they wrap it round a bollard and pass it back.  Oh so very civilized -  it would have saved me a lot of running round last summer.

So this time we turned right out of the lock and under two bridges to reach the town moorings.  They are certainly better sited for both the town and Monty's walk along part of the Severn Way (across the bridge in the photo)
The downside is all that green stuff - some are nettles, not in the least user friendly when you are wearing sandals, but most is some sort of weed that one gentleman called 'asthma weed'. It is not something we have come across before, but it certainly did not have a good effect on me, but thankfully we would only be there for one night.

I doubt that we will ever get another shot of Tentatrice and Tewkesbury Abbey in the same photo

So off along the Severn Way we all went - in the ten days or so since I last came this way, the grass has been cut.

and this time, when Monty went down to the river he was brave enough to get all four feet wet and take a drink

This time we cut across the fields from the weir instead of re-tracing our steps as I had done previously.  So where did we end up?  By Abbey Mill bridge which is almost closed due to flood prevention works.  A local we were chatting too said it was only supposed to take a few weeks, but it has dragged on and on with no end in sight.

Tuesday 4th July 2017
Tewkesbury Town Moorings to Worcester Racecourse
18 miles, 2 locks

We dropped down Avon lock back onto the Severn taking care as we headed to the right to ensure a full view of Mythe bridge before making the turn, to ensure we avoided a sandbar on the inside of the turn.

An essential item of equipment on large rivers is a life jacket including for Monty.  It is not something he likes or appreciates, so when it is put on he heads down stairs to his bed to roll around trying to get rid of it leaving a disaster in his wake.  This time the bathroom mat was also subject to his vain attempts to rid himself of his

his trendy green jacket.  He looks ecstatic doesn't he!

Today we went past an aggregate works that actually uses the river to transport the aggregate from the extraction site

to the depot

There were four of them plying back and forth - Pike, Elver, Chub and Perch

Our plan had been to moor at Upton upon Severn for the night, but is was not to be as the boat ahead of us pulled onto the pontoon and the water was too shallow for us to moor on the inside.

So on we went having made the decision to head to Worcester.  Hanley Castle is an imposing site.  Another building along this river (which I failed to spot - too busy concentrating on where I was going!) is Severn End which was the model for 'Brinkley Court', the country seat of Bertie Wooster's Aunt Dahlia in a number of PG Wodehouse's Jeeves stories.  Wodehouse did have a real Aunt who was married to the vicar at Hanley Castle.

My day was made by a fleeting glance of a kingfisher whilst I was taking my turn on the tiller. No chance of a photo I am afraid.

As we arrived in Worcester a boat emerged from Diglis lock, so we were straight in and up in no time at all

On past The Edward Elgar whose Tewkesbury mooring we had had to vacate the night before

to moor near the racecourse which does give Monty a great place to walk.  The unexpected excitement that evening was sighting a rather large hot air balloon preparing to take off.  Sadly we don't think they made it as it was rather breezy and we certainly did not spot it in the air.

Wednesday 5th July 2017

Worcester Racecourse

As it transpired having to continue on to Worcester yesterday worked in our favour as our run of 'breakages' sadly continued - this time it was Chris' laptop.  A fault that has occurred previously, but then it was under warranty.  We found a computer repair man based near Shrub Hill station.  He was called and yes, he would try to help if we could get it to him.  All three of us set off on a hot day for the 25 minute walk (according to Google maps).  On we trudged hoping the google map plan was correct as neither of us is that familiar with Worcester.  At one point Chris spotted a policeman, so stopped him to ask for directions.  I have to say he seemed quite startled and had to stop and think.  He then said 'oh that is quite a long way', but proceeded to confirm we were heading in the right direction.  Thinking about it afterwards we think he was a plain clothes copper, but wearing his stab vest for ID and possibly more used to being in a car and not being accosted by pedestrians asking which way to go!

He had said we were looking for a Victorian building, so we were fairly certain we had got it right when we came upon this rather imposing building

It was the right place and the computer was duly delivered.

On our way back we came across this - now we have seen telephone boxes with defibrillators and local libraries, but never before with a cash machine!

We trudged back to the boat to drop Monty off, hoping to stop at the CafĂ© by the river for a coffee, only to find it was shut, so we had to DIY back on the boat.  It was not much of a fun walk for Monty but the racecourse was otherwise occupied and shut to mere mortals

Chris and I over the course of the day made two further outings into town - mostly to the M&S food hall as we were expecting a party of VIP guests the next day.  The laptop was, thankfully, delivered back to us early evening (at present still not working, but that may change as he is going to have another look at it), so we were spared another long walk.  As it was we managed to clock up just over 9 miles of rather boring pavement pounding.

Still back on the river we had plenty of entertainment - vast quantities of excited children racing.  We know they all have the ability to count up to four - very loudly!!

They also had to learn the art of dodging narrowboats

There were many rowers and canoes, one paddle-boarder and just the one dragon boat coming and


We also had frequent visits from a rather charming family of swans - they must have been last year's brood, but they were definitely a family group of Pen, Cob and three youngsters


Lynn said...

As always, super photos and great narrative. Love that cash dispenser! Happy travels. :)

Jennie said...

Thanks Lynn - we are back in the marina now - it has been a great trip.